Golf Buzz

November 5, 2013 - 8:56am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Tiger Woods at the Turkish Airlines Open
"To be the first golfer to do this was very cool," said Tiger Woods after driving golf balls down the Bosphorus Bridge ahead of this week's Turkish Airlines Open.

Tiger Woods, in Turkey this week for the Turkish Airlines Open, hit a tee shot on Tuesday from one continent to another... seriously.

The country of Turkey is located mostly on Anatolia in Western Asia and on East Thrace in Southeastern Europe.

As a promotion for the event, Woods hit several shots down Istanbul's famous Bosphorus Bridge, which connects Asia to Europe.

Andrew "Chubby" Chandler -- agent to players such as Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke -- tweeted the occasion:



Chandler wrote in previous tweets that Woods, coming directly from the airport after a long flight, was running a bit late for the event. Chandler said, "Tiger late.... Lots panicking ... Bridge can only be closed so long!"

Turns out Woods made it just in time. Here's a video of of the occasion, though the commentary is in Turkish:


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

November 5, 2013 - 8:40am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Brandt Snedeker
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Brandt Snedeker has withdrawn from the Australian PGA Championship after suffering an apparent knee injury in China.

Brandt Snedeker, the No. 9-ranked player in the world, has withdrawn from this week's Australian PGA Championship citing an injured knee.

Snedeker, who was in Shanghai last week where he tied for 55th in the WGC-HSBC Champions, would have been the second highest ranked player in the Australian PGA behind Masters champion and world No. 2 Adam Scott.

Brian Thorburn, Chief Executive Officer of the PGA of Australia, announced Snedeker's withdrawal to reporters on Monday.

"The most important thing is of course Brandt's health," said Thorburn in a report that appeared on the Australian PGA's website.

"Brandt is a player who is held in very high regard wherever he goes and while we're obviously disappointed he won't be playing this week, our thoughts are with him and we wish him a speedy recovery."

There's no word yet on what may have caused Snedeker's knee injury.

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


November 4, 2013 - 4:33pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Edwin Watts Golf
Edwin Watts Golf Shops expects that many of its stores will remain open after the bankruptcy reorganization.

Edwin Watts Golf Shops LLC, long one of the most prominent golf retailers in the United States, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  

The Fort Walton Beach, Fla.-based chain, which is owned by the Sun Capital Partners private equity firm, is seeking a court-supervised auction of its assets by Dec. 6, according to papers filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware. The company estimated its liabilities and assets of $100 million to $500 million, according to the court filing.

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PNC Bank, which Edwin Watts Golf Shops owes $50 million under a secured financing agreement, will lend the company $38 million to keep it operating until the sale is completed, according to a Reuters report. "A significant number" of its stores – there are about 90 currently operating, most in the Southeast – are expected to stay open, though no specific number has yet been finalized, the company said in a statement.

Edwin Watts, a 22-year-old golf professional at the time, opened his first store in Fort Walton Beach back in the 1960s, and built a chain of stores that thrived for many years. Watts sold the business to private equity firm Wellspring Capital Management in 2003, and Wellspring Capital sold it to Sun Capital in 2007. The company also operates a prominent website.



November 4, 2013 - 2:36pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Ernie Els
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Ernie Els, not happy with a new playing requirement by the European Tour, will skip the season-ending tournament in Dubai.

South Africa's Ernie Els, a four-time major champion and former world No. 1, is so incensed by the European Tour's increased playing requirements that he's decided to skip next week's flagship season-ending event in Dubai.

In a report by Reuters, Els expresses his discontent with the European Tour's new regulation that its members must play two of the three events leading into Dubai to be eligible for the $8 million season finale.

From the report:

"I don't think they really care," Els said wearily when asked how the tour had reacted to the news that their most celebrated veteran member would not play in Dubai.

"Why would they make a decision like that and expect guys to play? It's farcical. In my view it's an absolute joke."

Els, who is also a member of the U.S. PGA Tour, said he understood why the European Tour wanted to coax its top players into contesting more of the big-money Asian tournaments.

"I can see (the tour's point of view) but it's crazy," he said. "I've been playing both tours since 1994 and it's been no problem but for some reason now the European Tour expect us to play a full schedule.

For nearly two decades, Els was the non-European face of the European Tour, where he's collected 28 victories.

The new two-out-of-three rule, Els said, may force him to pick between the PGA Tour or the European Tour instead of playing both as he's done for years.

"Now we have to make a decision where we never used to do that," he said. "Guys are not going to keep doing that. We've got families and schedules to keep."

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

November 4, 2013 - 1:32pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Are you tired of hitting clunky, inconsistent pitch shots around the green?

PGA Professional Rob Labritz has just the drill for you in today's golf tip to ensure you hit crisp, consistent pitch shots.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair