Golf Buzz

June 3, 2014 - 9:11am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Landon Michelson
USA Today Sports Images
Landon Michelson, a 22-year-old amateur, looked to have locked up at least a playoff for a spot at a 36-hole U.S. Open sectional qualifier on Monday. However, his dreams were dashed due to an error on his scorecard.

This one is going to hurt.'s Will Gray has the unfortunate story of 22-year-old amateur Landon Michelson, who seemed to have qualified for the U.S. Open yesterday.

However, that dream of heading to Pinehurst was quickly turned into a nightmare.

Michelson shot 1-under 71 in both rounds at his sectional qualifier at Quail Valley Golf Club in Vero Beach, Fla. As Gray explained, "He'd broken par both rounds, and at worst looked to be facing a 2-for-1 playoff for a spot in his first U.S. Open."

RELATED: U.S. Open qualifier results | Mickelson gets a look at revamped Pinehurst

Michelson -- ecstatic over his play -- made one big mistake. He didn't pay close enough attention to his scorecard before signing it. Michelson's playing partner inadvertently put Michelson down for a par on the 11th hole in the second round. Michelson actually had a three-putt bogey on the hole.

Michelson signed for a 70 instead of a 71 and was disqualified.

"I'm pretty devastated," Michelson told "Just so frustrating."

From Gray's report:

Michelson, who arrived at the course at 6 a.m. as the first alternate and got into the field only after PGA Tour winner Fredrik Jacobson withdrew, was one of only eight players to break par during the morning wave. He began the second round tied for fifth among a field of 55 players with four spots at Pinehurst up for grabs.

An eagle on the par-5 14th vaulted Michelson into contention. When he finished the day at 2-under 142, he was tied for fourth place with veteran Aron Price and was preparing for a possible playoff, with Price playing the difficult finishing hole two groups behind.

Michelson's caddie Chris Ingham, wrote Gray, began to get congratulatory phone calls even though the U.S. Open spot wasn't yet locked up. Then, Ingham and Michelson noticed that the leaderboard showed Michelson's two-round score listed as 141, not 142.

Michelson had missed the error when he signed his scorecard and was forced to report the oversight to officials, leading to his disqualification.

"Today was one of the first rounds I've ever been like, super focused," Michelson said. "I didn't even know what I was at, to be honest with you. The guy (in scoring) told me I shot 70 and I was like, 'Yeah, sounds right.' Looking over it, Chris and I went over it and it was a 71."

Tough, tough break. 

Phil Mickelson at Pinehurst
Pinehurst Resort via YouTube
"It's so fun to play and it's strategic," Phil Mickelson said after his round at Pinehurst No. 2 on Monday.

While hundreds of players were trying to qualify their way into the U.S. Open on Monday, Phil Mickelson spent the day checking out the No. 2 Course at Pinehurst.

After his scouting mission, Mickelson seemed quite pleased with what he saw of the renovated layout.

"I think everybody loves … what [course designers Ben] Crenshaw and [Bill] Coore did here," Mickelson said in a brief video interview with the Pinehurst Resort . "They're the best at what they do, and they took a real gem from Donald Ross and they left the greatness of it, which are the greens, and restored the shotmaking value that was originally intended. 

GOLF BUZZ VIDEO: Gary Player calls his shot at Pinehurst

"It's so fun to play and it's strategic," he explained. "You have so many decisions you can make off the tee, what club you hit. And around the greens, so much skill and touch is involved with your short game, which is to salvage shots, as opposed to the 'hit-it-and-hope' out of the thick, heavy rough."

Even though No. 2 looks much different from other U.S. Open courses, Mickelson doesn't expect this U.S. Open to be much different from its predecessors.

"The challenge is still hitting the fairways and still recovering shots out of the rough and salvaging pars," he said. "The greens are so penalizing that if you're not in the fairways, getting the ball onto the surface is almost impossible. You've got to be in the fairway to have a realistic chance of controlling your shot and keeping it on the green."

Here's the entire interview:




June 2, 2014 - 1:54pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Jordan Spieth
Asked to recreate the shot that got him into a playoff and led to an eventual win at the 2013 John Deere Classic, Jordan Spieth did not disappoint.

