Golf Buzz

August 18, 2014 - 7:34am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Tom Watson
Tom Watson
ALS hits close to home for 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson. So, it was no surprise to see him take the "Ice Bucket Challenge" over the weekend to raise awareness for the disease.

By now, you've surely heard of the "Ice Bucket Challenge."

If you haven't, here's the skinny: It's an act that has taken over social media of late, where people take video of themselves dumping a bucket of ice water over their head to raise awareness -- and money -- for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Along with dumping a bucket of ice water on their head, people who partake in the challenge donate a small sum of money to ALS research. They then nominate others to take the challenge. Should the nominees fail to complete the challenge within 24 hours, they're supposed to donate a larger sum (typically $100) to ALS research.

RELATED: Tom Watson's latest Captain's Blog | Pro golfers and the Ice Bucket Challenge

Over the weekend, 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson got in on the challenge. ALS hits close to home for Watson. He lost his great friend and longtime caddie Bruce Edwards to the disease in 2004.

You can watch Watson and wife Hilary's video here:


Pretty cool there that Watson nominated his entire U.S. team to take the challenge. Expect more fun, creative videos to come all in the name of a great cause.

According to a story in the New York Times on Sunday, the "Ice Bucket Challenge" has raised a whole lot of money for ALS:

People have shared more than 1.2 million videos on Facebook between June 1 and Aug. 13 and mentioned the phenomenon more than 2.2 million times on Twitter since July 29, according to those sites. Donations to the ALS Association have spiked. As of Sunday, the association said it had received $13.3 million in donations since July 29, compared with $1.7 million during the same period last year. It said there were about 260,000 new donors. (With a spate of celebrities and business executives joining in over the past few days and pledging contributions, that number is expected to rise.)

The article also says roughly 30,000 Americans now have the disease, which attacks nerve cells and ultimately leads to total paralysis, though the mind remains sharp. Life expectancy is typically two to five years from the time of diagnosis. 

August 17, 2014 - 9:13am
mark.aumann's picture
Wes Roach
Getty Images
Wes Roach had seven birdies Sunday at the Wyndham Championship.

Wes Roach promised he'd play a fast round of golf Sunday in the final round of the Wyndham Championship, and he didn't disappoint. In fact, he shot his best score of the tournament -- a 5-under 65, including seven birdies -- despite burning through 18 holes in less than two and a half hours.



The next closest group was six holes behind when Roach finished up with a par at No. 18. And there were still 42 golfers waiting to start their rounds.

How fast did Roach play? The final group at the European Tour's Made in Denmark tournament still had five holes to play, and there's a six-hour time difference between Greensboro and Aalborg, Denmark. (However, factor in a 90-minute suspension of play for heavy rain, but still.)

Fast rounds aren't always the norm in a sport where "on the clock" is a phrase no one wants to hear, but there was a quicker one earlier this season on the PGA Tour. Max Homa's caddy, Joe Greiner, clocked Homa's round at the Puerto Rico Open in March at just a tick under two hours.



And here was Homa's take:

Roach's round perhaps wasn't one of the fastest in professional golf history, but with seven birdies, nine pars and only two bogeys over 2:25, it has to be one of the best. 

According to England's Golf Today website, the fastest unofficial professional round was in the 1998 Nabisco Championship at Pebble Beach, when Mark O'Meara and Greg Norman both shot 79 in the final round to finish last and next to last, taking one hour and 24 minutes.

Just to show that slow golf is a relatively new phenomenon, in 1960, George Bayer and Jack Fleck played 18 holes at Augusta in the final round of the Masters in 1:52, with Bayer shooting 72 and Fleck 74. That was five minutes quicker than what Gene Sarazen and George Fazio were able to accomplish in 1947, but Sarazen shot 70 that day.

Iris Nebula
Jimmy Walker's photo of the Iris Nebula was selected to be NASA's astronomy photograph for Aug. 2.

Ryder Cup-bound Jimmy Walker is not only a rising star on the PGA Tour, but his photographs of the heavens have turned a few heads skyward as well.

