Golf Buzz

May 14, 2014 - 1:22pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Louis Oosthuizen
Twitter
It started with a wrong first name on a reserved parking space at the Players Championship last week. This week, Louis Oosthuizen is sporting a golf bag with the incorrect first name thanks to a gag by buddy Charl Schwartzel.

Before we get started, it should be noted that "Louis Oosthuizen" isn't the easiest name in golf to spell and it sure isn't the easiest to pronounce.

But, it's typically the last name that causes all the issues -- not the first.

Last week, my colleague Mark Aumann brought you the story of Oosthuizen's reserved parking space at TPC Sawgrass for the Players, which read "Larry Oosthuizen."

A good sport, it was Oosthuizen himself who tweeted about the error:

 

 

This week, Oosthuizen and good friend and fellow South African Charl Schwartzel are both playing in the HP Byron Nelson Championship. Schwartzel, it appears, decided to have a little fun at his buddy's expense in light of what happened last week.

Oosthuizen tweeted this moments ago:

 

 

Nice prank by Schwartzel (yeah, he doesn't have the easiest name to spell either).

Louis? Larry? Call him whatever you'd like, as long as you remember him as the 2010 Open Champion.

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

May 14, 2014 - 9:52am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Case Cochran
@casecochran on Twitter
Case Cochran, son of Champions Tour player Russ Cochran, made a walk-off hole-in-one on Tuesday to earn the final spot in this week's HP Byron Nelson Championship. It will be his first PGA Tour start.

You've heard of the walk-off homer in baseball, but how about a walk-off ace in golf?

Rare, yes. But it has happened. Paul Casey did it during a Saturday foursome match in the 2006 Ryder Cup at the K Club in Ireland. Jonathan Byrd won the 2010 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open with a walk-off ace on the fourth playoff hole (see video below).

Now you can add Case Cochran to that elite company.

Cochran aced the fifth hole of a playoff at a Monday qualifier -- which spilled into Tuesday -- to earn the final spot in this week's HP Byron Nelson Championship.

RELATED: Byron Nelson Championship tee times | Auclair's five players to watch

Cochran, son of former PGA Tour winner and five-time Champions Tour winner Russ Cochran, was part of a four-way playoff for the final three spots in the Irving, Texas, PGA Tour event after shooting a 69 in the qualifier.

With two of the three spots snagged by Jason Allred and Chris Thompson, Cochran was left to battle Chris Parra for the final spot.

On the fifth playoff hole -- a 152-yard par 3 -- Cochran earned his ticket for a first-ever PGA Tour start thanks to a 7-iron that found the bottom of the cup.

"He told me he didn't see it go in," said Russ Cochran, according to a report by GolfChannel.com's Jason Sobel. "Once he got on the green, he saw his ball mark six feet from the hole and had a good feeling. Sure enough, it was in the hole.

"He's super excited. He's been playing well on the Adams Tour and I knew he was feeling good about his game. It will be his first PGA Tour event and he's pumped up."

Late Tuesday night, Case Cochran sent out this tweet:

 

 

And he also sent out this tweet, which is pretty self-explanatory:

 

 

Case Cochran will play the first two rounds of the HP Byron Nelson Championship alongside Miguel Angel Carballo and Bronson La'Cassie. They tee off at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Oh, and in case you don't remember it, here's Byrd's walk-off in Vegas:

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

 

May 14, 2014 - 9:06am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Jordan Spieth
USA Today Sports Images
Coming off a T4 in the Players Championship, Dallas native Jordan Spieth returns home for the HP Byron Nelson Championship this week.

The PGA Tour is at TPC Four Seasons Resort in Irving, Texas, this week for the HP Byron Nelson Championship, where Sang-Moon Bae is the defending champion.

Ever since a 2008 overhaul by Tour player and designer D.A. Weibring in 2008, the golf course has a lot more grit -- meaning it's not the birdie-fest we once knew it to be.

RELATED: Byron Nelson Championship tee times | Drama often lacking with World Ranking

And, as with any course in the Lone Star State, the Texas wind can be a great equalizer. With that, here are five players you'll want to keep an eye on this week.

