March 25, 2016 - 4:38pm
Niall Horan via Instagram
Last fall, we brought you the news that Niall Horan of One Direction was planning to spend the band's one-year hiatus honing his golf game. Now, we can confirm to you that Horan is in fact playing some golf and, as you can see in the Instagram post below, his golf swing is looking pretty good.
The 22-year-old Irish heartthrob famously caddied for Rory McIlroy during the Par 3 Contest at the Masters last year, but he is also good buddies with Justin Rose. In fact, Horan and Rose have teamed up to create a special charity tournament – known as the Horan & Rose Gala Dinner and Golf Day – preceding the European Tour's prestigious BMW PGA Championship in London in late May (the event doesn't seem to have a web presence as of yet). Horan will play in the BMW PGA's celebrity pro-am as well.
"By the end of next year … I'd like to be a low single figure in golf and in better shape, working out," Horan told RTE Ten in Ireland last fall. From the looks of things, he's certainly putting in the time it takes to improve.
Here's what his swing looks like now. Not bad!:
March 24, 2016 - 9:07pm
Green Jacket Auctions
The Claret Jug, presented to the winner of the Open Championship each summer, is one of the coolest trophies in all of sport. You and I very likely will never win one, but we could still get one for our mantel.
One John Daly's Claret Jugs is up for sale on the Green Jacket Auctions site, with the auction set to close on April 9 – right before the final round of the Masters.
Open Championship winners are allowed to keep the official Claret Jug for the year after their victory, and are allowed to buy what are casually called "player's" jugs – slightly smaller versions of the real thing that are theirs for life. Daly apparently had two of these, and recently let go of one that, he said on Twitter Thursday night, he thought was going to be donated to a museum in St. Andrews. It isn't clear who is actually selling the jug.
Daly also clarified on Twitter that he still has a jug as well as a version of the Wanamaker Trophy he got for winning the 1991 PGA Championship.
According to the listing on Green Jacket Auctions, the sterling silver jug is "produced by the Royal & Ancient's official trophy maker" and measures 12 1/4" tall." It also comes in its own case, whose interior is lined in silk.
The bidding started at $5,000, and is already up over $8,000. Maybe we should all go in on it together.
March 24, 2016 - 5:21pm
PGA Tour via YouTube
Do you know why short irons and wedges are called "scoring clubs?" It's because, if you master them, your scores will greatly improve.
And if you needed any validation of that, you're getting it in the second day of the Dell Match Play, where players have been chipping in for eagles, birdies and pars consistently throughout the day.
Here's just a few of them:
--Ryan Moore holed a 26-foot chip shot from the thick greenside rough for birdie on the par-3 17th hole.
--Jamie Donaldson canned a 27-foot chip from the first cut for par on the par-4 15th hole.
--Anirban Lahiri knocked in a 35-foot sand shot from a deep greenside bunker for birdie on the par-3 fourth hole.
--And the best we've seen all day, Chris Wood lofted a beautiful blast for birdie from another deep greenside bunker from 85 feet on the par-4 eighth hole.
Part of this is because the greens at Austin Country Club are in great shape. But mostly, it's because these guys have mastered all the various chip shots they need around the green. That's something we all should take note of.
Here are these four excellent chip-ins:
March 23, 2016 - 5:28pm
Skratch TV via Twitter
One of the more entertaining matches of the first day of the Dell Match Play featured Rickie Fowler and that noted comedian Jason Dufner. The Dufman, perhaps surprisingly, knocked his drive on the first hole a good 25 yards past Fowler – and then celebrated with the subtlety we've all come to expect from him.
Nice flex, there, Jason. Rickie got a good chuckle out of it, too, and the pair went on to halve the hole before Dufner won the match 2&1.
Here's Dufner in action, and below it some other noteworthy shots from today.
March 23, 2016 - 2:36pm
So, kids, what did you do over Spring Break? Christian Dell and Nicole Klusener, a couple of high school students from Wichita, Kan., survived a plane crash – in part because they landed on a golf course.
Dell, 17, and Klusener, 18, had saved money to rent the single-engine M20C-Mooney for a Spring Break trip to Nashville, Tenn. All had gone well until they were about to land back in Wichita – not far from the airport, the plane's engine sputtered, then died.
A high school senior, Dell is a certified pilot, and he used his training to bring the plane down under control. During his descent, he avoided power lines, houses and trees before crash-landing on the 14th hole of the Tallgrass Golf Course, which is in the middle of a large residential development.
"I just remember trying to restart the engine, frantically turning the key, pumping the throttle," Dell told KWCH-TV in Wichita. "So I decided we were going to make it to the runway. I turned back and there was just no way we were going to get there."
The landing was pretty rough, and both kids sustained some serious scrapes and bruises. But they're both okay, and thankful they were so low to the ground when the engine cut out.
And amazingly, this is the second plane piloted by a teenager to crash-land on a golf course in the span of a couple weeks. On March 5, an 18-year-old pilot made an emergency landing on the course at the St. Petersburg Country Club in Florida.
The teenaged pilot in that incident was flying from Lakeland to Manatee County in a 1939 TaylorCraft single engine plane when it developed mechanical issues, according to The Tampa Bay Times. The vintage aircraft landed on the 12th fairway, and no injuries were reported.
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