Walker's hobby -- and perhaps his passion -- is astrophotography. He has a pretty impressive setup at his home in Boerne, Texas, and sometimes takes his equipment on the road with him. Here's part of his introduction on his website:

"Astrophotography for me represents everything I enjoy in life. I love being outside. I play professional golf and this has always been a part of my life. I enjoy the technical aspect of setting up the equipment and taking images. Also, the artistic side of putting the pictures together and putting my personal touch and thought into each final product."

His photo of the Iris Nebula, otherwise known as NGC 7023, was selected as NASA's astronomy picture of the day for August 2, with explanation written and edited by Michigan Tech's Robert Nemiroff, a professor of physics and co-creater of the site, and University of Maryland astrophysicist Jerry Bonnell, who just happens to work at NASA's Goddard Flight Space Center.

If you'd like to see more of Walker's astrophotography, his gallery is located here. You can even buy prints online.


August 16, 2014 - 10:24am
mark.aumann's picture
Rory McIlory and Ian Poulter
Ian Poulter/Twtter
Rory McIlory shows off the Claret Jug at Old Trafford before Manchester United's Premier League opener Saturday, while Ian Poulter was wearing a similar suit earlier this summer.

If you thought the suit Rory McIlroy wore Saturday for Manchester United's Premier League opener at Old Trafford looked familiar, so did Ian Poulter.

That's because Poulter wore a suit very similar in style and cut earlier this summer.

In fact, the resemblance was strong enough to set off a Twitter exchange between the two:





Same fashion sense, or same tailor? You decide. In either case, it appears gray tartans are all the rage in Great Britain this year.

August 15, 2014 - 11:18am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Relaxed Rules of Golf, golf
Golf Channel
These seven "Relaxed Rules" for amateur golfers are sure to make the game more enjoyable and take less time.

In case you missed it, Golf Channel personalities Matt Ginella and Charlie Rymer were on "Morning Drive" today to introduce what they call the, "Relaxed Rules of Golf."

You can check it out here:

The idea behind these relaxed rules, Ginella and Rymer explained, is to make the game more fun for those already playing (and not at an elite level) and to also make the game less intimidating for those learning to play.

"We're not suggesting that golfers ignore the official rules," Ginella said. "They should continue to be used for any type of competitive play. But when it's a match among friends, relaxed rules can make the game easier, faster and more fun. These simply are common sense practices for avid amateurs, and it's how the majority of the game is being played anyway."

With that, Ginella and Rymer laid out these seven "relaxed rules" to make the game more fun:

1. MAXIMUM SCORE: Double par (i.e. 6 on par 3s, 8 on par 4s...)

2. PENALTIES: All are one stroke, including out of bounds, water and lateral hazards, lost ball and unplayable lie. Drop a ball near where the original was lost and play on.

3. SEARCH TIME: Two minutes to look for your ball. If lost, proceed under Rule 2.

4. UNFORTUNATE LIES: With your playing partners’ consent, balls may be dropped out of divots or footprints, away from tree roots and any other dangerous lies.

5. CONCEDED PUTTS: Putts may be conceded with your playing partners’ consent.

6. EQUIPMENT: No restrictions, including number of clubs.

7. COMMON SENSE: When in doubt, use common sense and fairness.

I don't know about you, but I like these rules.

Getty Images
Justine Reed is back on the bag for husband Patrick at the Wyndham Championship.

Patrick Reed's regular caddie is back, after taking maternity leave. Wife Justine is on the bag this week at the Wyndham Championship for the first time since the couple had their first child -- Windsor-Wells Reed -- in late May.



Perhaps getting Team Reed back in place will help Patrick regain the form he had starting at this point last season, when he won at Greensboro and then followed that up with victories at the Humana Challenge and Cadillac Championship. But since that win in March, Reed has missed six cuts and scored just one top-10 finish in the meantime -- a tie for fourth at the Bridgestone Invitational.

In case you're wondering, Justine's athletic resume is quite stout. She helped start the women’s golf team at Klein Forest High School in Houston, and also played soccer and swam. She is currently a registered nurse when she's not looping on the PGA Tour.