Golf Buzz

July 2, 2014 - 1:05pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
TPC Harding Park
TPC Harding Park
The PGA of America announced on Wednesday that TPC Harding Park in San Francisco will host the 2020 PGA Championship. It will mark the first time the PGA Championship is played in California since 1995 at Riviera Country Club.

For the first time since 1995, the PGA Championship will soon be making a return to the west coast.

The PGA of America announced on Wednesday that the 2020 PGA Championship will be contested at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

It was also announced that TPC Harding Park will host the the 2025 Presidents Cup and the 2015 World Golf Championships-Match Play Championship.

"The PGA of America is proud to be taking its major championship in 2020 to the City of San Francisco, home to one of the premier venues that embraces public golf along with the skill to stage some of the game’s greatest events," said PGA President Ted Bishop. "It is exciting to be sharing today's announcement with the PGA Tour and the City of San Francisco. Together, we look to grow the game among new audiences and present the finest championships for the greatest players in the world."

ENTIRE PRESS RELEASE: TPC Harding Park to host PGA Championship, Presidents Cup and Match Play

The 2020 PGA Championship will mark the first major played at a TPC property. Overall, it will be the fifth PGA Championship played in the state of California and the first since 1995 when Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades hosted the season's final major. Steve Elkington won that year.

The other three PGA Championships played in California consist of Hillcrest Country Club (1929), Pebble Beach Golf Links (1977) and Riviera Country Club (1983). TPC Harding Park will be the second municipally owned golf course to host the PGA Championship. The only other PGA Championship to be conducted at a municipal golf facility was the 1974 Championship at Tanglewood Golf Club in Clemmons, N.C.

TPC Harding Park -- formerly Harding Park Golf Club -- opened for play in 1935 after a design by noted architects Willie Watson and Sam Whiting, who also oversaw the construction of nearby Olympic Club.

The course was named after President Warren G. Harding, the 29th President of the United States, an avid golfer who died at the Palace Hotel in 1923 during a visit to San Francisco.

Over the years, Harding Park, which hosted the San Francisco City Championship, lost its prestige, but was revitalized after a massive renovation before hosting the 2005 World Golf Championships-American Express Championship.

In advance of the event, Harding Park underwent a 15-month renovation project that expanded the course from 6,743 yards to around 7,200 yards. The course reopened on August 22, 2003, and the World Golf Championships event was held in October 2005.

TPC Harding Park is also the site of The First Tee of San Francisco, which now reaches more than 80,000 young people annually through chapter programs and elementary schools. 

July 2, 2014 - 12:10pm
Posted by:
dpurdum's picture
Greenbrier Classic
Old White TPC will be the site of this week's PGA Tour stop, the Greenbrier Classic.

Greenbrier Head Professional Hill Herrick shared his local knowledge of the Old White TPC, site of this week's Greenbrier Classic, with A score of 13-under won last year. Do you see a similar score winning again this week?

Herrick: I would predict 12-15 under par will win the tournament; The Old White TPC is a challenging 7,300-yard, par-70 layout. In order to have success on The Old White, a golfer must do what?

Herrick: Avoid the fairway and greenside bunkers, most are deep with steep fescue faces, which will challenge even the best short games.

GREENBRIER CLASSIC: Tee times and leaderboard | 5 players to watch Where is the most popular spot on the course for spectators to catch the action?

Herrick: No. 18, a short par 3 with one of the more unique green contours on the PGA TOUR. The hole is almost completely surrounded by grandstands and sky boxes. What is the most popular concessions item?

Herrick: Fried Green Tomato Sandwich. Are there any local storylines surrounding the tournament that standout?

Herrick: The winner of the West Virginia State Amateur Championship (which is also played annually at The Greenbrier) is given a sponsor’s exemption into The Greenbrier Classic.  This year’s winner, Brian Anania, a recent Marshall University graduate, should have many fans in attendance.

July 2, 2014 - 10:33am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rickie Fowler
USA Today Sports Images
Early Tuesday evening, Rickie Fowler was involved in an accident. He indicated in a tweet posted early Wednesday that he was OK.

Early Wednesday morning, Rickie Fowler sent out a tweet that got a lot of attention in the golf world.



Fowler, a massive fan favorite, didn't give anymore details.

READ: Fowler, Tringale play 18 holes left handed | Fowler takes stunt-plane ride

Golf Channel reporter Steve Sands did a little digging on Wednesday. Sands reports that the accident happened early Tuesday evening close to Fowler's home in Jupiter, Fla.

From the Golf Channel report:

Fowler, who was driving, was treated for minor cuts and abrasions on his forehead (near his hairline) by doctors at JFK Medical and then released Tuesday night. The passenger was also treated at the hospital and released without any injuries.

No citation was issued for the incident.

All seemed well Wednesday morning, as Fowler was back to tweeting to his nearly 700,000 followers, promoting the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship, and sending out birthday wishes to a friend.

Fowler's next scheduled event is next week's Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club ahead of the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool. Fowler tied for fifth at the Masters in April and in his last start -- the U.S. Open -- Fowler recorded his best ever finish in a major, a tie for second. 

