Golf Buzz

September 17, 2014 - 8:22am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
damaged golf course
WIVB Channel 4 News
Police in western New York apprehended a man over the weekend for damaging two local golf courses. His reason? He was upset after his girlfriend dumped him.

A broken heart can make a person do silly things -- or in the case of 23-year-old Austin Christopher from western New York, downright stupid things.

WIVB Channel 4 News in New York has a report about Christopher from over the weekend, who was arrested after causing more than $50,000 worth of damage to local golf courses with his pick-up truck.

The reason for the destruction? Christopher told police it was because he was upset after his girlfriend dumped him.

Christopher was caught after a neighbor near Harvest Hill Golf Course in Orchard Park, N.Y., called 911 to report the incident that tore up the ninth green.

Christopher may have been tougher to catch had he not initially driven past the 18th green, where nearby surveillance cameras allowed police to easily identify the suspect.

When police caught up to Christopher, there was still turf stuck to his tires.

According to the news report, Christopher was released after posting bail, but was right back in police custody after it was discovered that he also tore up a practice area at another nearby golf course -- Bob-O-Link Golf Club.

Christopher is now being held on $25,000 bail, charged with criminal trespassing and criminal mischief -- a felony.

Here's the full report: 

September 17, 2014 - 7:53am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
1997 Ryder Cup
The 1997 Ryder Cup at Valderrama in Sotogrande, Spain, marked the first time the matches were played in continental Europe.

For the first time in Ryder Cup history, the 1997 matches at Valderrama in Sotogrande, Spain, were played in continental Europe. And, there was a very special European captain for the occasion -- Seve Ballesteros.

The Europeans took a commanding five-point lead into the Sunday singles matches -- 10 1/2-5 1/2 -- but the Americans came storming back, only to fall just short.

The U.S. won the final session by an 8-4 margin, but lost the matches 14 1/2-13 1/2. It was the first of four consecutive (and counting) home victories for the Europeans.

Here's a look back at the day-by-day breakdown:


Billy Horschel's wife and daughter
Billy Horschel via Twitter
After daughter Skylar was born on Tuesday, FedExCup champion Billy Horschel tweeted, "Greatest day of my life/greatest month of my life! The man upstairs has been so gracious to shine the light on me this past month!"

On Sunday, Billy Horschel won the Tour Championship and the FedExCup – and the $10 million bonus that goes with it. Tonight, he got an even bigger prize.

Skylar Lillian Horschel arrived at 8:48 p.m. ET on Tuesday, and Horschel was quick to post a an Instagram photo of his brand-new daughter snuggled in the arms of her mother, Britt.

I've never met Britt, but she is already one of my favorite PGA Tour wives. Why? Because in this day and age when PGA Tour players often rush home from tournaments to be present for the birth of their children, she would have none of that. 

As Billy was progressing through the playoffs and closing in on the FedExCup crown, she basically told him to stay put and go win that $10 million. That's exactly what my wife would've told me – and he did just that.

Britt was back home in Florida on Sunday and, after Horschel clinched his life-changing victory, she posted a photo of herself with Skylar still ensconced in her belly that said, "'we' made it! congrats daddy!"

So congrats, Horschels – all three of you – for a week, a month and a year you'll never forget. Skylar, welcome to the world. And Billy, just think of all the crazy golf pants you can buy Skylar for $10 million! 



September 16, 2014 - 8:47am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
1995 Ryder Cup
Take a look back at highlights from the 1995 Ryder Cup at Oak Hill in Rochester, N.Y. -- the first time the Europeans overcame a final-day deficit.

Today we take you back to the fall of 1995, where the 31st Ryder Cup Matches were held at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y.

It was truly the start of what has become European dominance.

Taking a 9-7 lead into Sunday's singles matches, the U.S. looked to be in great position to win a third consecutive Ryder Cup. Instead, the tables turned on the final day. Europe won the singles session 7 1/2-4 1/2 and went on to a 14 1/2-13 1/2 victory.

It was the first time the Europeans ever overcame a deficit going into the final day's play. Irish rookie Philip Walton secured the winning point for the Europeans in a 1-up victory over Jay Haas.

