Golf Buzz

March 22, 2015 - 5:59pm
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Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are all entered in the 2015 Masters.

2015 MASTERS: Augusta National course tour | Photo galleries | Video highlights | More coverage

2015 Masters Field List

Bae, Sang-Moon (16), Korea
Bjørn, Thomas (12,18), Denmark
Blixt, Jonas (12), Sweden
Bradley, Keegan (4,13,18), United States of America
Cabrera, Angel (1,16), Argentina
Casey, Paul (19), England
Clarke, Darren (3), Northern Ireland
# Compton, Erik (13), United States of America
#* Conners, Corey (6-B), Canada
Couples, Fred (1), United States of America
Crane, Ben (16), United States of America
Crenshaw, Ben (1), United States of America
Day, Jason (13,16,17,18), Australia
Dominguez, Matias (9), Chile
Donald, Luke (18), England
Donaldson, Jamie (18), Wales
Dubuisson, Victor (18), France
Dufner, Jason (4,18), United States of America
Els, Ernie (3), South Africa
Every, Matt (16), United States of America
Fowler, Rickie (12,13,14,15,17,18), United States of America
Furyk, Jim (14,17,18), United States of America
Gallacher, Stephen (18), Scotland
Garcia, Sergio (14,17,18), Spain
Grace, Branden (19), South Africa
Haas, Bill (16,17,18), United States of America
# Hahn, James (16), Korea
# Harman, Brian (16), United States of America
Harrington, Padraig (16), Ireland
#* Harvey, Scott (11), United States of America
Henley, Russell (17), United States of America
Hoffman, Charley (16), United States of America
# Hoffmann, Morgan (17), United States of America
Holmes, J.B. (16), United States of America
Horschel, Billy (16,17,18), United States of America
Ilonen, Mikko (18), Finland
Immelman, Trevor (1), South Africa
Jaidee, Thongchai (18), Thailand
Jimenez, Miguel Angel (12,18), Spain
Johnson, Dustin (13,16,17,18), United States of America
Johnson, Zach (1,17,18), United States of America
Kaymer, Martin (2,4,5,17,18), Germany
Kirk, Chris (16,17,18), United States of America
# Koepka, Brooks (13,16,18), United States of America
Kuchar, Matt (5,12,16,17,18), United States of America
# Lahiri, Anirban (19), India
Langer, Bernhard (1,12), Germany
# Lowry, Shane (18), Ireland
Luiten, Joost (18), Netherlands
Lyle, Sandy (1) ,Scotland
Mahan, Hunter (16,17,18), United States of America
Martin, Ben (16), United States of America
Matsuyama, Hideki (16,17,18), Japan
McDowell, Graeme (2,18), Northern Ireland
McIlroy, Rory (2,3,4,12,16,17,18), Northern Ireland
#* Meth, Byron (10), United States of America
Mickelson, Phil (1,3,15,18), United States of America
Mize, Larry (1), United States of America
Moore, Ryan (16,18), United States of America
#* Murdaca, Antonio (8), Australia
Na, Kevin (17,18), United States of America
#* Neil, Bradley (7), Scotland
# Noh, Seung-Yul (16), Korea
O'Meara, Mark (1), United States of America
Ogilvy, Geoff (17), Australia
Olazabal, Jose Maria (1), Spain
Oosthuizen, Louis (3,18), South Africa
Palmer, Ryan (17,18), United States of America
Poulter, Ian (18), England
Reed, Patrick (17,18), United States of America
Rose, Justin (2,16,17,18), England
Schwartzel, Charl (1,18), South Africa
Scott, Adam (1,16,17,18), Australia
Senden, John (12,17,18), Australia
Simpson, Webb (2,17,18), United States of America
Singh, Vijay (1), Fiji
Snedeker, Brandt (16), United States of America
Spieth, Jordan (12,17,18), United States of America
Stadler, Kevin (12), United States of America
Stenson, Henrik (13,15,18), Sweden
# Streb, Robert (16), United States of America
Streelman, Kevin (16), United States of America
Stricker, Steve (18), United States of America
# Todd, Brendon (16,17), United States of America
# Tringale, Cameron (17), United States of America
Villegas, Camilo (16), Colombia
Walker, Jimmy (12,17,18), United States of America
Watson, Bubba (1,16,17,18), United States of America
Watson, Tom (1), United States of America
Weir, Mike (1), Canada
Westwood, Lee (12,18), England
# Wiesberger, Bernd (19), Austria
# Willett, Danny (18), England
Woodland, Gary (17,18), United States of America
Woods, Tiger (1,5,18), United States of America
Woosnam, Ian (1), Wales
#* Yang, Gunn (6-A), Korea
# Denotes first Masters * Denotes Amateur ^ The Masters Committee, at its discretion, also invites international players not otherwise qualified.
Number after each name indicates the basis of qualification.
Qualification For Invitation
  1. Masters Tournament Champions (Lifetime)
  2. US Open Champions (Honorary, non-competing after 5 years)
  3. British Open Champions (Honorary, non-competing after 5 years)
  4. PGA Champions (Honorary, non-competing after 5 years)
  5. Winners of The Players Championship (Three years)
  6. Current US Amateur Champion (6-A) (Honorary, non-competing after 1 year) and the runner-up (6-B) to the current US Amateur Champion
  7. Current British Amateur Champion (Honorary, non-competing after 1 year)
  8. Current Asia-Pacific Amateur Champion
  9. Current Latin America Amateur Champion
  10. Current US Amateur Public Links Champion
  11. Current US Mid-Amateur Champion
  12. The first 12 players, including ties, in the previous year's Masters Tournament
  13. The first 4 players, including ties, in the previous year's US Open Championship
  14. The first 4 players, including ties, in the previous year's British Open Championship
  15. The first 4 players, including ties, in the previous year's PGA Championship
  16. Winners of PGA Tour events that award a full-point allocation for the season-ending Tour Championship, from previous Masters to current Masters
  17. Those qualifying for the previous year's season-ending Tour Championship
  18. The 50 leaders on the Final Official World Golf Ranking for the previous calendar year
  19. The 50 leaders on the Official World Golf Ranking published during the week prior to the current Masters Tournament