July 2, 2014 - 9:35am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Errie Ball
PGA of America Archive
Errie Ball, a participant in the 1934 Masters and a PGA Hall of Famer, passed away early Wednesday morning at the age of 103.

Sad news came through this morning with the passing of Errie Ball at 5:20 a.m.

Ball, 103 years old, had been the oldest living PGA member and the only living participant from the first Masters in 1934.

RELATED: Photos of Errie Ball through the years | Ball recalls 1934 Masters

"The PGA of America is saddened by the passing of Errie Ball, a professional in all aspects of life," said PGA of America President Ted Bishop. "Errie's amazing career spans the legends of the game -- from Harry Vardon through Tiger Woods. His longevity, according to those who knew him best, was founded upon a love of people. Each day, like each step he took on the course, was spent with purpose. We will miss him dearly, but his legacy continues to shine through the many PGA Professionals he inspired to grow our game."

Ball, originally from Wales, worked as an assistant professional under Bobby Jones at East Lake Country Club in Atlanta. Ball has been a PGA Professional since 1932.

In 2011, Ball was inducted into the PGA Hall of Fame. He served the PGA of America for an incredible 83 years. 

July 2, 2014 - 9:04am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bubba Watson
USA Today Sports Images
Bubba Watson seems to contend every week that he plays this year on the PGA Tour.

This week the PGA Tour is in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., to take on the Old White TPC in the Greenbrier Classic.

It's a course where low scores can be had. In fact, Stuart Appleby fired a 59 in the final round on his way to winning the tournament in 2010.

While scores can go low, we're not likely to see another 59. The Old White course opened in 1914, but joined the TPC network of courses in March 2011 and was lengthened to 7,287.

RELATED: Greenbrier Classic tee times | What does Tiger need next? | June reader photos

Here are five players to keep an eye on at Greenbrier, two weeks before the Open Championship tees off at Royal Liverpool.

5. Jonas Blixt
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
T2 at the Masters
Reason to watch: Blixt has been in a bit of a rut lately, missing the cut in five of his last seven starts. However, there was one serious flash of brilliance in that stretch with his tie for second at the Masters. Blixt returns to Greenbrier this year as the defending champion. Based on his play lately, I wouldn't necessarily expect him to win. But, if he's going to snap out of this funk, Greenbrier could be the perfect place.

4. Scott Stallings
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
Won the Farmers Insurance Open
Reason to watch: There was a stretch recently where Stallings missed the cut in seven of eight starts. Believe it or not, that's no reason for alarm with Stallings, a three-time PGA Tour winner. For this 29-year-old, it truly is feast or famine. His lone top-25 finish this season was his win at Torrey Pines. When he plays well, he plays great and when it goes south, it's typically a missed cut. In fact, since joining the PGA Tour in 2011, Stallings hasn't had a single season with less than 14 missed cuts. In 2014, he's missed the cut 11 times through 20 events played. That said, he's never missed the cut at Greenbrier and actually won the tournament in his rookie season.

3. Webb Simpson
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
Won the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
Reason to watch: What's not to like about the 2012 U.S. Open champ? He's got six top-10 finishes in 16 starts this season, including a win and two third-place showings. He tied for seventh at Greenbrier in 2012 and tied for ninth in 2011. It's a place where he's comfortable. In his last eight competitive rounds, Simpson has yet to shoot 70 or better. We're going to cut him some slack though -- those eight rounds were made up of four at the U.S. Open and four at the Quicken Loans National last week, which was played at Congressional -- the course that hosted the 2011 U.S. Open.

2. Jimmy Walker
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
Won the Open, Sony Open in Hawaii and AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
Reason to watch: There has been no better player on the PGA Tour this season than Walker. Here we are in July and he's already got three wins to go along with five other top-10 finishes. That's just outstanding stuff. For that reason alone he's a factor whenever he tees it up now. But, in this case, I also like the fact that he was a runner-up at Greenbrier a year ago.

1. Bubba Watson
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
Won the Northern Trust Open and the Masters
Reason to watch: Like Walker, this has been an amazing season for Watson. Along with picking up his second major victory and that win at Riviera, Watson has also been a runner up twice and finished third once. And, if you follow him on Twitter, you know that he's been spending quite a bit of downtime with his family at the Greenbrier. It's practically a second home. On courses that he likes -- and Watson is very open about what he likes and doesn't like (see Pinehurst No. 2 where he missed the cut in the U.S. Open) -- Watson is a tough customer. 

July 1, 2014 - 12:40pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bryan Brothers
Need a reason to get pumped for today's World Cup Round of 16 match between the U.S. and Belgium? Here are the golf-trick shot Bryan Brothers to help you out with their "World Cup Edition Part 2."

You probably don't need any help getting fired up for this afternoon's Round of 16 World Cup match between the U.S. and Belgium.

But just in case, our favorite golf-trick shot friends -- the Bryan Brothers -- have released their "World Cup Edition Part 2."

RELATED: Meet the Bryan Brothers | Trick shot with live alligator | Compilation

Check it out:

As you can see, unlike Part 1 which featured many dazzling shots with a soccer ball, Part 2 focuses on the golf ball.

Once again, we're impressed.