Golf Buzz

September 9, 2013 - 2:44pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Most people go to the golf course to relax. That will likely never be the case again for Long Island, N.Y., golfer Edward Lunger.
 
Lunger was recently on vacation in Cancun, Mexico, when he decided to take in a round at the Iberostar Cancun Golf Club. 
 
After hitting a bunker shot, Lunger was attacked by a crocodile.
 
 
The 50-year-old engineer took a couple of practice swings and then chipped out of the bunker. He heard leaves rustle.
 
“All of a sudden, his arm went back, and his head went back,” pal Mark Martin recalled. “I saw the crocodile leap up.”
 
The angry female chomped down on Lunger’s left arm up to his elbow, using its tail and claws to drag Lunger to the sand, the men said.
 
“She pulled me back and flipped me, and I went to the ground,” Lunger said.
 
The 5-foot-8, 180-pound Holtsville resident managed to brace himself by getting a knee on the ground.
 
“The crocodile was holding me down, and I pulled myself out,” he said. “I don’t remember even doing that.”
 
Lunger is suing the resort as a result of his ordeal.
 
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
 
 
September 9, 2013 - 1:10pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
18 GREENS Apparel
18 GREENS
The 18 GREENS collections consists of fresh golf-inspired designs, sporty fits and functional fabrics that can be worn on and off the course.
Doug Timmons is a PGA Professional from southern California. 
 
Well, that's his day job anyway. When Timmons isn't on the practice tee, he's busily working on his apparel company, 18 GREENS. The vision of 18 GREENS, according to Timmons, is this: "A mission to take fashion to the fairways at an affordable price."
 
So far, the company is doing just that with clothing that certainly blends a SoCal look with a fairways feel -- and not a single item is over $75. The stylish men's polos, pants and shorts offered by 18 GREENS work just as well on the golf course as they do at a casual dinner afterward.
 
We recently had a chance to sit down with Timmons for a little Q&A about his double life, which as you'll see, is 100 percent golf. 
 
PGA.com: Tell me a little about yourself. How did you get into golf? At what age did you fall in love with the game?
 
Timmons: I got into golf at age 15. My grandpa always wanted me to play. So, I broke my leg playing baseball and wanted to play a sport for my school team so I tried out for the team with a cast on my leg. I picked up the game fairly easy at the beginning and then I fell in love with it and was hooked. 
 
I didn't realize it then, but it was awesome to be able to spend so much time with my grandpa and his buddies on the course. They played every 9 for coffee and I would get a Dr. Pepper. Soon I was drinking Dr. Peppers on the boys. 
 
PGA.com: One aspect of your story that I love is the fact that you're a PGA Professional. Chances are, you've spent a lot of time in pro shops and around golf clothing. Is that where your idea for 18 GREENS was born? Was it something you wanted in your golf clothes that you just couldn't find?
 
Timmons: I love the game and love to help the game grow. I love to get kids and adults excited about golf. It's such an amazing game. Getting a club in a kids hands for the first time and watching them make contact is pretty cool. 
 
The concept for what eventually became 18 GREENS was born in 1996, when I noticed there needed to be a huge shift in the market or golf was going to get stale. So making a crossover brand that related to a different demographic is where I started. I love design, business, fashion, people and golf. I really don't require a lot of sleep, so it's pedal to the metal at all times!
 
PGA.com: You've got a great concept with 18 Greens. The clothes are fantastic -- all of them. But your "Casual Water" pants and shorts are unique. Can you talk a little about the Casual Water line and what separates them from other golf pants/shorts on the market today?
 
Timmons: I actually developed the fabric. It took awhile to get it right but I think I nailed it. I have some friends that rep in the action-sports world. I took a board short, added two another materials and then heathered the fabric to make it look a little more formal. I wanted the casual to blend with formal so I named it "Casual Water Technology." You can wear the shorts from the beach to the first tee. The pants you can wear from the boardroom to the first tee. 
 
I'm really happy with the way they turned out and they're extremely comfortable to travel in.
 
