Golf Buzz

October 4, 2013 - 10:10pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Jack Nicklaus dropped the puck between Brandon Dubinsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets (l) and Mark Giordano of the Calgary Flames before the start of the Blue Jacket's opening game of the 2013-14 NHL season.

At the Presidents Cup Friday night, the players gulped down their dinner and went to bed early. The tournament staff puzzled over how best to handle the remainder of the event after not one but both of the first two days were interrupted by rain. And unofficial host Jack Nicklaus went to a hockey game.

Specifically, the Golden Bear – well known as quite the sportsman – dropped the ceremonial first puck at the Columbus Blue Jackets' opening game of the new season against the Calgary Flames. Dublin, Ohio, where Muirfield Village is located, is just outside Columbus.

FRIDAY RECAP: USA leads by 1 after second rain-interrupted day
PRESIDENTS CUP SCOREBOARD: Follow all the action from Muirfield Village

Alas, the Blue Jackets couldn't perform like Nicklaus in pursuit of a green jacket, as they fell to the Flames, 4-3. That result, no doubt, was more popular with International team member Graham DeLaet, who's a huge Flames fan.

The best part of the night, though, had to be the jersey that that Jackets bestowed upon Nicklaus. Instead of the usual tradition of giving a celebrity a jersey with 00 or the year on it, the Golden Bear's jersey boasts the number 18. So even with the Jackets' loss, that made the evening a major success.


October 4, 2013 - 6:37pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Davis Love III and Sammy the Squirrel at the Presidents Cup
Davis Love III via Twitter
Davis Love III took to Twitter Friday to show us that he put Sammy the Squirrel in a tree at Muirfield Village. Sammy, however, didn't stay there for long.

Sammy the Squirrel stole the show on Thursday at the Presidents Cup, and on Friday it became evident that he didn't want to give up the spotlight.

As we all know by now, U.S. Assistant Captain Davis Love III found the baby squirrel on the second hole at Muirfield Village, and the little guy quickly decided to spend the whole day with Love. The two traveled all over the course together, with Sammy nestled contentedly in Love's lap or pocket. He even spent a little quality time with several team members and their wives and girlfriends – it was Steve Stricker's wife Nicki who named him – as the U.S. team took the first-day lead.

VIDEO: See Davis Love III with Sammy the Squirrel
STORY: Read all about Davis Love III with Sammy the Squirrel

On Friday morning, Love put Sammy back in a tree at Muirfield Village. The only problem was, Sammy wasn't so eager to go – he quickly jumped onto the shoulder of a TV cameraman. 

Enough was enough, though. Love said that Sammy eventually was taken to a wildlife shelter where, hopefully, they'll keep the Presidents Cup on TV so he can see if his new friends on the U.S. team can finish what he started.


October 4, 2013 - 10:54am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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In case you missed it on Thursday, Davis Love III -- past U.S. Ryder Cup Captain and current U.S. Presidents Cup Assistant Captain to Fred Couples -- befriended a baby squirrel during the first session of the Presidents Cup at Muirfield Village. 
Love named the squirrel, "Sammy."
Sammy spent much of the day just nonchalantly hanging out on Love's lap in a golf cart.
Lindsey Vonn, Olympic champion skier and girlfriend of Tiger Woods, fell in love with Sammy. She sent out this tweet Friday morning with a message to Love:
So, it looks like the U.S. team has it's own, real-life mascot.
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
October 3, 2013 - 10:03am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Jordan Spieth at the Presidents Cup
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What's the deal with Jordan Spieth at the Presidents Cup? Both Ryder Cup captains want to know.

Neither U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson nor European Captain Paul McGinley are at the Presidents Cup this week, but both are interested observers nonetheless.

"I have [assistant captain] Andy North there all week," Watson told the British news service PA Sport. "He has been around these players a lot more than I have and he will be my eyes and ears. I don't think it's my place to be there. I will be watching with great interest to see who is playing with whom.

