Golf Buzz

Bubba Watson
PGA Tour on YouTube
Bubba Watson finished with a birdie on No. 8 after two putting.

Bubba Watson finished the third round two shots off the lead. He came inches from possibly being tied with Graeme McDowell had things broken his way. 

On the par-5 603-yard eighth hole, Watson's second shot just missed the hole by inches. He ended up two-putting and carding a birdie 4. 



That was his third birdie of the day and moved him 9-under for the weekend.

His back nine was just as up and down as his adventure on No. 8. He made a double-bogey 6 on the 10th hole, and made birdie on four of the final five holes. 

Ryan Ruffels
Getty Images
Ryan Ruffels will play his college golf at Arizona State if Phil Mickelson has anything to say about it.
Ryan Ruffels was standing on the practice green in Australia on Wednesday when his phone rang. The 16-year-old high school junior pulled out his phone and answered it.
"Hey," the voice on the other end of the line said, "it's Phil Mickelson."
Yes, it was Phil Mickelson – the Phil Mickelson, who called Ruffels to talk up his alma mater, Arizona State. The Sun Devils, by the way, are coached by a guy named Tim Mickelson, who just happens to be Phil's brother.
"I was out here putting and I got this call from an international number and I jumped on my phone and he said, 'Hey, it's Phil Mickelson,' " Ruffels told The Sydney Morning Herald. "I thought one of my mates from school was giving me a prank call.
Mickelson chatted with the youngster for an hour, and the two made plans to meet when Ruffels travels to the United States in a few weeks.
Ruffels was impressed by the unexpected call from Mickelson, but not overwhelmed. As one of the top junior players in Australia, he's already played practice rounds with the likes of Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy.
I'm just starting to get some exposure to those big players and it's great," Ruffels said. "They've obviously won majors and that's something I'm trying to do when I'm older, so learning the ropes from them is pretty cool."
Ruffels, now based in Melbourne, was born in the United States but moved to Australia five years ago when his dad got a job as the tennis coach at the Australian Institute of Sport. He won the age 15-17 division in the World Junior Championship in July, and finished fourth in the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship last month.
And about this time a year ago, he became one of the youngest players ever to earn a top-25 finish in the Australian Open – where he got to know Rory McIlroy, who won that tournament. He's planning to try the Australian Open again in a few weeks, and that's one more reason for us to pay attention.
Jurassic Par
Austin Light via
Dinosaurs on the PGA Tour? Writer/illustrator Austin Light thinks that'd be a great movie.
The pantheon of memorable golf movies includes such titles as "Caddyshack," "Tin Cup" and "Happy Gilmore," but as far as I know there's never been one that starred dinosaurs.
A writer/illustrator named Austin Light has come up with an idea for one, however. He calls it "Jurassic Par." 
The drawing above is his idea for a scene from the film, the plot of which he describes as: "Two dinosaurs set out to prove they're more than just killing machines. Thanks to a loophole in the rules, they find a spot on the PGA Tour and golf their way to the top of the food chain."
Light came up with his prehistoric PGA Tour plotline by reimagining popular movie titles, but with one letter missing. The idea first appeared on Reddit, and Light not only came up with almost two dozen titles but also drew scenes from each of his imaginary movies.
He shared them on the Twistedsifter website, where they appeared yesterday.
He has some other funny non-golf ones, too – I especially like the musical "Obocop" and the dramatic "Pup Fiction." "Jurassic Par" is No. 6 on the page as you scroll down through his entries.
November 7, 2014 - 3:20pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
longest usable golf club
Michael Furrh
Michael Furrh, of Arlington, Texas, is now a three-time Guinness World Record holder for longest "usable" golf club -- a 20-foot, 6-inch driver that he hit 63 yards in the air.

Earlier this week, we brought you the story of Michael Furrh, the Arlington, Texas, man who set the new Guinness World Record for longest "usable" golf club with a 20-foot, 6-inch driver.

Furrh, a Caddie Master/Event Director for Caddie Club Golf, actually held the Guinness Record in 2013 with a 14-foot, 2 1/2-inch driver that he hit over 146 yards.

In September, Karsten Maas of Denmark achieved a new record for longest "usable" golf club with his 14-foot, 5-inch driver that went just over 180 yards.

Naturally, Furrh was looking forward to reclaiming his record and that's what he did on November 3 at Rolling Hills Country Club in Dallas. See the official video from the Guinness World Record feat below:

All told, Furrh's shot carried 63 yards. We caught up with him to learn more about the world-record setting club.

"I build all my own clubs," Furrh told us. "I used steel shaft extentions to lenghten the club, and it weighed a total of 52 ounces."

That's a 3 1/4-pound golf club -- heavy stuff. On top of setting the record, Furrh -- a golf professional since 2002 -- wanted to maintain the integrity of the golf swing. He explained to that people who have attempted the record in the past have done so with a hockey-style swing.

"I was making a great effort to swing the club in a conventional golf method taking a full backswing," Furrh said. "I broke two ribs in an accident two weeks before the record so it was extra special to bring this Guinness World Record back to Rolling Hills Country Club, Rolling Hills Membership and all of Texas."

Furrh tells us the new record club length of 20 feet, 6 inches was actually a surprise to the 30 or so family, friends, media and members that were in attendance.

