Golf Buzz

Patrick Reed
USA Today Images
Patrick Reed's birdie at No. 5 moved him into a tie with Ian Poulter at the Honda Open.

How fast can a three-shot deficit (or lead) get wiped out on the PGA Tour? Faster than you can say "birdie, double-bogey."

Ian Poulter was seemingly in cruise control early in Sunday's final round at PGA National, while Patrick Reed -- three shots back -- was struggling just to stay in contention.

But on the par-3 fifth hole, the unthinkable happened for Poulter:




Then Reed followed shortly thereafter with this clutch birdie putt from off the green:



When Poulter two-putted after taking a drop, suddenly the two were tied.

Three holes earlier, Reed was faced with an awkward shot in a muddy lie, but pulled off a perfect recovery, splitting two palm trees and winding up on the green, a shot that allowed him to salvage par and stay within striking distance of the leader.



Poulter promptly dumped his tee shot on the sixth hole in the water -- this time with a hook. He had to settle for bogey and trailed Reed by one stroke, giving up four shots over a two-hole span.

However, Reed returned the favor on No. 7 when he missed a short par putt and Poulter drained his birdie putt -- a two-shot swing in the other direction.

And when the horn sounded suspending play because of darkness, Poulter was back on top -- although tied now with Paul Casey -- with Reed one shot back, setting up what should be a whale of a final 11 holes Monday morning at PGA National.

Ian Poulter
PGA Tour via YouTube
Ian Poulter knocked in a long eagle shot a hole after his caddie shooed away a duck.
The combination of wind and rain at the Honda Classic today have certainly reduced the chances for eye-popping shots. We’ve seen a couple of nice putts and some decent recovery shots, but nothing as entertaining as Sergio Garcia smashing a fully submerged ball out of a lake and back into the fairway.
Given the conditions, Ian Poulter's wedge shot from 166 yards out on the par-4 fourth hole at PGA National really stood out. His shot hit the green bounced a few times and scooted just by the right edge of the  cup – then, for a few extra style points, it backed up, over and in. 
Perhaps coincidentally, Poulter's caddie had shooed a wayward duck away from his ball in the middle of the fairway on the par-5 third hole. Poulter went on to birdie that hole, then made his eagle and birdied the fourth. So you could argue that a duck cleared the way for Poulter's birdie-eagle-birdie stretch.
Or maybe you couldn't argue that. Either way, here's Poulter's eagle:
Peter Sagan
Tinkoff Saxo via YouTube
If you follow the Tour de France or some of the world's other elite cycling events, you're probably familiar with Peter Sagan. The 25-year-old from Slovakia has become one of the sport's great sprinters, and owns several race wins and individual stage victories thanks to his speed on the bike.
He's pedaling a lot slower in a video just posted by his Tinkoff Saxo team – because he's playing "bike golf." He and a teammate, during their "spring training" in Sicily last month, played a little golf by flicking golf balls toward the cup with their bike tires.
I have to admit I seized up a little bit when I first saw the riders pedaling so close to the flagstick – as someone who worked on a golf course in my teens, I still react strongly to any cuts or bruises on the putting surface. But seeing as how both players are on bikes, I guess maybe it's okay – though I’m glad that's not my home course they're using.
You see the "bike golf" video below. You can click here to see a video of Sagan's 2014 highlights (cycling, not golf) and click here for more on Sagan's Tinkoff Saxo squad.
Sergio Garcia
PGA Tour via YouTube
Sergio Garcia's splashy shot on Thursday might have just salvaged his round.
Sergio Garcia hasn't won the PGA Tour yet this season, but he's sure hit some memorable shots. Just last Saturday, he pulled off an unreal sand save in the third round of the Northern Trust Open. Then on Sunday, he followed it up with a clutch slam-dunk chip-in from the heavy rough at Riviera.
And today, on the par-5 18th hole (his ninth hole of the day) in his first round at the Honda Classic, he did it again.
Garcia's drive took a wicked hop into the water on the right side of the fairway. The ball wound up only a foot or two from dry land, but was completely underwater. 
In that situation, the smart play is to just take your medicine because making solid contact with a ball that's underwater – even if your feet are still on dry land – is a low-percentage play. Advancing it is even less likely.
Garcia, however, was unfazed. He surveyed the situation, put on his rain gear, and took a mighty swing – and not only got the ball out but got it back into the fairway. From there, he went on to make a most amazing par.
Garcia's aquatic adventure seemed to have turned his round around as well. He was 4 over through his first eight holes and was coming off a bogey on the par-3 17th. But after his par save, he carded three birdies and a bogey on his second nine for a respectable 72.
Here's his shot:
Billy Hamilton and Bubba Watson
Billy Hamilton via Twitter
Cincinnati Reds speedster and Bubba Watson met at Reds spring training - in the laundry room, apparently! - where Hamilton gave Watson an autographed bat.
As the brand-new owner of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, Bubba Watson is spending sometime this week at Spring Training. Specifically, he's been down in Goodyear, Arizona, where the Cincinnati Reds —the parent club of his AA team – are getting ready for the 2015 Major League Baseball season.
Like many Reds fans, Watson had his eye out for outfielder Billy Hamilton. But Bubba wasn't just scouting the Cincinnati speed merchant – he challenged him to a race around the bases. With just one little tweak.
"I said, 'I start at second base and he starts at home,' and in the clubhouse, he said he could still beat me," Watson explained to "I said, 'There's no chance.' But they're not letting him run right now. They want him to stay healthy, I guess."
As a consolation, Watson got a bat autographed by Hamilton – a former Blue Wahoo, by the way. Hamilton inscribed it to "the fastest man I know," and Watson carried it with him as he toured the Reds' complex.
So how would the great race have turned out? Well, we've never clocked Bubba on the run, but we do know that Hamilton collected 56 steals for the Reds last season and racked up an all-time record of 155 steals during the 2012 season, in which he played in both the majors and minors.
According to Hamilton has been clocked at 13.76 seconds for an inside-the-park homer during his minor league days. Could Bubba chug from second to home that fast? We don't know, but we kinda like's suggestion – that maybe he could take his hovercraft.
Here's an interview with Watson at camp: