Golf Buzz

November 12, 2014 - 11:19am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Harris English
USA Today Sports Images
Harris English returns to the OHL Classic at Mayakoba this week as the defending champion.

This week, the PGA Tour is in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, for the OHL Classic at Mayakoba, where Harris English is the defending champion.

This is the final official event on the PGA Tour schedule for the 2014 calendar year, before the 2014-15 season resumes at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Hawaii on Jan. 9.

RELATED: OHL Classic at Mayakoba tee times | Speedy progress for golf in China

Here's a look at five players to watch at El Camaleon.

5. Will MacKenzie
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Second in playoff at The McGladrey Classic
Reason to watch: MacKenzie got off to a fast start with last year's introduction of the PGA Tour's wraparound schedule. All five of his top-10 finishes (and all nine of his top 25s for that matter) came between October and the end of March before slipping into a funk. He got off to a fast start this season with the runner-up finish at McGladrey. A year ago, he tied for 12th in the OHL Classic. There's something about an end of the calendar-year event that gives MacKenzie confidence.

4. Charles Howell III
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T14 at Sanderson Farms Championship
Reason to watch: He likes to play... a lot. This is his fifth start of the new season already. He's made all four cuts, but it's been a mixed bag results-wise -- two top-20 finishes and two outside the top 70. With a tie for sixth at Mayakoba last year, Howell notched one of his six top 10s for the season. I say it all the time: How has this guy only won twice on the PGA Tour? That's not a knock on the Tour -- it's tough to win out there. Howell is just so talented.

3. Camilo Villegas
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T54 at The McGladrey Classic
Reason to watch: If you needed proof that one tournament can make a season, look no further than Villegas. He really struggled last season, but somehow -- surprising even himself -- broke through for an unlikely win at the Wyndham Championship. It wasn't unlikely because it was Villegas. He's proven he has all the talent in the world. It was unlikely given his track record to that point. I thought maybe it would provide some confidence going forward, but it hasn't just yet. Can he get the wheels back on track in Mexico? We'll see.

2. Spencer Levin
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T10 at Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
Reason to watch: In 2011, Levin lost in a playoff at Mayakoba to Johnson Wagner -- the best finish of his PGA Tour career to date. It was a struggle in 2013-14 for Levin, who had just one top-25 finish -- a T12 at Open, his first event of the season -- and missed the cut 11 times in 20 starts. Early this season, in just two starts, he's already better than he was a year ago with that top 10 in Vegas. Maybe be can carry the momentum from that tournament to the place where he recorded his best Tour finish.

1. Harris English
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T16 at Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
Reason to watch: English grabbed the second win of his young career at Mayakoba in 2013 and returns as the defending champion. There's nothing not to like about his game. He's consistent for the most part, but is prone to the occasional lull as we saw at the very end of last season where he missed the cut four of his last six starts. In his only other title defense on the PGA Tour -- the 2014 St. Jude Classic -- English missed the cut. I think he's going to have that on his mind this week and work hard to make sure it doesn't happen again. 

November 12, 2014 - 10:19am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
car chase
It's not often you hear about a police car chase reaching a golf course. On Tuesday, however, it happened twice in two separate incidents in Southern California. As you can see, at least one of them ended in a pond.

Imagine: You're in the middle of a nice, relaxing -- hopefully enjoyable -- round of golf when all of the sudden, a stolen pick-up truck comes rip-roaring across the fairway and finally comes to rest in the middle of a pond.

Well, that could have been you if you were playing the ninth hole at Tahquitz Creek Golf Course in Palm Springs, Calif., around 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

According to a report from News Channel 3 (, the two suspects in the stolen vehicle -- a man and a woman -- led police on a chase that ended in the Tahquitz Creek Golf Course pond.

The California Highway Patrol detained the two suspects and the truck was towed out of the lake.

Here's the report:

Believe it or not, that wasn't the only chase that involved a golf course on Tuesday. Over at Eagle Glen in Corona, Calif., a minivan drove all over the course. On, Geoff Shackelford reports that the driver, suspected of attempted fraud at a nearby Home Depot, drove off the course eventually and was shot and killed by L.A. County Sheriffs deputies.

Here's the video of that report from CBS Los Angeles:

Sad ending to the second story for sure.

h/t Golf Digest 

Phil Mickelson
Getty Images
Phil Mickelson's new job with his brother allows him to be with the Arizona State golf team on a daily basis.
A few days ago, we learned that Phil Mickelson spent an hour on the phone talking up his alma mater with Ryan Ruffels, a 16-year-old junior golf star in Australia. As it turns out, that's just one of the ways that Mickelson is helping his brother – Arizona State golf coach Tim Mickelson – out this offseason.
In fact, Tim has officially named Phil as an interim assistant coach. That, Lance Ringler of Golfweek explains, allows Lefty to be with the team on a daily basis and be more involved than "civilian" alumni in areas such as recruiting – and, by the way, Wednesday is the first day that high school seniors can sign national letters of intent.
Don't expect Phil to make a wholesale career change, though – he's expected back on the PGA Tour next spring. He is technically filling the assistant coach role that opened up when Joe Prince left the program earlier this fall. Tim Mickelson is expected to permanently fill that job next spring or summer.
Phil, of course, starred at Arizona State from 1988-1992, winning three individual NCAA championships as the Sun Devils won it all in 1990. Tim was part of ASU's 1996 NCAA title team, and took over as head coach in 2011.
The Sun Devils' next tournament is Jan. 26-27 down in Tucson. Interesting, those dates fall at the beginning of the week of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where Mickelson almost always plays. So will we see him in Tucson, or Phoenix? Both or neither? It'll be interesting to find out.
November 11, 2014 - 5:56pm
mark.aumann's picture
St. Lucie Trail
Jerry Iorlano snapped this unusual photo Sunday morning on the 10th tee at St. Lucie Trail Golf Club.

We've seen some unusual "animals on the golf course" photos this year, and the most recent came from the St. Lucie Trail Golf Club in Florida this weekend. It's a Florida bobcat, trotting across the 10th tee.

That's not an everyday sight for most golfers, so we called Jerry Iorlano, shift captain for outside operations at the course. He gave us the back story on exactly what transpired and how he got the photo.

WILD GOLF STORIES: Readers share their most unique tales

The club has a swimming pool, and over the past six to eight months, installed a security camera in an attempt to catch uninvited guests who have been trespassing. There's a flatscreen monitor in the pro shop, and on Sunday morning, a couple of the employees just happened to look up in time to see a pair of bobcats move through the picture.

They radioed Iorlano, who took his camera and followed quietly behind the bobcats until they reached the 10th tee. At that point, one bobcat headed into the vegetation, but Iorlano was able to snap off a clear image as the other trotted across the back teeing ground.

GOLF RULES: What to do if an animal interferes with your round

According to Iorlano, an Okeechobee resident who has an extensive background in outdoor recreation, it's not unusual to find signs of bobcat activity on the course. If anything, he believes there are more bobcats on the property than raccoons. But they just don't show themselves very often. Iorlano thinks they were still prowling after dawn because it was a rainy and gray morning.

So let's add bobcats to this year's ever-growing list of odd animal incidents on golf courses:

Golf ball lands on alligator
Bear cub dancing with a flagstick
Eagle steals golf ball on green
Elephants play through in Malaysia
Frogs attack Peter Uihlein
ablo Larrazabal jumps in lake to avoid hornet swarm
Kangaroos crossing bunker
Snake hazard at China Open


Victor Dubuisson
Getty Images
Victor Dubuisson's victory in the 2013 Turkish Airlines Open gave him a big boost toward the 2014 European Ryder Cup team.
Here's a look at the tournaments on tap this week (and here are the TV listings):
PGA Tour: OHL Classic
Site: Playa Del Carmen, Mexico 
Schedule: Thursday-Sunday 
Course: Mayakoba Resort, El Camaleon Golf Club (6,987 yards, par 71) 
Purse: $6.1 million. Winner's share: $1,098,000 
Last year: Harris English won by four strokes, finishing with a tournament-record 21-under 263 total. 
Last week: Bubba Watson won the HSBC Champions in China for his first World Golf Championships title. He holed a bunker shot for eagle on the 18th hole to get into a playoff, and made a 20-foot birdie putt to beat Tim Clark on the first extra hole. ... Nick Taylor rallied to win the Sanderson Farms Championship in Mississippi for his first PGA Tour title. He's the first Canadian-born winner since Mike Weir in 2007. 
Notes: The tournament is the final regular-season event of the year. Play will resume with the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Hawaii in January. ... English and Taylor are in the field. ... Mexico's Carlos Ortiz is making his fifth tour start. He won three times on the Tour last season. ... Fred Funk also is playing. He won the inaugural event in 2007 at 50 years, 8 months, 12 days to become the fifth-oldest tour winner. ... Greg Norman designed the El Camaleon course. ... Mayakoba is south of Cancun on the Caribbean coast. 
European Tour: Turkish Airlines Open
Site: Antalya, Turkey 
Schedule: Thursday-Sunday 
Course: The Montgomerie Maxx Royal (7,100 yards, par 72) 
Purse: $7 million. Winner's share: $1,166,600 
Last year: France's Victor Dubuisson won the inaugural event for his first European Tour title, beating Wales' Jamie Donaldson by two strokes. Tiger Woods tied for third. 
Last week: Bubba Watson won the HSBC Champions in China for his first World Golf Championships title. He holed a bunker shot for eagle on the 18th hole to get into a playoff, and made a 20-foot birdie putt to beat Tim Clark on the first extra hole. 
Notes: This is the third of four events in the European Tour's Final Series. The top 60 on the money list after this week will be eligible for the season-ending DP World Tour Championship next week in Dubai. ... Top-ranked Rory McIlroy, the Race to Dubai leader, is skipping the tournament. No. 2 Donaldson, No. 3 Sergio Garcia and No. 4 Marcel Siem would have to sweep the final two events to have a chance to pass McIlroy. Martin Kaymer also is in the field along with Henrik Stenson, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter. 
LPGA Tour: Lorena Ochoa Invitational
Site: Mexico City 
Schedule: Thursday-Sunday 
Course: Club de Golf Mexico (6,804 yards, par 72) 
Purse: $1 million. Winner's share: $150,000 
Last year: Lexi Thompson won at Guadalajara Country Club. She birdied the final hole to beat Stacy Lewis by a stroke. 
Last week: South Korea's Mi Hyang Lee won the Mizuno Classic in Japan, birdieing the fifth hole of a playoff with compatriot Ilhee Lee and Japan's Kotono Kozuma. 
Notes: The tournament is in its first year in Mexico City after six in host Lorena Ochoa's hometown of Guadalajara. Ochoa won 27 LPGA Tour titles. She retired in 2010. ... Top-ranked Inbee Park is in the 36-player field along with No. 2 Lewis, No. 3 Lydia Ko, No. 4 Suzann Pettersen, No. 5 Shanshan Feng, No. 6 Michelle Wie, No. 7 So Yeon Ryu and No. 10 Thompson. Wie won the 2009 event for her first tour victory. ... The season-ending CME Group Tour Championship is next week in Naples, Florida. 
Japan Golf Tour: Taiheiyo Masters
Schedule: Thursday-Sunday
Course: Taiheiyo Club, Gotemba Course
Site: Shizuoka, Japan
Asian Tour: Chiangmai Golf Classic
Schedule: Thursday-Sunday
Course: Alpine Golf Resort
Site: Chiangmai, Thailand
PGA Tour of AustralAsia: NSW Open
Schedule: Thursday-Sunday
Course: Stonecutters Ridge Golf Club
Site: Sydney, Australia
PGA Tour Latinoamerica: Chile Open
Schedule: Thursday-Sunday
Course: Los Leones Golf Club
Site: Santiago, Chile
Ladies European Tour: Sanya Ladies Open
Schedule: Friday-Sunday
Course: Yalong Bay Golf Club
Site: Sanya, China
Japan LPGA Tour: Ito-En Ladies Classic
Schedule: Friday-Sunday
Course: Great Island Club
Site: Chiba, Japan
November 11, 2014 - 1:23pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Cheyenne Woods
Over the weekend, Cheyenne Woods paid a visit to TopGolf in Arizona where she attempted to recreate the famous "Happy Gilmore" swing. It didn't go so well.

Cheyenne Woods, niece of Tiger and a solid golfer in her own right having won on the Ladies European Tour this year, took a crack at the famous Happy Gilmore swing on Sunday.

Check it out:


Happy Gilmore made this look a whole lot easier!! #fail #topgolf

A video posted by Cheyenne Woods (@cheyenne_woods) on

Based on the video she posted on Instagram, it looks like Cheyenne was having a good time with friends at TopGolf in Arizona.

Cheyenne has proven herself as quite the golf-ball juggler like Uncle Tiger (see video below), but it looks like her Happy Gilmore effort needs a little work.


A video posted by Cheyenne Woods (@cheyenne_woods) on

h/t Back 9 Network