Golf Buzz

May 8, 2017 - 10:40am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
golf meltdown
We've all had that feeling on a golf course where we want to throw our club -- or clubs -- in the nearest body of water, but don't act on it. This guy did.

Any day on a golf course beats a day spent at the office, right?

Looks like someone forgot to tell this guy:

We're not sure what precipitated this meltdown, but we'll go out on a limb and guess that it was a less-than-ideal golf shot.

The good news is that if the lousy shot was the club's fault, the man won't ever have to worry about the club being stubborn again.

Phil Mickelson
@PGATOUR on Twitter
Phil Mickelson pulled off an incredible flop shot from a greenside bunker on Sunday. We chatted with PGA Professional Jeff Martin about when -- and if -- you should attempt such a shot.

In Sunday's final round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Eagle Point, Phil Mickelson did what he's done his entire career and absolutely dazzled us with an amazing shot from a greenside bunker at the par-4 seventh hole.

Just 321 yards in length, Mickelson nearly drove the green, but ended up just left in the bunker.

Faced with a 46-yard bunker shot, that's where Mickelson got extra creative.

RELATED: Final results from Wells Fargo Championship | John Daly pays tribute to Arnie

Rather than play what Johnny Miller might describe as a "chunk and run" from that position, Mickelson went way up high with a massive flop shot that he hit into a bank well past and well right of the hole, but as soon as the ball hit the green, it spun back to within inches of the cup.

And, just like that, he made a birdie.

Here's the shot:

We tracked down PGA Professional Jeff Martin, the head professional at Norton Country Club in Norton, Mass., to find out when you should play a flop shot from a bunker, if you should play such a shot and how you can pull it off.

"First off, as incredible as that shot was -- and it was amazing -- Phil had some factors going for him," Martin told PGA.com. "We never got to see his lie in the bunker, but based on the trajectory of the shot, it's safe to assume it was either on a slope, or in a flat spot. Because of the rain they had last week, the sand was probably compacted. The greens were soft. So, to get it there, he had to fly it all the way. It was a last resort kind of shot. He also had a nice back shelf to hit it into... but he still had to pull it off."

And that's exactly what he did. Expertly.

"Nothing Phil does should surprise us anymore. He's that good," Martin said. "John Q amateur probably shouldn't try that shot though. There's just too much going on that can go wrong. Why take less club and swing that hard when you can take more club and swing like a normal bunker shot? Hit a gap-wedge or sand-wedge easy from that spot instead of trying to dial up a perfect lob shot. Don't force it."

Martin said it's important to study your lie first and foremost. If the bunker is compacted, the shot is going to come out quicker, whereas if you find yourself in some fluffy stuff, it's going to be slower.

"On those longer shots like Phil hit, I would suggest taking a little more club, set up the same as you would for a normal bunker shot -- open stance, open clubface, use the bounce of the club and splash it out," Martin said. "You need to read that lie too since it's going to determine what you can do."

The biggest issue with bunker shots that Martin sees with most amateurs has to do with trust.

They're afraid, he said, to open the clubface, trust the bounce and let the club slide through the sand.

"Instead, people dig that leading edge into the sand and there's no follow through," Martin said. "When that happens, guess what? You're back to square one because the ball is staying in that bunker. Use the bounce of the club. That's why it's there. Get the ball forward in your stance -- more toward your left heel than center. Trust your swing and, just like every shot, face your target when you're done. Too many people stop and stuff the club into the ground and the ball stays right there."

Brian Harman
@PGATOUR on Twitter
With a dramatic birdie from long-range on the 72nd hole Sunday, Brain Harman took the clubhouse lead at the Wells Fargo Championship and then won moments later.

Brian Harman holes massive birdie putt on final hole, wins Wells Fargo Championship

With Dustin Johnson and Pat Perez tied for the clubhouse lead late at the Wells Fargo Championship, Brian Harman had one hole to play.

His goal was to take the clubhouse lead at 10 under by making birdie at the par-5 18th, or at worst sneak away with a par, join the party at 9 under and hope for a playoff.

Harman made the 18th a lot of work and was faced with a 28-footer for birdie.

Here's what he did with it:

As it turns out, after Jon Rahm failed to chip in for eagle moments later, that putt won Harman the golf tournament.

It's his second win on the PGA Tour to go along with his 2014 John Deere Classic triumph.

John Daly
@PGATOUR on Twitter
John Daly, on his way to his first win since 2004, was sure to make time for the late Arnold Palmer as he walked to the 18th green at the Insperity Invitational.

John Daly, 51, won the Insperity Invitational on Sunday -- his first victory since the 2004 Buick Invitational on the PGA Tour.

As a tribute to Arnold Palmer this week, the King's famous umbrella logo was painted on the 18th fairway at the Woodlands, site of the Insperity Invitational.

While Daly was strolling to the 18th green, surely overcome with emotion as he was about to win for the first time in 13 years, he still made time to pay homage to Palmer.

When Daly reached the umbrella logo, he went down on his knees and gave it a kiss:

Moments later, it was sweet victory for the 1991 PGA Champion:

Then it was time to celebrate:

 

May 7, 2017 - 4:42pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Pat Perez
@PGATOUR on Twitter
Pat Perez was sure he missed a makeable birdie putt in the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship on Sunday. And then a funny thing happened... it dropped in.

You ever have one of those moments in a round of golf where you know you just missed a putt that you should have made and, as you're walking to the hole in disgust, the ball inexplicably drops in and you know you just stole one from the Golf Gods?

Yeah, well, that just happened to Pat Perez at the Wells Fargo Championship:

Great stuff. Love the walk of shame to go tap in before the ball even stops rolling and then the lightbulb goes off like, "Wait a second... this might drop in for birdie!"

And, it does.

May 7, 2017 - 3:51pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Jon Rahm
@PGATOUR on Twitter
Jon Rahm, already a winner on the PGA Tour this season, could be in line for win No. 2 on Sunday thanks to shots like this one.

Jon Rahm, 22, is quickly making a name for himself on the PGA Tour.

One of the game's brightest young stars -- already with a win this year at Torrey Pines -- is in position to pick off his second career win on Sunday in the Wells Fargo Championship.

Rahm was even-par for the day when he reached the par-4 10th hole at Eagle Point.

Just off the green after his approach shot, Rahm went ahead and did this:

Thanks to that birdie, he's one shot off the pace at the moment.

Rahm, it seems, is a player you can expect to see on European Ryder Cup teams for years and years to come.