Golf Buzz

June 15, 2014 - 2:09pm
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Zach Johnson
Zach Johnson raises his hands in the air after making an ace Sunday on No. 9.

Who says the pin placements are too tough for Sunday's final round at Pinehurst No. 2? At the par-3, 172-yard No. 9 hole, Zach Johnson made a hole-in-one -- the third in three years, following the ace by Shawn Stefani at Merion last year and one by John Peterson at Olympic Club in 2012. 

Watch the video to see how he pulled it off:



Johnson then decided to celebrate with the fans lining both sides of the hole, running along and giving high-fives.




Roger Maltbie
Getty Images
Roger Maltbie's cart driver was arrested for hitting state trooper at U.S. Open.

PINEHURST, N.C. – The man who drove NBC Sports analyst Roger Maltbie's golf cart during the third round of the U.S. Open is facing four charges after an incident with a state trooper on the course, a North Carolina State Police spokeswoman said Sunday. 

According to a police report, Tommy Lineberry was charged with felony assault on a law enforcement officer, felony hit and run, driving while impaired, and resisting, obstructing and delaying a law enforcement officer. 

Spokeswoman Pam Walker said the 59-year-old Lineberry, from Wilmington, was released from the Moore County jail Saturday night after posting bail. 

Lineberry didn't immediately return a telephone message seeking comment. 

The trooper said Lineberry ignored instructions to stay put, then hit the officer with his golf cart. 

U.S. OPEN COVERAGE: Follow the action with our news, video, features, photos and more 

Maltbie was walking Saturday with the final group of Martin Kaymer and Brendon Todd. Lineberry's job is to drive Maltbie to get in position for the next shots. 

An Associated Press reporter who witnessed the incident heard Lineberry tell the trooper, "I'm supposed to get the cart to Roger." 

"When a state trooper tells you to stop, THAT'S what you're supposed to do," the trooper responded, inches from Lineberry's face. 

The trooper was holding traffic behind a walkway as the players teed off on the 11th hole. He told Lineberry that the cart struck his leg. The trooper asked for any the names of witnesses, and three people in the gallery immediately handed him their business cards. 

The trooper ran after and then collared Lineberry, quickly placing him in handcuffs. 


June 15, 2014 - 12:25pm
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Martin Kaymer
USA Today Images
Martin Kaymer takes a drop Saturday after declaring his lie on No. 4 unplayable.

It's hard to imagine that an unplayable lie could have been the catalyst to turn Martin Kaymer's round around, but that was the case Saturday in the third round of the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2.

After making just his second bogey of the tournament on the previous hole, Kaymer pulled his drive low and left into a group of pine trees, his ball landing in an area where rain had washed the pine needles into a large pile. With his ball sitting on hardpan but nestled against the pine needles, Kaymer asked for relief.

U.S. OPEN: Complete final-round coverage

Here's how Bryan Jones, co-vice chairman of the PGA Rules Committee, saw the situation unfold:

"The walking referee was Tom O'Toole, current USGA President and a very qualified rules official. However, you see that he immediately calls in Jeff Hall of the USGA, who is the best of the best and in the position of a rules 'rover' in the championship. In the major championships, whether there are walking referees or hole referees, the committee utilizes its authority to limit a referee's duties under Rule 33-1 regarding Abnormal Ground Conditions (in this case, determining ground under repair) because the roving referee will be better informed as to the overall condition of the course and will be in a place to rule fairly. That is what Jeff did; he denied any relief for ground under repair.

U.S. OPEN: Putting Kaymer's 54-hole lead in perspective

"Martin now decides he does not want to risk a shot at the ball in its current lie so he -- the only person who can -- declares it unplayable under Rule 28. He now has three options, which include a stroke penalty: 1. go back to where he last played, 2. while keeping the current ball position between it and the hole, he may drop a ball on that line as far back as he wants; 3. drop two clublengths, no closer to the hole from where the ball lay. My experience is that these guys never want to give up ground so he decided on Option No. 3.

"Now another rule takes over that might look a little odd to the viewer. The reason he chose not to hit the ball originally was because of the gigantic clumps of pine straw around the ball. So before he drops the ball, may he clean out the pine straw? The answer is yes, the pine straw is a loose impediment, no matter how many thousands of pieces are involved. Decision 23-1/6 says that a player dropping a ball may remove loose impediments in the drop area. The restriction is that sand or loose soil may not be removed but the careful player can legally get all the way to a clean/bare lie in the area in which the drop will occur.

