Golf Buzz

July 22, 2015 - 10:52am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Jason Day
USA Today Sports Images

The PGA Tour is in Ontario this week for the RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club.

Even with the Open Championship at St. Andrews having just ended on Monday, many of the biggest names in the game have made the trip to Ontario.

The Canadian Open was first played in 1904 -- 111 years ago -- and is the third oldest continuously-running tournament on the PGA Tour, trailing just the Open Championship and the U.S. Open.

RELATED: RBC Canadian Open tee times | U.S. Ryder Cup points update | Spieth sips from Jug

Here are five players you'll want to be sure to keep an eye on north of the border.

5. Brooks Koepka
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Won Waste Management Open
Reason to watch: One of the rising stars on the PGA Tour, Koepka has played great in his last three starts on the PGA Tour -- a T3 in Memphis, a T18 in the U.S. Open and a T10 on Monday at the Open Championship. In 15 starts this season, Koepka has racked up nine top-25 finishes, with five of those inside the top 10. He's consistent. That should continue this week.

4. Jim Furyk
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Won RBC Heritage
Reason to watch: It's no surprise to see this gritty PGA Tour veteran enjoying another fantastic season. Furyk counts two Canadian Open victories among his 17 career PGA Tour wins. He was also a runner up in Canada a year ago.

3. Matt Kuchar
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T2 Humana Challenge
Reason to watch: For perspective on just how good Kuchar has been over the last decade or so, consider this -- while 2015 is far from his greatest season, the man has missed just one cut in 18 starts, has nine top-10 finishes and his finished second and third one time each. Without a top-10 since a fifth-place showing in Hilton Head, I think Kuchar is due.

2. Bubba Watson
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Won HSBC-Champions and Travelers Championship
Reason to watch: Watson has two missed cuts this season -- the U.S. Open and the Open Championship. Following his missed cut at Chambers Bay in June, the two-time Masters champ immediately won the following week in Connecticut. Perhaps he does that again this week in Canada after missing the cut at St. Andrews.

1. Jason Day
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Won Farmers Insurance Open
Reason to watch: Day is back in action just days after yet another close call in a major. Day, just 27 years old, tied for fourth on Monday in the Open Championship, just one shot out of a playoff. It was his ninth top-10 in a major -- three of those are of the runner-up variety. How will he bounce back in Canada? Well, I think.

Here's how my five to watch fared last week at the Open Championship:

5. Louis Oosthuizen -- T2
4. Dustin Johnson -- T49
3. Rickie Fowler -- T30
2. Tiger Woods -- Missed cut
1. Jordan Spieth -- T4 

July 22, 2015 - 8:25am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Jordan Spieth
Damon Green/Facebook
Jordan Spieth didn't win the Open Championship at St. Andrews on Monday, but that didn't stop him from celebrating with his friend, Zach Johnson, and taking a drink from the Claret Jug.

The dream of a calendar-year grand slam faded away on the 72nd hole at St. Andrews on Monday, but Jordan Spieth handled it like a champion.

The 21-year-old who won the Masters and the U.S. Open finished one shot out of a playoff at the Open Championship in his bid to become the first player since Ben Hogan in 1953 to win the first three legs of the grand slam.

RELATED: Spieth gears up for PGA Championship | Spieth's Ryder Cup points lead

Was he disappointed? Certainly. But he handled the defeat with class.

Check out this tweet he sent out following the defeat:

 

And, shortly after, we learned something else about the mature beyond his years Spieth -- evidently he's not superstitious.

On a private plane back to the U.S. with Open Champion Zach Johnson, Spieth took a swig from the Claret Jug, which was captured on camera by Johnson's caddie Damon Green, which you can see above.

What a photo. Love how Johnson is looking on too.

It was a little strange though considering in most sports, the athletes won't touch a trophy they haven't won yet.

For instance, in the NHL, hockey players who haven't won the Stanley Cup won't touch it until they have. They won't even touch the conference trophy, fearing it'll jinx the Stanley Cup bid.

Hopefully Spieth isn't jinxed. 

July 21, 2015 - 3:10pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Alfonso Riberio, Justin Timberlake
YouTube
Alfonso Riberio and Justin Timberlake put on a show for the fans at the American Century Celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe on Saturday with Riberio's patented "Carlton" dance from his "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" days.

If you were glued to the TV over the weekend -- and again on Monday -- watching the thrilling end to the Open Championship at St. Andrews, then chances are you missed this (like I did) from the American Century Celebrity tournament out in Lake Tahoe, Nev.

Alfonso Riberio, of "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" fame as "Carlton Banks," was paired with Justin Timberlake on Saturday. The two are good buddies and, obviously, tremendous entertainers.

In his role as Carlton, Riberio was most well-known for his dance, affectionately known as, well, "The Carlton."

After hitting their tee shots on a par 3 hole in Tahoe, Riberio and Timberlake both broke out in, "The Carlton."

Check it out here:

 

And, just for fun, here's the original "Carlton Dance":

 

July 20, 2015 - 2:53pm
Posted by:
Associated Press
tj.auclair's picture
Zach Johnson
USA Today Sports Images
Zach Johnson holed a massive birdie putt on the 72nd hole, then waited to see if it was enough for a playoff. It was. Johnson won the playoff for his second major title.
 
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) – Jordan Spieth's spirited bid for a Grand Slam was stopped Monday by Zach Johnson, who is no longer just a normal guy from Iowa.
 
Not with a claret jug to go with that green jacket.
 
Johnson captured his second major – this one at the home of golf – winning the British Open in a playoff over Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman that capped off five wild days at St. Andrews and a suspense-filled final round.
 
Most eyes were on 21-year-old Spieth. No one ever came closer to the third leg of the Grand Slam.
 
Spieth fought back from taking four putts for a double bogey on No. 8 with back-to-back birdies. He rolled in a 50-foot birdie putt for a share of the lead with two holes to play. After missing an 8-foot par putt on the 17th hole, he needed a birdie on the closing hole to join the playoff.
 
"Up and down for a playoff," was the last thing Spieth said to caddie Michael Greller from about 90 yards away. It was too far right and rolled to the edge of the Valley of Sin short of the green, and his birdie attempt up the slope stayed inches left of the cup.
 
"We gave it a great effort," Spieth said.
 
He joined Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods – the three biggest names in golf over the last half-century – as the only players to capture the Masters and U.S. Open, only to come up short in a quest for the holy grail in golf – all four professional majors in the same year.
 
 
Johnson won the Masters in 2007 and described himself as just a normal guy from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
 
Not anymore.
 
The 39-year-old Johnson now has two majors among his 12 PGA Tour victories, an astounding record and an example that a good wedge game and putter can still go a long way in this era of the long ball. Johnson was in tears when he was interviewed off the green, and he cradled the jug after his acceptance speech.
 
"I'm grateful. I'm humbled. I'm honored," Johnson said. "This is the birthplace of the game, and that jug means so much in sports."
 
On a tense afternoon of shadows and showers on the Old Course, Johnson closed with a 6-under 66 by holing a 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole in regulation, and caddie Damon Green strutted and flapped his arms in his celebratory chicken dance.
 
Johnson was the first to post at 15-under 273 with his 30-foot birdie putt.
 
Leishman, who considered giving up golf in April when his wife nearly died of a rare respiratory illness, made one bad swing in the closing holes that cost him a bogey on the 16th hole to fall into a share of the lead with Johnson. He had a birdie putt for the win that stayed wide left.
 
After Spieth had to settle for par and a 69 to tie for fourth, Oosthuizen made a 10-foot par putt on the Road Hole at No. 17 to stay one shot behind, and he delivered a clutch moment of his own with a wedge to 5 feet for birdie and a 69 to join the playoff.
 
It was the first British Open playoff since Stewart Cink beat Tom Watson at Turnberry in 2009, and the first involving more than two players since 2002 at Muirfield, the year Woods failed in his bid for the third leg of the slam.
 
Spieth showed guts over the final two hours, and class when his bid was over. He walked off the 18th green applauding the fans and giving them a thumbs-up, stayed to watch the closing hole in the playoff and came back onto the course to hug Johnson.
 
Just two weeks ago, he went to Iowa to take part in a charity event for Johnson before playing – and winning – the John Deere Classic in a playoff for his fourth win of the year. He was questioned for not coming over to St. Andrews to prepare for a rare occasions of attempting the Grand Slam, though Spieth put that notion to rest with a performance that kept him around the lead all week.
 
 
It was the first Open to end on Monday since 1988 because of a brief rain delay Friday morning and 10-hour wind delay on Saturday. But what a show. With 14 players separated by three shots – half of them major champions – no one seized control the entire day.
 
Eight players had at least a share of the lead at one point. Most of them fell away.
 
Padraig Harrington drove into a gorse bush on No. 6 and made double bogey. Adam Scott was tied for the lead until he found a pot bunker behind the 14th green for bogey, missed an 18-inch par putt on the next hole and hit onto the road and out-of-bounds on the 18th. He played last the five holes in 5-over par.
 
Sergio Garcia couldn't keep up with his putter. Paul Dunne, the 21-year-old Irishman bidding to become the first amateur since Bobby Jones in 1930 to win the claret jug, started bogey-bogey and closed with a 78.
 
Oosthuizen was a runner-up for the second straight major. He was one shot behind Spieth in the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay.
 
Spieth now goes to the PGA Championship with a tiny piece of history left to chase. No one has ever swept the three American majors in the same year. And he can only hope he gets this chance again. Palmer, Nicklaus and Woods never again won the Masters and U.S. Open in the same year.
 
Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Doug Ferguson from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
 
July 20, 2015 - 12:56pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Zach Johnson
Vine
Zach Johnson's birdie on the final hole at St. Andrews on Monday might turn out to be the best putt of his life as he waits to see if it could give him his first Open win, or possibly a playoff.

Zach Johnson birdied the final hole at St. Andrews in the Open Championship on Monday to take the clubhouse lead at 15 under.

Now he'll wait to see if that's enough to win outright, or possibly earn a spot in a four-hole aggregate score playoff.

RELATED: Open Championship leaderboard | Updates from St. Andrews | Complete coverage

Check out the lengthy, clutch putt that Johnson was able to knock down:

A win on Monday would be Johnson's second major title. He won the Masters in 2007.
 

July 20, 2015 - 12:24pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Adam Scott
Vine
Adam Scott lost his concentration for just a second at St. Andrews on Monday and that's all it took to miss this short, practically "gimme" putt for par.

Oh man. Lose your focus for just a few seconds in a major championship and this is what can happen:

That was Adam Scott missing a near tap-in par putt on the par-4 15th hole -- his second bogey in a row to fall back to 13 under and three off the lead.

In his last three Open starts, Scott has finished 2-T3-T5.

Looks like a win won't be in the cards again this year unless he has a serious late rally.