Golf Buzz

John Mallinger
John Mallinger shows his ball to the crowd after acing the 11th hole Saturday.

Hole-in-ones are so random, but they're so fun to watch.

John Mallinger scored an ace Saturday at the Barracuda Championship in Reno, using a 9-iron from 155 yards at the par-3 11th.

Here's the video:

 

 

It was one of two on the day there. Ben Curtis also aced No. 3, becoming the 16th player so far this season to record a hole-in-one in a PGA Tour event.

Somewhat surprisingly, it wasn't the first time two players had recorded holes-in-one in the same round this season. Bud Cauley and George McNeill did it within a span of about 40 minutes at the Greenbrier Classic earlier this summer.

Bubba Watson
USA Today Images
Bubba Watson smashed a drive 424 yards on the par-5 16th hole Saturday at Firestone Country Club.

Move over, Webb Simpson. Bubba Watson's playing through.

Watson smashed a drive 424 yards Saturday on the par-5 No. 16 at Firestone Country Club, becoming the first player this year to hit one over 400 yards in a PGA Tour event, surpassing Simpson's 397-yard drive in January at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at the top of the long-drive leaderboard.

And now's there a video of Bubba's drive. Just listen to the sound of this swing:

 

 

PGA CHAMPIONSHIP: Long Drive Championship to return at Valhalla

Just to prove it wasn't a fluke, it was the fifth drive Watson has hit this weekend that was 375 yards or more, according to Associated Press writer Doug Ferguson.

PGA CHAMPSIONSHIP: Masters champ Watson paired with McIlroy, Kaymer

 

 

That's one heck of a way to warm up for Tuesday's PGA Long Drive Championship, to be contested on the 10th hole at Valhalla Golf Club prior to the 2014 PGA Championship. Certainly Watson has to be considered one of the favorites -- if he can keep his ball in the fairway.

But just to prove the old adage "drive for show, putt for dough," Watson bogeyed the hole.

Louisville Slugger bats
Louisville Slugger/Twitter
Check out the personalized PGA Championship bats for Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, made by Louisville Slugger.

Wooden clubs in golf have evolved to the point where there's no "wood" remaining. What used to be wood is now a metal clubface on a graphite shaft. 

But since Louisville is home to the iconic Louisville Slugger baseball bat factory, next week's PGA Championship could be just a touch different.

PGA CHAMPIONSHIP: Long Drive Competition to return

Check out these beauties in a tweet posted Saturday:

 

 

That's a home run in any scorebook.

How far do you think Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy could hit a golf ball with one of those? Now there's a long-drive contest I'd love to see.

RYDER CUP: Several spots available with two big tournaments to play

Keegan Bradley
Keegan Bradley came this close to making an albatross Saturday at the Bridgestone Invitational.

How close did Keegan Bradley come to making an albatross Saturday morning at the Bridgestone Invitational? About the length of his shoe:

PGA CHAMPIONSHIP: Valhalla will be like two tournaments in one

 

 

That's a tap-in eagle for Bradley after hitting a 227-yard approach within a foot or so of the flag on the par-5 No. 2. That's a fine way to start any round of golf, especially if you're trying to get yourself prepared for next week's PGA Championship -- and also trying to impress Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson, who has three captain's picks to use.

RYDER CUP: Who's on the bubble?

 

Brady Schnell
PGA Tour Canada via Twitter
Brady Schnell is the first player to shoot 59 on the PGA Tour Canada but, incredibly, not the first to break 60.

You often hear the announcers on golf TV broadcasts say "it's a great day for scoring" when the weather is nice.

I don't know if there was anything special going on meteorologically across North America on Friday but, man, it was a great day for scoring.

First, Sergio Garcia carded a 61, including a back-nine 27, at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio.

A few hours later, Fabian Gomez carded a 60 at the Web.com Tour's Stonebrae Classic in Hayward, Calif. – and he barely missed a final-hole putt for a 59.

