Golf Buzz

June 13, 2014 - 12:11pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Hunter Mahan
USA Today Sports Images
Hunter Mahan and Jamie Donaldson were each assessed a two-shot penalty on Friday for hitting each other's golf ball from the 18th fairway.

As if the U.S. Open isn't hard enough, Hunter Mahan and Jamie Donaldson made it much more difficult on themselves during Friday's second round.

Playing the 18th hole -- their ninth hole of the day -- they both found the fairway... and that's where the trouble began.

Both players were playing a Titleist ProV1x, and failed to properly identify their own ball before hitting their approach shots.

RELATED: U.S. Open leaderboard | Complete U.S. Open coverage

Once they arrived at the green and marked their balls, they realized that they had hit each other's ball onto the green. The returned to the spot of their approach shots to take a penalty drop (a two-shot penalty) and played the hole out from there. Both players made a double-bogey 6.

Had they played out the hole and teed off at No. 1 -- the next hole -- Mahan and Donaldson would have been disqualified.

Here is Rule 15-3:

If a competitor makes a stroke or strokes at a wrong ball, he incurs a penalty of two strokes. The competitor must correct his mistake by playing the correct ball or by proceeding under the Rules. If he fails to correct his mistake before making a stroke on the next teeing ground or, in the case of the last hole of the round, fails to declare his intention to correct his mistake before leaving the putting green, he is disqualified. Strokes made by a competitor with a wrong ball do not count in his score. If the wrong ball belongs to another competitor, its owner must place a ball on the spot from which the wrong ball was first played.

Exception: There is no penalty if a competitor makes a stroke at a wrong ball that is moving in water in a water hazard. Any strokes made at a wrong ball moving in water in a water hazard do not count in the competitor's score.

Here are some tweets about the incident:







June 13, 2014 - 11:54am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Kevin Stadler
USA Today Sports Images
Kevin Stadler shot a 2-under 68 in the second round of the U.S. Open on Friday, a round that included a magnificent eagle on the par-4 13th hole.

Kevin Stadler didn't have much to smile about after a 7-over 77 in the first round of the 114th U.S. Open on Thursday.

But on Friday, Stadler had a tremendous bounce-back, firing a 2-under 68, which included this eagle hole-out on the par-4 13th hole:

An eagle on the 13th hole at Pinehurst No. 2 on Friday the 13th? Nice.

Through 36 holes, Stadler is 5-over 145. When he finished his second round, Stadler was tied for 79th. The top 60 and ties will advance to the weekend.

Even if he doesn't make the cut, Stadler will take a special memory away from Pinehurst.

June 13, 2014 - 11:32am
Posted by: staff
dpurdum's picture
Father's Day golf memories
Reader submitted photo
A father works with his son on the driving range. / Reader submitted photo

By, Staff

Heading into Father’s Day weekend, asked Facebook fans for their favorite golf course memories with dad. The responses, many including photos, were fantastic.




Some were remarkable.

“My dad didn’t have the use of his legs from age of 3 and only saw me play golf once. I got a cart for us one day and it broke down on the last hill on the 18th hole. He walked the 150 metres in his calipers in summer, a memory I shall never forget. RIP Dad.”– Shane Arthur.

Some made you smile.

“My son watched me make a hole in one this Monday.” – Phillip Werner.

Some recalled life-long lessons.

“Can remember my dad throwing his driver and then telling me wanted to show me how bad it looked to throw clubs.”– Steve Harris

Some were touching.

“Best time of my life was on the golf course with my dad. At his funeral we all got green repair tools with his name on the ball marker. I use it every time I play and know he’s with me on the course. Miss ya dad.” – Tom Schipper

And some made you chuckle.

“My dad was a horrendous golfer at best, however made one of hell of an effort to teach all four of his kids to play golf.

My father was a former caddie at an upscale course in the Pittsburgh area as a high school student and took notice of how many “business transactions” would take place while rounds were being played between club members.

He always told us that ‘you don’t have to be great at golf, I just want you to feel comfortable on the course.’

When I was 15 and my older brother 16 he took us golfing for his birthday. We all hit great drives on #5 at Hidden Valley (PA). When I stepped up to my approach shot he said..”Hold off for a second (5 second pause) your mother and I were talking, (5 second pause) I’m 45 years old and I don’t want to be a grandfather! Do you understand me?”

My brother and I both laughed and said ‘yes.’

That was “THE TALK for us!  I’ll never forget it!”– Max Young

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. You can read all the Facebook responses below. Or submit your own ... 






