Golf Buzz

Jason Day's 75-foot eagle putt
PGA Tour via YouTube
Jason Day's putt traveled from one edge of the huge fifth green to the other before falling for an unlikely eagle on Sunday at Kapalua.
 
Everything might be bigger in Texas, but the fairways and greens at Kapalua are bigger than any other venue on the PGA Tour. The expansive fairways make it easy to bomb away off the tee box without a care in the world, but the huge greens can leave you with putts as long as your basic lob wedge shot.
 
Jason Day faced one of those putts in the final round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, when his second shot on the 526-yard, par-5 fifth hole barely crept up onto the putting surface. The pin was 75 feet away, about as far across the green as it possibly could be. And, making it worse, behind it was a huge dropoff that, while not affecting the putt, certainly presented a little visual intimidation.
 
 
It's hard to imagine anything intimidating Day on the golf course, though, and he rapped his putt hard and watched it roll up and over a ridge, bank down to the right and then motor confidently into the heart for a long-distance eagle.
 
Day was so confident the putt was going in that he didn't even walk after it. When it fell, he just strolled off the green like no big deal – but with a huge smile on his face.
 
Hey, who could blame him. Here's the putt:
 
 
January 9, 2016 - 10:14pm
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PGA Tour/YouTube
Jordan Spieth was just inches away from an albatross to finish up Saturday's third round.

Jordan Spieth closed out Saturday's third round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions with a flourish. If a near-albatross that turned into a 10-foot eagle putt can be considered a "flourish."

HYUNDAI TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS: Scores | Gallery | Spieth leads by 5

On the par-5 18th hole at Kapalua's Plantation Course, Spieth had 250 yards to the pin. And this shot was almost perfect, as it runs up and just nicks the flagstick:

 

 

The entire tournament has been one Jordan Spieth highlight reel. Earlier in the round, he made a 46-foot birdie putt. And on Friday, he holed out from the fringe for another eagle.

DEADLY FROM LONG DISTANCE: Spieth drains 46-foot birdie putt

Not suprisingly, he's now five shots ahead of Brooks Koepka after firing a third-round 65. In 54 holes at Kapalua, he's had just one bogey.

 

January 9, 2016 - 7:39pm
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PGA Tour/Twitter
Jordan Spieth had this 46-footer for birdie at No. 12 Saturday.

Jordan Spieth just keeps adding to the highlight reel this week.

FRIDAY AT KAPALUA: Spieth chips in for eagle at No. 9

On Friday, he chipped in for an eagle. On Saturday, he faced a 46-foot putt for birdie on No. 12 -- and here's what happened:

 

 

At the time, Brooks Koepka -- with nine birdies on his first 15 holes -- had cut Spieth's lead to just one shot. But the No. 1 player in the world answered right back.

January 9, 2016 - 5:57pm
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T.J. Auclair
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Rickie Fowler
@PGATOUR on Twitter
In the third round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions on Saturday, Rickie Fowler chipped in for a timely eagle on the par-5 fifth hole.

Sure, a lot of talk this week in Maui has been centered around Rickie Fowler's new look -- the joggers and high-tops.

But, let's not forget that the lad can play too.

Early in his third round at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions on Saturday, Fowler drained this eagle chip on the par-5 fifth hole to get to 2 under for the day and into a tie for fourth at the time of this post:

 

January 9, 2016 - 3:47pm
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Jeff Hintz/2016 Ryder Cup
This should all be gone by the time the 2016 Ryder Cup gets set to tee off at the end of September.

A record-breaking spell of warmer than normal weather allowed Twin Cities golfers the opportunity to play almost until Christmas.

2016 RYDER CUP: U.S. Team home page | Tickets | Travel

However, things have returned to normal in Minnesota, as evidenced by this photo taken by Championship Director Jeff Hintz of Hazeltine National Golf Club -- site of the 2016 Ryder Cup -- covered in a blanket of snow.

 

 

Hard to imagine the European and United States teams will be teeing off there in just nine months. But this weekend's Hyundai Tournament of Champions is the first tournament of 2016 to hand out U.S. Ryder Cup points, a weekly occurance between now and The Barclays in August.

2016 U.S. RYDER CUP TEAM: Current standings | Qualification process

At that point, the top eight in the points will clinch a trip to Hazeltine, with the final four added as Captain's Picks by Captain Davis Love III, who just happens to be playing in Kalapua this weekend.

 

January 8, 2016 - 8:52pm
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PGA Tour/Twitter
Jordan Spieth pumps his fist after his eagle hole-out at No. 9 during Friday's second round.

Short game? Jordan Spieth has one of the best, and he showed it off again during Friday's second round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Kapalua's Plantation Course.

HYUNDAI T OF C: Scores | Gallery | Spieth shoots 64, leads by 4

Watch this shot from fringe at the ninth hole take dead aim at the pin -- and disappear:

 

 

 

 

That was the biggest highlight in a round that was littered with birdies for Spieth, who shot a 9-under 64 Friday and pushed out to a four-stroke lead over Patrick Reed, Fabian Gomez and Kevin Kisner.

Spieth makes this game look so easy at times. And if the competition was expecting him to suffer a bit of a letdown after his amazing 2015, it appears they'll be in for a long, long wait.