Golf Buzz

Will MacKenzie
PGA Tour via YouTube
Will MacKenzie showed the gallery where on the clubface he hit his chip shot up the path and onto the green on the par-3 17th hole at the Players Championship on Friday.
 
Will MacKenzie has never made the cut at The Players Championship and, alas, he won't make it this year, either.
 
But that shouldn't take away from his amazing experience on the island-green 17th hole today. The pin was way back and a little left of center, about 174 yards from the tee markers, so MacKenzie aimed that direction.
 
 
His shot went sky-high and drifted just a tiny bit left – and, somehow, landed on the pilings surrounding the green with a mighty "thonk." His ball took a huge bounce and, somehow again, landed on the narrow walkway to the green – that path is only about five feet wide. It bounced a few times up the path and settled into the long grass.
 
From there, Willy Mac faced a delicate chip back to the pin, which he hit with aplomb. He bounced the ball right up the path and onto the green and right up near the flag. That left him with a three-footer, which he drained for what Golf Channel analyst Gary Koch called "an all-world par."
 
It was certainly the par of the day, if not the week. Take a look:
 
 
 
 
May 8, 2015 - 1:33pm
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T.J. Auclair
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Tiger Woods
@PGATOUR on Twitter
Playing the par-4 seventh hole at TPC Sawgrass on Friday -- his 16th of the day -- Tiger Woods was faced with an incredibly difficult shot and pulled off arguably his best shot of the season.

As the announcers point out in the video clip below, this shot that Tiger Woods faced at the par-4 seventh hole was a 10-out-of-10 in terms of difficulty.

Check it out:

 

That was some vicious swing by Woods. What a shot.

RELATED: Players Championship leaderboard | Euro Tour's par-4 ace | Streb's wedge

He missed the ensuing putt, however, and settled for a bogey to move back to even par for the day and 1-over for the tournament, hovering right around the cut line.

Woods did have one more birdie opportunity ahead at the par-5 ninth hole at the time of this post.

May 8, 2015 - 11:30am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Javi Colomo
@asiantourgolf on Twitter
Needing a birdie on his final hole -- a 329-yard par 4 -- to make the cut on the European Tour Friday, Spain's Javi Colomo did two better than that with the Tour's first-ever ace on a par 4.

For touring professionals, hovering around the cut line late on a Friday afternoon is no fun.

Playing the 329-yard, par-4 ninth hole -- his 18th of the day -- in the second round of the AFRASIA Bank Mauritius Open on the European Tour Friday at Heritage Golf Club, Spain's Javi Colomo needed a birdie to make the cut.

Talk about pressure.

RELATED: Players Championship leaderboard | 5 to watch | Rory eagles No. 16

Colomo put a mighty lash on the ball with his driver. Seconds later, his round was over and he safely made the cut -- he didn't need to hit a second shot, or a putt... Colomo aced the hole to record the first hole-in-one in the history of the European Tour, an albatross, for a 2-under 69.

Here's some of what he told EuropeanTour.com:

 

"It's the first time in my life I hit an unbelievable driver, very high with a little cut," said Colomo.

"I tried to stop the ball on the green and the ball found the hole. I needed a birdie to make the cut, double eagle is just fantastic.

"I did a good job for 36 holes -- I deserved to play the weekend. After the three putt on eight, I was very angry. I thought I could hit a good driver and make eagle or birdie."

In the history of the PGA Tour, there has only been one ace on a par 4. Andrew Magee turned the trick with a hole-in-one on the par-4 17th hole at TPC Scottsdale in 2001, when his ball actually ricocheted off the putter of Tom Byrum up ahead on the green.

In a pro-am for the McGladrey Classic last year, Jason Kokrak scored an ace on a 409-yard par 4, but it's considered "unofficial" as it did not come during the course of the tournament.

We're hoping video of Colomo's awesome feat will surface soon. 

Colomo's feat stole the spotlight from Thorbjorn Olesen, who made five birdies in six holes to open a one-shot lead. 
 
Olesen's run of birdies from No. 4 to No. 9 propelled him to 9-under 133 overall, and the second-round lead at Heritage Golf Club on the Indian Ocean island. It's the Dane's first tournament in three months after hand surgery. 
 
Olesen leads Pelle Edberg (66) halfway through the new, tri-sanctioned European, Asian and South African tour event. Thomas Aiken (66), Dean Burmester (68) and Matthew Fitzpatrick (67) were tied for third, another shot back. 
 
Kiradech Aphibarnrat, the Race to Dubai's highest-ranked player in Mauritius, withdrew after an opening-round 77. 
 
Olesen shared the first-round lead with Wang Jeung-hun and Carlos Pigem, and despite some early progress from Pigem, claimed it for himself with another strong day. It didn't start too strong, with bogeys on his first and third holes, but Olesen recovered for that clutch of birdies at the back end of his opening nine. 
 
Sweden's Edberg moved into contention with an eagle and four birdies to move up 12 places. 
 
Aiken holed a long uphill putt for the first of three birdies in his last four holes, to join fellow South African Burmester and England's Fitzpatrick in the pack chasing Edberg and Olesen. 
 
George Coetzee, the highest-ranked player at the tournament, carded six birdies and two bogeys, good enough to move up into an eight-way tie for sixth, four shots behind Olesen. 
 
The Associated Press contributed to this post.
 
May 8, 2015 - 9:49am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
@TitleistonTour on Twitter
Perhaps hoping for some good karma at the Players Championship this week, Robert Streb had his 60-degree wedge stamped to display the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass.

As we've seen over the last few years, players have gotten extremely creative when it comes to the look of their wedges. For this week at the Players Championship, I don't think anyone is topping Robert Streb's 60-degree wedge when it comes to the "coolness" factor.

RELATED: Players Championship leaderboard | Rory's eagle on No. 16 | Tiger's chip in

Check out this tweet by Titleist, showing off Streb's lob wedge, which features the famous par-3 17th hole:

 

How cool is that?

The 17th was kind to Streb on Thursday, when he escaped with a par on his way to a 2-under 70.

Jason Bohn
PGA Tour via YouTube
Jason Bohn had the pleasure of picking his ball out of the cup without even having to putt it in on Thursday at The Players Championship.
 
To hear the TV announcers describe it, Thursday's pin placement on the par-4 sixth hole at The Players Championship was downright diabolical. The hole was way in the back of the green, Golf Channel analyst Nick Faldo told us, and was guarded by a ridge on the left and a hump on the right.
 
Jason Bohn's tee shot left him on the far left side of the fairway, 134 away from that intimidating flagstick. But he didn't worry about no stinkin' humps or ridges.
 
 
Instead, he sent his approach shot skyward, then watched it land a few feet away from the flag and hop twice to the left – and into the cup. Easy-peasy.
 
Bohn put together a solid 71, but the eagle on the 393-yard par 4 was the highlight of his day. Take a look – it's a thing of beauty: