Golf Buzz

May 4, 2015 - 8:40am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Gary Woodland
USA Today Sports Images
Gary Woodland hit the type of shot all golfers can relate to on Sunday. Attempting to hit a ball through a cluster of trees, the ball plunked one tree and nearly returned to Woodland's feet.

In case you missed it on Sunday, Gary Woodland hit the kind of shot in the WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship final against Rory McIlroy that we can all relate to.

Playing the par-4 third hole at TPC Harding Park and with the match all square, Woodland decided he needed to be aggressive off the tee after watching McIlroy stripe one down the center of the fairway.

Woodland's aggressive play sent his ball left and into some trees. Now, given the match-play situation, it was time for Woodland to try to pull off a hero shot.

RELATED: McIlroy wins Match Play | Final Match Play results | What's in the winners' bags

Lined up and ready to go, Woodland put a mighty strike on the ball. The ball sailed through the trees before plunking one about 45 yards in front of Woodland and then returned to the golfer, nearly right at his feet.

Check it out:


"I hit that tree and it literally came back, I had about a yard closer," Woodland said. "I could have caught it for how much [it came back] ‑‑ it hit right in the center of the tree. Tony (Woodland's caddie) and I got a good laugh out of it because I had to ask how far we were. I tried to hit a miracle shot there and I got it up in the crowd."

As it turned out, no harm, no foul. Woodland and McIlroy halved the hole with bogeys. At the next hole, however, McIlroy won the first of four holes in a row and never looked back on his way to a second World Golf Championships title.

May 3, 2015 - 12:44pm
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Nick O'Leary
USA Today Images
Nick O'Leary, grandson of Jack Nicklaus, was drafted by the NFL's Buffalo Bills.

If Jack and Barbara Nicklaus want to continue to follow their grandson's football exploits, they'd better bundle up. Nick O'Leary was drafted in the sixth round by the Buffalo Bills.



O'Leary, winner of the John Mackey Award as the nation's top college tight end, played a key role in all four of his seasons at Florida State. He caught 48 passes for 618 yards and six touchdowns as a senior for the Seminoles. The 6-3, 247-pounder played football, basketball, lacrosse and ran track in high school -- but was not on his school's golf team.

Nicklaus was playing a honorary round Saturday at the Champions Tour's Insperity Invitational and hadn't commented publicly on his own web site. However, he did provide this quote to the Buffalo News:

"Buffalo is a young, up-and-coming team with a bright future. It should be a good place for Nick.

"Buffalo’s got a tremendous defense; they have made a lot of changes on offense; and Rex Ryan is a players' coach. I tell you one thing, Buffalo got one heck of a football player in Nick. He is a heck of an athlete. He’s a hard worker. He’s got great hands. And he’s a lot faster than he tested, I’m going to promise you that."

Nick's grandparents attended many of his games in Tallahassee. However, Buffalo is quite a different story, especially when the weather turns snowy in upstate New York.


Rory McIlroy
European Tour/Twitter
Rory McIlroy is not particularly pleased with his view of the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.

Tickets to the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight in Las Vegas? Priceless. Or pricey.

Having to watch it instead from the TPC Harding Park media center? Disappointing, to say the least.

That was Rory McIlroy's plight Saturday evening. Because his quarterfinal match with Paul Casey not only went extra holes, but ended up being suspended by darkness, the world's No. 1 golfer was unable to even get to the airport in San Francisco, let alone reach Las Vegas, for the bout. Plus, the resumption of his match with Casey was scheduled for 6:45 a.m. local time, not really conducive to a red-eye flight to Nevada and back.

Instead, he watched it from the course's media center, along with the rest of the working stiffs:



Eventually, the broadcast was put up on the center's large screen, so everyone didn't have to watch a tiny monitor.

On the other hand, Lee Westwood -- who lost to Danny Willett earlier in the day -- was able to hop on a private jet and get to Sin City in plenty of time. He joked about using Rory's tickets, and then posted this tweet:



By all accounts, the fight -- won by Mayweather -- failed to live up to the pre-bout hype. Still, there's nothing worse than having tickets to a big event in your pocket when you're 500 miles away.


