Golf Buzz

April 2, 2017 - 9:24pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Lexi Thompson
@GolfChannel
Twelve holes into her final round at the ANA Inspiration where she led by two on Sunday, Lexi Thompson was assessed a four-stroke penalty for an infraction that occurred in Saturday's third round.

Lexi Thompson was in cruise control it seemed and on the way to her second major championship at the ANA Inspiration on Sunday. Through 12 holes, Thompson had a two-stroke lead.

As she walked off the 12th green, however, a rules official informed Thompson that she was being assessed a four-shot penalty for something that happened in Round 3 on Saturday, when the 22-year-old, seven-time LPGA winner improperly replaced her golf ball after marking it.

A television viewer noticed and called in the infraction.

Here's how it happened:

As you can see, Thompson appeared to mark her golf ball to the side before replacing her ball in front of the marker. That infraction led to a two-stroke penalty.

Thompson was assessed another two-stroke penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard. Until recently, that would have led to a disqualification. Now, however, it's just a two-stroke penalty.

Thompson signed for a 67, which should have been a 69 with the two strokes for the improperly replaced ball and then had to add two more for signing the wrong score.

Understandably, Thompson was extremely emotional when she learned about the ruling and fought through tears over her final six holes.

Here, Dan Maselli, Manager of Rules and Competition for the LPGA Tour, discusses the ruling on Lexi Thompson:

Somehow, Thompson managed to birdie the 13th hole after learning of the ruling. She also birdied the 15th and 18th (after a bogey on No. 16) to grab a spot in a playoff with So Yeon Ryu.

No matter how the tournament ends in the playoff, kudos to Thompson for mustering up the courage to force a playoff. 

April 2, 2017 - 2:01pm
Posted by:
Matt Craig
matthew.craig's picture
flop shot catch challenge
Instagram / andypatnougolf
First it was the "Ice Bucket Challenge," then the "Get Out Challenge," and now the "Flop Shot Catch Challenge"?

The internet has its warts, I give you that, but you can't tell me that it doesn't also have some incredible benefits.

You can order a pizza in two clicks. You can find out who that one actor is in that one movie. And last, but certainly not least, you can participate in the "challenges" that spread like wildfire across social media.

They're sometimes heartfelt, such as the "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge." Sometimes they are nostalgic, as in the case of the "Running Man Challenge." Or surprising, like the "Mannequin Challenge." Or just downright hilarious, as in the new "Get Out Challenge."

But they all amount to about the same thing. You do something embarrassing or impressive, film it, and put it on the internet. Get enough people to do the same thing and you've got a challenge.

So by that criteria, do we have a new viral internet challenge on our hands?

It's called the "Flop Shot Catch Challenge," and it's exactly what it sounds like. You hit a flop shot and see if you can catch it.

With most mobile phones being able to now capture slow motion video, the drama is actually pretty intense. See for yourself.

 

 

@tourstrikergolf @jimld flop shot catch challenge accepted . Who did it better? @tpcscottsdale

A post shared by andypatnougolf (@andypatnougolf) on

 

Is this really going to be a thing?

I'm here for it!

April 2, 2017 - 12:59pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
angel cabrera
@PGATOUR on Twitter
On his final hole at the Shell Houston Open on Sunday, Angel Cabrera made a hole-in-one.

You always want to go into Masters week on a high note.

I'm not sure how anyone could top what past Masters champ Angel Cabrera did on Sunday at the Shell Houston Open though... short of winning.

Cabrera, who won the Masters in 2009 to go along withe his 2007 U.S. Open (he also lost in a playoff at the 2011 Masters), had a walk-off hole-in-one on the ninth hole -- his last of the day -- in the final round at The Golf Club of Houston.

Here's the shot:

That should have the Argentine riding a nice high into Augusta. 

March 30, 2017 - 2:43pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Eun Jeong Seong
@LPGA
Eun Jeong Seong, 16, is playing in the LPGA's ANA Inspiration this week. In Thursday's opening round, she made a hole-in-one.

Playing in a professional major championship as an amateur is pretty darned special.

But -- outside of winning -- you know what could make it even more special?

How about a hole-in-one?

That's what 16-year-old reigning U.S. Women's Amateur and U.S. Girl's Junior champion Eun Jeong Seong did on Thursday in the first round of the LPGA's ANA Inspiration.

Here's a look at the shot, a 6-iron from 182 yards:

And how good is that reaction?

That's something she'll never forget.

March 30, 2017 - 1:04pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Masters
USA Today Sports Images
Few venues in sport provide more drama and more memorable moments than Augusta National during the week of the Masters.

A while back, we reached out to our friends in PGA.com Facebook Nation and asked the following question:

What's your favorite Masters moment?

With a course as special as Augusta National -- one that lends itself to guaranteed drama year in and year out -- there were tons of moments to choose from.

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Here's a look at some of the best moments you offered up, along with accompanying video (if we could find it) to help you relive them.

9. Bubba Watson's hook wedge in 2012. Forgetting the fact that this happened in a sudden-death playoff with the Masters on the line, the hook wedge has got to be one of the most difficult shots in golf to pull off. But, from the pine straw right of the 10th fairway, that's exactly what the lefty did to set up the victory.

 

 

8. Louis Oosthuizen's albatross on the second hole in the final round of the 2012 Masters. Oosthuizen would come up short in the playoff with Bubba Watson, but he'll never forget this albatross on the par-5 second hole that made him one of just four players in Masters history to record a rare 2 on a par 5.

 

 

7. Larry Mize's playoff-winning chip in 1987. It doesn't get much sweeter than this. Mize, an Augusta native, put a dagger through the heart of Greg Norman when -- on the par-4 11th hole, the second hole of a playoff that also included Seve Ballesteros (Ballesteros was eliminated on the first playoff hole) -- Mize holed a pitch shot for birdie. It wasn't a walk-off win as Norman still had a chance to match the birdie, but when the Aussie failed to do that, Mize slipped in to the green jacket.

 

 

6. Ben Crenshaw's win in 1995. This, the second of Crenshaw's two Masters wins, was extra special. Just days before, Crenshaw helped lay to rest his instructor, the legendary Harvey Penick. Crenshaw played with a heavy heart all week and said the thought of Penick served as his "15th club" throughout the tournament.

 

 

5. The birdie chip on the par-3 16th hole by Tiger Woods in 2005. The imagination Woods displayed on this shot was incredible. Sure, many before him and many after him, have faced this situation, relying on the backstop on the 16th green to help suck the ball back down to the front-left, Sunday hole position. But Woods perfected it. The ball just died into the hole and he went on to his fourth Masters triumph (and last, to date). The shot elicited this famous call by announcer Verne Lundquist: "Oh wow! In your life have you ever seen anything like that?"

 

 

4. Phil Mickelson's "threading of the needle from the pine needles" shot on the 13th hole in the final round of the 2010 Masters. There's no bigger risk taker in golf today than Mickelson and he proved that yet again with this doozy in 2010. What would have been a "chip it back into play" shot for most turned out to be a career highlight for Mickelson. He hit the ball between two trees and knocked it to within five feet of the hole. Mickelson didn't convert the eagle putt, but settled for birdie and went on to win the Masters for the third time.

 

 

3. Arnold Palmer wins the 1960 Masters. Before we had Mickelson, Arnie was the man who invented throwing in all the blue chips with every shot on the golf course. In 1960 at Augusta National, Palmer became the first player to birdie each of the final two holes to win. It was the second of Palmer's four Masters wins.

2. Tiger Woods wins the 1997 Masters. This is the win that really -- I mean really -- put Tiger on the map. The first of his 14 major victories, Tiger crushed the field by a record 12 strokes in becoming the youngest player ever to win the tournament at age 21.

1. Jack Nicklaus's putt on No. 17 in 1986. Many argue this was the greatest Masters of all time. This birdie putt on No. 17 pretty much sealed the deal for Nicklaus, who became the oldest player to win the Masters at age 46. It was his sixth Masters overall, which remains two better than anyone else.

 

 

March 30, 2017 - 10:46am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Phil Mickelson
@PGATOUR on Twitter
In Houston to prepare for next week's Masters, Phil Mickelson is showing us that his dazzling short game is ready for Augusta National.

Phil Mickelson is at the Shell Houston Open this week to tune up for next week's Masters Tournament.

At 1 over through his first three holes (he played the back nine first), Mickelson reached the par-5 13th hole at the Golf Club of Houston looking to at least get back to even par for the day.

However, picking up a stroke was looking like a tall task after a not-so-great third shot.

But, when has Mickelson ever been accused of not being entertaining?

No green in three? No problem.

Check out Mickelson's chip in for birdie to get back to even par:

 

 

Shots like that one will come in handy for the three-time Masters champion next week.