Golf Buzz

May 20, 2015 - 11:33am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Geoffreypjs on Reddit
Here's an interesting look at what happens to a green when a flagstick gets struck by lightning.

Have you ever wondered what it would look like if a flagstick got struck by lightning?

Well, we have your answer. Check out this photo submitted by Reddit user Geoffreypjs that was posted on Tuesday night:


According to a news report from Fox 13 in Salt Lake City, it seems the strike occurred at Stonebridge Golf Club in West Valley City.

RELATED: Lightning strikes flagstick at South Africa's Fancourt

Hopefully it serves as a reminder to golfers that you don't want to mess around when lightning is in the area. 

May 20, 2015 - 10:17am
mark.aumann's picture
Dustin Johnson
If Dustin Johnson wins the U.S. Open, the PGA Tour Superstore will refund the purchase price on 2015 TaylorMade drivers bought during a specific time period.

If you're in the market for a new driver, you might want to root for Dustin Johnson next month.

In a novel promotion, the PGA Tour Superstore will reimburse customers who buy 2015 TaylorMade drivers during a certain time span -- if Dustin Johnson wins the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay.

WHAT'S IN HIS BAG: What are Dustin Johnson's irons worth?

According to this quote from the media release, here's why Matt Corey, the chief marketing officer of the PGA Tour Superstore, thought it was a great tie-in.

“Dustin is one of the best athletes on tour and a top-ranked player whose golf game suits the site of this year’s U.S. Open,” Corey said. “This promotion at PGA Tour Superstore is a great way to motivate golfers everywhere to root for Dustin to win his first major, the 2015 U.S. Open.”

Here's what you'll have to do:

Starting May 18 and running through June 17, the PGA Tour Superstore’s promotion will apply to new TaylorMade products -- the 2015 R15 and AeroBurner drivers -- when purchased in-store. If Johnson wins the U.S. Open, consumers across the country who have made an in-store purchase or completed an in-store write-in entry will have the purchase price of their TaylorMade driver fully refunded by PGA Tour Superstore.

What are your odds? Better than most. Even though D.J. hasn't won a major, he's been in the mix. Johnson has eight career top-10 finishes in majors, including a tie for second in the 2011 U.S. Open. And he's made five consecutive U.S. Open cuts.

READY TO BREAK LOOSE: Dustin Johnson poised for breakout year in 2015

In case you're wondering, an insurance policy was purchased in advance of the PGA Tour Superstore promotion to eliminate the financial risk associated should Johnson win and a payout be required. So cheer for D.J. with a clear conscience.  

For complete details, click here.


May 19, 2015 - 4:13pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Adam Scott
USA Today Sports Images
Adam Scott is the defending champion at the Crowne Plaza Invitational. Can he make it two in a row this week?

The PGA Tour is in Fort Worth, Texas, this week for the Crowne Plaza Invitational -- one of the true classic course layouts and an old stomping ground of legend Ben Hogan, who won the event five times.

Colonial is one of the few shorter courses left on the PGA Tour... which seems strange to write considering it still measures just a shade of 7,200 yards. That said, it is most certainly a shotmaker's golf course.

At Colonial, it's all about positioning. Here are the five players you'll want to keep an eye on this week at the course affectionately known as, "Hogan's Alley."

RELATED: Colonial tee times | McIlroy leads generational change | Enjoy Colonial, A-Z

5. Robert Streb
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Won the McGladrey Classic
Reason to watch: Streb, somewhat quietly, is enjoying a fantastic season on the PGA Tour. Along with his victory early in the season way back in October, Streb has compiled five other top-10 showings, including a T4 just last week at Quail Hollow. That may have been just the shot of confidence Streb needed to get his stellar season back on track after having missed four cuts in six starts prior to that T4.