PGA.com: Professional golfers -- for the most part -- have to wear pants to play even when temperatures approach or are in the triple digits. For many years, that meant wearing uncomfortable polyesters or cottons that may as well have been like wearing a snowsuit. Clearly fabric technology has evolved. With the 18 GREENS materials, the pants are truly like wearing shorts. Was that your goal?
 
Timmons: Funny you say that. I was playing golf in Vietnam once and after the first hole it looked like I had an accident in my pants because the sweat was so bad and I don't even sweat much. 
 
So that's when I started messing around with tech fabrics to make something lightweight and functional. When I was messing around with the board short hybrid I hit on this fabric and man did it make a comfortable pair of pants in any temperature. Of course, I'm biased, so you'll have to check them for yourself!
 
PGA.com: On your website, along with all the great products, you also have a link to your Golf Academy out at Encinitas Ranch Golf Course. How important is it to you to stay close to the game -- the playing and teaching aspects -- as your clothing company grows?
 
Timmons: I will never stop teaching, I hope. I started learning from Carl Welty. He is an amazing mentor and also Jim McLean -- Carl and Jim work closely together. I'm a student of the game and I love to study film. I was lucky that Carl gave me a job in 1995 at La Costa Golf School. It changed the course of my life. I love to teach people how to enjoy the game. I truly feel they work hand in hand. I try and make everything I do affordable so I do not keep people away because of price.
 
PGA.com: You're a golfer who is making clothes with the golfer in mind. What kind of feedback have you received from your peers on 18 Greens?
 
Timmons: So far so good. I really like feedback so everyday I keep my ears open. I'm always looking for what the new trend could be, studying the history of golf fashion and fashion itself. 
 
I love to look at what guys like Jimmy Demaret wore and how you can make it relevant in today's world. I hope I bring little things to the market that are done just a little differently at an affordable price. I am always open to suggestions.
 
PGA.com: What, so far, has been the most rewarding part of starting your own clothing line?
 
Timmons: Seeing other people that I don't know wearing it. When I first started I used to go up to everyone and ask where they go, it but as it grew I stopped. I like to get feedback from customers and buyers -- that's how I grow as a designer and developer.
 
PGA.com: If you would, please tell our readers where they can go to buy 18 Greens clothing.
 
Timmons: Check your local pro shops, ask for it please if they do not carry it, the more they hear the more chance I have getting it in the shop. You can go to www.18greens.com and get it there if you cannot find it in shops.
 
I love to do high school uniforms and all high schools that get their uniforms from 18 GREENS have the opportunity to sell apparel for fundraising with a promo code and I dontate a big percentage back to the program. I also love to do logoed shirts for tournaments and charity events and I can beat most any price out there. I just want to get the product out there.
 
To see the great products 18 GREENS has to offer, visit www.18greens.com.
 
You can also check 18 GREENS out on Facebook or on Twitter, @18GreensApparel.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
 
PGA Authentic Junior Apparel by Fore!! Axel & Hudson
PGA Authentic Junior Apparel by Fore!! Axel & Hudson
PGA Authentic Junior Apparel by Fore!! Axel & Hudson was honored with a 2013 Earnie Award for Best Licensed Apparel.
Stylish clothing for the links isn't just for adults. PGA Authentic Junior Apparel by Fore!! Axel & Hudson has proven that and, thanks to their work, has been honored with a 2013 Earnie Award.
 
Here's the release with news of the award:
 
MONTEREY PARK, Calif. -- Fore!! Axel & Hudson – maker of stylish, sharp, golf-inspired, eco-friendly children’s clothing – announces its PGA Authentic Junior line of boys and girls clothing has received a 2013 Earnie Award for Best Licensed Apparel.
 
Presented by leading fashion trade magazine Earnshaw’s, the Earnie Awards annually celebrate childrenswear design excellence. No stranger to these honors, Fore!! Axel & Hudson was named Best New Company in 2011 and nominated this year for Best Boys Collection. Its newly-launched sister line – Fore’N’Birdie – was also nominated as Best Girls Collection.
 
“I was completely blown away to be nominated in three categories and truly cherish this victory for PGA Authentic Junior,” says Paul Nguyen, Fore!! Axel & Hudson Co-Owner and Creative Director. “It’s a testament to the amazing relationships we’ve built with retailers and their customers and I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to vote for us!”
 
Launched for Spring 2013 for the off-course market, PGA Authentic Junior is an official partnership with the PGA of America. It includes a range of classic and fashion-forward apparel, accessories and headwear for boys and girls. Capturing Fore!! Axel and Hudson’s Southern California roots and the PGA’s pride and passion for the game, the designs feature eye-catching details and luxurious, eco-friendly fabrics. Retailing from $34 to $101, items are available in sizes 2T through 12.
 
As the only comprehensive awards program for manufacturers in the industry, the Earnie Awards denote children’s retailers’ seal of approval. All winners will be presented with a trophy and a cast of adorable kids to model the front-running looks during the annual runway show at the Earnie Awards Ceremony, taking place at the Javits Center on Monday, October 7. 
 
September 9, 2013 - 6:40am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Green jacket
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A very special green jacket -- the one given retroactively to Horton Smith, winner of two of the first three Masters Tournaments played -- sold for nearly $700,000 at auction.
 
The auction closed for the winner of the inaugural Masters Tournament's green jacket at 3 a.m. EST on Sunday, Sept. 8. 
 
 
The winning bidder was not identified.
 
Here's the description of the jacket from GreenJacketAuctions.com:
 
Augusta National first awarded the Green Jacket to Masters Champions in 1949, beginning with Sam Snead, and at the same time retroactively awarded jackets to the nine former Masters Champs that had won the Masters from 1934-1948, including Horton Smith. Those jackets are affectionately referred to as the "Original 10".
 
The offered jacket is that exact Green Jacket that was awarded to Horton Smith in 1949 -- the only one of the "Original 10" Green Jackets to ever be offered for public sale.
 
Condition/Notes: The jacket is in exceptional overall condition, with no important condition issues to note. Jacket is a two-button single breasted model. Size 43L, Model 357X jacket. Two smooth brass buttons on front of jacket, and single smooth brass button on each cuff. Amalgamated Workers 1949 Series tag. No manufacturer is listed, though this is consistent with other known early Green Jackets that are attributed to Brooks Uniform Co. Augusta National Golf Club & former Chairman Clifford Roberts have both been quoted as stating that these original 1949 Green Jackets were produced by Brooks Uniform Co. 
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
 
September 8, 2013 - 6:09pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Thomas Aiken at the Avantha Masters
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Thomas Aiken won the Avantha Masters trophy last spring, but likely won't get a chance to defend his title in the biggest golf event in India.

There’s good news, and a little bit of bad news, on the global tour front.

On Friday, the PGA Tour revealed two good pieces of news: The Tampa Bay Championship signed Valspar paints as its new title sponsor, while Hyundai renwed its title sponsorship of the season-opening Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.

A few days earlier, however, the Avantha Group said it would no longer sponsor the Avantha Masters on the European Tour, likely ending the biggest golf event in India after four years. Losing the tournament is a big blow to the small but growing movement of golf in India.

"It's definitely going to affect India's golfing scenario,” Sunil Manocha, the COO of promoter Nimbus Sport, told The India Times. “This is a bad signal for things to come in the future." 

The Avantha Masters was sanctioned by the European Tour, the Asian Tour and the Professional Golf Tour of India. With its loss, India now has three international tournaments – the $300,000 SAIL-SBI Open, the $300,000 Panasonic Open India and the $1.25 million Indian Open. 

The Avantha Masters' purse proved to be its downfall, as The India Times explained that the falling Indian rupee meant that Avantha was having to put in more and more money to pay the $2.3 million purse offered in recent years. Avantha, the paper said, had to increase its cash contribution as much 57 percent this year just to sustain the event.

For now, European Tour officials are keeping the Avantha Masters' dates – the week of March 23, 2014 – open, in hopes that another sponsor steps forward. 

