Golf Buzz

October 29, 2013 - 9:02am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bobby Jones
PGA of America Archive
The U.S. Amateur Trophy won by Bobby Jones to complete the Grand Slam in 1930 is one of the items a ninja thief has stolen.

There's a thief on the loose who has a taste for significant sporting trophies. And, the thief in question, dresses like a ninja -- swaddled from head to toe.

Yes, a ninja.

The New York Times reports:

His method was neither high-tech nor elegant -- he kicked in doors and smashed glass cases. But his taste was impeccable, and sporting: his haul included the 1903 Belmont Stakes trophy, a silver Fabergé soup tureen and ladle given by Czar Nicholas II of Russia to an American harness horse impresario and the United States Amateur Championship trophy that completed golfer Bobby Jones's Grand Slam in 1930.

Along with the U.S. Amateur Trophy, the ninja thief also made off with the Hickok Belt Ben Hogan received in 1953 as the nation's top professional athlete.

The report says that this thief first came to the attention of authorities in New Jersey in May 2012 when Somerset Hills Country Club reported trophies had been taken from its clubhouse.

Just one week later, the ninja thief broke into the USGA Museum for the golf score.

"We don't discuss value, but we consider it significant," Joe Goode, a spokesman for the United States Golf Association, said of the belt. "And the U.S. Am Trophy is priceless, as it dates back to 1926 and was the trophy that completed Jones’s Grand Slam in 1930."

So far, the elusive ninja is still on the loose.

As far as we know, the suspect wasn't this golf ninja:



Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.


October 28, 2013 - 10:41pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
EA Sports PGA Tour 2015 golf game
EA Sports
EA Sports says it is working with the PGA Tour "on a new approach'' for future games.

The ''Tiger Woods PGA Tour'' golf game series from EA Sports has been a consistent best-seller for almost a decade and a half, but the company announced on Monday that it and the superstar golfer are going their separate ways.

EA Sports and Woods have made ''a mutual decision to end our partnership, which includes Tiger's named PGA Tour golf game,'' the company said on its official blog. ''We've always been big fans of Tiger and we wish him continued success in all his future endeavors.''

EA Sports gave no reason for the split, and the Woods camp didn't issue any comment, either. However, the end of the partnership doesn't mean the end of EA Sports' presence in the golf game arena. Moving forward, the company will ''continue to work with the PGA Tour exclusively to create groundbreaking golfing titles,'' it said, stressing that their partnership remains strong.

TIGER TAMED: McIlroy tops Woods for second straight year in China exhibition

The company hinted that it is ''working on a new approach'' for future games, responding to gamers' request for ''more choice and customization in how and where they play.'' Without providing any details about future releases, EA Sports said ''we think you'll love it.''

The photo above is the first screenshot of EA Sports' next-generation golf game currently in development. 

The current ''Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14,'' which became available last spring, includes several breakthroughs, including a Legends of the Majors mode that allows players to compete against greats like Jack Nicklaus and Bobby Jones. With the end of the partnship, 2014 will mark the first year since 1999 that EA will not publish a Tiger Woods golf game.


October 28, 2013 - 11:06am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture

Long greenside bunker shots -- even the most seasoned of PGA Tour veterans will tell you that the 30-60-yard bunker shot is among the most difficult to hit in golf.

Fear not, friends. In today's golf tip, PGA Professional Bill Murchison offers up some great advice to ensure that this particular shot doesn't need to be nearly as daunting as you make it out to be.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.


October 28, 2013 - 10:53am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Lydia Ko
Getty Images
Lydia Ko, 16, will be a full member of the LPGA for the 2014 season.

A couple of weeks back, we learned it was only a matter of time before 16-year-old New Zealand golf prodigy Lydia Ko would join the professional ranks.

Then, last week, Ko released a fantastic video making her jump to professional golf official.

The only question left was: Would Ko -- a two-time winner on the LPGA Tour -- be granted membership to the tour?

RELATED: Lydia Ko helps launch latest iPhone in New Zealand

The LPGA requires its members be at least 18 years old.

Golf Channel's Randell Mell explained in a report: "As a non-member winner of a tour event, Ko is entitled to claim tour membership. She could seek to claim immediate membership for the rest of 2013 and through 2014. Or, she could defer membership to next year. However, Ko can’t do either without first obtaining a waiver of the tour’s age restriction. LPGA commissioner Mike Whan holds the power to grant or deny such petitions."

Well, Ko applied for the waiver and the waiver was granted. She will be a LPGA member beginning with the 2014 season

"This decision ensures that Lydia can attend all of our LPGA rookie development sessions that take place in the early part of the year," LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan said in a release. "We are looking forward to having Lydia as a full-time member for the 2014 season. It is not often that the LPGA welcomes a rookie who is already a back-to-back LPGA tour champion."

Ko is expected to make her professional debut at the CME Group Titleholders next month.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.


October 28, 2013 - 9:43am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Tiger Woods
Getty Images
On Monday, Tiger Woods made his first public comments about Brandel Chamblee's cheating insinuation in a recent column.

In an Associated Press report on Monday, Tiger Woods said he was ready to move on from Brandel Chamblee's insinuation of cheating in a column posted two weeks ago and added that it was up to Golf Channel -- Chamblee's primary employer -- to decide what would happen next.

In the column, Chamblee gave Woods a grade of "F" for his 2013 season, writing that Woods was, "a little cavalier with the rules."

READ: Rory McIlrory edges Tiger Woods by one shot in 18-hole exhibition

"All I am going to say is that I know I am going forward," Woods said in the AP report, before his exhibition match with Rory McIlroy at Mission Hills. "But then, I don't know what the Golf Channel is going to do or not. But then that's up to them. The whole issue has been very disappointing as he didn't really apologize and he sort of reignited the whole situation.

"So the ball really is in the court of the Golf Channel and what they are prepared to do."

After the piece was published, the longtime agent of Woods -- Mark Steinberg -- suggested he might pursue legal action against Chamblee for the insinuation that Woods was a cheater.

In Monday's report, Steinberg said, "I'm all done talking about it and it's now in the hands of the Golf Channel. That's Tiger's view and that's mine, and all we want to do is move forward. And whether the Golf Channel moves forward as well, then we'll have to wait and see."

Chamblee sent out a series of tweets last week to address the situation, "I want to apologize to Tiger for this incited discourse," and that "I was not asked to apologize." He also said his "intention was to note Tiger's rules infractions this year, but comparing that to cheating in grade school went too far."

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.


October 28, 2013 - 9:14am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Ryan Moore
Getty Images
Ryan Moore (left) is congratulated by Gary Woodland after winning on the first hole of a sudden death playoff in Malaysia on Monday.

Ryan Moore won the CIMB Classic on Monday, edging out Gary Woodland on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff with a birdie.

The tournament -- the third on the PGA Tour’s new wraparound schedule -- was played in Malaysia. There were two significant weather delays in Sunday’s final round, which meant there wasn’t enough daylight to contest the playoff that evening. Moore and Woodland – both looking for respective win No. 3 on the PGA Tour -- returned Monday morning (primetime Sunday evening for those on the east coast of the U.S.) -- to play the lone hole of the playoff.

The victory was Moore’s first since the 2012 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

MORE: Final CIMB Classic leaderboard | Final recap | Your favorite golf games to play

Here’s a look at the highlights from Monday’s playoff:



The PGA Tour moves to Shanghai, China this week for the World Golf Championships- HSBC Champions.

And now, on to more golf...

EXHIBITION GOLF: For the second consecutive year, Rory McIlroy defeated world No. 1 Tiger Woods in an 18-hole exhibition match in China. McIlroy fired a 6-under 66 at Mission Hills on Monday, one shot better than the 67 by Woods. Also: Tiger comments on Brandel Chamblee.

EUROPEAN TOUR: The finish wasn’t pretty -- a knee-knocker of a double bogey on the 72nd hole -- but it was good enough for Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano to win the BMW Masters in Shanghai on Sunday. Fernandez-Castano had a three-shot advantage when he teed it up on the final hole, but struggled mightily on the last before closing out the win… In other news from the BMW Masters, England’s Simon Dyson was disqualified Saturday morning after video surfaced of the player seemingly touching his putting line by tapping down a spike mark with his golf ball.

Here’s video footage of the infraction:



Like the PGA Tour, the European Tour is in Shanghai this week for the co-sanctioned HSBC Champions.

LPGA TOUR: There’s no hotter player in the ladies game right now than Suzann Pettersen. Pettersen successfully defended the Sunrise Championship in Taiwan Sunday. It was her fourth win on the LPGA Tour this season and her third victory in her last five starts. The Norwegian star closed with a 3-under 69 for a five-stroke victory over Solheim Cup teammate Azahara Munoz. The LPGA Tour takes a short break before teeing off the Mizuno Classic on Nov. 8.

CHAMPIONS TOUR: Kenny Perry made a 10-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff with Bernhard Langer on Sunday to win the Champions Tour's AT&T Championship. The victory was the third of the year for Perry, who is No. 1 in the Charles Schwab Cup standings. Perry and Langer each shot 5-under 67 at TPC San Antonio's AT&T Canyons Course to finish regulation at 13-under 203. Perry dramatically saved par on the final hole of regulation when he holed an 18-foot putt. The Champions Tour moves on to TPC Harding Park in San Francisco this week for the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship.

AMATEUR GOLF: Chang-woo Lee of South Korea won the Asia-Pacific Amateur by three shots Sunday to earn a trip to the Masters in April. The winner of the Asia-Pacific Amateur gets an invitation to the Masters and is exempt until the final qualifying stage for the British Open. Hasegawa also gets into final qualifying for the British Open. Defending champion Tianlang Guan, who turned 15 last week, shot 73 and finished eight shots behind.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.