And a little while after that, former University of Nebraska player Brady Schnell shot a 13-under 59 in the ATB Financial Classic on the PGA Tour Canada. And check this out – Schnell knocked in a 122-yard wedge shot for an eagle on his final hole to reach the magic number at the par-72 Sirocco Golf Club in Calgary, Alberta.

He became the second player to PGA Tour Canada history to break 60, but only the first to shoot 59. Remarkably, Jason Bohn carded a 58 on a par-71 course in the 2001 Bayer Championship. 

"I guess you're always trying to hole it, but you don't expect it to happen for a 59," Schnell said after his record round. "I was just trying to make another birdie and get in and shoot 60 and just move up the leaderboard. I can't believe how it happened. That was just crazy. 

"I hit a hard 52 [-degree wedge]. I felt a little jacked up and it looked like it took a little skip forward and from back in the fairway it looked like it spun back a foot or two. I couldn't believe it when it dropped." 

He knew immediately that he had shot 59. 

"I knew where I was at," said Schnell, who had the eagle and 11 birdies. "I just kind of kept track and figured it out. I was standing in six fairway and said, `You can make four birdies over the next four holes.' I lipped out on six for birdie and then I just made birdie-birdie-eagle." 

Schnell, who opened with a a 1-under 71, is tied for third, two strokes behind leader Brock Mackenzie.

If you're curious, here's a list of the sub-60 scores on the major tours:

58:
Ryo Ishikawa (-12), 2010 Japan Golf Tour, The Crowns in Aichi, Japan
Jason Bohn (-13), 2001 PGA Tour Canada, Bayer Championship in Sarnia, Ontario

59:
Al Geiberger (-13), 1977 PGA Tour, Danny Thomas Memphis Classic in Memphis Tenn.
Chip Beck (-13), 1991 PGA Tour, Las Vegas Invitational in Las Vegas, Nev.
David Duval (-13), 1999 PGA Tour, Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in Palm Springs, Calif.
Paul Goydos (-12), 2010 PGA Tour, John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill.
Stuart Appleby (-11), 2010 PGA Tour, Greenbrier Classic in White Sulphus Springs, W.Va.

Annika Sorenstam (-13), 2001 LPGA Tour, Standard Register Ping in Phoenix, Ariz.

Notah Begay III (-13), 1998 Nike Tour, Dominion Open in Richmond, Va.
Doug Dunakey (-11), 1998 Nike Tour, Miami Valley Open in Springboro, Ohio
Jason Gore (-12), 2005 Nike Tour, Cox Classic in Omaha, Neb.
Will Wilcox (-12), 2013 Web.com Tour, Utah Championship in Sandy, Utah

Masahiro Kuramoto (-12), 2003 Japan Golf Tour, Acom International in Ibaraki, Japan  
Adrien Mork (-12), 2006 European Challenge Tour, Tikita Hotels Agadir Moroccan Classic in Agadir, Morocco

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

 

 

 
Miguel Angel Jimenez at the Bridgestone Invitational
PGA Tour via YouTube
Miguel Angel Jimenez' reaction to sinking a big putt Friday brought back memories of Chi Chi Rodriguez.

Miguel Angel Jimenez – golf's "most interesting man in the world" – was at it again on Friday.

The 50-year-old newlywed, known around the globe for his gut-busting warm-up routine, his awesome ponytail, his ever-present cigar and, most of all, his joie-de-vivre outlook on life, was facing a tricky 27-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole in the second round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

He lined it up, made his stroke – and watched the putt roll right into the bottom of the cup. To celebrate the big make, he "sheathed" his putter like a sword – just like Chi Chi Rodriguez – another of golf's great characters – used to do. 

Not sure if Jimenez's gesture was an on-purpose homage to Rodriguez – who, of course, used to wield his putter like Zorro wielded his saber. If so, that's fantastic. If not, it was still pretty darn cool.

And, by the way, Jimenez went on to post his second straight 69 and is tied for 18th place heading into the weekend. En garde!

Here's his putt: 

 

And here is Chi Chi doing his sword dance (it's at 1:30 in the video):