Rory McIlroy
PGA Tour/YouTube
Rory McIlroy addresses the ball in the bunker before holing the shot Saturday.

Who needs a sand save statistic when you can do this instead?

Rory McIlroy found himself in the greenside bunker at the par-4 10th hole Saturday -- some 35 feet from the hole -- during his match with Japan's Hideki Matsuyama. He had just given back a hole at the ninth, and this could have been a pivotal point in the match.

Instead, watch what happens:



McIlroy went on to win the hole, and eventually the match by a score of 6 and 5, moving the world's No. 1 player in the Cadillac Match Play quarterfinals.

Unfortunately for Rory, it also means he probably won't get to use the tickets he bought for Saturday night's Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight in Las Vegas.

May 1, 2015 - 12:37pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Patrick Reed
USA Today Sports Images
After missing a short putt in the second round of the WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship on Thursday, Patrick Reed used his putter to smash the ball away in disgust.

Nobody likes to miss a short putt -- especially the pros.

"Short putt" standards for the pros are a little longer than the rest of us.

Take Patrick Reed in his match against Danny Willett in the second round of the WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship on Thursday for instance.

RELATED: WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship leaderboard | Awesome juggling act

Faced with a 6-7-foot putt for par to halve the hole, Reed missed to go 2-down in the match.

Instead of picking the ball up and moving ahead to the 11th tee, a frustrated Reed scooped the ball up with the back of his putter, flipped it in the air and hit it like a Major League Baseball slugger.

We can't tell by this Vine, but assuming there were indeed fans in the area, this probably wasn't very safe:


Reed wound up losing the match, 2&1.

I much prefer this Match-Play version of Reed:


May 1, 2015 - 9:12am
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PGA of America
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PGA of America
The PGA of America announced on Friday that Kiawah Island's Ocean Course will host the 2021 PGA Championship.

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (May 1, 2015) -- The PGA of America announced today that it will conduct the 2021 PGA Championship on The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

The 103rd edition of the Championship in August 2021 returns to the renowned Pete Dye-designed oceanfront layout in South Carolina after its first visit in 2012, when Rory McIlroy captured the Wanamaker Trophy by a record-setting margin. The Ocean Course is one of four venues to host each of the PGA of America’s major championships – the Ryder Cup (1991), the Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid (2007) and the PGA Championship. The Ocean Course also hosted the 2005 PGA Professional National Championship.

RELATED: Click here for full coverage of the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits

“Ever since The Ocean Course was introduced to the world, it has been a supreme test for the greatest players in golf,” said PGA of America President Derek Sprague. “From a down-to-the-last putt thriller of a Ryder Cup in 1991 to Rory McIlroy closing a record-setting performance in the 2012 PGA Championship, there has never been a shortage of thrills on The Ocean Course. We anticipate that tradition of excellence continuing in 2021 at the PGA Championship.”

The PGA Championship also is the only one of golf’s four majors to be hosted in South Carolina. The announcement was made with Kiawah Island Golf Resort Chairman Bill Goodwin.

“It’s an honor to have the PGA Championship returning to The Ocean Course and Kiawah Island,” said Goodwin. “We have enjoyed dramatic finishes and premier Champions each time the PGA of America elected to bring an event to the island. We will do all that we can to provide the best possible conditions for the world’s best players and make the experience memorable to golf fans of South Carolina and to thousands of visitors worldwide.”

The PGA Championship, the only all-professional major, features one of the deepest international fields in golf. Since 1994, it has perennially featured the most top-100 players in the Official World Golf Rankings of all golf Championships.

The Ocean Course has more seaside holes than any other course in North America – 10 along the Atlantic Ocean with the other eight running parallel to those.

Designed from a ribbon of pristine sand dunes stretching nearly three miles along the Atlantic Ocean at the eastern end of Kiawah Island, The Ocean Course is a par-72 layout that can be extended to 7,676 yards, and is reminiscent of the great seaside links of England and Scotland.