Meanwhile in Tampa, Valspar signed on for four years, and its 2014 Valspar Championship will be played March 13-16, keeping intact a Florida Swing of four straight PGA Tour tournaments in March. In addition, BB&T Corp., a banking concern based in Winston-Salem, N.C., will be the presenting sponsor for the next four years. 

The Valspar Championship will remain at the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook, which many players consider one of the best tournament courses in Florida. 

Valspar is the Tampa Bay event’s fourth title sponsor since 2003. The tournament didn’t have a title sponsor last year, and there were concerns that it might not be played in 2014 without one.

Meanwhile, Hyundai signed a two-year extension to keep its name on the PGA Tour's first tournament of the calendar year. It’ll be held Jan. 3-6 on the Plantation Course at Kapalua, where the tour has opened its season since 1999. 

Next year, however, will be the first time that it won’t be the official season opener because the PGA Tour is going to a wraparound season that starts in October with six events. Its field will be made up of PGA Tour winners from the 2013 season, and those six tournaments that start the 2013-14 season. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 
 
 
September 6, 2013 - 12:32pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rob Labritz
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PGA Professional Rob Labritz (right) will never forget this practice round at Oak Hill two days before the 95th PGA Championship where he and Keegan Bradley lost a hefty bet to Jason Dufner. Despite the loss, Labritz may now be Dufner's biggest fan.
There's no denying the fact that 2013 PGA Champion Jason Dufner has become a fan favorite. Whether it's Dufner's flat-liner approach on the golf course, the fact that he looks like a cartoon character, his cracking wit and relentless busting of buddy Keegan Bradley on Twitter, or the #Dufnering phenomenon that nearly crashed Twitter earlier this year (OK, that's a slight exaggeration), there's nothing not to love about Dufner.
 
Well, add this to the list of reasons to love Dufner too.
 
 
Here's the background: it's no secret that there are a lot of money games going on between players during practice rounds. This was no different at Oak Hill when Dufner and Dustin Johnson squared off against Bradley and Rob Labritz -- one of 20 PGA Professionals who qualified for the PGA Championship with a top-20 finish at the PGA Professional National Championship -- on Tuesday of Championship week. 
 
Aside: Labritz -- a four-time PGA Championship participant -- miraculously did this to earn a spot at Oak Hill in case you were thinking, "I've seen that name before." 
 
According to Sobel's report, after some discussions on the first tee, the bet was set -- $500 per man. 
 
From Sobel's report:
 
Even after birdies from Labritz on 10, 11 and 13 and one from Bradley on 14, they found themselves 4-down with four to play. On the 16th tee, they pressed for half the amount, with Bradley taking the banter to another level.
 
“Keegan goes, ‘Hey Rob, did I ever tell you this story? I was 4 down with five to go and I won this tournament,’” Labritz says, recalling Bradley’s needling of Dufner about the PGA Championship finish from two years earlier. “Dufner goes, ‘Hey, it ain’t going to happen that way this week.’”
 
After a halve on the final hole pushed a second press, Labritz and Bradley found themselves $750 in the hole -- which was a slight problem for the club pro.
 
Labritz, you see, didn't have $750 cash on him. He had to write a check out to Dufner and left it in his locker. In the memo, Labritz wrote:
 
"SORRY FOR THE CHECK + THX FOR THE WHOOPIN"
 
A few days after Dufner claimed his first major title, Labritz received a surprise in the mail. His $750 check...
 
Sobel tells us the rest:
 
It included Labritz’s check with the word “VOID” written through it and a note from the champ:
 
ROB,
 
GREAT TIME PLAYING WITH YOU LAST TUESDAY. I JUST COULDN’T CASH THIS CHECK. ALL THE BEST TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY IN 2013 + HOPE TO SEE YOU IN 2014 @ VALHALLA.
 
JASON DUFNER
 
The gesture floored Labritz.
 
“Oh my God, are you kidding me? That’s just phenomenal. It’s just a classy move,” he says. “I think he’s a great guy.”
 
So, we gotta ask -- how cool is that?
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.