CHECK THE RULES: Is it a bunker or native terrain?

"Martin did not go that far. He still dropped on a small layer of pine straw. It was a terrific example of the roles the various referees play, using the rules to maximize a situation despite suffering a penalty stroke and then playing well, and Martin was able to make bogey."

Even though Kaymer hit his next tee shot off-line at No. 5, he drilled his second shot onto the green and made the eagle putt to get himself back to 10 under. So his recovery at No. 4 completely changed Kaymer's momentum.

June 15, 2014 - 11:13am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Tiger Woods

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.

Many PGA Tour players -- past and present -- took a few moments this morning to send out some love to dads all over the world via their Twitter accounts.

Here's a sampling:

June 14, 2014 - 7:39pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Martin Kaymer
USA Today Sports Images
Martin Kaymer will take a healthy lead into the final round of the U.S. Open. As history shows, though, his advantage isn't necessarily insurmountable -- at least not in this tournament.

If Martin Kaymer goes on to win the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 on Sunday, he will become the seventh golfer to win the tournament wire-to-wire. Here's the list of wire-to-wire winners in the U.S. Open:

- 1914, Walter Hagen
- 1921, Jim Barnes
- 1953, Ben Hogan
- 1970, Tony Jacklin
- 2000 and 2002, Tiger Woods
- 2011, Rory McIlroy

Of the previous 113 U.S. Opens played, the 54-hole leader has gone on to win 47 times.

RELATED: U.S. Open leaderboard | Complete U.S. Open coverage | Perry's eagle

Kaymer will take a five-stroke lead into the final round over Erik Compton and Rickie Fowler. Kaymer, the 2011 PGA Champion, shot a 2-over 72 in the third round and sits at 8-under 202 for the tournament.

Here's a look at the largest 54-hole leads in U.S. Open history:

10 -- Tiger Woods (205), Pebble Beach G.L., Pebble Beach, Calif., 2000
7 -- James Barnes (217), Columbia C.C., Chevy Chase, Md., 1921
6 -- Fred Herd (244), Myopia Hunt Club, S. Hamilton, Mass., 1898
6 -- Willie Anderson (225), Baltusrol G.C., Springfield, N.J., 1903
6 -- Johnny Goodman (211), North Shore G.C., Glenview, Ill., 1933

Each of the five players listed above went on to win the tournament.

With a victory, Kaymer would become the first player to win the Players Championship and the U.S. Open in the same season. It would also mark the first time since Tom Kite turned the trick in 1992 that a player wins tournaments on both Mother's Day and Father's Day in the same year.

Should Kaymer be caught on Sunday, it wouldn't be the biggest comeback by a winner in U.S. Open history. That belongs to Arnold Palmer, who overcame a seven-shot deficit to win the 1960 U.S. Open at Cherry Hills.

Here's a list of other great comebacks by U.S. Open winners:

6 strokes -- Johnny Miller (71-69-76-63), Oakmont (Pa.) C.C., 1973
5 strokes -- Johnny Farrell (77-74-71-72), Olympia Fields (Ill.) C.C., 1928
5 strokes -- Byron Nelson (72-73-71-68), Philadephia C.C., West Conshohocken, Pa., 1939
5 strokes -- Lee Janzen (73-66-73-68), The Olympic Club, San Francisco, Calif., 1998

June 14, 2014 - 3:22pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Kenny Perry
USA Today Sports Images
Kenny Perry hit an amazing shot in the third round of the U.S. Open on Saturday, holing out for eagle with a hybrid from a native area at Pinehurst No. 2.

There's no "rough" at Pinehurst No. 2 for the 114th U.S. Open this week (we're calling it "native area" instead), but it's hard to imagine one could hit a better shot than this one by Kenny Perry on Saturday in the third round at the 473-yard, par-4 14th:

What an eagle! With a hybrid from the native area no less.

Perry, 53, is the oldest player in the field this week. He's playing on an exemption that he earned by winning the 2013 U.S. Senior Open.

So far, that's the best shot of the tournament.