5. Gary Woodland
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
Playoff loss at the CIMB Classic
Reason to watch: Woodland has quietly been one of the more consistent players on the PGA Tour this season. He lost in a playoff to Ryan Moore at the CIMB Classic in October and has since accumulated a total of eight top-25 finishes in 13 events, including two other top 10s. Furthermore, in his last six starts, Woodland's worst finish was a tie for 26th at the Masters. That's some solid golf. While Woodland doesn't have a sensational track record at the Byron Nelson Championship, he does seem on the verge of a breakout week.

4. Ryan Palmer
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
Playoff loss at the Honda Classic; Second at Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation
Reason to watch: Palmer has been hit or miss on the PGA Tour this season. His two runner-up finishes, along with a T8 at the Sony Open and a T7 at the Shell Houston Open are no doubt impressive, but he's left something to be desired most other weeks. Early in his career, Palmer -- a Texas native -- had a brutal record in the Byron Nelson Championship, missing a lot of cuts. Something has changed in the last few years, where he's got two top-10 finishes, highlighted by a playoff loss in 2011. For most players, a "home game" is their "fifth major." And perhaps Palmer, recently, has learned to embrace that.

3. Keegan Bradley
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
Second at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard
Reason to watch: Bradley enters this week in unusual circumstances for him -- he's missed the cut in two of his last three events, but did have a T8 in New Orleans between those missed cuts, so you certainly can't call it a slump. Plus, for the most part, Bradley has either been inside or just outside the top 10 in most of his starts this season. Shockingly -- seemingly because his name is in the mix so often -- Bradley has not won on Tour since the 2012 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. This week, though, he returns to the site of his first PGA Tour victory in 2011, which set the stage for his PGA Championship win later that summer... oh, and he was the runner up here a year ago. He's a horse for this course.

2. Matt Kuchar
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
Won the RBC Heritage
Reason to watch: Kuchar is slumping right now. He tied for 17th last week at the Players. We're kidding. The man is far from slumping. It's just that the tie for 17th a week ago was the first time in his last five starts that he didn't finish in a tie for fifth or better. World Ranking (he's fifth) and FedExCup points (he's third) aside, Kuchar has been the best player week-in and week-out on the PGA Tour not only this season, but much of last season too. He's what you call a "Human ATM Machine." He might not win this week in Texas, but you'd be a fool to think he won't at least be in the mix.

1. Jordan Spieth
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
Second at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions; T2 at the Masters
Reason to watch: Speaking of home games... that's precisely what this week is for Spieth, a Dallas native. Some might argue that Spieth has a hard time closing out a tournament. To that I'd argue back: he's 20 years old and putting himself in a position to win a majority of the time he tees it up! If you're anything less than impressed by Spieth, you're a tough critic. Of his six top-10 finishes this season, three have come at Pebble Beach, Augusta National and TPC Sawgrass. As an amateur in 2010 at age 16 at the Byron Nelson, Spieth tied for 16th. He's got a ton of game and he's going to win a lot of tournaments.

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

 

Bicycle golf at Kierland Golf Club
Courtesy of Kierland Golf Club
The bicycles at Kierland Golf Club are designed especially to carry a full set of clubs yet have a minimal impact on the turf.
Some people like to ride carts when they play a round of golf. Others prefer to walk.
 
But what if you're in the middle – you'd like a bit more exercise than you get from riding, but maybe you're not up to hiking your way around? 
 
The folks at the Kierland Golf Club at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz., can relate – after all, they're famous for being the first golf resort in America to offer a fleet of Segways to traverse the links. And now they have introduced bicycle golf. That's right – you play golf like you always have, but you get around the course on a bicycle.
 
Kierland GC has acquired a couple of bikes specially designed to minimize their effect on the course yet make for a fun, fast and fitness-improving round of golf. The two-wheelers feature small-diameter wheels and wide rubber tires to take it easy on the turf, and have custom-designed golf bags able to carry a full set of clubs mounted on the back.
 
 
"It's fabulous, a great way to get a workout," Westin Kierland Resort & Spa Director of Golf Nancy Dickens told Fox 10 Phoenix. "Why sit on a stationary bike at the gym?"
 
Many golfers are looking for innovative ways to enjoy the game, Dickens said, adding that she believes the bikes will catch on – especially when golfers realize they can play nine holes in only about an hour.
 
Golfers wanting to try them out can do so for free – all they have to do is call ahead and make a reservation, she said. 
 
Here's more on Kierland's bicycle golf program from Fox 10:
 
 
May 13, 2014 - 2:52pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
adidas Golf, climachill
adidas Golf
The new climachill line from adidas Golf will keep you cool even on the hottest of days.

adidas Golf has a introduced a line of apparel featuring new and exclusive fabric technologies designed to keep golfers cool when temperatures rise on the course.

How does it work?

The new climachill fabric construction utilizes woven titanium fibers that maximize surface contact with skin. Remarkably light, climachill fabric acts like an open mesh to increase air permeability, drawing heat away from the body and allowing for unmatched ventilation and evaporation of sweat to keep golfers cool like never before.

RELATED: SLDR S driver and woods and SLDR irons join TaylorMade family

Delivering a cooling sensation upon contact with the skin, small aluminum dots were strategically placed inside the back neck of the shirt, one of the warmest areas on the human body.

climachill apparel first appeared on the PGA Tour at The Players Championship last week, and the technology will be featured prominently in the scripting of Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson and Jason Day throughout the remainder of the 2014 PGA Tour season, adidas says.

"When the temperatures rise, I need apparel that will keep me cool, comfortable and focused on my play," said Jason Day, 2014 WGC-Accenture Match Play Champion. "I'm amazed by the technology adidas Golf has incorporated into their apparel, and with climachill, not only can I see the technology, I can feel it, too."

"We're consistently looking to develop the most innovative products to keep athletes comfortable so they can focus on performance," said Davide Mattucci, Director, Global Apparel Product Marketing for adidas Golf. "The climachill fabric is, by far, our most advanced to date and the benefits are actually developed at the microscopic level. It looks and feels like a solid performance fabric, but breathes like an open-air mesh. Once someone feels it, the difference is undeniable."

The climachill apparel collection includes five men's polos and three women's polos with an MSRP ranging from $75-$80 USD. Available now, visit adidasgolf.com to learn more about climachill technology and to view the entire apparel collection.

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

 

May 13, 2014 - 1:05pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
golf blunder
Mike Benzie
A golfer takes a swing at a tee shot during a charity tournament. You probably don't want the ball to get that high that fast with a fairway wood.

OK, so we're getting a lot of mileage out of the now-famous double-gaffe by Richard H. Lee on the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass on Sunday in the final round of the Players Championship.

In case you somehow missed it, here is is one last time:

 

 

Was it funny? Sure it was... but only because the rest of us can relate to what he was going through.

We've all been in that situation -- like Lee -- where things didn't work out quite as planned with a golf shot. Unlike Lee, chances are your blunder didn't happen in a PGA Tour event.

RELATED: Shortest consecutive shots ever on Tour? | Lee's daughter chimes in

To show Lee he's not alone, we asked our friends -- the 233,000+ strong in PGA.com Facebook Nation (click here to join the masses) -- to share the biggest golf-shot blunder they've personally experienced.

Most of the entires below are hilarious and at least one is a little sad. Want to add to the discussion? Click here.

"Whiffed a putt sitting on the lip in college trying not to step on players line." -- John Farrell

"Taking a practice swing in a sand trap and the club slips down my hands and my club hits the sand." -- Joe Catalfano

"Last week at Bobby Jones Golf Course with Richard Danielson. Hit two straight 'just short' uphill wedge shots that rolled down the hill in front of me back to my feet. But made a tough putt to save 'Double Par!'" -- Mike Benzie

"Par three, back and forth between traps on opposite sides of the green before settling for a nine." -- John Dresko

"Swing and miss the ball completely on the first tee box during league play. Not one of my finer moments." -- Paul Peterson

"Blading a green-side bunker shot and ending up on the tee box of the next hole." -- Eddie Weaver

"Second level PAT in Canada... 36 holes in one day, target score 152. Two shots to play with going to the 35th hole. Striped drive leaves perfect wedge distance to middle of green. Laid sod over the ball so badly that it barely got to the large pond fronting the green. Wind up making triple, missed birdie putt on last hole to miss target by one." -- Ty Woodruff

"Taking practice swing on tee box on rainy day and hybrid slips out of my hands and into pond." -- Chuck Posten

"Knocked away a gimme putt in a tourney where you had to putt out. Then to top it off it went into a water hazard... lost ball." -- Steve DuHamel.

 

 

 

 

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