Past Champions Not Expected To Play in 2015

  • Tommy Aaron
  • Jack Burke Jr.
  • Charles Coody
  • Nick Faldo
  • Raymond Floyd
  • Doug Ford
  • Bob Goalby
  • Jack Nicklaus
  • Arnold Palmer
  • Gary Player
  • Craig Stadler
  • Fuzzy Zoeller



March 22, 2015 - 3:19pm
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Zach Johnson
PGA Tour/YouTube
Zach Johnson is all smiles after his albatross Sunday at Bay Hill's No. 16.

Albatrosses are the rarest of birds on golf courses. In the 36 years since the Arnold Palmer Invitational was founded, no one had ever recorded one -- until Daniel Berger did it Saturday.

Make that two in two days.

SHARE YOUR HOLE-IN-ONE: Post the details on social media at #PGAace or #PGAholeinone

At the par-5 16th in Sunday's final round, Zach Johnson hit this 5-iron from 207 yards. And watch what happens:



According to the NBC Golf Channel broadcast, fewer than 125 albatrosses have been recorded on the PGA Tour since 1970. And yet Berger and Johnson accomplished it in back-to-back rounds this weekend at Bay Hill.

Johnson says he saw the tournament host on the 16th tee and went over to shake his hand. He figured some of the Palmer magic rubbed off on him. Johnson shot 66.

U.S. OPEN ACE: Zach Johnson makes a hole-in-one at Pinehurst No. 2

It was only the seventh time since the PGA Tour began keeping records in 1983 that two players made a double eagle in the same tournament. The last time was in 2007 at The Players Championship.

A rare commonality, to be sure. Some people call them double eagles. In this instance, it's more like albatross-albatross.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

March 21, 2015 - 6:29pm
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Kevin Na
PGA Tour/YouTube
Kevin Na celebrates his eagle hole-out from the bunker at No. 16.