His first attempts of the day were with a 19-foot, 5-inch graphite driver weighing 36 ounces.

The existing record was broken with a shot that carried 89 yards, as measured by Mike Rausch of Golf Ect with a Foresight Sports GC 2 Launch Monitor.

After that, Furrh pulled out the 20-foot, 6-inch club that he built in the cart barn at Rolling Hills, which he says takes up five parking spaces.

On the first swing, he hit the ball 45 yards on the fly to establish another record. After a few more shots, his longest carried 63 yards.

"I've had this club built for quite a while and I've been waiting for someone to hit a long club," he said. "Now everyone sees my response with this 20-foot monster. Just wait and see what I have lined up for my next swing." 

November 7, 2014 - 12:31pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Adam Scott
USA Today Sports Images
Adam Scott was 4-under through six holes on Friday in the HSBC Champions before playing two holes in 6-over par.

Typically, players like Adam Scott absolutely devour par-5 holes.

On Friday in the HSBC Champions, however, it was a par-5 hole that feasted on Scott.

Scott was cruising along with four birdies in his first six holes at Sheshan International in Friday's second round before hitting a huge speed-bump at the par-5 eighth hole.

RELATED: Miguel Angel Jimenez cards a 13 with four water balls

First, Scott sent a tee shot left of left and into the trees. He took a drop on a forward tee box, and -- with a 3-wood for his third shot -- found the fairway. Now, playing his fourth shot, Scott found the rough short of the green behind a hazard.

From there, Scott chunked his chip and it rolled back into the hazard. He took a second drop on the hole and was shooting seven. Scott's seventh shot found the green and he two-putted for the quadruple-bogey 9.

Here's video of Scott's adventure.

The next hole wasn't all that pretty for the world's No. 2-ranked player either. He made a double-bogey. So, after going 4 under in his first six holes, Scott was then 6-over in a two-hole stretch.

He also bogeyed the 11th hole, but bounced back with an eagle at the par-5 14th hole and a birdie at the par-4 16th hole to finished with an even-par 72. He'll head into the weekend at 2 under, eight shots behind 36-hole leader Graeme McDowell. 

Michael Lucas
Michael Lucas was the head professional at a number of clubs, most recently at the now-closed Marsh Harbour.

Mark Mease didn’t let the fact that Michael Lucas wasn’t his biological dad prevent him from calling him his father. And he credits Lucas for life lessons that extend well beyond the golf course, highlighting what can also be a special relationship between a PGA Professional and a student. Even when related.

Lucas was Mease’s grandfather, but Mease called him dad “because he raised me,” Mease said. “My biological father was in the hospital for schizophrenia when I was growing up.”

MORE: Golf terms and golf glossary

And when Lucas died Sept. 16 at the age of 75, Mease wanted to make sure the world knew more about Lucas’s lasting impact.

Lucas, a head professional at a number of golf clubs, most recently at the now-closed Marsh Harbour at Myrtle Beach, helped raise Mease from when he was 4 months old.

From that point on, Lucas taught Mease both life lessons and golf lessons. Sometimes the two mixed, other times they took the form of poetry -- one of Lucas’ favorite hobbies.

“He just taught me to never give up,” Mease said. “That was the main thing, just don’t give up. Keep trying and trying until you get it done.

“I remember being stuck in the sand trap for hours and hours on end because he wanted to make sure I got the right swing down while growing up.”

Possibly Lucas’ biggest impact came while Mease was at Paris Island for Marine boot camp. Lucas would send Mease letters and poems and Mease credited those for giving him the motivation to get through the tough times.

Mease kept everything that Lucas sent and recently came across a poem whose final lines brought a strong flood of emotions.

“When he passed away, I knew there was so much more to learn from him,” Mease said. “Every visit with him was him teaching me something new or a try-it-this-way kind of thing.”

That brought an end to a life that was filled with lessons, especially on the golf course. His father, Michael Lucas Sr., had been a professional golfer, and the junior Lucas soon adopted the game and was captain of the Furman University golf team in 1965.

After graduation, Lucas went on to be a professional golfer, and also became a PGA Professional.

However, a stroke in 2010 left Lucas paralyzed on the left side of his body and confined him to a wheelchair. At the time, Mease was serving a tour of duty in Afghanistan with the Marines.

“I just remember talking to him one weekend and he didn’t sound normal but I didn’t know what was going on,” Mease said. “The next thing I know, I get an American Red Cross message saying he had a stroke.”

Though Lucas wasn’t physically able to play golf the final few years of his life, it did not diminish his love of the game.

In fact, at a ceremony after Lucas’ death, the Richard Campbell Veterans Nursing Home announced it would install a putting green and name it after Lucas.

“He carried the game of golf everywhere he went,” Mease said. “It didn’t matter who he saw, it was always the topic.”

Mease said that a brick at the World Golf Village Memorial Park in St. Augustine, Fla., would be dedicated in Lucas’ honor some time next month.

Although Lucas isn’t around to teach Mease any new life lessons, Mease said he was living every day to try and live up to Lucas’ lessons.

Plus, Mease’s 3-year-old son, Jayden, allows him to pass on Lucas’ lessons to the next generation.

“I’m hoping to instill in him the discipline and motivation as far as setting your mind to something and getting it done,” Mease said. “Just not giving up.”