4. Chris Kirk
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T4 at the McGladrey Classic
Reason to watch: Kirk showed everyone what he and his game are capable of in stretches with his performance in the FedExCup Playoffs last fall, where he finished second to champion Billy Horschel. I really thought that might be the start of huge things for the former Georgia Bulldog. While he has been solid at times this season, he hasn't done anything sensational. Maybe he's turning a corner now. Following a T8 at the Masters, Kirk recorded a T17 in the WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship and a T13 at the Players Championship. Maybe that will help him to turn the corner. He's got three top-20 finishes at Colonial, the best of which was a T5 in 2012.

3. Zach Johnson
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Seventh at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions
Reason to watch: Over the course of an impressive 11-win, PGA Tour career, Johnson has been spectacular at Colonial, where he won in both 2010 and 2012. Along with the victories, Johnson also had a T9 in 2009; a fourth in 2011 and a third in 2013. Talk about a horse for a course. It's been a mixed bag for the 2007 Masters champ in recent months, so surely this return to Colonial is a welcome one. He's got a shot at picking up a Colonial hat-trick this week.

2. Jordan Spieth
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Won Valspar Championship and the Masters
Reason to watch: It's simple... because you've got to watch him every time he tees it up now. That's the type of player Spieth has become. I bet he's also excited about getting back to action in his home state after a missed cut at the Players -- one of just two missed cuts this season. We saw last weekend how dominating Rory McIlroy is. I'm not going to say Spieth is on that level, because he's not, but he can get going good in stretches like his four consecutive starts between the middle of March and the middle of April when he went: win-second-playoff loss-win. Then, honoring his commitment to the RBC Heritage after the Masters win, Spieth finished T11. He's a special talent with two top-20 finishes at Colonial.

1. Adam Scott
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T4 at the WGC-Cadillac Championship
Reason to watch: At the 2014 Crowne Plaza Invitational -- his first start since becoming the No. 1 player in the world at the time -- Scott did what you'd expect a No. 1 player to do and won the tournament. Since then, it's been a struggle for the 2013 Masters champ. It's hard to believe that in eight starts this season, Scott has just one top-10 to show for his efforts. Down to No. 11 in the world now, Scott is one of those players you'd expect to be a top-10 mainstay. Maybe this week he gets back on track.

Here's how my five to watch fared last week in the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow:

5. Webb Simpson -- T2
4. J.B. Holmes -- Missed cut
3. Jim Furyk -- Missed cut
2. Rory McIlroy -- Won
1. Bill Haas -- T68 

Justin Thomas
PGA Tour/YouTube
Justin Thomas watches the flight of his ball on the 13th hole Sunday at Quail Hollow.

Justin Thomas thought he had an ace at Quail Hollow's 13th hole Sunday but the flagstick had other ideas.

Check out this tee shot:



You can hear Justin begging for it to go in. Tap-in birdie? That's nice, but an ace is definitely much more memorable. Sort of like this shot later in Thomas' round, perhaps:



That's one heck of a breaker, but the ball tracks right at the hole the entire way.

Colt Knost
PGA Tour via YouTube
Colt Knost needed a late birdie to make the cut at the Wells Fargo Championship – and made an ace instead.
At the point when Colt Knost lumbered up to the 17th tee box at Quail Hollow this afternoon, only seven people had made birdies on the 227-yard par 3 all day long. Knost was below the cut line, and in desperate need of birdie of his own. 
He didn't get one, though – instead, he got a rare ace on the middle hole of Quail Hollow's vaunted "Green Mile" closing stretch.
Knost got a little lucky – not because he made a hole-in-one, but because his ball was motoring speedily along when it collided with the flag, popped up and dropped into the hole. Had it not hit the pin so square, it likely would have bounced several feet away. 
Sadly, the burly Texan didn't moonwalk like Miguel Angel Jimenez did earlier today when he made an ace in the Spanish Open, but he did let out a mighty roar. According to the TV announcers, his ace was the tournament's first on any hole at Quail Hollow since Jay Williamson got one on No. 6 in 2008.
Buoyed by his big shot, Knost went on to birdie the 18th to complete a 4-under 68 and get to 1-under 143 through 36 holes. Several players are still out on the course, but he now looks safely into the weekend.
Here's his ace – and be sure you turn your volume on: