Golf Buzz

Rickie Fowler and Caleb Watson
Rickie Fowler via Twitter
Caleb Watson doesn't look like he's all into Rickie Fowler's style choices.

Rickie Fowler hit one of the shots of the week – an unlikely flop-shot chip-in for birdie – on Thursday at The Players Championship during his first-round 71, then followed that up with a steady 72 on Friday to enter the weekend tied for 52nd. But he was only getting warmed up.

Fowler, as he so often does, spent the evening with Bubba Watson and his family, and it looks like Bubba and wife Angie might have left him unsupervised a little too long.

First, Fowler shot a little video of Bubba's lifelike driver cover. That wasn't so bad. Then, however, he sat down with Watson's 2-year-old son, Caleb. And, well … you get a pretty good hint in the photo above. Click on the Instagram link in Fowler's tweet to see the whole picture.




Marie Kozjar
Getty Images
Marie Kojzar married Adam Scott about a year after they got back together.

Adam Scott, very likely golf's most eligible bachelor and certainly the favorite of just about every golf-loving woman I know, is off the market. Scott revealed to the Australian Associated Press that he and longtime girlfriend Marie Kojzar got hitched in a private ceremony on April 17 – the Thursday after the Masters.

"It's official," Scott told the AAP. "I am a settled down man and very happy." 

The ceremony took place at Scott's residence in the Bahamas, with only a few friends and family members in attendance. And if you're thinking that you must've missed the engagement announcement – well, there wasn't one. The couple never officially got engaged, Scott said.

"We just decided to get on with it," he explained. "We've known each other long enough, let's go and jump right in the deep end. It was just our family and a few friends and obviously there are a lot of people we would have liked to have had there who weren't but we decided to have a very low key affair. 

MORE WEDDING BELLS: Miguel Angel Jimenez gets married in style

"It was more about not building it up into something too big that may have gotten out of hand," he added. "But it was a fun event for everyone who was there and hopefully we will have fun celebrating with other friends when we catch up with them." 

Kojzar, a 32-year-old architect from Sweden, dated the 33-year-old Scott for several years in the 2000s before they split up for a few years. They reunited last year, Scott said after he won the 2013 Masters – when, you might remember, he turned down a chance to be on "The Bachelor" because he and Kojzar were back together. 

The couple hasn't shared wedding photos yet, but Scott said the ceremony was casual – she wore a "non-traditional" dress, while he wore a suit with bow tie. 

"We dressed up a little bit," he said, "but it was still in the backyard."


May 9, 2014 - 7:46am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rickie Fowler
USA Today Sports Images
Flop shots don't get any better than the one Rickie Fowler pulled off on Thursday at TPC Sawgrass.

The flop shot is one of the most difficult to execute in golf. It requires a full swing, with an open clubface at close range. Chicken out at the last second and you can roll sod over your golf ball.

Get really agressive and miss your spot by mere millimeters? Congratulations. You probably just skulled a wedge and your attempt at a 20-yard shot sailed some 150 yards.

RELATED: Players Championship leaderboard | Kaymer leads after Round 1 | Famous hole-in-three

For years, Phil Mickelson has been the master of the flop shot. On Thursday, in the first round of the Players Championship, Rickie Fowler showed the world he commands the flop shot too.

Fowler got off to a poor start with a double bogey at the first hole. A birdie and a bogey later, he was still 2 over through five holes. Fowler birdied No. 6 and seemed to be gaining momentum, but flew the green with his approach shot at the par-4 seventh hole.

That's when the magic happened. Faced with -- by all counts -- an extremely difficult up and down just to make par, Fowler wowed spectators by executing the perfect flop shot that landed on the green like a feather and rolled into the hole for an unlikely birdie to pull back to even par.

Check it out here:



Fowler finished the round with a 1-under 71 was eight shots behind first-round leader Martin Kaymer.

Check out this video to see how you can learn to play a flop shot:



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


Johnny Manziel
Jason Dufner via Twitter
Jason Dufner was thrilled that his hometown Cleveland Browns drafted Johnny Manziel.
Just about the time the first round of The Players Championship ended on Thursday, the National Football League draft began. And the PGA Tour players were all in – especially when it came to Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.
"Johnny Football" dominated the chatter – both positive and negative – among the tour players throughout the evening, and his eventual selection by the Cleveland Browns brought a big reaction from Cleveland native Jason Dufner.
The Duf most defintely wasn't happy early, when the Browns traded down from No. 4.
"Each year I get excited for the Browns draft day, and each year I watch them trade picks and end up drafting less then 6 players," Dufner tweeted. "Awesome!!!"
Soon thereafter, Dallas resident Hunter Mahan wondered whether Manziel might be headed to Minnesota. 
"I don't think so," replied Billy Horschel. "His style of play doesn't fit with AP [Adrian Peterson] as your running back."
Mahan, however, wasn't convinced. "How many Super Bowls has AP won?," he asked. "They need a QB. He needs Manziel."
"Don't disagree," Horschel replied to Mahan. "But I don't think Manziel is the right QB."
Meanwhile, Ed Loar kicked in a vote for his hometown Cowboys to grab Johnny Football. "Please let Johnny fall to #16," he tweeted. "It'd be awesome to listen to [Dallas sports radio station] @dfwticket if Jerra drafted him!!"
That brought this quick response from another DFW denizen, Paul Stankowski: "That's just mean. Please No!"
All this brought us down to the ninth pick, which Cleveland got from Buffalo.
"You know it, get ready for it!!!," Dufner said, posting a doctored photo of Manziel in a Browns uniform.
Mahan agreed: "Johnny football to Cleveland!!"
The Browns, however, didn't go there. Instead, they selected defensive back Justin Gilbert from Mahan's alma mater, Oklahoma State.
At that point, Horschel tweeted Dufner with a simple: "?????????????????"
Dufner was either flabbergasted or dropped his phone, because there was no immediate response.
Fort Worth resident J.J. Killeen had an answer, though. His tweet: "Browns? #MistakeByTheLake."
Manziel's continuing presence on the draft board brought out some serious anxiety among Cowboys fans who most definitely did not want him in Big D.
SMU product and former U.S. Amateur champion Kelly Kraft pleaded: "Please please someone take Johnny Manziel before Jerry Jones gets the opportunity to do something stupid!"
Brad Fritsch echoed that sentiment. "Oh my god, PLEASE don't let Johnny Manziel be available when the Cowboys pick," he tweeted. "I like him, he could be great...but please no. #Jerrymove."
Horschel, however, predicted that Johnny football would indeed wind up in Dallas. "I think Dallas picks Manziel if he falls to them," he tweeted. "Jerry is a money making man and he knows how much more he will make with Johnny. #texasboy."
Killeen then joked that the "Browns are gonna trade up to get that dude from Michigan that @clownejd [Jadeveon Clowney] decapitated" in that now-famous highlight.
Then it came time for the Cowboys to pick, and indeed – as some had predicted – Johnny Football almost broke Twitter.
--Colt Knost: "Don't do it jerry!!!!"
--Cliff Kresge: "Johnny "Dallas Football" Manziel.... Sounds pretty good."
--Jason Enloe: "This just in. Cowboys make another bad draft pick.#defensewinschampionships."
--Paul Stankowski: "Hahahahhahahahahaaaahaahaa."
--Jordan Spieth: "Here it comes.. Are we going to take #Manziel."
--Hunter Mahan: "do it Jerry!!!"
--Joe Ogilvie: "Draft Johnny Football, trade Tony Romo for a defender."
And the Cowboys – passed on Manziel, taking offensive lineman Zack Martin out of Notre Dame instead.
--Paul Stankowski : "Whew."
--Brad Fritsch: "THANK YOU. Someone locked Jerry in the bathroom without his phone."
--Kelly Kraft: "Thank you Jerry!!"
--Hunter Mahan: "Wow."
--Kyle Thompson: "If I was Johnny Football I'd have my nose buried in a book right now. #nothingtoseehere."
--Tom Gillis: "Johnny football better go get a sub or a sandwich. He's could be in for a long haul. @krisblanks [Kris Blanks] might get drafted before him."
One person who definitely loved the Cowboys' pick was Dufner. He again tweeted his photo of Manziel in a Browns uniform, and said, "Yes it's happening..."
Things calmed down for a few minutes – until Cleveland came up again with the 22nd pick. Manziel was still on the board. 
"Hunter Mahan: "Here you go @JasonDufner!!"
And, finally, the Browns came through for Dufner and all his fellow long-suffering fans.
"Yes!!!!!," Dufner tweeted, quickly followed by: "Yes yes yes yes!!!!!"
"Browns are gonna be fun to watch next year!!!!!!," Troy Merritt tweeted.
"Pretty sure Cleveland just stole a franchise QB. Worth the risk IMO," Brad Fritsch ‏agreed.
One dissenting note came from Ed Loar, who opined: "Cleveland..where QB's go to die."
There was no tempering Dufner's enthusiasm, though. He ended his long, nerve-wracking night with one final tweet:
May 8, 2014 - 1:34pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Justin Leonard
USA Today Sports Images
You can't really begin a round of golf any better than Justin Leonard did at TPC Sawgrass on Thursday.

What's better than starting your round off with a birdie?

Easy -- starting your round off with an eagle. That's precisely what Justin Leonard did on the first hole at TPC Sawgrass on Thursday in the first round of the Players Championship.

RELATED: Remember Fred Couples' hole-in-three? | Players Championship leaderboard

From the middle of the fairway on the 423-yard, par-4 first hole, Leonard -- the 1998 Players Champion -- faced a 147-yard approach shot. He hit as perfect a shot as one can, slam-dunking it into the hole for an eagle and destroying the cup in the process.

The cup was in such rough shape, the grounds crew had to fix it.

See the video here:

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


May 8, 2014 - 11:32am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Fred Couples
USA Today Sports Images
We all know some pars are better than others. But there's never been one as good as the one Fred Couples made on the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass in the first round of the 1999 Players Championship.

Today's first round of the Players Championship marks the 15th anniversary of one of the craziest pars you'll ever see.

In the first round of the 1999 Players Championship (it was played in the month of March then and remained that way until switching to May in 2007), fan favorite Fred Couples stepped to the tee on the world-famous, par-3, island-green 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass.

Like many before him -- and countless thousands since then -- Couples splashed his tee shot into the water. Nothing special, unique, or crazy there.

RELATED: Players Championship leaderboard | Photos: Players Championship & more

But what happened next was amazing... arguably even more amazing than when Couples aced the same hole in 1997.

Couples re-teed and, playing his third shot, proceeded to knock that shot into the hole, on the fly, for the most unlikely of pars.

"I don't really know how hard I was trying on my third shot," Couples, a two-time Players Champion, admitted years later (he shot a 77 in that opening round, by the way). "If I don't make that shot, I think I shoot 80, 81 and probably miss the cut. Three days later, I was in fourth place."

Here's the video of that shot:



And how about the reaction from Couples? Cool as cool gets, just as you'd expect.

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