Golf Buzz

June 23, 2015 - 11:09am
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Lenexa sinkhole
Associated Press/YouTube
A large hole has consumed a large portion of the 13th fairway of Canyon Farms Golf Club.

Heavy rains this month are being blamed for a massive sinkhole that appeared on a golf course in Lenexa, Kan., over the weekend. But that hasn't stopped the course from being in business -- or golfers from playing that hole. Workers at Canyon Farms Golf Club arrived to find a large portion of the 13th fairway missing. Or rather, down in a sinkhole. How big? The hole is estimated to be about 10 feet in depth, and from the aerial videos taken, the grass is still in place. According to story from KMBC-TV in Kansas City, the course was built over a vacated limestone mine, which may offer some explanation why the ground gave way so suddenly. Course workers have placed fences and barriers around the affected area -- and the teeing ground has been moved up to the other side of the sinkhole, allowing the hole to be played as a shorter par-4. You can view the news video from the Associated Press here. Still photos don't do this hole in the ground enough justice. It's definitely not the first time -- or will be the last -- that sinkholes have created havoc for golfers. Just this year, a sinkhole created a massive hole at Top of the Rock/Big Cedar Lodge in Branson, Mo. And another one made a mess of this Scottish course.

June 23, 2015 - 9:40am
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Shattered trophy
Anna Nordqvist/Twitter
Anna Nordqvist with the LPGA ShopRite Classic trophy before ... and after.

Golf trophies come in all manner of shapes and sizes. Sculpted metal cups, ornate wood or even glass vases, like the one Anna Nordqvist won recently at the LPGA ShopRite Classic.

Most of the time, they arrive home safely. But that wasn't the case for Nordqvist.

Imagine her shock and dismay when she opened the cardboard box containing her beautiful glass trophy, only to find a pile of shattered glass shards.


Once she got over her initial reaction, her comments on social media were quite humorous, as evidenced by this tweet:



Thankfully, there's a happy ending to the story. The shipper and tournament are working to replace Nordqvist's trophy -- and hopefully get it to her in one piece this time.



It's amazing in a way that there aren't more problems with trophies, especially crystal. Last year, Hunter Mahan's crystal vase snapped in two while he was placing it down for photographs.

But even big metal trophies can have issues. On Sunday, the top came off Jordan Spieth's U.S. Open Championship trophy while he was posing for photos. Last summer, Rory McIlroy made a quick grab to catch the top of the Wanamaker Trophy as it was being presented to him after winning the PGA Championship.

And in 1963, Jack Nicklaus nearly burned his fingers trying to hold the Wanamaker by its handles -- after it had been sitting in the hot Texas sun all afternoon. 


June 23, 2015 - 8:56am
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Safeco Field
Baseball fans at Safeco Field can try out the new golf simulator.

Take me out to the ... virtual driving range?

The Seattle Mariners have announced they're unveiling the first golf simulator installed in a major league baseball stadium. The new Safeco Field simulator is operated under the auspices of PGA Professional Gregg Rogers of nearly Bellevue.

"Putting a golf simulator in an MLB ballpark is unusual, but research shows that 42 percent of Mariners fans are also golfers," Rogers was quoted as saying in the team's news release. "This is an opportunity for us to grow the game of golf through a fun, interactive, high-tech experience."

HALL OF FAMERS: Ten of baseball's best golfers

The Safeco Field simulator -- located behind the centerfield bleachers -- uses high-speed 3D cameras to capture images and data at 2,300 frames per second. The images are projected onto a 20-foot wide curved high-definition screen. Golfers have the choice of playing holes from many of the best courses in the world, including St. Andrews, TPC Sawgrass, TPC Scottsdale, Spyglass and Pebble Beach.


The simulator will open two hours before Mariners home games. For now, it's free, but there will be a charge in the future -- with a portion of the proceeds going to Mariners Care, the team's non-profit foundation.

In addition, Rogers and his staff will offer instruction and club fitting.


June 23, 2015 - 8:30am
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Jason Day
USA Today Sports Images
Jason Day has decided to withdraw from this week's Travelers Championship.

Three days after collapsing with vertigo symptoms while playing in the U.S. Open, Jason Day has decided to withdraw from this week's Travelers Championship. Tournament officials made the announcement via Twitter:



The decision should come as no surprise, given how much difficulty Day seemed to be in at Chambers Bay, particularly during Saturday's third round. The day before, Day collapsed while walking up the fairway of the course's ninth hole -- on his last hole of the day. After several minutes, Day was helped to his feet and was able to complete the hole, earning a huge round of applause from the stunned gallery.

He was then driven by golf cart to the scorer's tent, where he signed his card, then taken to a van for further medical observation.

PUTTING TIP: Jason Day says 'walk the line'

Day then pulled off one of the gutsiest performances in U.S. Open history over the weekend. Despite the full effects of benign positional vertigo, Day shot a 2-under par 68 on Saturday to tie for the tournament lead. Unfortunately for him, he faded in Sunday's final round, finishing in a tie for ninth with a 74.

He posted this message to his Twitter account later:



Day has been suffering from vertigo symptoms for quite some time. According to the Associated Press, Day's caddie said dizziness was the reason Day had to withdraw during the final round of the World Golf Championship Bridgestone Invitational last August. Despite undergoing a procedure that was supposed to restore his equilibrium, Day was unable to play in last month's Byron Nelson after becoming dizzy during the pro-am.


June 21, 2015 - 10:48pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Dustin Johnson
USA Today Sports Images
You hate to see anyone lose like this... Dustin Johnson missed a short birdie putt that would have forced an 18-hole Monday playoff for the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay on Sunday.

For the first time since 2002, a player has won the first two majors of the season.

Tiger Woods turned the trick 13 years ago and, after his win in April at the Masters and his win on Sunday in the U.S. Open, Jordan Spieth has a chance to make it three majors in a row at the Open Championship in a few weeks at St. Andrews.

A win is a win, but surely Spieth didn't want to win like this.

RELATED: Spieth wins 2015 U.S. Open | Final U.S. Open leaderboard | Kirk's rant

Dustin Johnson smoked a 350-yard drive on the par-5 18th hole right down the middle. He needed a birdie to force an 18-hole Monday playoff and an eagle for the outright win.

With his second shot from 247 yards away, Johnson ripped a 5-iron to within 10 feet for what would have been a winning eagle putt.

Johnson sent the eagle try a few feet past the hole and was left with a knee-knocker for birdie.

Here's what happened:

You hate to see a player lose a tournament like that.