Golf Buzz

March 6, 2015 - 10:01am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Thongchai Jaidee
PGATour.com
Thongchai Jaidee made a quadruple-bogey 9 on the par-5 eighth hole at Trump National Doral on Thursday, which included a rare shot that wound up behind the six-time European Tour winner.

Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee had one devil of a time on Trump National Doral's par-5 eighth hole in Thursday's opening round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

Jaidee was 3-over par for the round when he made his way to the eighth tee -- his 17th hole of the day. Moments later, scorecard disaster struck for the six-time European Tour winner (and 13-time Asian Tour winner, which is second all time).

Here's a little play-by-play, showing you how Jaidee made a quadruple-bogey 9, which included one of the strangest -- and cruelest -- shots you'll ever see a professional golfer hit (more on that, with video, in a minute).

RELATED: Scores from Doral | Koepka's flop-shot hole out | Bubba's eagle

Jaidee's tee shot traveled 270 yards into the left rough leaving him 241 yards for his second shot. He hit the second shot 188 yards into more rough, leaving him a 105-yard third shot.

Splash. The third shot found the water. After taking a penalty stroke, Jaidee prepared to hit his fifth shot from the rough on a bank near the water, just 30 feet from the hole.

And that's where things got really, really ugly.

Jaidee lashed at the ball to hit a flop shot. It was a flop all right.

The ball went straight up in the air. When it eventually hit dry land, it bounced backwards and then Jaidee watched helplessly as it rolled into the water behind him.

Here's a look:

 

 

Jaidee had to take another penalty stroke, hit his seventh shot on the green and two-putted for the crushing 9. He bogeyed his final hole -- the par-3 ninth -- for a 6-over 43 on his inward nine and a final score of 8-over 80.

It wasn't all bad news for Jaidee on Thursday. He also made this spectacular par on the par-4 third hole: 

 

Harrison Ford plane crash
CNN via YouTube
A vintage airplane that Harrison Ford was flying Thursday landed hard on a fairway at a California golf course on Thursday.
 
Airplanes have crash-landed on golf courses multiple times over the years. Not until Thursday, however, had an airplane that crash-landed on a golf course been piloted by one of the world's most famous movie stars.
 
Harrison Ford – known far and wide as "Millenium Falcon" pilot Han Solo in the "Star War" movie cycle – was "banged up" Thursday afternoon when a 1940s-era plane he was flying landed roughly on a fairway at the Penmar Golf Course in Venice, California.
 
The plane clipped the top of a tree on its way down, then dug a pretty good divot in a fairway as it landed on its belly on the nine-hole municipal course. After the plane came to a halt, several golfers – one of whom was a doctor – pulled Ford from the plane and administered first aid until paramedics arrived, according to the Los Angeles Times.
 
 
"Harrison was flying a WW2 vintage plane today which had engine trouble upon takeoff," said Ina Treciokas, Ford's publicist. "He had no other choice but to make an emergency landing, which he did safely. He was banged up and is in the hospital receiving medical care. The injuries sustained are not life threatening, and he is expected to make a full recovery."
 
The 72-year-old Ford, an experienced pilot who also is known for his role as academic-turned-adventurer Indiana Jones, underwent surgery later in the day for broken bones in his pelvis and ankle, according to KTLA-TV in Los Angeles.
 
Ford tried to get the two-seat, single-engine Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR, a 942 military trainer, back to the Santa Monica Municipal Airport after its engine failed soon after takeoff, National Transportation Safety Board investigator Patrick Jones told reporters.
 
Here's a CNN report on the crash:
 
 
March 5, 2015 - 4:08pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bubba Watson
YouTube
In his first nine holes at Trump National Doral on Thursday, Bubba Watson hit at least one spectacular shot and then another that will give you the shivers.

Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson often wows us with his shot-making ability.

That was no different on Thursday in the first round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral. Playing the long par-5 12th -- his third hole of the day -- Watson faced a 224-yard approach shot from the middle of the fairway.

RELATED: Koepka's spectacular birdie hole out | Lexi Thompson's ace

Pulling a mid-iron from the bag (are you kidding?), Watson knocked it stiff to within a foot of the hole to set up an easy eagle.

You can see it here:

 

The 18th hole -- Watson's ninth of the day -- was a different story all together.

From the tee box, Watson unleashed a low, screaming drive way right that zipped just over the heads of the spectators lining the ropes. It was a scary moment, but luckily no one was hurt.

Watson would bogey the hole. Here's a look at that frightening tee shot:

 

March 5, 2015 - 3:22pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Brooks Koepka
YouTube
Grass island? Well, that was no problem for Brooks Koepka in the first round at Doral on Thursday.

Earlier today, Lexi Thompson recorded a hole-in-one in the LPGA's HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore.

Call me crazy, but I was sure that would be the best golf shot I'd see today.

RELATED: Lexi Thompson's hole-in-one | Share your ace story with PGA.com

Well, I was wrong.

Check this out from Waste Management Phoenix Open champ Brooks Koepka at Trump Doral's par-4 14th hole:

Are you serious? First off, how unlucky do you have to be to hit it into a "grass island?"

But then to take a mighty swipe at it like Koepka did and knock it in the hole from 39 yards out for a ho-hum birdie? Get out of here.

For now, we think that'll be the shot of the day. 

March 5, 2015 - 11:21am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Lexi Thompson
GolfChannel.com
In Thursday's opening round of the LPGA's HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore, Lexi Thompson made a hole-in-one on a 153-yard par 3.

Apparently the LPGA's HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore has a thing for unbelievable golf shots.

Last year, Paula Creamer famously holed a 75-foot eagle putt to win the tournament in a playoff. Earlier this week, she successfully recreated that putt in a promotion for the event.

RELATED: Creamer's 75-foot eagle putt | Share your hole-in-one with PGA.com

On Thursday during the first round of the tournament, Lexi Thompson snagged an eagle of her own... but this one wasn't a "3" on a par 5. Instead, it was a hole-in-one on the par-3 14th hole, a 153-yarder, at Sentosa Golf Club's Serapong Course.

 

You know it's a great shot when the player is giving it the stare down the entire time. 

March 4, 2015 - 11:22am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Patrick Reed
USA Today Sports Images
Can defending champ Patrick Reed make it two in a row at Doral this week?

The PGA Tour is at Trump Doral this week for the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

The Doral stop on Tour has long been viewed as the unofficial start to the PGA Tour season since all the stars are out (minus Tiger Woods, who, believe it or not would not even have been eligible for this event based on his world ranking even if he weren't on hiatus right now) and it truly begins the lead-up to the season's much-anticipated first major, the Masters.

Patrick Reed returns to Doral this week as the defending champ, one-year removed from his much-publicized (and criticized) proclamation that he considers himself a, "top-5 player in the world."

RELATED: WGC-Cadillac Championship tee times | Amended Masters favorites

Well, Reed isn't top-5 quite yet, but based on his play since making those remarks, he sure looks well on his way.

Here are the five players I'll be watching closely this week at Doral.

5. Paul Casey
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Playoff loss at the Northern Trust Open
Reason to watch: Casey, a top-5 player in the world himself not all that long ago, has dedicated himself solely to the PGA Tour for the 2014-15 season. He's looking healthy for the first time in a long time and -- perhaps just as important -- as confident as he's been in a long time. After losing in a playoff at the Northern Trust Open two weeks ago, Casey followed it up with a T3 last week at the Honda Classic. He's got great form right now and if he can keep it going, I wouldn't at all be surprised to see him contend at the Masters. 

4. Justin Rose
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Playoff loss at the Northern Trust Open
Reason to watch: Rose hasn't exactly been on fire this season. His best finish in three starts is a T48 at the WGC-HSBC Champions back in early November. His other two starts -- the Farmers Insurance Open and last week's Honda Classic -- resulted in missed cuts. So, why then, you ask, do I like him at Doral? Because Rose isn't the type of player who stays in a funk for too long. He also won the event in 2012 and finished in a tie for eighth there in 2013. The course has undergone changes since Rose's last top-10 there, but this is an elite event and Rose is an elite player.

3. Dustin Johnson
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Playoff loss at the Northern Trust Open
Reason to watch: Sure, he missed the cut last week at the Honda Classic, but after a six-month layoff from the PGA Tour, Johnson has two top-4 finishes in four starts. That's a testament to the raw talent this guy has. Johnson has twice finished in the top-4 at Doral, including a T4 in 2014. I think he's going to win soon. Why not this week?

2. Bubba Watson
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Won the WGC-HSBC Champions
Reason to watch: The man is on fire. In four starts this season, the two-time Masters champ has three top-10 finishes. He's a contending machine, which has to be scary for his fellow competitors with the Masters right around the corner. Watson has twice been a runner up at Doral, including last year.

1. Patrick Reed
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Won the Hyundai Tournament of Champions
Reason to watch: However you feel about Reed -- hero or villain -- there's no denying that he's great for golf. For better or worse, he's a personality. He's also one hell of a player. I'm looking forward to seeing how Reed does in his title defense of the most significant of his four PGA Tour wins.