Golf Buzz

Iowa State men's golf team
Iowa State Athletics
Iowa State earned a trip to the NCAA Division I men's golf championship for the first time since 1953.

The last time the Iowa State Cyclones competed as a team in the NCAA Division I men's golf championship, Dwight Eisenhower had just been inaugurated as President of the United States, Mount Everest had still not been conquered, and Ben Hogan was on his way to winning the Masters, U.S. Open and Open Championship in the same season.

NCAA GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS: Follow each round with PGA.com and NCAA.com

On Sunday, the Cyclones snapped a 61-year NCAA championship appearance drought by finishing in a tie for fourth place at the regional in Columbia, Mo. That advances them to this week's championship at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan. And the Iowa State women also made history by qualifying for the NCAA Division I women's golf championship for the first time. 

There are no official records kept of such a feat, but the 61-year span between appearances is believed to be the longest in NCAA golf championship history.

The Cyclones started out the final day of their regional three strokes out, but shot a combined 9-under par on the front nine en route to a school-record 270, the best round of the day.

PGA MINORITY COLLEGIATE: Bethune-Cookman sweeps men's, women's titles

Fourth-year head coach Andrew Tank, a native of Des Moines, was thrilled with the way his team has played this year.

“I’m not sure how to put it into words how happy I am for the guys,” Tank said. “It’s pretty emotional and really special. It’s something as a team was our goal at the beginning of the season. We knew we could do it. But, you never know how you react once you actually achieve your goal. It’s a great feeling.”

Iowa State hopes the wait between championship appearances won't take another 61 years. The school has made a commitment to its golf programs, recently opening a new $2 million golf-only center that ranks among the best in the country. The facility has a spacious clubhouse and 11 greens, a pair of fairways and bunkers, rough and a water hazard for the Cyclones to practice on.

"It's going to get us a lot of attention and shine a light on the program, which we're really excited about," Tank told the Associated Press. "I knew the potential was here, and I knew with the right ingredients in place that Iowa State could be very successful. But it's happened a little bit quicker than I expected."

 

 

 

May 19, 2014 - 12:05pm
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Tiger Woods
USA Today Images
Tiger Woods said Monday his rehabilitation from back surgery is "tedious."

Tiger Woods is still unsure of his return to competitive golf.

In an interview with the Golf Channel Monday morning, Tiger Woods said any timetable for his return to competitive golf remains unclear.

OFFICIAL STATEMENT: Tiger Woods announces his back surgery

Woods had back surgery on March 31, and has been undergoing rehabilitation since, a process Woods said is "tedious."

"It's not a lot of fun, I'll tell you that." Woods said while being interviewed on the Golf Channel's "Morning Drive" program. "It's a lot of tedious little exercises I have to do. At least I still get to chip and putt, which is nice, and that's progressing. I've got my feel for that, which is nice. But I still haven't hit any full shots. It's still a little bit too soon."

INJURY INVENTORY: A list of Tiger Woods' injuries over the years

Woods said he'd like to come back "today," but the decision on when he can return to the course is not up to him.

"It's not really in my hands," Woods said. "It's in [the hands of] my doctors and my trainers. I've got to get permission from them before I can come back -- and I still have to progress."

Woods has had a history of back problems, dating from 1998, when he strained his back prior to the Kemper Open. Things became worse in 2013, when he blamed a bad mattress for back spasms he suffered during the Barclays. But Woods seemed well on his way to returning to his championship form -- regaining the No. 1 ranking -- until the Honda Classic in February, when he withdrew after 13 holes, citing back spasms.

PGA.COM ARCHIVES: Woods has back surgery, misses Masters

He then struggled through a final-round 78 at the WGC Cadillac Championship at Doral before withdrawing two weeks later from the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill with a pinched nerve.

That led to microdiscectomy surgery, which is a type of minimally invasive spine surgery to relieve pressure and pain caused by a herniated disc. Operating through a small incision in the lower back, surgeons remove small disc fragments that are pressing against spinal nerves. 

Recovery can take several weeks and doctors typically advise against bending and twisting the back until patients are completely healed.

HONDA CLASSIC: Woods withdraws with spasms

Woods missed the Masters in April for the first time in his career, ending a streak of 19 consecutive appearances.

Paula Creamer acupuncture and pedicure
Paula Creamer via Twitter
Paula Creamer got some acupuncture and pedicure after she ended a cuts-made streak that really had some legs.

We witnessed the end of an era Saturday at the Kingsmill Championship, where Paula Creamer missed the cut – for the first time since August of 2010.

Creamer, who recently ended a four-year winless streak at the HSBC Women's Champions, saw her almost-four-year cuts-made streak end when she carded rounds of 73-72 at Kingsmill. The cut was made Saturday morning because a long weather delay meant the second round didn't finish on Friday.

Coming into Kingsmill, Creamer led the LPGA Tour with 82 tournaments in a row without missing a cut. The last time she missed, according to the LPGA, was the 2010 Safeway Classic.

"Yes I missed the cut .. just couldn't get the job done .. 82 in a row not too shabby," she tweeted.

The LPGA didn't indicate who takes over as the current cuts-made leader. The longest current cuts-made streak on the PGA Tour is 33 by Adam Scott. 

The end of Creamer's streak also puts into perspective the LPGA Tour's all-time record of 299 straight cuts made by Jane Blalock. On the PGA Tour, the cuts-made record is 142 straight by Tiger Woods.

In the aftermath of her MC, the Pink Panther indulged in a little "me time." A few hours after she walked off the course, she tweeted out a couple of photos – one of her getting a little acupuncture on her legs, and another showing her getting a pedicure. And, she said, she's planning to be right back in action at next week's Airbus Classic in Alabama.

While we wait, check out this Bridgestone spot that features her as a pirate:

 

 

 

 

President Barack Obama
Getty Images
President Barack Obama drives a golf cart at the Andrews AFB course in March.

Even the President of the United States wants a different challenge every once in a while.

President Barack Obama normally plays a round of golf on the weekends at the course at nearby Andrews Air Force Base or at Fort Belvoir in Virginia. But according to the Associated Press, Obama set up a tee time on Saturday at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Va. That's a club with membership that's invitation-only -- and has hosted the Presidents Cup four times since 1991.

It's also the first time President Obama has played there, although former President Bill Clinton frequented it several times during his administration.

In case you're wondering, the AP said the President's foursome included former trade representative Ron Kirk, CenterPoint Energy chairman Milton Caroll and a man identified as Joe O'Neill, who is a leading Democratic lobbyist in Washington.

In case you're also wondering, there's no mention in the story as to what score the President recorded. That's a secret only known by the Secret Service agents keeping watch over the proceedings.

Scottie Scheffler
Getty Images
Scottie Scheffler not only made the cut Friday as an amateur, the 17-year-old added a hole-in-one in Saturday's third round.

Jordan Spieth's position as "the next big thing" in golf may already be in jeopardy, thanks to a 17-year-old high school senior from Highland Park, Texas.

At a time when most teenagers are worried more about who to take to the prom, how to make enough money to fill the gas tank and where to go during their summer vacation, Scottie Scheffler's goals for this weekend were a touch loftier. The 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur champion received a sponsor's exemption to play in the HP Byron Nelson Championship in nearby Irving, so golf was going to take precedence over homework, video games and movies.

So faced with that kind of challenge, what did Scheffler do? Well, he shot 68 on Friday to make the cut. And then on Saturday, with his family watching from beyond the ropes -- and sister Callie on the bag -- Scheffler pulled out a 5-iron and aced the 221-yard par-3 No. 2 hole, only the sixth hole-in-one on the PGA Tour this season.

 

 

Scottie Scheffler. If you haven't heard the name before, now you have. And chances are, you'll hear it again in the not-too-distant future.

 

Kara Keough Bosworth and Alex Morgan
Kara Keough Bosworth via Instagram
Alex Morgan (right) posed with her pal Kara Keough Bosworth during their practice session earlier this week.

The last time we saw U.S. soccer star Alex Morgan with a golf club in her hand, she was hitting a wicked slice at a driving range in England back in the summer of 2012 – soon after she helped Team USA win the gold medal in the London Olympics. Her swing was, to be charitable, a little short, but her attitude – as it is on the soccer pitch – was upbeat and positive.

Now, almost two years later, we have an Instagram video of America's soccer sweetheart with her pal Kara Keough Bosworth hitting balls at what is reported to be Top Golf Houston earlier this week, though I certainly can't guarantee that. One thing I can guarantee, however, is that Morgan's swing has gotten a lot better.

As you can see in the video below, she's got an iron in her hand this time, and she still kind of jumps at the ball. But she makes solid contact and, judging by her post-shot celebration, she's clearly pleased with her performance.

And hey, who can argue with that kind of enthusiasm?

Morgan might not yet be a scratch golfer, but she's at least better than her teammate Sydney Leroux, who you might remember tried a "Happy Gilmore"-type swing that ended in an epic fail.

Here's Morgan's mighty swing: