Golf Buzz

Jason Dufner
Jason Dufner via Instagram
Jason Dufner judged his batting practice session as "a pretty good effort on my part," considering he hadn't swung a bat "in probably 10 years."
 
Jason Dufner was born in Ohio and lives in Alabama – so naturally, he's a Toronto Blue Jays fan.
 
Okay, well, maybe the Jays aren't necessarily near and dear to his heart. But the 2013 PGA Champion has become friends with fellow Auburn Tiger alum Josh Donaldson, the Jays' All-Star third baseman and reigning American League MVP.
 
Donaldson is also a golfer, and played in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am last month, where he hung out with Dufner and another good ol' southern boy, Justin Timberlake. So Dufner dropped by Jays camp in Dunedin, Fla., this week, where he shagged some flies and took some cuts.
 
"We've been talking about it over the years," Donaldson said of Dufner's day at Spring Training. "It's fun to experience something different – to play Pebble Beach was a one-in-a-lifetime experience for me."
 
 
Dufner, who played a lot of baseball as a kid, judged his batting practice session as "a pretty good effort on my part," considering he hadn't swung a bat "in probably 10 years." The wind was blowing in, Donaldson said, and that prevented Dufner from hitting any home runs, and Donaldson added that he wanted to get Dufner up to the Rogers Centre in Toronto for another session in the cage.
 
At age 39, Dufner admitted that his window for playing professional baseball has long been closed. But Donaldson, at age 30, has plenty more years to make it as a professional golfer. So would he consider trading his bats for golf clubs on a full-time basis?
 
"I'm not even close to how good those guys are," he said. "I go out and hack it around out there."
 
Speaking of hacks, you can see some photos of Dufner taking his hacks here, and here's an Instagram video:
 
 
 
 
Rickie Fowler
Rickie Fowler via Instagram
Rickie Fowler was mobbed by spectators and his fellow players when his ball dropped into the hole for an ace on Monday.
 
Not often can you say that the biggest golf shot of the week happened on a Monday, but that is definitely the case today – Rickie Fowler made a hole-in-one at a pro-am tournament for the Els for Autism Foundation, and that triggered a $1 million donation to the charity from software maker SAP.
 
The event, which took place at the Old Palm Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens – just catty-corner from PGA National, home of the Honda Classic – featured a number of prominent PGA Tour players. But Fowler stole the show with a most unlikely ace – a one-hopper into the cup on the 113-yard, par-3 "bonus" 19th hole after the pro-am had ended.
 
In fact, as Tim Rosaforte reported on the Golf Channel later, Fowler had already changed shoes and thought he was done for the day when his opportunity for the $1 million prize arose. He borrowed a wedge from Luke Donald, got a ball and swung away.
 
 
Fowler's ball dropping into the hole touched off a riotous celebration among the players and spectators. Event host Ernie Els lifted Fowler into the air as Rory McIlroy, Louis Oosthuizen and many others rushed into congratulate him.
 
Rickie's reaction: "Pretty cool."
 
Later in the day, Fowler posted a photo of the celebration – that's it at the top of this page – on Instagram, and captioned it: "Epic Monday! One of the coolest moments in my life making a hole in one earning $1,000,000 for @ernieelsgolf #ElsForAutism."
 
We certainly can't argue with that. What a shot, what a day, and what a fantastic way to help the Els for Autism Foundation continue its work in autism research.
 
Here's one of the better videos we've seen of the shot, as well as some other reactions:
 
 
 
 
 
 
PGA Tour/YouTube
Jimmy Walker holed out for eagle Sunday on the par-4 17th at Trump National Doral.

Jimmy Walker's had a stretch of forgettable Sundays this winter. He shot 77 in the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open to fall out of contention, then struggled to a 72 at Pebble Beach two weeks later. He missed the cut at the Northern Trust and after a third-round 79 at the Honda Classic, was able to salvage a 72 on Sunday at PGA National.

But Walker's game returned to a sharper focus at Trump National Doral in the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship. He put together one of the best rounds of the day, making five birdies and capping things off with this sterling shot from 83 yards out on the par-4 17th.

 

 

 

Walker finished with a 6-under 66, including 32 on the back nine, as he gained 11 positions on the field.

PGA Tour/YouTube
Bubba Watson's putter was on fire Sunday, as evidenced by this 61-footer for eagle.

Bubba Watson's putter was making magic in Sunday's final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral. Consider this 61-foot putt for eagle on the par-5 eighth hole.

Just lagging it close for birdie? Watson will have none of that when he's charging for the lead.

 

 

 

Billy Horschel
PGA Tour/Twitter
Sometimes you just have to give yourself a hand when you make a greenside save.

We know Billy Horschel likes to have fun on the golf course.

Today he went next level after driving his ball in the water and then missing the green on the par-4 third.

 

 

{Insert golf clap here}

The last time we got to see Horschel's celebration skills on full display was earlier this year at Torrey Pines when Colt Knost made a ridiculous putt in the wind.