Golf Buzz

December 17, 2013 - 10:34am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Rob Labritz
PGA of America
Rob Labritz punched a ticket to the 2013 PGA Championship in stunning fashion.

For my money, the PGA Professional National Championship -- year in and year out -- is one of the best tournaments in professional golf.

Why? Because, among other things, you get a deep appreciation for just how good and how talented the PGA Professionals who help to improve our game are with their own respective game.

BEST SHOTS OF 2013: No. 5 -- Kenny Perry's eagle chip at the Senior PGA Championship

Oh yeah -- there's also always a lot of dramatic moments when it comes to the ultimate goal for all 312 of the PNC competitors: finishing in the top 20 to earn a spot in the PGA Championship.

Case in point: Rob Labritz, PGA Director of Golf at Glen Arbor Golf Club in Bedford Hills, N.Y.

In the 2013 PNC -- played at the Sunriver Resort in Oregon -- Labritz found himself among a six-man playoff for the final three PGA Championship spots available after 72 holes. On the first hole of the playoff, two players advanced.

That left Labritz vying for the final spot with three others.

Labritz looked to be out of the mix after drawing an awful lie with his tee shot in a fairway bunker on the 457-yard, par-4 11th hole. Forced to punch out while the others played onto the green, Labritz proceeded to miraculously hole out for birdie from 95 yards with a 53-degree gap wedge. After none of the others matched the birdie, the 42-year-old Labritz was in his fourth PGA Championship.

"I don't have many words," Labritz said. "It's been an emotional week, but a great ending to it. What a way to go back to the PGA at Oak Hill."

Here's video of the shot, which also received top honors on ESPN's SportsCenter top-10 plays:



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



December 17, 2013 - 12:57am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Luke Donald at Chicago Blackhawks game
Luke Donald via Twitter
Luke Donald studied the ice at the Chicago Blackhawks-Los Angeles Kings game before attempting to hit pucks through a cutout placed in the goal.
Well, while I was all excited about Jim Furyk 'dufnering' at the Jacksonville Jaguars game Sunday afternoon, I totally missed Luke Donald's appearance at the Chicago Blackhawks game Sunday night.
Donald – who went to Northwestern and still spends a lot of time in Chicago – went on the ice between periods of the Blackhawks' 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings. He tried his luck shooting from center ice toward a cutout in the goal that contained three small slits along the ice.
Ironically, Donald, who is one of the best putters on the PGA Tour, couldn't get any of his 100-footers to go in. In his defense, he said he had never even shot a puck until Saturday, when he tried it a few times on a friend's ice rink.
''It's a shame I didn't make one, but I got a nice welcome from the crowd and it was fun,'' Donald said afterward. ''At least I hit the board [in the net] a couple times.''
Donald said he was a big Hawks fan, and attended several playoff games during their Stanley Cup-winning run last spring. 
''I really enjoy it. I think it's a great sport to come watch live,'' he said of hockey. ''I just enjoy the atmosphere. I think it's one of the best sports to watch live.''
Here's Donald's tweet about his frozen foray:
Here's a recap video from the Blackhawks. There's no way to embed it, but you can see it on the Hawks' official site by clicking here.
December 16, 2013 - 12:18pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Kenny Perry
At the 2013 Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, Kenny Perry turned what could have easily been a bogey or more into an incredible eagle.

Over the course of the next five days, will take a look at five of the best golf shots hit in the professional ranks over the course of the 2013 calendar year.

Coming in at No. 5, is Kenny Perry's improbable eagle on the par-5 fourth hole from a terrible lie in the third round of the 74th Senior PGA Champioship presented by KitchenAid at Bellerive.

Perry, who would eventually finish second in the tournament, left his second shot into the par 5 just short of the green and was incredibly unlucky to discover that his ball -- rather than slipping into the greenside bunker -- hung up in the rough just outside the bunker.

For his third shot, Perry was forced to stand in the bunker with the golf ball sitting nearly waist high. Contact was an issue -- let alone the thought of getting it on the green.

With some golf magic, Perry not only escaped this gnarly lie, but also hit one of the most amazing shots you'll ever see, holing it for an eagle.

Click here to see the shot.

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


December 15, 2013 - 5:02pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Jim Furyk at Jacksonville Jaguars game
via Players Championship Twitter feed
Jim Furyk and Jaxson de Ville 'dufnered' high above the Bills-Jaguars game.
A couple weeks ago, we saw Fred Couples raise the 12th Man flag at a Seattle Seahawks football game.
This afternoon, we saw Jim Furyk do a little 'dufnering' at the Jacksonville Jaguars game.
Furyk and Jaguars mascot Jaxson de Ville struck the pose up on the Sky Patio as the Jags battled the Buffalo Bills. At halftime, Furyk and Jaxson squared off in a closest-to-the-pin contest in which both hit shots from the Sky Patio above the south end zone down to a green on the 50 yard line at Everbank Field.
Furyk, who shot a 59 earlier this year, is the latest in a string of PGA Tour players to challenge Jaxson at a Jags home game. In a seasonlong promotion, Billy Horschel, David Lingmerth, Matt Kuchar and Bud Cauley among others are taking on the mascot in that closest-to-the-pin contest with the Jaguars making a donation to the players' favorite charities for participating.
December 14, 2013 - 1:41pm
Posted by:
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Shaquille O'Neal, Bubba Watson
Photo: Courtesy "Shaq Got Next"
It wasn't traditional golf but it sure was fun when Shaq and Bubba squared off.

Shaquille O'Neal - better known simply as "Shaq" - has proven himself as large a tv personality as he was a presence in the paint during his superstar NBA career.

Shaq's television duties include the NBA on TNT and "Hall of Game" on Cartoon Network (full disclosure, both are a part of Turner Broadcasting - as is and is the subject of a popular segment called "Shaq's Got Next." As part of the series, Shaq spent some time with 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson.

What happens when you combine golf with two of sports' most entertaining and colorful personalities? Well, see for yourself.



December 13, 2013 - 7:38pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Odyssey Metal-X Milled putters
Courtesy of Odyssey Golf
The Odyssey Metal-X Milled putters have a pattern milled into their face that increases the friction between the face and the ball.
Odyssey Golf has been having a lot of fun over the past few months with its ''Mystery Milled'' campaign on social media. Odyssey teased the impending arrival of its new putters with a number of photos of head covers festooned with question marks.  
Now, the ''mystery'' is solved. Odyssey has revealed its new line of Metal-X Milled putters, which it calls the most technologically advanced milled putters on the market.
The Metal-X Milled putters differ from the original Metal-X line in one significant way. Where the original Metal-X putters have a face insert with the Metal-X pattern milled into it, these new Metal-X Milled models have the Metal-X pattern milled across the entire face.
As Odyssey explains it, the oval dimple Metal-X pattern on the face increases the friction between the face and the ball by forming what it calls a ''mechanical lock'' during the time the ball is in contact with the face. This works best with an ascending stroke to add forward roll to the ball and help produce a lower launch angle.
And becase the dimple pattern minimizes the contact area on the face, Odyssey says, the Metal-X Milled models produce a quieter and softer sound as well as a truer, more consistent roll.
The Metal-X Milled putters also feature three sets of customizable weights to help golfers fine-tune their preferred weight. The removable weights – two 10-gram, two 15-gram and two 20-gram – on the sole complement the stabilizing crossbar on the back to help stiffen the face without adding much weight.
The new Metal-X Milled putters will be available at retail on Jan. 17, 2014. The #1, #6, #9HT and 330 mallet will carry a suggested retail price of $299.99, while the #7 and Rossie models have a suggested retail price of $349.99.