Golf Buzz

August 26, 2013 - 10:25pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Mallory Blackwelder and Julien Trudeau
Mallory Blackwelder via Twitter
Mallory Blackwelder took to Twitter on Monday to announce her engagement to fellow "Big Break Ireland" participant Julien Trudeau – and, of course show off her new rock.

All you romantics out there who have faithfully endured season after season of ''The Bachelor'' and ''The Bachelorette'' with the hope of seeing true love blossom, listen up. You've been watching the wrong show. You shoulda been tuning into ''The Big Break'' instead.

The Golf Channel's flagship reality show produced its first engagement (at least as far as I know) on Monday when Mallory Blackwelder and Julien Trudeau announced their betrothal on social media. The two met when both participated in ''Big Break Ireland'' back in 2011. Neither won, though Trudeau made it to the final, and Blackwelder will appear again this fall on the latest installment, called ''Big Break NFL.''

''So happy to be able to say that @Jules_Trudeau and I are ENGAGED!!!!,'' Blackwelder tweeted. ''I am the happiest girl in the world!''

Being a guy, Trudeau was a little more laid back, tweeting that ''As far as 24-hour stretches go, the last one was decent.''

Yeah, no kidding, Jules.

Since his appearance on the show, Trudeau has gone on to become the caddie for fellow Canadian Graham DeLaet, who this year has become a serious contender on the PGA Tour – DeLaet tied for second, one shot behind winner Adam Scott, on Sunday at The Barclays.

It's Blackwelder, though, who has the real golf pedigree – her mother is former LPGA Tour player Myra Blackwelder and her father is Worth Blackwelder, a longtime professional caddie who is currently on Cristie Kerr's bag. Mallory, trying to follow in her mother's career, is playing on the Symetra Tour this season.

The fiancé and fiancée have disclosed few details about their upcoming nuptials, but Blackwelder made one thing clear. ''I'll be a Trudeau in life but stay Blackwelder for golf,'' she tweeted.

OK, now I'm confused – I thought golf was life?! Oh well, no matter. Congrats to the happy couple.


August 26, 2013 - 3:03pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Datrek Lite Rider golf bag
Courtesy of Datrek
The Datrek Lite Rider cart bag has seven pockets that are all easily accessible when the bag is on a cart.

One of the hottest recent trends in golf equipment is the rising popularity of putters with oversized grips. Datrek Golf has responded to this development in its new Lite Rider bag, which contains an expanded putter well designed to handle those extra-big grips.

The Lite Rider, part of Datrek's 2014 line-up, is designated as a cart bag. But as it weighs in at a mere 4.7 pounds, it could easily double as a carry bag. And as we've come to expect from Datrek, it also includes a 14-way organizer top and the IDS (Individual Divider System) to keep your clubs from banging around while the bag's in motion.

Made of durable nylon fabric, the Lite Rider has seven pockets that are all easily accessible when the bag is on a cart. The pockets include two oversized apparel pockets, a large ball pocket, a fleece-lined valuable pocket and an oversized insulated cooler pocket.  

The Lite Rider has two soft-grip lift assist handles for easier loading and carrying, along with a Velcro glove holder and holders for tees, a divot tool, a pen and an umbrella. The bag's bottom has rubberized feet for added stability on a riding or push cart.

The Lite Rider is available in seven color combinations: white/black, white/red, black/charcoal, black/red, black/royal and charcoal/pink and navy/lime. The suggested retail is $169.95 and it will be available in golf shops and golf specialty stores on Oct. 15.


August 26, 2013 - 1:12pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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This ace earned a man named Jeff Barton $1 million.
Our friends at have the story, with video, of a gentleman named Jeff Barton, who became $1 million richer last Thursday thanks to a timely hole-in-one.
I know what you're thinking -- since when is a hole-in-one not timely?
Never, I suppose, but it's certainly more timely than usual when there's a $1 million prize on the line.
Barton teed off on the ninth hole at the Corley's Albuquerque Lincoln Volvo Golf Tournament on Thursday in New Mexico with the hopes of sinking a hole-in-one and winning a million bucks. He did just that. 
And the somewhat sizable crowd goes wild in a sensible manner!
Bob's Blitz spots the one video that proves a day of golf isn't always comprised of balls lost in the lake or putts missed from five feet out. 
No, sometimes golf can be pretty darn great. 
According to the report, this annual tournament hosted by East Mountain High School in Sandia Park, N.M., took place at Paa-ko Ridge Golf Club. The $125 entry fee seems like a good chunk of change to enter a tourney, but you also get the chance to win either a Lincoln MKZ Hybrid or $1 million.  
... According to East Mountain High website, the odds of Barton's feat were 12,500 to 1 and the $1 million prize money is covered by an insurance policy.
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
August 25, 2013 - 8:22pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Tiger Woods at The Barclays
Getty Images
Tiger Woods said his back spasmed "big time" at The Barclays on Sunday.

Tiger Woods has played significant portions of his career dealing with injuries – you could argue that his ''one-legged'' playoff victory in the 2008 U.S. Open is one of his greatest moments. Even so, it was a little bit shocking to see Tiger go the ground when his back spasmed on the 13th hole of the final round of The Barclays on Sunday.

As you can see in the photo above – and as you might have seen on TV – Woods took a cut and, as Associated Press Golf Writer Doug Ferguson described it, ''hooked a fairway metal so far left that it landed in a swamp on the other side of the 15th fairway. Woods dropped to all fours in pain before slowly getting up.''

Woods also bogeyed the 15th hole, then, as Ferguson said, ''gamely fought back with birdies on the 16th and 17th holes to get within one.'' 

Needing one final birdie to get into a playoff with Adam Scott, Woods' putt from off the 18th green came up just short.

Woods battled stiffness in his lower back all week, which he attributed to a soft bed in his hotel room, said Ferguson, who noted that this was the second straight year Woods has had back issues from a mattress at The Barclays. TV viewers often saw Woods wincing in pain and trying to stretch his back throughout the tournament, but nothing seemed serious until his incident on the 13th hole.

After his round, Woods said that his spasming actually began on his tee shot in the 12th hole, and ''13 just kind of accentuated it.''  

When asked if his problem was a back spasm, he replied, ''Oh, yeah, big time. It's definitely spasming.''

Woods said he ''felt great'' Sunday until that tee shot on the 12th hole. ''I was perfectly fine,'' he said. ''I was playing pretty good, and I was hanging right there.''

The next FedExCup playoff event, the Deutsche Bank Championship outside of Boston, is a big supporter of the Tiger Woods Foundation, but Woods didn't sound sure that he'd play. When asked Sunday afternoon, he said, ''That's all hypothetical right now. I just got off and I'm not feeling my best right now.''

By tying for second at The Barclays, Woods keeps his No. 1 playoff seed. After the Deutsche Bank Championship, the PGA Tour has an open week before the BMW Championship Sept. 12-15 in Lake Forest, Ill., followed by the season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta on Sept. 19-22.


August 23, 2013 - 6:21pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Kenny Perry's Adams Golf driver
Courtesy of Adams Golf
Kenny Perry's Adams Super LS driver was reassembled by Adams Golf technician Scott Kraul.

The life of a tour pro might sound glamorous, but if you follow some of them on social media you quickly realize that they endure the same hassles as the rest of us (except for those lucky dogs who fly private all the time). Flight delays, cancellations and lost luggage happen to most of them at some point and, as is often the case, these problems always seem to happen at the worst possible times.

Mostly, the inconveniences are just that – inconvenient. Occasionally, though, they become truly problematic. That's the situation Kenny Perry finds himself in this week. He and his luggage made it from central New York to Seattle for the Boeing Classic, but somewhere along the way the shaft of his Adams driver was snapped right where the hosel meets the head.

This wasn't just any driver, either – it's ''the one I won all of my tournaments with this year,'' Perry told The Seattle Times after he discovered the broken big stick in his bag. ''It broke the head right off the shaft.''

Perry was upset, needless to say, in large part because he attributes much of his success this season to his driving prowess. And he has been quite successful – he won two senior majors – the U.S. Senior Open and the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship in back-to-back starts. He's amassed nine top-10 finishes in 13 starts this season, and is dominating the Charles Schwab Cup points list.

Adams Golf technicians on-site at TPC Snoqualmie were able to get Perry squared away, reshafting his Super LS 10.5-degree driver with a UST Mamiya VTS silver 60g X flex shaft. Now, it's up to Perry to get the confidence in his driving game back.

''I've been bombing it,'' Perry told the newspaper. ''I've been taking advantage of all the short holes and the par 5s. But that's the only driver I've used all year.''

The irony in this situation is that Perry, like many Adams staff players, is sponsored by Southwest Airlines. His clubs were in a Southwest Airlines-festooned bag – and the big break occurred while Perry was flying Delta.


August 22, 2013 - 8:51pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Dave Stockton
Montana Pritchard/The PGA of America
Two-time PGA Championship winner Dave Stockton will share his insights on putters with Nike Golf.

No one has been more in demand than Dave Stockton as a short-game instructor in recent years. Now, he's getting a chance to influence flatsticks as well as those who use them.

Stockton has signed on with Nike Golf, where he will assist in product development and design – specifically in the realm of putters. 

''I'm thrilled to be a part of what I believe is one of the most innovative brands in sports,'' said Stockton. ''I look forward to sharing my putter insights with Nike engineers so they can continue to create amazing product that help golfers putt better.''  

Stockton, who received the 2012 Distinguished Service Award from The PGA of America, already serves as putting instructor for some of golf's biggest names, including Nike Golf staff players Rory McIlroy and Suzann Pettersen. His list of students, past and present, also includes Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Matt Kuchar, Morgan Pressel, Annika Sorenstam and Yani Tseng. 

He runs his own golf instruction program, Stockton Golf, with his two sons, Ron and Dave Jr. His book, ''Unconscious Putting,'' quickly became a best-seller after its 2011 release, and he followed it up with a sequel, ''Unconscious Scoring,'' earlier this year. He won the PGA Championship in 1970 and 1976, along with nine other PGA Tour titles and 14 Champions Tour victories, played on four victorious U.S. Ryder Cup teams, and captained the 1991 Ryder Cup team to victory.