Golf Buzz

May 6, 2014 - 1:12pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bubba Watson
USA Today Sports Images
Bubba Watson did not play in the 2012 Players Championship after winning the first of his two green jackets.

Bubba Watson is making his first start on the PGA Tour since winning the Masters this week when he tees it up in the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.

Previously, Watson's best finish at the Players was a tie for 37th -- something he's done twice (2013 and 2009).

RELATED: Bubba Watson's caddie tries to qualify for Zurich Classic

While Watson's track record may not be the greatest at TPC Sawgrass, it's always interesting to see how the reigning Masters champ fares in his first on the PGA Tour after slipping into the green jacket.

Here's a look at the last 10 Masters winners and how that finished in their next PGA Tour start:

2013: Adam Scott, T19 in the Players Championship
2012: Bubba Watson, T18 in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans
2011: Charl Schwartzel, T26 in the Players Championship
2010: Phil Mickelson, Second at the Wells Fargo Championship
2009: Angel Cabrera, Missed Cut at Wells Fargo Championship
2008: Trevor Immelman, Missed Cut in the EDS Byron Nelson Championship
2007: Zach Johnson, Sixth in the RBC Heritage
2006: Phil Mickelson, T15 at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans
2005: Tiger Woods, T11 at the Wells Fargo Championship
2004: Phil Mickelson, T2 at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Of that list, Watson (2012) and Immelman are the only two reigning Masters champions who did not play in the Players Championship the same year they won the Masters.

Immelman withdrew from the tournament in 2008 citing illness, while Watson provided this commentary on Twitter in 2012 to explain his pass on the Players:

  • "I've decided to pull out of the Players. I need to spend more time with Caleb and Angie, plan to take at least a month off."
  • "The Players is one of the best weeks of the year but bonding with my son and wife is what it is all about right now."
  • "Sorry to disappoint fans but the Players has one of the best fields all year, tourney is more than fine without me."

NOTE: In 2007, the Players Championship moved from March to May.

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

May 6, 2014 - 8:51am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bryan Brothers
The Bryan Brothers latest trick-shot effort takes place at night -- so it's not only during the daylight hours that this duo can pull off trick shots.

You've seen all the incredible trick shots the Bryan Brothers can pull off in daylight (and we're told there are plenty more to come).

Now check them out under the lights.

In the latest Bryan Brothers effort -- filmed at night and with an emphasis on production quality -- Wesley and George wow us again.

RELATED: Meet the Bryan Brothers | Trick shot video compilation | Two man trick shot

This video is certainly more dangerous than those before it too. Example: George hitting a pitch shot over a bunker directly in front of Wesley, who then rips the ball while it's still in the air with his driver (like a major-league pitcher throwing underhand to a David Ortiz), while George immediately takes cover.

Also notably cool about the latest Bryan Bros. video is the use of slo-mo replay so you can truly appreciate the difficulty and skill involved in these trick shots.

And hang in there until the very end for a "spark shot" -- you won't be disappointed.

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


Miguel Angel Jimenez and Susanna Styblo
Miguel Angel Jimenez and Susanna Styblo posed atop a classic Rolls Royce after their wedding in Spain.

Spring is wedding season, but I have to admit I didn't know that Miguel Angel Jimenez would be joining the ranks of newlyweds. Yet barely a month after he finished fourth at the Masters and only a few weeks after he won his Champions Tour debut, "the most interesting man in golf" got all dressed up and tied the knot with girlfriend Susanna Styblo over the weekend.

The ceremony took place at his Miguel Angel Jimenez Golf Academy in Torremolinos, Spain – not far from his longtime home in the sunny Costa del Sol village of Malaga. And as you might expect from a guy whose nickname is "the Mechanic," a cool car played a key role in his big day – Styblo rode a classic Rolls Royce to the ceremony, and the happy couple posed for some post-nuptials photos on the car's hood.

MORE JIMENEZ: TJ Auclair explores the "most interesting man in the world" connection

No word yet on the newlyweds' honeymoon plans, but there's little doubt that Jimenez will be back soon – he's made it known that he's focused on making the European Ryder Cup team one more time at age 50. It would be crazy to count him out – after all, he owns 20 European Tour titles and is the oldest player ever to win on the European circuit. He's currently ranked No. 33 in the world and is in the top 10 of the European Ryder Cup points list.

So congratulations to our favorite cigar-smoking, Rioja-drinking, golf course-designing, gourmet food-cooking owner of the most amazing pre-round stretching routine in all of golf. Here are some photos of the wedding shared via social media:




TaylorMade SLDR S driver and woods, and SLDR irons
Courtesy of TaylorMade
The TaylorMade SLDR S driver, woods and rescues and the SLDR irons join an already expansive collection of clubs in the SLDR family.

The flagship SLDR franchise at TaylorMade, which has grown steadily since its introduction, is about to undergo a massive expansion. On Monday, the company showed off its forthcoming SLDR S driver, fairway woods and rescue clubs along with the first edition of SLDR irons.

