Golf Buzz

Maverick Steiner
Despite dealing with autism and Congenital Bone Marrow Transplant Syndrome, Maverick Steiner has become an enthusiastic golfer.
About six months ago, five-year-old Maverick Steiner asked his parents if he could give golf a try.
His parents, to put it mildly, were surprised. Their son, diagnosed with autism, tended to keep to himself. He also deals with Congenital Bone Marrow Transplant Syndrome, has issues with his hands and left forearm, and has spent much of his life in and out of hospitals.
The family had played miniature golf once or twice, but Maverick's request seemingly out of nowhere. Even so, they took him out to a range – and a golfer was born.
"It's quite amazing how much he has transformed," his mother, Monique Steiner, told WTSP-TV in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.
Maverick has become a regular at the First Tee of Tampa Bay, where, according to the TV piece, "he squeals with delight after hitting each shot. The kid who was quiet and reserved before golf," it adds, has turned into a chatty golf-lover." 
He's also making some fans, among them Ian Baxter, the executive director of the First Tee of Tampa Bay program. 
"His swing, it's not a lot of moving parts so when he hits it, it's like right down the middle," Baxter said, "and, frankly, I'm a little jealous."
For more on the First Tee program and what your kids can get out of it, click here.
Here's a look at Maverick's story on WTSP-TV:
January 29, 2015 - 2:45pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Paula Creamer
In just her second round of the new LPGA season, Paula Creamer recorded the Tour's first ace of 2015.

Life couldn't be much better for Paula Creamer these days.

The 28-year-old, 2010 U.S. Women's Open Champion got married in December then took a dream honeymoon to places like Bora Bora and New Zealand.

RELATED: Amateur golfer makes hole-in-one at WMPO Pro-Am

This week she's back to work in Ocala, Fla., for the LPGA's season-opening Coates Golf Championship.

In Thursday's second round, Creamer proved that while she enjoyed some time away from the golf course lately, her game didn't suffer.

Playing the 162-yard sixth hole at Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club, Creamer took a sweet swing with a 5-iron that found the bottom of the cup for a hole-in-one:


After the ace, Creamer had a pretty good little celebratory dance too:


The ace put Creamer at 3 under for the round (and the tournament). 

January 29, 2015 - 12:30pm
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T.J. Auclair
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Dave Wood
Dave Wood, an amateur playing in Wednesday's Waste Management Phoenix Open Pro-Am, made the first hole-in-one of his life on TPC Scottsdale's par-3 16th.

Every golfer dreams of making a hole-in-one.

But what about making your very first hole-in-one on the grandest, scariest, arguably most intimidating of par-3 stages in golf -- the par-3 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale with a full house taking in the Waste Management Phoenix Open Pro-Am?

RELATED: Tiger skulls bunker shot on 16 | Phil, Keegan mind games | WMPO scores

Could never happen, right?

Well, it did on Wednesday when amateur Dave Wood turned the trick with a pitching wedge from 147 yards out, playing alongside Kevin Na. Even better? It was caught on tape:

What a shot!

There have only been seven aces on that hole in tournament play since 1990. Jarrod Lyle was the last to do it in 2011:

And, of course, Tiger Woods canned the most famous ace on that hole in 1997:

The only thing we don't envy about this story? Wood's bar tab.

January 29, 2015 - 11:02am
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PGA of America
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PGA of America Statement: "The PGA of America proudly joins KPMG in support of the newly formed Women’s Leadership Summit – an ideal complement to the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. The talented members of this summit’s advisory council are poised to generate momentum that will elevate women’s leadership within our game and throughout the business world." -- Pete Bevacqua, CEO PGA of America

NEW YORK (Jan. 29, 2015) -- KPMG today announced the members of an advisory council comprised of exemplary leaders from across business, sports, and the media who will help guide the seminal KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit. The summit, which will be hosted on-site during the week of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in June 2015, will serve as a galvanizing force to bring many of today’s most accomplished women together to inspire the next generation of women leaders.

“KPMG is deeply committed to doing our part to ensure that more women have opportunities to develop and become leaders in their organizations,” said John Veihmeyer, Global Chairman of KPMG. “This summit is intended to build on that effort and positively impact the number of women in C-suite positions in corporate America in the years to come.

“The distinguished leaders who comprise our advisory council share the same vision and we’re proud that they have all agreed to share their time and energy to collaborate with us on this endeavor and pay it forward to the next generation of women leaders,” added Veihmeyer.

The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship -- created in conjunction with the PGA of America and LPGA -- will develop, advance, and empower women on and off the golf course by bringing together a world-class, annual major golf championship with a women’s leadership summit and an ongoing community initiative.

“The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship will raise the bar for professional golfers by ensuring they play on the best courses, increasing the purse size, and delivering national TV exposure,” said Veihmeyer.

The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship will take place June 8-14, 2015 at the prestigious Westchester Country Club in Rye, New York. It will offer a purse that is among the highest in women’s golf at $3.5 million and be broadcast on NBC and Golf Channel. Additionally, a community initiative – which will be shaped by KPMG’s advisory council – will focus on investing in future generations of women leaders by equipping them with leadership skills, networks, and added confidence.

“The LPGA Tour has long-needed a major championship like the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship to not only elevate the game of women’s golf through the purse, courses, and national TV coverage, but also to help us connect with other women who are aspiring to accomplish great things in the business community and other arenas,” said Stacy Lewis, the top ranked American Golfer on the LPGA Tour, and a member of the advisory council. “I’m looking forward to working with the advisory council leaders to create programming that will inspire and empower future women leaders.”

The advisory council members include:

1. Roberta Bowman – Retired Executive, Duke Energy; Board Member, LPGA;

2. Lynne Doughtie – Vice Chair, Advisory, KPMG;

3. Candy Duncan – Chair, KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit;

4. Adena Friedman – President, Nasdaq;

5. Dalynn J. Hoch – CFO, Zurich North America, Zurich Insurance Company;

6. Kathy Hopinkah Hannan – National Managing Partner, Corporate Responsibility & Diversity, KPMG;

7. Karen Jennings – Retired Senior Executive Vice President, AT&T; Board Member, LPGA;

8. Michelle Kydd Lee – Chief Innovation Officer, Creative Artists Agency;

9. Stacy Lewis – LPGA Player & KPMG Brand Ambassador, LPGA Tour;

10. Phebe Novakovic – Chairman and CEO, General Dynamics;

11. Donna Orender – CEO, Orender Unlimited; Special Advisor, PGA of America;

12. Dottie Pepper – ESPN Golf Analyst and Reporter; Board Member, PGA of America;

13. Douglas Peterson – President & CEO, McGraw Hill Financial;

14. Elisabeth Sami – Senior Vice President, Strategy & Business Development, NBCUniversal News Group;

15. Molly Solomon – Executive Producer, Golf Channel; Senior Vice President, Production & Operations, NBC Sports Group;

16. Annika Sorenstam – Hall of Fame Golfer and Entrepreneur;

17. John Veihmeyer – Global Chairman, KPMG;

18. Suzy Whaley – Secretary, PGA of America;

19. Maggie Wilderotter – Chairman & CEO, Frontier Communications; and

20. Linda Yaccarino – Chairman, Advertising Sales and Client Partnerships, NBCUniversal.  

January 28, 2015 - 5:03pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Tiger Woods
After a long layoff, even Tiger Woods needs to shake off the rust. Check out this shot he hit on No. 16 at TPC Scottsdale on Wednesday.

You know what it's like when you haven't played in a while.

You need to shake off the rust.

Well, guess what? So does Tiger Woods.

RELATED: WMPO tee times | Tiger Woods in season debuts | Tiger's restored smile

During his practice round on Wednesday at TPC Scottsdale, Woods was faced with a bunker shot and flat-out skulled it.

Check it out for yourself here:


Oh yeah, and the difference between us shaking off the rust and Tiger shaking off the rust? We don't have to do it in front of a packed house on the craziest hole in golf.

That's right -- that shot by Tiger that you just watched happened on No. 16 at TPC Scottsdale.

If he misses the green during the tournament this week, do you think he'll be giving any thought to this shot in the practice round?

Knowing Tiger, probably not. 

UPDATE: Golf Channel's Tiger Tracker is saying Woods hit this shot on purpose. Imagine being so good at the game that you can hit shots like that on purpose?

January 28, 2015 - 4:08pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Madeline Kennedy
Madeline Kennedy, right, was diagnosed with ALS two years ago. Last week at an ALS awareness event, she holed a 78-foot putt on live television.

This might be the best feel-good story you'll see this month -- most certainly this week. had the story of the First Annual Worthington Fore ALS Golf Classic at Worthington Country Club in Bonita Springs, Fla., which kicked off last Tuesday.

Local CBS News affiliate WINK-NEWS was on the scene for the event, where all proceeds go directly to the ALS Therapy Development Institute, the world's first and largest nonprofit biotech focused 100 percent on ALS research.

RELATED: Tiger Woods in season debuts | Mickelson gifted fan Super Bowl tix at '08 Phoenix Open

As the event was getting under way, WINK reporter Andrew Scheinthal interviewed a lady named Madeline Kennedy, one of the event's organizers, who was diagnosed with ALS two years ago and has since lost the ability to walk.

Kennedy was an avid golfer before her diagnosis and continues to play the game thanks to an adaptive golf cart that allows her to stand.

As the interview was winding down, Kennedy wanted to show Scheinthal and viewers that she can still play.

From there, Kennedy proceeded to hit a 78-foot bomb right into the center of the cup.

She even called it when the ball was halfway to the hole, "It's in!"

Here's the video:

What a putt! And on live TV, no less.


If you're interested in donating to the cause, click here.