Golf Buzz

Jason Hamilton
LPGA Tour via YouTube
Jason Hamilton went to great lengths - or should we say heights - to try and recover Lydia Ko's golf ball Thursday at the North Texas Shootout.
Earlier this week, Lydia Ko announced that she would donate her winnings from the North Texas Shootout to the earthquake victims in Nepal. For a little while today, it looked like she might also need to set up a medical fund for her caddie.
For her third shot into the par-4 14th hole, Ko found a large evergreen tree between herself and the green. She thought she could loft a wedge over the tree, but didn't quite hit it hard enough and her ball lodged in a branch high up in the tree.
When it became clear the ball wasn't going to come down on its own, caddie Jason Hamilton leaped – or perhaps we should say climbed – into action. Up the tree he went, and we say up, we mean up.
"Not being able to see it from the ground, I thought I'd better get up there," he said afterward. So he "climbed up and shook the tree as well as I could for about three or four minutes."
Despite his effort, the ball refused to budge. Fortunately for Ko, a rules official declared that, because it was the "unanimous consensus" of those witnessing the shot that the ball was indeed stuck in the tree, then she could go ahead and declare it an unplayable lie instead of a lost ball. 
Both declarations result in a one-stroke penalty, according to the Rules of Golf. But if the ball had been declared lost, she would have had to play her next shot from the spot where she hit her original ball into the tree. By declaring it unplayable, she was able to take relief from the tree.
"I didn't know he was that good at climbing trees," Ko smiled, adding that "it's good to know that my caddie is always there to support me and to do what's best for me."
Hamilton admitted that "it was a little hairy" being so high up in the tree, and said he was "hanging on pretty tight" because he didn't think about how to get down until he was already up there. But he managed to scramble back down to the lowest branch, and then stuck his dismount.
Crazily enough, Hamilton said this wasn't the first time a player he was caddying for had stuck a ball way up in a tree. It happened out in Palm Springs, he said, but it was one of those "spiky palm trees, and I wasn't going up that one."
Good call, Jason, and great job today. Unfortunately, Ko took a triple bogey on the hole en route to a first-round 75.
Here's the video of his arborial excursion:
April 30, 2015 - 9:02am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
USA Today Sports Images
The Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago White Sox played in an empty Camden Yards on Wednesday, so announcer Gary Thorne decided to call an at-bat as if he were calling a shot at the Masters.

In case you missed it on Wednesday, the Baltimore Orioles played the Chicago White Sox in an empty Camden Yards.

Because of the riots in the Charm City, the game was played with no fans allowed. It was a first for Major League Baseball.

The Orioles won the game 8-2, in what can only be described as the strangest situation you'll ever see in the big leagues. I mean, here you had all stars on the field playing in front of a crowd of... nobody.

RELATED: Check out the most hilarious, preposterous golf commercial ever made

In an effort to make the best of the situation, there were some funny happenings.

For starters, White Sox centerfielder Adam Eaton tried to lighten the mood before the game with this tweet:


Then there's this Vine of Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph signing fake autographs for fake fans before the game:


But, from a golf perspective, this was my favorite. Orioles announcer Gary Thorne, playing off the silence of an empty stadium, decided to lower his voice, soften his inflection, and call an at-bat as if he were an announcer at Augusta National during the Masters:


Good stuff.

And, lastly, here's one more tweet from Eaton after the unusual experience:


We agree. All the best to our friends in Baltimore. 

Ben Martin and Matt Kuchar
PGA Tour via YouTube
Ben Martin (left) put Matt Kuchar down to stay with a 243-yard hole-in-one on Wednesday in the Cadillac Match Play.
Ben Martin walked up to the tee box on the 17th hole at Harding Park all square with Matt Kuchar in their first-round match at the Cadillac Match Play Championship. He walked off the tee box 1 up.
How, you ask? Well, Martin aced the 243-yard par-3 hole with a mighty cut of a fairway wood.
Kuchar, for his part, high-fived Martin and went on to birdie the hole himself. Both players parred the 18th,  so the 1-up victory went to the underdog, who entered the week ranked No. 67 in the world and is in the field largely on the strength of his victory at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas last fall. 
Up until this year, Martin's ace would have essentially knocked Kuchar out of the tournament. But under the new format, both live to play again on Thursday and Friday before anyone is eliminated.
The PGA Tour reports that this is Martin's eighth career ace, and comes in his first round in the match-play format since the 209 U.S. Amateur, where he made it all the way to the final before losing.
The hole-in-one is our shot of the day, edging out a Gary Woodland's gorgeous 127-yard hole-out for eagle on the par-4 14th hole. Woodland went on to defeat Jimmy Walker in 19 holes.
Here's Martin's ace, with Woodland's eagle below:
April 29, 2015 - 11:38am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture

On Friday, May 1, at 10 a.m., the PGA of America will pay a visit to Kiawah Island Resort in South Carolina to make a major golf announcement.

You can follow the announcement live, right here on

Previously, Kiawah Island's Ocean Course has played host to the 1991 Ryder Cup, 2005 PGA Professional National Championship, 2007 Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, and most recently, the 2012 PGA Championship won by Rory McIlroy.