Golf Buzz

Jason Dufner
PGA Tour via YouTube
Jason Dufner's tee shot on the par-3 17th was a little rocky, but his recovery shot was a thing of beauty.
 
Jason Dufner earned his first PGA Tour victory since 2013 on Sunday with an overtime triumph over David Lingmerth in the CareerBuilder Challenge. You might think his clinching putt would qualify as the host of the day, but we'd pick a different one.
 
Dufner struggled with his game all day, after playing almost perfectly the first three rounds, and he came to the 17th hole trying to hang on against Lingmerth, who made up five shots on him to ultimately force the playoff. 
 
The 17th on the Stadium Course at PGA West is an island-green par 3 similar to its mosre famous cousin at TPC Sawgrass. There is, however, one big difference – this island is surrounded by boulders of all shapes and sizes, and boasts the nickname "Alcatraz." 
 
 
Dufner hit his tee shot a little offline, and it wound up in the dirt and rocks about as far from the flagstick as possible. At least his ball didn't bounce into the water, but he seemingly faced an almost impossible recovery shot. He took a delicate stance, with his left foot above his right, and knocked his ball up and onto the green.
 
It rolled all the way across the putting surface – and hit the flag. The impact deadened the ball, and it rebounded only a few inches away. In the span of a few seconds, Dufner went from looking like he was out of the hole – and possibly the tournament – to being right back in the thick of things.
 
If you watch Dufner as he walks toward the hole, he clearly mouths the word "wow." That pretty much sums it up. 
 
Take a look at his "Escape from Alcatraz":
 
 
 
 
European Tour/Twitter
Rickie Fowler salutes the crowd after his clutch chip-in at No. 17 Sunday.

Clinging to a one-shot lead Sunday at the Abu Dhabi Championship, Rickie Fowler needed a momentum swing down the stretch. And boy did he ever get one.

Faced with a delicate little chip from the fringe on No. 17 -- just moments after Rory McIlroy had eagled the 18th to add to the pressure -- watch what Fowler does in response:

 

 

That birdie pushed Fowler's advantage to two, and he needed all of it. Thomas Pieters had an eagle putt on the final hole that could have tied Fowler and sent the tournament into a playoff, but it came up just inches shy. 

That allowed Fowler -- who parred the final hole -- to walk away with a one-shot victory, his fourth over a nine-month span.

That was the second time Fowler had stepped up big. Earlier in the round, he made a double bogey and immediately found himself facing a shot from the bunker on the next hole. But he was more than equal to the task:

 

 

 

Fowler's win certainly caught the attention of 2016 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III.

 

 

January 23, 2016 - 5:30pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Phil Mickelson
@PGATOUR on Twitter
Phil Mickelson is a magician with a wedge in his hands. On Saturday in the CareerBuilder Challenge, he holed out for the fourth time this week.

Phil Mickelson is deadly with a wedge in his hand -- this is nothing groundbreaking.

In the third round of the CareerBuilder Challenge on Saturday, Mickelson holed out for the fourth time this week.

Here's his gorgeous birdie chip on the par-4 10th hole at the Stadium Course that helped Lefty move to 15 under:

 

It's just not fair how easy he makes it look. 

January 23, 2016 - 5:00pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Jeff Ellis
@PGATOUR on Twitter
Amateur player Jeff Ellis recorded the third ace of the week -- and the second by an amateur -- in the third round of the CareerBuilder Challenge on Saturday.

For the second time in as many days on the same hole, an amateur player at the CareerBuilder Challenge has made a hole-in-one.

Playing the 168-yard, par-3 13th hole at PGA West's Stadium Course in Saturday's third round, amateur Jeff Ellis snagged an ace:

 

Amateur Jake Pumphrey turned the trick on Friday, as did PGA Tour player Nick Taylor, who snagged his ace at the Stadium course on the 205-yard, par-3 sixth.

So, if you're keeping track at home, the amateurs have out-aced the pros 2-1 so far this week.
 

pga Tour/Twitter
Chesson Hadley gets congratulations after holing out for eagle on the 18th Friday at La Quinta.

There are eagles to be had at La Quinta this week, and Chesson Hadley wants in on the action.

After taking a double-bogey at the par-3 17th, watch Hadley earn his redemption with this approach shot on the par-4, 426-yard 18th:

 

 

On Thursday, Bill Haas kicked off his round with this eagle at the first. Later, Phil Mickelson found the range with this flag-hunting wedge shot that spun back into the cup. And earlier Friday, Nick Taylor made back-to-back eagles, including this hole-in-one on the sixth hole at TPC Stadium.