SCOREBOARD: Follow the Presidents Cup leaderboard

"Right now," Watson added, "I don't have any teams that I've already made up in my mind about who is going to play with whom (at Gleneagles)."

McGinley, meanwhile, is at the Seve Trophy – an intraquad match of sorts on the European Tour, which pits a team from Great Britain and Ireland led by Sam Torrance against a squad from Continental Europe led by Jose Maria Olazabal in a Ryder Cup-style event. But he plans on catching the Presidents Cup on TV after the Seve Trophy wraps up each day.

"A big mark in the sand for me is the Presidents Cup," McGinley said. "It has served the Americans particularly well in terms of forming partnerships. … It will be interesting to see what is done with Jordan Spieth, what he will do with Tiger (Woods)."

You can follow the Presidents Cup action along with us right here, and catch up on all the latest Ryder Cup happenings right here.

October 3, 2013 - 9:24am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Cleveland wedge, Odyssey putter
Cleveland Golf (l) and Mike Soroka (r)
The Cleveland wedge on the left was made for Keegan Bradley, the Odyssey putter on the right for Will Wilcox.

A couple of players are the proud owners of some special clubs these days, and I thought you'd like to see them.

On the left in the image above is a 54-degree wedge that Cleveland Golf made for Keegan Bradley to commemorate his Presidents Cup debut this week. Instead of the usual stamping on the back, it's got a map of the world like you’d see on a globe, and the white-on-black color scheme makes this about the coolest design I've ever seen on a wedge. Kudos to the craftsmen at Cleveland for that bit of work.

On the right is a gold-plated putter that Odyssey Golf created for Will Wilcox as a salute to the 59 he shot in the Utah Championship a few weeks ago. Lots of players receive special commemorative clubs to mark their big achievements – Ping is well-known for its expansive vault full of gold putters for wins by tour players – but this White Rize V-Line model is somewhat unusual in the United States and it looks especially pretty in the photo.

Thanks to Cleveland Golf and Mike Soroka of Odyssey Golf for sharing.


October 2, 2013 - 9:37am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Ping S55 iron
Courtesy of Ping Golf
The Ping S55 irons feature a compact head made of 17-4 stainless steel head with tungsten toe weighting to help improve stability and a vertical stabilizing bar for distance control.

Ping staff professionals like Bubba Watson and Hunter Mahan have won more than 30 events worldwide using the company's S56 irons, so it's no surprise that Ping didn't feel the need to completely overhaul them. Instead, Ping went for small but significant upgrades in its new S55 line to make the irons more workable and forgiving.

''We're motivated by pushing innovation, and we were able to elevate performance with the S55 in key areas,'' said Ping chairman and CEO John Solheim. ''Bubba Watson, Hunter Mahan, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Ángel Cabrera are some of the players who switched right away, and validation from the game's best players tells us that we got it right.'' 

Watson, in fact, has switched to the S55 after playing the same model of irons since 2004.

''They're able to work the ball more easily and flight it up and down like never before,'' Solheim said of his Ping staff players, adding that they're also getting more distance with the S55s.

The compact 17-4 stainless steel head features tungsten toe weighting to help improve the club's stability, and includes a vertical stabilizing bar for distance control. The face is thinner than on the S56s, which helps to provide more ball speed, and the face, grooves and back cavity are precision-machined for consistency.

Behind the face, the custom tuning port – which is made of a thermoplastic elastomer to soften the sound and feel upon impact – is larger and sits lower in the back cavity, which positions the Center of Gravity lower and deeper in the head to promote a higher launch with greater energy transfer. And the head is completed with a brushed satin-chrome finish.

The new S55s – from 3-iron through pitching wedge – can be ordered now, and will be available at retail in November. They carry a suggested retail price of $138.75 per club with steel shafts and $166.25 per club with graphite shafts. The stock steel shaft is Ping's CFS, while the stock graphite shaft is the Ping TFC 189i.