While much of the attention Saturday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational was focused on Daniel Berger's amazing albatross -- and rightly so -- Kevin Na had two highlight-worthy shots of his own, on consecutive holes.

First, he sinks this 50-foot putt at No. 15:



And then one hole later, he does this from the bunker:



That birdie-eagle run allowed Na to finish with a third-round 69, keeping him within striking distance of leader Henrik Stenson, who had two birdies and an eagle down the home stretch.

March 20, 2015 - 3:44pm
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Keegan Bradley
PGA Tour/YouTube
Keegan Bradley missed a hole-in-one by this much Friday at Bay Hill.

Keegan Bradley came oh-so-close to a hole-in-one Friday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational when his shot at the par-3 seventh hole first makes a beeline for the cup … and then puts on the brakes.

IDENTICAL ACES: J.B. Holmes, Dustin Johnson at Doral

Watch the video for yourself:


HOW DID YOU MAKE YOUR ACE?: Share your hole-in-one story on social media

A tap-in birdie is the next best thing. But being able to walk off with a 1 on your scorecard is pretty sweet.

March 20, 2015 - 9:08am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Georgia State
The Georgia State men's basketball team shocked Baylor on Thursday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. That had the Georgia State men's golf team fired up.

Surely you don't need the reminder, but just in case -- March Madness is upon us.

Thursday, Day 1 of the NCAA men's basketball tournament, was one of the most exciting in recent memory.

RELATED: Bryan Brothers March Madness-themed trick shots video

One of the best underdog performances came from Georgia State University, a No. 14 seed, which knocked off No. 3 Baylor -- 57-56 -- thanks to this 3-pointer in the closing seconds by R.J. Hunter (son of head coach R.J. Hunter, who tore his Achilles last week celebrating the team's tournament championship, and fell off his seat when his son made the shot yesterday as you can see in the video.

So what does all this have to do with golf?

Fair question. And here's your answer -- check out the Georgia State University men's golf team celebration after Hunter buried the three:


That was awesome.

March 19, 2015 - 2:21pm
mark.aumann's picture
PGA of America
USA Today Images
Wind can be a help and a hindrance on the golf course.

If March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, there's still a lot of ferocity from Mother Nature with one week to go before spring officially rolls in.

Consider Thursday's weather at the European Tour stop on the Madiera Islands. The wind -- clocked steadily at over 35 miles an hour and gusting as high as 47 mph -- forced tournament officials to postpone the round before it began and shorten the tournament to 54 holes.

How windy was it? At one point, tournament officials placed a golf ball on one of the greens and the wind actually pushed the ball some three feet into the hole.

BROKEN CLUBS: What's allowed under the rules?

And that brings up an interesting rule situation: We asked PGA Rules of Golf Vice Chairman, Mr. Chip Essig, to explain how you'd interpret the rules if this actually happened to you or someone in your group on an extremely windy day.

"Decision 18-1/12 in the Decisions on the Rules of Golf book states that wind is not an outside agency and if wind causes your ball to move, you should play the ball from its new position," Essig said. "If the wind blows the ball into the hole, the player would be deem to have holed out with his last stroke."

But what if you've marked the ball, then set it back down and the wind rolls it away from that spot? Are you required to return it to the original spot? Not according to the Rules.

"Decision 20-3d/1 states that even a ball that has been replaced on the green, if at rest on the spot which it was placed before it starts rolling, would be played from the new location if the wind caused it to move," Essig said. "However, the ball might be blown out of bounds instead of into the hole and the player’s ball would be deemed to lie out of bounds."

PLAYING LESSONS: Five tips to conquer the wind

To sum up, if wind moves your ball without outside influences, you must play the next stroke from the point where it eventually stops. If that happens to be in the hole, like in the video, that's tremendously good fortune. If it happens to roll off farther from the hole, or even off the green into a hazard, that's just tough luck.



Categories: Don Essig IV, PGA