Jordan Spieth is at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill., today for John Deere Classic Media Day.

As you may remember, Spieth picked up his first PGA Tour victory at the John Deere Classic last summer. It wasn't easy either. Spieth had to hole this ridiculous bunker shot on the 72nd hole just to earn a spot in a playoff:

Spieth would eventually outlast David Hearn and Zach Johnson after a five-hole playoff.

Fast forward to today. Spieth tweeted this out about 10 minites ago:

@JordanSpieth: Recreating the bunker shot @jdclassic during media day.. Anyone gonna believe it was the first try?

He provided a link to his Instagram account. So, here's the video evidence of Spieth recreating the bunker shot that got him into that playoff:

Umm... That's a pretty darned good recreation, isn't it?

June 2, 2014 - 8:24am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bubba Watson, Jack Nicklaus
CBS Sports
A side-by-side swing comparison of Bubba Watson and Jack Nicklaus (flipped around to the left side).

In case you missed it on Sunday, during the final round of the Memorial CBS on-course reporter, and PGA Professional Peter Kostis, showed viewers a swing comparison between Bubba Watson and Jack Nicklaus.

How could he do that? Watson is a lefty and Nicklaus a righty.

Well, thanks to some spectacular technology, Kostis was able to flip Nicklaus around to the left side.

Check it out:

For all that's made of the uniqueness of Watson's swing, it does have a pretty uncanny resemblance to the game's greatest champion.

And, lately, it seems Watson is having similar success to Nicklaus at Augusta National.

June 1, 2014 - 7:31pm
mark.aumann's picture
Scott Langley
Scott Langley waits patiently for his ball to fall into the cup at the 16th hole Sunday.

What was the old Carly Simon song used for the ketchup commercial? "Anticipation, is making me wait."

Scott Langley knows the feeling. 

On Sunday, Langley hit a putt on the 16th hole that hung on the edge of the cup for what seemed like forever, although in reality it was just 22 seconds.

Watch as both Langley and playing partner Bubba Watson are perplexed as to how to proceed.

The official rule involved is Rule 16-2. Here's how it reads:

"When any part of the ball overhangs the lip of the hole, the player is allowed enough time to reach the hole without unreasonable delay and an additional ten seconds to determine whether the ball is at rest. If by then the ball has not fallen into the hole, it is deemed to be at rest. If the ball subsequently falls into the hole, the player is deemed to have holed out with his last stroke, and must add a penalty stroke to his score for the hole; otherwise, there is no penalty under this Rule."

Bryan Jones, co-vice chairman of the PGA Rules Committee, watched the video and here's his interpretation:

"That was a pretty short putt. Generally the player is allowed a little 'reaction time' to the putt not dropping and the time needed to get to the hole before the 10 seconds starts. He certainly took a circuitous route to the hole and while watching I started my count and the ball fell in at the eight-second mark based on my count.

"An argument could certainly be made that he could have reacted a little quicker and the clock would have started sooner. In any case the comments by the announcers about hitting a moving ball are completely incorrect because the specifics of Rule 16-2 override Rule 14 in this example."

Fortunately for Langley, his patience was eventually rewarded.

Bubba Watson
Bubba Watson's driver rests up against the ball as he attempts to putt it Saturday.

Did Bubba bump the ball?

That's the question PGA Tour officials -- and many fans -- were asking themselves after Bubba Watson lined up with his driver in an effort to putt the ball from the fringe surrounding the 18th green at the Memorial Tournament on Saturday.

Here's the video replay. You be the judge:

Here's the official decision, according to the Associated Press:

"We looked at it in real time," said tour rules official Slugger White. "It looked like he may have touched it. And the ball didn't move. That's all. It was easy."

Under rule 18-2a, a player when addressing the ball can make contact with it and no penalty is given if the ball returns to its original position.

RULES OF GOLF: What to do when your ball moves at address

White said there was no real debate about whether the ball ever really moved.

"I wouldn't even call it moving," he said. "I don't think it even moved out of where it was."