June 13, 2014 - 9:03am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Ken Duke
USA Today Sports Images
Ken Duke made a wise choice from a difficult lie at Pinehurst on Friday and was rewarded for the smart decision immediately.

You hear it all the time at a U.S. Open -- to avoid the big number, you've got to "take your medicine."

That's exactly what Ken Duke did when faced with an unfortunate break at the par-3 ninth hole. His tee shot wound up behind a clump of grass. Rather than play a hero shot, Duke putted the ball back into the bunker.

RELATED: U.S. Open leadeboard | Complete U.S. Open coverage

From there, he holed out for your average, run-of-the-mill par.

Incredible stuff.

Check out the video here: 


June 13, 2014 - 8:18am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rickie Fowler
USA Today Sports Images
On Day 1 of the U.S. Open, Rickie Fowler dominated the social chatter thanks to his choice of attire, as he paid tribute to the late Payne Stewart.

Rickie Fowler may have shot even par Thursday at Pinehurst, but he was a clear leader in the social conversation.

The avid Tweeter and Instagrammer was mentioned 2,624 times from midnight to 10 p.m. on the first round of play, thanks to his choice or attire, which honored the late Payne Stewart, who won here in 1999. tracks the social chatter on its own Social Caddy, a U.S. Open leaderboard feature that is essentially a social listening product that actively scans chatter around the majors.

The technology looks at names, pictures, hashtags and quotes, and identifies trends in how people are communicating about players and the event. Player to Player communication is given special attention, as it usually spawns a trend of user activity on Twitter. At the end, we're able to get a really good look at the event and how people at home talk about it.

RELATED: U.S. Open leaderboard | Complete U.S. Open coverage | Best of U.S. Open golf fashion

In the 9 o'clock hour on Thursday -- presumably once everyone settled into their office and got behind their computers -- Fowler's name was mentioned 488 times on the Social Caddy.

As a nod to Stewart, who died in a tragic plane accident four months after his win, Fowler wore the plus-4 knickers during Round 1 that Stewart made famous.

"What's really neat for users is when something happens that doesn't make it on air, but it appears on Social Caddy, in which your curiosity takes over and you find out what it is," said Rob Smith, Sr. Product Manager at "Henrik Stenson getting on the par-5 13th hole in two at Oak Hill during the 2013 PGA Championship was one of those events. Steven Bowditch's first PGA Tour win at the Valero was another, in which all sorts of local stats poured in after his victory."

Thursday's big Fowler bump started when the official Twitter account of Pinehurst Resort tweeted out this picture of Fowler on the practice green:



Fowler sent out this tweet just before the picture was taken:



Phil Mickelson had been the most talked about player going into Round 1. He finished runner up to Stewart in the 1999 U.S. Open -- the first of a record six runner-up finishes in the national championship. Should Mickelson win this week, he would complete the career grand slam.

Here's a look at the top 10 mentions Thursday, according to Social Caddy:

1. Rickie Fowler -- 2,624
2. Phil Mickelson -- 1,541
3. Martin Kaymer -- 1,005
4. Jordan Spieth -- 779
5. Rory McIlroy -- 591
6. Justin Rose -- 439
7. Bubba Watson -- 417
8. Graeme McDowell -- 406
9. Adam Scott -- 386
10. Keegan Bradley -- 363

June 12, 2014 - 12:47pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Matt Every
During the first round of the U.S. Open, Matt Every had a par putt hang up on the lip at the 16th hole. It took a while, but the ball finally disappeared.

Golf can be cruel.

Like when you're Matt Every playing in the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 and you're faced with a par putt from about 20 feet on the par-4 16th hole.

RELATED: U.S. Open leaderboard | Complete U.S. Open coverage

The guy hit a beautiful putt, but the ball hit the breaks right on the edge of the cup.

For a few seconds anyway...



Sweet par, but Every has work to do Friday to make the cut after opening with a 6-over 76. 

This whole "hanging on the lip/wait to see if it drops" thing happens more often than you might think. In fact, it happened to Scott Langley just two weeks ago at the Memorial Tournament.

The official rule involved, according to the report from our own Mark Aumann, is Rule 16-2. Here's how it reads:
"When any part of the ball overhangs the lip of the hole, the player is allowed enough time to reach the hole without unreasonable delay and an additional ten seconds to determine whether the ball is at rest. If by then the ball has not fallen into the hole, it is deemed to be at rest. If the ball subsequently falls into the hole, the player is deemed to have holed out with his last stroke, and must add a penalty stroke to his score for the hole; otherwise, there is no penalty under this Rule."