The "S" stands for silver, which is the color of the crowns on the new driver and woods – differentiating them from the dark and white crowns on previous SLDR releases. They're all designed for players of a wide variety of skill levels, and all created to help golfers get more distance. In fact, the company is already using the hashtag #DistanceforAll to promote these new sticks.

The 460cc titanium driver includes the sliding weight system found on those earlier SLDR drivers, but not the adjustable hosel. And, in keeping with TaylorMade's current "Loft Up" campaign to get amateur golfers to use drivers with higher lofts – this new driver comes in lofts of 10, 12, 14 and even 16 degrees. Its stock shaft is the Fujikura Motore Speeder 57.

The fairway woods, whose heads are made of stainless steel, come in 3-wood (in 15- and 17-degree options), 5-wood (in 19- and 21-degree options) and 7-wood (23 degrees), and come standard with a Fujikura Motore Speeder 65 shaft. The stainless steel rescue clubs come in 19-, 22-, 25- and 28-degree models with a Fujikura Motore Speeder 72 stock shaft.

These clubs will be available at retail on May 16. The driver will carry a suggested retail price of $329, while the fairway woods will go for $229 and the rescue clubs for $179.

MORE SLDR: SLDR white driver | SLDR 430 driver | SLDR 14-degree driver | Original SLDR clubs 

The SLDR irons, like the new SLDR S woods, are designed for golfers of all skill levels. The 3- through 7-irons include the Speed Pocket, a narrow slot cut in the sole intended to generate more face flex, that is also found in other recent TaylorMade irons like the RocketBladez, while the 8- and 9-irons feature a solid sole. 

The Speed Pocket permits the face to rebound farther and more easily upon impact, particularly when a golfer hits the ball low on the face. The improved flex, says TaylorMade, promotes increased Coefficient of Restitution – or springiness – and can help most golfers add several yards per shot. The Speed Pocket also helps to lower the Center of Gravity, promoting a higher launch angle, higher peak trajectory and a steep, quick-stopping descent.

The SLDR irons feature a classic design with a thin topline and sole, and a limited amount of offset. They also will be available this month with a suggested retail price of $899 for a set of eight irons with KBS Tour C-Taper 90 steel shafts or three optional Fujikura graphite shafts.

Here is a TaylorMade video explaining more about the new clubs:





Tiger Woods
Getty Images
Tiger Woods has been chipping and putting, but still cannot pinpoint when he will begin to take full swings as he continues his recovery from surgery for a pinched nerve in his back.

Tiger Woods – who is the defending champion of this week's Players Championship but obviously is having to sit out – gave us an update on his physical status today, and it contained some good news and some bad news.

The bad news: Tiger still isn't sure when he'll be back on the PGA Tour as he recovers from microdiscectomy surgery for a pinched nerve in his back.

"As for my return to golf, I really don't know. I'm doing everything I can and listening to my doctors and working on a strength program, and then we just have to see how my back is," Woods wrote, noting that he is still sore from the incision. "Some people heal up in three months, some people take four months, some people take longer. I just don't know."

Now, the good news. 

"One reassuring thing from my medical exam is I have zero arthritic changes whatsoever. I've kept myself in very good shape over the years, and it has paid off," he wrote. "We knew going into this procedure that it really helps to be strong, especially in my glutes and my abs. I was strong in both departments, and that helps with the recovery and rehab, and you're able to come back faster."

GOLF BUZZ: More on Tiger's back surgery, including his official statement

Woods has been walking, cycling and even swimming – but chipping and putting is about it as far as golf-related activities go so far.

"I haven't really rotated yet," he wrote. "As far as taking a full swing, I have conference calls with my doctors every couple of weeks to see how my progress is and just kind of chart it out from there. Basically, you just follow a program. It's tedious because it's little rehab stuff, but you still have to do it."

In the post, Woods also congratulated Bubba Watson for his second Masters victory, talked about the time he's been spending with his kids, gave an update on some golf course design projects, and thanked his fans for all their get-well wishes. To read his entire post, click here.


Grande Dunes No. 14
Bob Denney/PGA of America
Grande Dunes No. 14 will require a 200-yard carry over water and an expansive bunker guarding the front of the green.

Monday was media day for the 47th PGA Professional National Championship, to be held June 22-25 at The Dunes Golf & Beach Club and Grande Dunes Resort Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

47th PGA PROFESSIONAL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: History, course tour and more

The PGA of America's Bob Denney got a chance to get out on the courses -- and snapped this awesome photo of one of the par threes that could present a "formidable" challenge next month. I'm not sure that's adequate to describe what golfers will see from the tee box.

Short is bad. Right is worse, way worse.






A field of 312 PGA Professionals representing 43 states and 41 PGA Sections will play in the largest all-professional championship in the country.

Myrtle Beach marks the ninth time that the Carolinas PGA Section has hosted the Championship. It will be the second visit by the Championship to South Carolina, and first since 2005.

Golf Channel will televise all four rounds live for the 18th consecutive year.