Golf Buzz

July 9, 2014 - 10:53am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Jesper Parnevik
Strange injuries are nothing new for professional athletes. But this one suffered by Jesper Parnevik was a good time gone wrong... and caught on tape.

We've all heard of strange sports injuries. Stuff like a pitcher breaking a rib sneezing. A golfer cutting himself while intending to cut a bagel. A kicker in the NFL blowing out a knee after celebrating a successful field goal... the list goes on.

Heck, our friends at Bleacher Report have a list of 50 of them here.

Well, add golfer Jesper Parnevik to the list.

While injuries are no laughing matter, the Swedish golfer -- a five-time PGA Tour winner and a four-time European Tour winner -- had a laugh at his own expense on Twitter.

Not only did Parnevik suffer a broken rib, but to add insult to injury, the incident was caught on video. As you'll see, he was messing around on a Segway.

Segway injuries to golfers are nothing new. Remember late last year when Brandt Snedeker suffered a bruised tibia and a strained ACL in his left knee after a Segway accident in China?


And, for Parnevik, this isn't the first strange injury. Back in 2012, he nearly severed his right, index finger when he caught his hand in a motorized boat winch that required surgery and months of rehabilitation. His career was in jeopardy.

But, funny man that Parnevik is, he made light of that situation too, pulling a prank on a poor reporter who interviewed Parnevik about what had happened. Parnevik reenacted the accident... literally (see the video below).


July 9, 2014 - 9:41am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Zach Johnson
USA Today Sports Images
It's hard not to like Zach Johnson at the John Deere Classic. He's a former winner and always seems to be in the mix.

The PGA Tour is in Silvis, Ill., this week for the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run. It's the final event on Tour before next week's Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.

Though it's the week before a major and a long way from England, many of the top players on Tour, including Zach Johnson and Jordan Spieth, are in the field.

Johnson and Spieth are both past champions at John Deere. In fact, Spieth outlasted Johnson in a playoff there just last year. You're going to want to keep an eye on those two players as well as a few others this week.

RELATED: John Deere Classic tee times | Photos from John Deere | July reader photos

5. Ryan Moore
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
Won the CIMB Classic
Reason to watch: Moore has been steady pretty much all season long, racking up 10 top-25 finishes in 17 starts. His latest effort was a tie for fifth at the Travelers Championship. His best finish at the John Deere Classic was a tie for eighth in 2012. I just feel like he's been playing well, contending regularly and that trend will continue this week.

4. Harris English
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
Won the OHL Classic at Mayakoba
Reason to watch: In his lone John Deere Classic start, English tied for 15th a year ago. He has seven top-10 finishes this season, including a tie for seventh at the Travelers Championship in his last start. English won the OHL Classic at Mayakoba back in November, which was part of the new wraparound schedule. After that T15 in Silvis last year, English finished T15 the following week at the Open Championship and then T14 in his next start -- the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. To me, it looks like there's something about this time of the year on the Tour schedule that fancies English. We'll see if that plays out again this time around at TPC Deere Run.

3. Zach Johnson
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
T6 at the Memorial Tournament
Reason to watch: Johnson has said many times before -- this is his fifth major. The former Masters champ is from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, less than 100 miles from Silvis, Ill. This is his PGA Tour "home game." Johnson counts the 2012 John Deere Classic among his 11 PGA Tour wins. He also came up short in a playoff a year ago, tied for third in 2011 and tied for second in 2009. You have to go all the way back to March for Johnson's last top-10 finish on Tour. He's keen to change that this week -- especially before heading over to England for the Open next week.

2. Steve Stricker
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
T6 at the Memorial Tournament
Reason to watch: Stricker is taking heat this week from some in the golf industry for his decision to withdraw from next week's Open Championship at Royal Liverpool. It's the second year in a row that Stricker -- who has been playing a "limited schedule" -- has decided to take a pass on the game's oldest major. With that, he's playing the John Deere Classic this week, an event that he won three consecutive years beginning in 2009. He tied for 10th in the tournament a year ago. When it comes to "horses for courses" few fit the bill quite like Stricker at TPC Deere Run. Plus, he'd like to give everyone something else to talk about.

1. Jordan Spieth
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
Second at Hyundai Tournament of Champions and T2 at the Masters
Reason to watch: Spieth's lone PGA Tour win came at this very tournament one year ago in dramatic fashion. He holed a bunker shot on the 72nd hole (which he successfully recreated recently) to earn a spot in a playoff before outlasting David Hearn and Zach Johnson. Since then, it seems Spieth has done everything but win on the PGA Tour. In 19 starts this season, Spieth has finished in the top-25 on 15 occasions, including six top 10s. It's only a matter of time before Spieth wins again, so why not this week where he's the defending champ.


Wilson Staff 8802 putter
Courtesy of Wilson Golf
The brand-new Wilson Staff 8802 putter re-issue looks exactly like its predecessor, though its stainless steel head weighs in at 335 grams, making this one lighter than before to better handle today's quicker greens.
Wilson Golf is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year – you might have noticed Ricky Barnes, Padraig Harrington and Kevin Streelman using golf bags styled like the classic Wilson Staff bags that players like Sam Snead and Gene Sarazen used back when the company dominated the golf industry.
As part of its centenary celebration, Wilson also is reviving some of its classic clubs, the most recent of which is the Staff 8802 putter. The heel-shafted blade, which debuted in 1950, is instantly recognizable to golfers of a certain age.
Arnold Palmer made it famous, but Ben Crenshaw probably made it historic – his Masters-winning "Little Ben" putter is likely the most accomplished 8802 flatstick of all time, as Crenshaw, widely regarded as one of the best putters ever, used it throughout his career. I've added a YouTube clip below in which he talks about it.
The brand-new re-issue looks exactly like its predecessor, though its stainless steel head weighs in at 335 grams, making this one lighter than before to better handle today's quicker greens. And while the original model had a smooth face, the face on this one is double milled to make it completely flat and improve its ability roll the ball steadily.
The gold paint fill logo on the sole pairs with the old-fashioned red Lamkin 3GEN smooth pistol grip to commemorate Wilson's centennial anniversary. And this modern/classic package is completed with a 
vintage red, white and gold logo headcover.
The new 8802s are available now, right-handed and with a 35-inch length only, with a suggested retail price of $179.99.
July 8, 2014 - 10:17am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Phil Mickelson
Many argue that Phil Mickelson possesses the most imaginative short game in golf history. This is one of those reasons.

There's a video making the rounds on social media this morning of Phil Mickelson playing a flop shot backwards that's pretty amazing.

A flop shot backwards? Yes. The pin is behind Mickelson and -- aiming away from the hole -- he takes a mighty swing, the ball sails over his head (backwards) and settles within a few feet of the cup.

The video is said to have been shot on Monday at Royal Aberdeen where Mickelson was taking in a practice round before defending his title in this week's Scottish Open.

Here it is:


We've seen Mickelson hit this shot many times before. Very cool, but not as cool as this one from his instructional video:

Come on, Phil. Seriously?


July 8, 2014 - 9:16am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
John Singleton
John Singleton, a 30-year-old resin plant factory worker from England, made it through a qualifier last week and will play in the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.

When I first stumbled upon this story, I thought for a minute that it had to be a leaked script for a new sports-inspired Disney movie.

Turns out the story of John Singleton is, indeed, real life.

And it's awesome.

Singleton is a 30-year-old factory worker -- resin plant mixer -- at Advanced Electrical Varnishes in Birkenhead, England.

READ: Canadian golf professional saves man from sinking minivan

Borrowing two wedges from a friend, Singleton earned a spot in next week's Open Championship at Royal Liverpool via a qualifier at Hillside Golf Club in Southport last Tuesday.

Singleton shot rounds of 72-66 in the 36-hole qualifier before advancing in a playoff.

Absolutely incredible.

The only question left was whether or not Singleton would be able to get the time off of work to play in the Open.

His boss came up aces.

Singleton was granted two weeks off -- this week so he can practice and next week so he can compete. On top of that, his boss wanted to be fair to the other workers.

"Because we cut John some slack we thought we ought to cut everybody else some," Richard Tweddle said. "We gave them a day's holiday and said if they want to take it on Thursday and go to the Open we would buy them tickets."

How cool is that? 

July 8, 2014 - 8:29am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Josh Gardner
Josh Gardner, a head golf professional in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, saved a man from a minivan on Saturday moments after it crashed into a pond not far from where Gardner was on the practice tee giving a lesson.

Head golf professionals wear many hats. Among their duties? Organize tournaments, give lessons, mentor assistant professionals, run a pro shop -- the list goes on.

One duty you wouldn't expect to find on that list is "life saver." However, you can now add that to Josh Gardner's resume.

Gardner, the head golf professional at Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, quickly sprung into action when he saw something you don't see everyday on the golf course this past Saturday.

READ: Weirdest things you've seen on the golf courseMcNeill learns of sister's death moments after 61

As he was giving a lesson, Gardner noticed a minivan coming down a hill behind him. Moments later, it went airborne and plunged into the middle of a pond on the course.

Gardner immediately directed one of his assistants to call 911. Gardner called out to the driver several times, but when he didn't get a response, he made the decision to jump into the water.

Here's what Gardner told the Calgary Sun:

"He wasn't responding so I just made the choice to go into the water," he said.

"(The minivan) started to go down, I could see the water level rising in it."

Gardner said he swam out about 20 metres to the van, which was sinking in water he estimates was about 12 metres deep.

"I swam in through the driver's side window and got his seatbelt off," he said.

"The water was coming in strong, it was up to his chest."

Gardner safely got the driver -- a man in his 40s, who emergency crews believe experienced a medical situation before the crash -- back to dry land.

With a belief that there may be another person in the minivan, Gardner jumped right back into the water to inspect. It turns out the driver was the only occupant.

"It's a great feeling (to have helped save him), but I just did what anybody would do," Gardner told the Calgary Sun. "It was an emotional day, but it was a best case scenario for that situation."