Golf Buzz

April 30, 2014 - 2:47pm
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The PGA of America
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Ashton Eaton
USA Today Sports Images
The passion golf provides for Olympic decathlon gold medalist Ashton Eaton while guided by PGA Professional Todd O'Neal of Creswell, Ore., is one of the may segments of "Beyond the Green."

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- "Beyond the Green," a look at how golf and PGA Professionals have nurtured future leaders and transformed lives, will be presented in a series of documentary-style profiles by CBS Sports, Saturday, May 3, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET.

The hour-long special highlights the healing powers of golf in helping people overcome life's challenges as well as featuring PGA Professionals who are committed to growing the game.

"Beyond the Green," produced by the PGA of America and narrated by CBS Sports commentator Bill Macatee, precedes coverage of the Wells Fargo Championship. The opening 30 minutes chronicles "Building Future Leaders," including an in-depth look at a PGA Junior League Golf team through the eyes of PGA Professional Jim Poole of Avon, Ind., and his twin sons Mark and Luke. Other stories include the mentoring by PGA Professional Joe Simpson of Flint (Mich.) Boys & Girls Club member Journei Daniels; the bonding between Lester Bell of Dallas, Texas and the family of PGA Professional Ira McGraw; and overcoming a disability by John Paul George of Juno Beach, Fla., the son of professional Tour caddie Derek George.

The final 30 minutes of "Beyond the Green" presents four compelling segments that include the career transformation of PGA Professional Will Robins of Citrus Heights, Calif., following surviving an unprecedented natural disaster. Also featured are two mothers returning to golf through the Get Golf Ready program while coached by PGA Professional Del Ratcliffe of Charlotte, N.C.

"Beyond the Green" also focuses on the healing powers of the game experienced by Turner Fordham of Dalton, Ga.; finding a new mission as golf ambassador by former Marine Lance Cpl. Tim Lang of Ann Arbor, Mich.; coached by PGA Professional Jim Estes of Olney, Md., co-founder of the Salute Military Golf Association; and the passion golf provides for Olympic decathlon gold medalist Ashton Eaton while guided by PGA Professional Todd O'Neal of Creswell, Ore.

Tiger Woods
USA Today Sports Images
Tiger Woods, who is currently recuperating from back surgery, will design his second course in the United States.

To date, Tiger Woods has won 79 PGA Tour events, but only two of them have come in the state of Texas. The folks who hired him -- no doubt at a hefty fee -- to design their new course outside Houston hope he produces another win.

As has been announced on his web site, Tiger Woods will design Bluejack National, an 18-hole private course near Houston that will be set among "755 acres of rolling hills and beautifully wooded countryside, Bluejack National provides the perfect setting for a truly unique golf experience in the Texas market."

Bluejack National will be Woods' second course design project in the United States. The Cliffs at High Carolina in Asheville was his first.

Woods' web site goes on to describe the project thusly: "Bluejack National's gentle topography is covered with mixed forests of mature pines and stately hardwoods. Tiger is using this spectacular setting to create a classic golf course with limitless variety and shot-making opportunities. With no rough, Bluejack National will present players with very wide fairways, but the course design and fast-playing conditions will put a premium on ball position and strategic angles to the greens. The green surrounds are designed to be mowed tight, promoting creativity and playability. A number of natural lakes and streams that dot the property will be utilized in the design, contributing to the memorable golf experience."

No rough? Wide fairways? Fast-playing conditions? Tight areas around greens? Hmm, call us crazy but that sounds an awful lot like one famous course in Georgia where Woods has experienced storied success.

Donald Trump -- Turnberry
Getty Images
Turnberry Resort, which has played host to four Open Championships, is now a part of the expanding Donald Trump golf portfolio.

Donald Trump, who has long stated his desire to play host to a men's major championship at one of his many golf courses, has completed his purchase of Turnberry Resort in Scotland. The Ailsa Course at Turnberry, located on Scotland's west coast, has been the site of four Open Championships and will likely do so again.

“It was an opportunity, as far as I was concerned,” Trump told, which first reported the purchase as final. “Turnberry is considered one of the greatest courses in the world. It’s a special place. It’s an important place.”

PHOTOS: Creative golf course shots on Instagram

And a memorable one, especially for Hall of Famer, 2014 Team USA Ryder Cup captain and five-time Open Champion Tom Watson.

It was at Turnberry in 1977 that Watson defeated Jack Nicklaus in the famous "Duel in the Sun." And it was also at Turnberry where he suffered perhaps his most stinging loss, a playoff defeat to Stewart Cink in 2009 when the then-59-year-old Watson needed only a par on the 72nd hole to become the oldest major champion in history. Of course, a weary Watson made bogey and lost the playoff by six shots.

Trump's purchase, which brings to 17 the number of course he owns throughout the world, also includes the Turnberry Hotel. Terms of the Turnberry deal were not disclosed, although The Independent in London reported that Trump paid Dubai-based Leisurecorp just over $63 million -- 37.5 pounds.

“This is a fabulous property in a great location,” Trump said. "We’re going to bring a new level of luxury to the hotel. Our aim is to make it the finest golf hotel in the world.”

There was no word on if Turnberry would soon carry the standard Trump stamp that is included in the names of all of his courses, as well as virtually everything else he owns.

“’Trump Turnberry’ has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?” said Trump.

April 30, 2014 - 9:07am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Rory McIlroy
USA Today Sports Images
Rory McIlroy claimed his first PGA Tour win at Quail Hollow in 2010 and has had five more since, including two majors.

