Golf Buzz

Scott Brown
USA Today Images
Scott Brown makes an ace at the $1 million hole, but two days too early.

The Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial is offering a "Lucky 13/Million Dollar Charity Challenge" for anyone who makes a hole-in-one at No. 13, which Scott Brown did on Thursday. The only problem? The giveaway is only for the two weekend rounds.

Brown's first career PGA Tour ace was with a 7-iron from 154 yards and was the 12th hole-in-one on No. 13 in Colonial's 68-year history.

WORLD NO. 1: Are we looking at a game of musical chairs?

Unfortunately, it was also his only hole under par during his entire round. Brown finished with a 4-over 74, which may prevent him from having another opportunity to score the payout.

If someone does repeat Brown's performance on either Saturday or Sunday, the money will be split. One third will go to a Crowne Plaza-sponsored charity, another third to the golfer's charity of his choice -- and the rest of the money will be split between 13 fans, 12 at the tournament and another following the tournament on Twitter.

CROWNE PLAZA INVITATIONAL: Thursday's first-round scores

 

May 22, 2014 - 12:39pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Phil Mickelson
USA Today Sports Images
If you demo a Big Bertha drivers or fairway wood between now and June 15, you could win the same dollar amount Phil Mickelson wins in the U.S. Open.

Typically when you demo new golf clubs, you're looking for more consistency and more distance. If you demo Callaway Golf's new Big Bertha clubs from now until June 15 -- the final round of this year's U.S. Open -- you could also be staring at a huge pay day.

On Thursday, Callaway announced its "Big Bertha Payday" promotion. Golfers who demo the brand's Big Bertha drivers or fairway wood at retailers before the final round of the U.S. Open will be entered into a drawing. The winner will receive a lump sum payment of the exact amount Mickelson, Callaway's pitchman, wins at Pinehurst up to a maximum of $1.5 million, the estimated first-place winnings.

Here, Mickelson talks about the promotion:

Golfers that demo a Big Bertha Alpha Driver, a Big Bertha Driver or a Big Bertha Fairway Wood at a participating location will receive a code that they can use to enter for a chance to win the same dollar amount that Mickelson wins at the season's second major championship.

The only time in his career that Mickelson has missed the cut in a U.S. Open was in 2007. In the two U.S. Opens he's played at Pinehurst -- 1999 and 2005 -- Mickelson has finished second and T33, respectively.

For more information and complete terms and conditions visit CallawayGolf.com/BigBerthaPayday.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.

 

Sergio Garcia
Getty Images
Sergio Garcia withdrew after Thursday's round of the BMW PGA Championship, favoring an injured left knee.

VIRGINIA WATER, England -- In an effort to be ready for the U.S. Open, Sergio Garcia has withdrawn from the BMW PGA Championship because of an injured left knee.

Garcia shot a 1-over 73 on the West Course at Wentworth on Thursday and then advised officials he was unable to continue.

The seventh-ranked Spaniard first felt pain in his knee during the final round of last week's Spanish Open. An MRI showed no serious damage.

Garcia says "on the 17th and 18th holes today, it didn't feel good at all. The problem is now is with the U.S. Open coming up. I don't want it to get worse."

The U.S. Open at Pinehurst starts June 12.

Senior PGA Volunteers
PGA of America
More than 400 Senior PGA Championship volunteers lined up in the shape of the state of Michigan.

UPDATED WITH VIDEO

Whether you're a Michigander or a Michiganian, are partial to Coneys or pasties, can point out your hometown by using the palm of your right hand or consider yourself a Yooper, being from the Wolverine State -- the only state in the union with two peninsulas -- is quite a special honor.

That home state pride was evidenced Wednesday by the assembled group of more than 400 Senior PGA Championship volunteers who stood on the first fairway of Harbor Shores in the shape of Michigan, both upper and lower peninsulas. Below is a cool video of how the photo came together, taken by an overhead drone equipped with a camera.

 

It was done to celebrate the 75th Senior PGA Championship, to be contested this week at Benton Harbor's Harbor Shores course.

COURSE REVIEW: What it's like to play Harbor Shores

Not surprisingly, it took a marching band director -- Aaron Engleman of St. Joseph High School -- to get everybody lined up perfectly, all the way from Lambertville in the southeastern corner to Iron Mountain to the northwest. That's pretty impresive, considering Michigan touches four of the five Great Lakes.

In case it ever comes up in a game of trivia, Michigan's state motto means "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you."

 

 

May 21, 2014 - 3:33pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Jack Nicklaus
YouTube
Jack Nicklaus has been known to make the game look easy. But this was just ridiculous.

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. -- The Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid takes place this week at Harbor Shores.

Harbor Shores also hosted the 2012 Senior PGA Championship, which was won by England's Roger Chapman.

It usually takes a lot of time for a course to generate notable moments in its history. That isn't the case with Harbor Shores.

RELATED: What's it like to play Harbor Shores? | Senior PGA Champ. coverage

This course was put on the map the day it officially opened, July 10, 2010, thanks to its designer Jack Nicklaus.

As part of the grand opening, Nicklaus was joined by Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Johnny Miller to play 18 holes.

When the group reached the par-5 10th hole, something unfolded that you couldn't make up.

The 10th green at Harbor Shores is one of the most undulating on the course -- which is saying something because a lot of the greens here are of the hit-and-hope variety: hit it and hope it finishes somewhere reasonably close to the hole.

On opening day, Miller found his third shot on the lower level of the green, with the pin placement up a hill in the back, middle portion of the green, 102 feet away with the kinds of twists and turns you only expect to see on a roller coaster.

At first, Miller contemplated using a wedge, arguing it was the only wat to get close to the hole. Nicklaus insisted the ball could be putted up there.

With that, Nicklaus walked down to where Miller was, dropped a golf ball, took a quick look at the hole and proceeded to do this:

 

 

Amazing.

So, this week when you see players struggling for a three-putt on the 10th green at Harbor Shores, just remember it's not as easy as Nicklaus made it look.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.

 

May 21, 2014 - 10:43am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Notah Begay
Getty Images
After a one-month absence from his analyst duties at Golf Channel to recover from a heart attack, Notah Begay will be back to work next week for the NCAA Division I men's golf championship.

After suffering a heart attack in April, Notah Begay is ready to return to his analyst role at Golf Channel.

In a statement released Wednesday morning, Golf Channel announced that after a month's absence while recovering from his heart attack, Begay will rejoin the network's broadcast team next week for the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championships (Monday, May 26 through Wednesday, May 28).

RELATED: Golf Channel analyst recovering from heart attack | NCAA golf coverage

Begay will also serve as an analyst for Golf Central's news coverage surrounding the tournament.

"I'm feeling great and completely ready to get back to Golf Channel and NBC to do what I love best," he said. "The whole experience was a bit surreal, but it's given me a new perspective on my health and I feel even more motivated to use my foundation to help educate kids about their own health and make a positive difference in their lives."

Begay suffered his heart attack on April 24, caused by what doctors at Methodist Hospital in Dallas diagnosed as a 100 percent blockage of his right coronary artery.

The Golf Channel statement said that a stent was inserted to unblock the artery and, at the time, his prognosis for a full recovery was very good. Begay has a history of heart disease in his family, the statement said, and says he's looking forward to expanding his NB3 Foundation's mission to address health and wellness issues among Native American youth, as well as working more closely with the American Heart Association.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.