Golf Buzz

March 27, 2014 - 8:09am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Fila Golf
Fila Golf
Fila Golf's Auckland jacket (for men) and Rockingham (for women) are new for 2014.

New for 2014, Fila Golf has introduced its Auckland and Rockingham Waterproof Performance Jackets.

The men's Auckland jacket ($110) features mesh lamination and a detachable hood, a mockneck with fleece lining, contrasting color collar, as well as shoulder, side seam and under sleeve panels for easy flexibility that won't interfere with your swing.

MORE: Visit's extensive equipment page | Equipment Buzz

Other features include a technical zipper front, self-adjustable sleeve closure with Velcro, two hip pockets with technical zippers, security pocket, shock cord and drawstring with plastic toggles, FILA linear logo embroidered tonal on right back shoulder and extended sport hem.

The Auckland comes in four colors: Silver / Atomic Orange; Black / Viva Red; Black / Silver; and Viva Red / Silver.

It's a jacket that's not only perfect for the golf course, but also for off the course.

Put to the test on a recent trip to the range on a chilly day, the Auckland jacket provided all the warmth you'd need without restricting your swing. The sport hem ensures that the jacket remains close to your body, staying away from your hands at address.

For women, the Rockingham jacket ($110) includes all the same features and waterproof performance of the men's Auckland and is also available in four colors: Silver / Atomic Orange; Black / Viva Red; Black / Silver; and Viva Red / Silver.

To learn more about Fila Golf's Auckland and Rockingham jackets and more offerings for 2014, visit:

March 27, 2014 - 7:29am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Gary Player
Gary Player, long regarded as the best bunker player who ever lived, showed a small crowd at Pinehurst recently why that's the case.

Nine-time major champion Gary Player paid a visit to Pinehurst Resort recently.

While he was there, the 78-year-old Player made his way over to Maniac Hill -- the practice area at the resort -- and jumped in to one of the many bunkers. Throughout his illustrious career, Player built a reputation as arguably the best bunker player who ever lived.

WATCH: Incredible trick-shot compilation by the Bryan brothers

With a small crowd assembled, Player drove that point home. Player splashed a shot out of the bunker and -- when the ball is barely halfway to the hole -- he repeats, "There it is," four times before the ball drops in the hole.

Pretty cool. Check it out for yourself.

h/t to @PinehurstResort.

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


March 26, 2014 - 6:06pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Tom Watson and Nick Faldo
Getty Images
Tom Watson and Nick Faldo, both former winners at the RBC Heritage, will tee it up again next month after several years away.
U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson is focused on keeping a close eye on the PGA Tour players who are candidates to make his squad for Gleneagles in September. He'll get to take an extra-close look at some of them next month when he plays the RBC Heritage on Hilton Head Island, S.C.
The RBC Heritage announced Wednesday that Watson and his fellow World Golf Hall of Famer Nick Faldo will be in the field at the popular event the week after the Masters.
Watson, 63, won at Harbour Town in 1979 and again in 1982, but hasn't played there since 2001. Faldo, 56, won there in 1984 for the first of his nine career PGA Tour wins.
March 26, 2014 - 2:04pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
USA Today Sports Images
Few venues in sport provide more drama and more memorable moments than Augusta National during the week of the Masters.

In an effort to get you excited about the Masters in two weeks (we're kidding -- like we really need to get you excited about the Masters!), we reached out to our 220,000+ friends in Facebook Nation and asked the following question:

What's your favorite Masters moment?

With a course as special as Augusta National -- one that lends itself to guaranteed drama year in and year out -- there were tons of moments to choose from.

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Here's a look at some of the best moments you offered up, along with accompanying video (if we could find it) to help you relive them.

9. Bubba Watson's hook wedge in 2012. Forgetting the fact that this happened in a sudden-death playoff with the Masters on the line, the hook wedge has got to be one of the most difficult shots in golf to pull off. But, from the pine straw right of the 10th fairway, that's exactly what the lefty did to set up the victory.

8. Louis Oosthuizen's albatross on the second hole in the final round of the 2012 Masters. Oosthuizen would come up short in the playoff with Bubba Watson, but he'll never forget this albatross on the par-5 second hole that made him one of just four players in Masters history to record a rare 2 on a par 5.

7. Larry Mize's playoff-winning chip in 1987. It doesn't get much sweeter than this. Mize, an Augusta native, put a dagger through the heart of Greg Norman when -- on the par-4 11th hole, the second hole of a playoff that also included Seve Ballesteros (Ballesteros was eliminated on the first playoff hole) -- Mize holed a pitch shot for birdie. It wasn't a walk-off win as Norman still had a chance to match the birdie, but when the Aussie failed to do that, Mize slipped in to the green jacket.

6. Ben Crenshaw's win in 1995. This, the second of Crenshaw's two Masters wins, was extra special. Just days before, Crenshaw helped lay to rest his instructor, the legendary Harvey Penick. Crenshaw played with a heavy heart all week and said the thought of Penick served as his "15th club" throughout the tournament.

5. The birdie chip on the par-3 16th hole by Tiger Woods in 2005. The imagination Woods displayed on this shot was incredible. Sure, many before him and many after him, have faced this situation, relying on the backstop on the 16th green to help suck the ball back down to the front-left, Sunday hole position. But Woods perfected it. The ball just died into the hole and he went on to his fourth Masters triumph (and last, to date). The shot elicited this famous call by announcer Verne Lundquist: "Oh wow! In your life have you ever seen anything like that?"

4. Phil Mickelson's "threading of the needle from the pine needles" shot on the 13th hole in the final round of the 2010 Masters. There's no bigger risk taker in golf today than Mickelson and he proved that yet again with this doozy in 2010. What would have been a "chip it back into play" shot for most turned out to be a career highlight for Mickelson. He hit the ball between two trees and knocked it to within five feet of the hole. Mickelson didn't convert the eagle putt, but settled for birdie and went on to win the Masters for the third time.

3. Arnold Palmer wins the 1960 Masters. Before we had Mickelson, Arnie was the man who invented throwing in all the blue chips with every shot on the golf course. In 1960 at Augusta National, Palmer became the first player to birdie each of the final two holes to win. It was the second of Palmer's four Masters wins.

2. Tiger Woods wins the 1997 Masters. This is the win that really -- I mean really -- put Tiger on the map. The first of his 14 major victories, Tiger crushed the field by a record 12 strokes in becoming the youngest player ever to win the tournament at age 21.

1. Jack Nicklaus's putt on No. 17 in 1986. Many argue this was the greatest Masters of all time. This birdie putt on No. 17 pretty much sealed the deal for Nicklaus, who became the oldest player to win the Masters at age 46. It was his sixth Masters overall, which remains two better than anyone else.

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


March 26, 2014 - 10:24am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Bryan brothers
George and Wesley Bryan might just be the best golf, trick-shot artists in the world.

Trick-shot videos by the Bryan brothers -- George and Wesley -- have been popping up on golf sites these last few weeks almost as often as stories about the ailing back of Tiger Woods.

Well, folks, the Bryan Bros. are at it again. Today we bring you a compilation video of several unbelievable trick shots that you absolutely, positively, 100 percent must see to believe.

Here you go:

How's your mind? Blown?

As our own John Holmes explained last week, the Bryan brothers have been immersed in golf since childhood.

Wrote Holmes:

They were essentially raised at the Chapin, S.C., golf academy run by their father, PGA Professional George Bryan III. They started taking lessons from prominent PGA instructor Mike Bender at about the time they began elementary school, and both went on to star at the University of South Carolina.

Listen -- I don't care how long you've been involved in the game. These trick shots by the Bryan brothers are downright crazy. They need their own traveling show.

Like the rest of you I'm sure, I can't wait for the next one.

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


March 26, 2014 - 8:21am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Zach Johnson
USA Today Sports Images
The Valero Texas Open field is loaded with former major champions, including Zach Johnson.

This week's Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio is the first of two events left before the Masters. There had been a long-running trend of players taking weeks off before major championship play, but that seems to be fading.

Phil Mickelson, in fact, is in the field this week. It's the first time he's played in the Texas Open in over two decades.

RELATED: Photos from the Valero Texas Open & more | Valero Texas Open tee times

With a solid fan on hand in the Lone Star State, here are five players to watch out for.

5. Freddie Jacobson
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
T9 at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
Reason to watch: In his last three starts, Jacobson has finished T12, T20 and T10. Something is clicking in his game at the moment and that bodes well for the Swede as he heads to TPC San Antonio, where he finished second in 2010 to go along with two other top 5s.

4. Phil Mickelson
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
T14 in the WGC-HSBC Champions
Reason to watch: In seven starts this season, Mickelson has yet to record a top-10 finish. The last time Mickelson went that long a stretch to start a season without a top-10 was in 1992, when he finished runner-up in his ninth start at the New England Classic. It should be noted that was also his first season on the PGA Tour. For Mickelson -- we imagine -- all eyes are on Augusta National and the Masters. This is a tune up to shake off some rust and get things going. We expect him to get things going here.

3. Ben Curtis
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
T32 at The McGladrey Classic
Reason to watch: I wanted to pick a dark horse this week and Curtis fits the bill -- especially since he won the tournament in 2012. He hasn't done anything special so far this season and is need of some good vibes. What better place to find those good vibes than at a place where you've had past success?

2. Zach Johnson
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
Won the Hyundai Tournament of Champions
Reason to watch: He's cooled off a touch since winning at Kapalua, but that was bound to happen as he rode that momentum to a T8 and a T3 in his next two starts. Johnson is a former two-time winner of the Valero Texas Open (2008-09), but those wins came when the tournament was played at La Cantera Golf Club. Even still, Johnson's record in the state of Texas is remarkable. Along with those two Texas Open wins, he's also won the Colonial twice. For some reason, Texas brings out the best in Johnson.

1. Jimmy Walker
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
Won the Open, Sony Open in Hawaii and the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
Reason to watch: Walker has been -- hands down -- the best player on the PGA Tour this season. Along with his Tour-leading three victories, he's also racked up six other top-25 finishes. I like Walker this week for a couple of reasons. First, and most obvious, there's been no one better lately. But secondly, he's had some success at TPC San Antonio. He tied for third there in 2010. It would be incredible for Walker to have four wins before the Masters, but with the way he's been playing it's not out of the realm of possibility.

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