The PGA Tour is in Charlotte, N.C., this week for the Wells Fargo Championship at breathtaking Quail Hollow, a course that will play host to the 2017 PGA Championship.

Since it's a major championship course, it's no surprise that the list of winners at Quail Hollow since the tournament began in 2003 includes major winners David Toms, Vijay Singh, Tiger Woods (twice), Jim Furyk, Rory McIlroy and Lucas Glover.

RELATED: Wells Fargo tee times | Begay recovers from heart attack | Dufner at Miller Park

Little-known Derek Ernst -- the fourth alternate in 2013 -- was the surprise winner a year ago.

Will we have another surprise winner this week? Maybe. But, it will more than likely be another established player hoisting the hardware come Sunday.

Here are five players to keep an eye on.

5. Sean O'Hair
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
T10 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational
Reason to watch: For a time, it seemed O'Hair was going to be the next superstar on the PGA Tour. In the last few years, however, he's gone through a significant slump. I like him at Quail Hollow this week not because of how he's played lately -- just one top 10 in 14 starts this season to go along with six missed cuts -- but because he returns to a course where he won in 2009 (he's missed the cut twice at Wells Fargo since then and tied for 15th in 2012. He's going to turn a corner eventually, so why not this week?

4. Webb Simpson
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
Won the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
Reason to watch: Simpson got off to a white hot start this season, finishing in the top 10 at six of his first eight events, highlighted by a win in his first start -- the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. The last four starts, however, have been tough -- T47 at Doral, a missed cut in Tampa, T61 in Houston and a missed cut at the Masters. This week though, Simpson will enjoy some home cooking (he lives in Charlotte) and some local knowledge (he's a member at Quail Hollow). Simpson desperately wants to win this tournament, his home game. His best finish was alone in fourth in 2012.

3. Rickie Fowler
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
Third at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship
Reason to watch: Hard to believe, but the Wells Fargo Championship remains Fowler's lone PGA Tour victory. He did that in 2012. After making some swing changes this season, everything looked to be coming together for Fowler. Following that third-place showing at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, he also finished sixth in Houston and tied for fifth at the Masters. This week, we find out if last week's missed cut at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans was an aberration. I think it was.

2. Phil Mickelson
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
T12 at the Shell Houston Open
Reason to watch: You might not believe this, but Mickelson is still without a top-10 finish in 2014. That's insane. He's withdrawn due to injury twice this season and has missed the cut twice, most recently in his last start -- the Masters. When you're as talented as Mickelson, slumps can't last as long as this one has. He finished third at Quail Hollow a year ago, second in 2010, tied for fifth in 2009, tied for third in 2007, tied for seventh in 2005 and tied for fifth in 2004. In other words, this course fits his eye.

1. Rory McIlroy
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
Playoff loss at the Honda Classic
Reason to watch: In case you missed it, McIlroy dropped out of the top-10 in the Official World Golf Ranking recently. That, of course, was based largely on his poor play in 2013. In 2014, with limited starts, he's been pretty good. He's finished in the top 10 four times in six starts. In 2010, McIlroy picked up his first PGA Tour win at Quail Hollow. Since then, he's won five times, including two majors. The only thing left for McIlroy to do in order to forget the disaster that was 2013 is to win on the PGA Tour. He's been knocking on the door a lot lately. This might be the week he kicks that door in.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.

Categories: Quail Hollow Club
April 29, 2014 - 7:22pm
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Jason Dufner at Miller Park
Kohler Co.
Reigning PGA Champion Jason Dufner joined Michael Belot, Vice Chairman of the 2015 PGA Championship & General Manager -- Destination Kohler, Jason Mengel, 2015 PGA Championship Director, and Milwaukee Brewers mascot Bernie Brewer at Miller Park as part of Tuesday's 2015 PGA Championship ticket pre-registration launch.

As part of a day-long trip to Wisconsin to help promote the 2015 PGA Championship -- to be played at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis. -- 2013 PGA Champion Jason Dufner had time to visit Miller Park, home of the National League's Milwaukee Brewers.

Of course, Dufner asked if he might be able to pitch a little -- and being a golfer, that has a different meaning than standing on the mound and tossing a few. Straightaway center is only a 400-foot poke, so Dufner could not only clear the fence but probably knock one completely out of the ballpark (with the roof open, of course).

The feat was then publicized on Twitter. That's where Brewers pitcher Kyle Lohse found out about Dufner's appearance, and the two had a humorous Twitter conversation.

And with that, Dufner had one last parting shot to take.



No word on whether the Brewers' bullpen will participate in any Dufnering during the next home series. With Lohse on the mound, they may have a lot of time on their hands.


April 29, 2014 - 3:00pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Whistling Straits
PGA of America
Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis., will host its third PGA Championship in 2015.

There's nothing more exciting than major championship golf.

We're just 100 days away from the start of the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla in Lousiville, Ky., but today also marks a special day for the 2015 PGA Championship.

Beginning today, you can register for tickets to the 2015 PGA Championship -- the year's final major -- at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis.


Tickets for the 2015 PGA Championship will be sold exclusively through an online registration program. Registration is free and there is no obligation to purchase tickets by completing the form. The earlier you register, the better position you will have to purchase the most popular tickets.

RELATED: 2015 PGA Championship | Tour Whistling Straits | Become a volunteer

Upon registering, you will receive a confirmation email with additional details to prepare you for when tickets go on sale in August 2014.

The 2015 PGA Championship will be the third played at Whistling Straits.

If you have any questions, contact the PGA Ticketing Center at 800-PGA-GOLF (742-4653) or