Since 1995, the Europeans have won six of the last eight Ryder Cups.

Here's a look back at the day-by-day breakdown: 

September 16, 2014 - 8:12am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Peter Uihlein
Everyone is afraid of something. For pro golfer Peter Uihlein, it's tiny frogs.

We've profiled crocodile attacks in this space before. We've written about a man swallowed by a sinkhole while walking down a fairway.

There was also that one time that Daniela Holmqvist of Sweden was bitten by a black widow during a qualifier on the Ladies European Tour. Earlier this year, Spain's Pablo Larrazabal was attacked by hornets in the second round of the Maybank Malaysian Open and jumped in a lake.

All of that is serious, serious stuff. And, luckily, everyone involved was OK.

Compared to those potentially life-threatening situations, what happened to Peter Uihlein in the European Tour's KLM Open last week is fall out of your chair, laugh out loud funny.

During Sunday's final round, Uihlein was faced with a shot from the side of an adjacent tee box. As he set to address the ball, he suddenly jumped, frighteningly, leading commentators to believe there must be a nasty snake that popped out of the grass.

As you can see in the video below, it turns out the predator was merely a tiny, little frog:

After surviving the attack, a shaken Uihlein went on to tie for 22nd.

The "incident" gave everyone a good laugh, including Uihlein's good buddy Rickie Fowler:

Uihlein tweeted back:

Hey, we all have a phobia... Some people are afraid of the dark. Some are afraid of heights. Some are afraid of confined spaces. Some are afraid of deadly snakes or grizzly bears.

For poor, ole Peter Uihlein, it's little frogs. A great gag gift for Uihlein this holiday season might be a DVD of, "The Muppets." 

Billy Horschel and Rory McIlroy at the Tour Championship
USA Today Sports Images
Billy Horschel (l) won the FedExCup, while Rory McIlroy won two straight majors.
Now that the FedExCup has been decided, the PGA Tour has unveiled its five official candidates for Player of the Year honors. They are, listed alphabetically, Billy Horschel, Martin Kaymer, Rory McIlroy, Jimmy Walker and Bubba Watson. 
If you had a vote, who would you choose? 
Here are some highlights from each candidate's season, just to refresh your memory (again, listed alphabetically):
Billy Horschel
--Won the FedExCup, thanks to back-to-back victories in the BMW Championship and Tour Championship.
--Was the sixth player to win multiple FedExCup Playoff events in one season, joining Tiger Woods (2007), Vijay Singh (2008), Camilo Villegas (2008), Rory McIlroy (2012) and Henrik Stenson (2013).
--Finished seventh on official money list ($4,814,787), and recorded five top-10 finishes.
Martin Kaymer
--Finished 16th in the FedExCup.
--Won both U.S. Open and The Players Championship, becoming the first player ever to capture both those events in the same season.
--Finished 10th on official money list ($4,532,537), and recorded four top-10 finishes.
Rory McIlroy
--Finished third in the FedExCup.
--Won both the British Open and PGA Championship, along with the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, in a span of three straight summer starts.
--Finished first on official money list ($8,280,096), and recorded a PGA Tour-leading total of 12 top-10 finishes.
--Won the PGA Tour's Byron Nelson Trophy for adjusted scoring average (68.827) and Arnold Palmer Award as the leading money-winner, and was first player since Padraig Harrington in 2008 to win consecutive majors.
Jimmy Walker
--Finished seventh in the FedExCup, and led FedExCup standings for 36 of the first 37 weeks of the season, including a record 30 straight weeks.
--Earned three victories – Open, Sony Open in Hawaii and AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am – in 27 starts.
--Finished fourth on official money list ($5,787,016), and recorded 10 top-10 finishes.
Bubba Watson
--Finished fifth in the FedExCup.
--Won the Masters (for the second time in three years) as well as the Northern Trust Open and the Masters Tournament.
--Finished second on official money list ($6,336,978), and recorded a total of eight top-10 finishes ( a career high).
The player of the year award will be decided by a vote of the PGA Tour players who played in at least 15 official money events during the 2013-14 season. The voting will close on Sept. 25, and the winner will be announced the week after the Ryder Cup.