Golf Buzz

Justin Rose with Graeme McDowell
PGA Tour via YouTube
Justin Rose (l) got a handshake from Graeme McDowell after sinking his approach shot for an eagle on the par-4 third hole at Bay Hill.
Justin Rose is English, not Irish, so you wouldn't necessarily think that he'd find a lot of luck on the golf course on St. Patrick's Day. And at the start of his first round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, that seemed to be the case.
Rose opened on the back side at Bay Hill Thursday morning with a par and then a double bogey, but bounced back with a birdie on No. 12, his third hole of the day. After three straight pars, he eagled the par-5 sixth hole by sinking an 18-foot putt. Another bogey on No. 1, his 10th hole, dropped him back to even, and that's where he was as he steppd up onto the tee box on the par-4 third hole.
He crushed his drive 319 yards right into the elbow of the big dogleg left, and had only a wedge for his 112-yard approach shot from the fairway. As you can hear on the video below, the Golf Channel analyst noted that Rose should expect to hit it within seven or eight feet from that distance.
Rose clearly had a slightly higher goal – his shot hit just short and right of the flag, hopped a couple times and curled into the right side of the cup for an eagle. He raised his arms in triumph, and got a congratulatory handshake from Graeme McDowell – a Northern Irishman who must've been wondering why Rose was hogging all the St. Paddy's Day mojo in their group.
Rose, by the way, finished up with a pair of biries and four pars for a 4-under 68 – not bad, considering he was 2 over after his first two holes.
Here's his big eagle:
Jackie Burke
Steve Elkington via Twitter
Jackie Burke still has the sweet swing than won him both the Masters and PGA Championship in 1956.
No doubt about it, we were all a little bummed today at the news that Arnold Palmer won't be able to hit a ceremonial tee shot to kick off the Masters next month. Palmer, 86, is nursing a sore shoulder that won't let him swing a golf club.
But here's a little tidbit that'll cheer you up – a few hours after the news about Arnie broke, Steve Elkington posted a quick video of Jackie Burke smacking a golf ball on the range.
Take a look at the swing in the video below – it's  just gorgeous. Burke is 93 years old, and can still give that thing a ride.
Burke was never as famous as players like Palmer or Jack Nicklaus, but he too is a World Golf Hall of Famer. At 5-foot-7 and maybe 160 pounds, Burke owns the honor of being the oldest living Masters champion – he won his green jacket in 1956, the same year he also won the PGA Championship. That's 60 years ago!
The year after those two majors, Burke teamed up with fellow future Hall of Famer Jimmy Demaret to create Champions Golf Club in Houston. A classic golf facility to this day, Champions hosted the 1967 Ryder Cup and the 1969 U.S. Open. It's also hosted multiple editions of the Tour Championship over the years, and is the site of Ben Hogan's final PGA Tour appearance at the 1971 Houston Champions International.
Burke won a total of 16 PGA Tour titles, and played on the 1951, 1953, 1955, 1957 and 1959 Ryder Cup teams. He served as playing captain in 1957 and non-playing captain in 1973, and was a special assistant to Hal Sutton at the 2004 Ryder Cup. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2000 and received the PGA Tour's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.
He remained a popular teaching professional even after his touring career took off and, 75 years later, he's still sharing his wisdom with amateurs and professionals alike. And, as you can, see, he's still showing that he's got plenty of golf left to play. Go get 'em, Jackie – and big thanks to Elk for sharing the video. It really made our day.
Lexi Thompson and Jordan Spieth, during the 2008 Junior Ryder Cup matches.

Jordan Spieth and Lexi Thompson visited New York on Monday as part of a media blitz for youth golf and the upcoming Drive, Chip and Putt National Championship at Augusta National Golf Club.

Spieth wore his green jacket as the defending champion of the Masters, as you can see from this photograph tweeted by Thompson earlier in the day.



Both are active in youth golf programs -- Thompson was named an Ambassador for PGA Junior League Golf earlier this year -- and have extensive experience as former youth golfers.
But that's not the whole story. They played as partners eight years ago during the 2008 Junior Ryder Cup, held at The Club at Olde Stone in Bowling Green, Ky. The U.S. romped to a 22-2 victory that year, fueled by a sweep of all 12 singles matches. 
Spieth was 15 and Thompson 13 at the time, but Lexi -- or Alexis, as she was called at the time -- had already qualified for the U.S. Women's Open the previous year.
Want some throwback photos? Here's one from Lexi: 

And we'd be remiss if we didn't include one from Jordan, as well:

Since then, the U.S. hasn't relinquished its hold on the trophy. The 2016 Junior Ryder Cup will be held Sept. 26-27 at Interlachen Country Club in Edina, Minn., and the selection process for the U.S. Squad has already been announced.

Here's a look back some of the highlights from the 2014 event:







PGA Tour/YouTube
Charl Schwartzel faced this birdie putt at the 13th hole Sunday.

The greens at Innisbrook Resort and Club have been stingy all week, as evidenced by the low scores to par and struggles by even the leading contenders.

But Charl Schwartzel showed Sunday at the par-3 13th hole that they can be mastered. Facing a putt of some 64 feet -- nearly from one end of the green to the other -- he stepped up and hit a marvelous shot.



It was putts like that that kept Schwartzel in the hunt with the holes winding down Sunday in the final round of the Valspar Championship.

Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed and Sean O'Hair prepare for a playoff at the 2015 Valspar Championship.

In case anyone forgot, last year's final round of the Valspar Championship was, well, exciting to say the least.

Jordan Spieth, the not-yet-No. 1 player in golf, had a putt on 18 to save par and make it into a three-way playoff.

He sinks the putt, of course.

So Spieth, Patrick Reed and Sean O'Hair went to sudden death.

Then these three holes of dramatic golf.



Here's hoping for another thrilling final round at Innisbrook.

Here's some of the highlights from earlier in the week:

Spieth's eagle keeps him in contention

Justin Thomas doesn't need that putter