Golf Buzz

October 15, 2015 - 9:45am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Matt Kuchar
PGA Tour of Australasia/YouTube
You know it's your day on the golf course when you're lining up a short putt for what would be a crushing double bogey, but then a gust of wind provides an incredibly lucky assist. Just ask Matt Kuchar.

Following the Presidents Cup, Matt Kuchar decided to stay on the other side of the world, traveling from South Korea to Fiji for the Fiji International on the PGA Tour of Australasia.

On an incredibly windy day at Natadola Bay Golf Course Sigatoka in Thursday's first round, the Golf Gods rewarded Kuchar for playing the tournament.

RELATED: What happens if the wind blows your ball in the hole?

Check out what happens as Kuchar lines up a short double bogey putt on the second hole:

 

That's right... the wind blew the ball in the hole for bogey -- the last shot Kuchar played. Kuchar finished the day with a 2-over 72 and is currently tied for second.

Kuchar did not have to replace his ball. He was protected by Decision 18-1/12 and Decision 20-3d/1 in the Rules of Golf. To summarize, Decision 18-1/12 states that the wind is not considered an "outside agency." If the wind blows a player's ball, he or she should play from the new position. If the wind blows the ball into the hole, the player is deemed to have holed out with his or her last stroke played.

Decision 20-3d/1 benifited Kuchar as well, because it states that even a ball that has been replaced ("marked") on a green -- if at rest on the spot it was placed -- would be played from the new location if the wind caused it to move. For Kuchar, the new location was in the hole, hence no need to play another shot.

Lucky break for Kuch indeed. 

Jaden Soong
KABC-TV
Jaden Soong is only 5 years old, but he already knows how to hold his finish like a pro.
 
There are lots of cool little golfers out there. We've even written about a few here on PGA.com over the years. But I ran across a little guy the other day who has a personality to match his game.
 
His name is Jaden Soong. He's five years old, and lives in Southern California, where he plays in U.S. Kids Golf tournaments – and regularly wins medals. He's also already made a hole-in-one – something his dad has never done.
 
In the video below, you can see why he got an ace – his swing is awesome, and he really makes solid contact. He even holds his finish just like a pro.
 
 
The other thing he does like a pro – TV interviews. His interplay with reporter Curt Sandoval in a feature for KABC-TV is just hilarious. 
 
"Why do you like golf?" Sandoval asks. Because, Jaden replies, "you get birdies and pars." 
 
It's a little early to make guarantees, but it sure seems like we'll be seeing more of young Jaden on the golf course in a few years – playing big tournaments or covering them. Either way, he'll be well worth watching.
 
To see the KABC-TV feature, click here  – there's no way to embed the video, but I encourage you to take a look. And you can check out his game in this video his dad posted on YouTube last summer:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Drone golf
KLAS-TV
The object of drone golf is to drop a golf ball as close to a flagstick as possible.
 
As long as there are people with imaginations, there will be new variations of golf.
 
The newest one I've run across: Drone Golf. Yes, that's playing golf using a drone.
 
Drone golf is the invention of a man named John Mendonca, a retired electrical engineer who lives in Las Vegas and has been tinkering with the concept at Las Vegas Country Club.
 
"I always loved remote control stuff, and this is even more fun," Mendonca told KLAS-TV in Las Vegas.
 
 
The object of his game is pretty simple. You equip a drone with a cup big enough to hold a golf ball, then fly your drone over a golf hole. When you think your drone is directly over the hole, you have the drone drop the ball.
 
There's no putting or anything after you drop. Your score is determined by the number of inches your ball comes to rest away from the flagstick.
 
It's just that simple. And that's why his slogan for his game is "Fly – drop – win."
 
Mendonca is still developing his concept for the game, and so far has restricted it to the practice range at Las Vegas CC. He does, however, have some big ideas.
 
"I hope to have a professional drone golf association," he told the TV station, "where people from all around the world can come to compete for prize money."
 
Here's the report from KLAS:
 
 
October 14, 2015 - 10:53am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rory McIlroy
USA Today Sports Images
Is Rory McIlroy in for another huge season on the PGA Tour? He's teeing it up in this week's season opener.

I hope you didn't blink. If you did, you missed the PGA Tour's offseason.

A new season begins on Thursday in Napa, Calif., with the Frys.com Open at Silverado -- less than one month after the 2014-15 season ended with the Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta.

Despite the quick turnaround, the Frys.com Open isn't lacking star power. Rory McIlroy makes his debut in the tournament this week. Justin Rose is there, as are the likes of Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Presidents Cuppers Hideki Matsuyama and Steven Bowditch.

RELATED: Tee times for the Frys.com Open | Favorite aces from PGA Tour season

Unfortunately, defending champ and Presidents Cupper Sang-Moon Bae is not there to try for the repeat, as he was forced to report to his mandatory military stint in South Korea.

Here are the five players you'll want to keep an eye on in the 2015-16 PGA Tour season opener.

5. Tony Finau
Best finish in 2015-16 season:
Debut
Reason to watch: A solid 2014-15 season saw Finau fall just short of reaching the Tour Championship. On the world stage, Finau shined at the only two majors he played -- the U.S. Open (T14) and the PGA Championship (T10). Known as one of the longest hitters on the PGA Tour, all signs are pointing toward a big year for Finau. Can that start this week at Silverado where he tied for 12th a year ago?

4. Brandt Snedeker
Best finish in 2015-16 season:
Debut
Reason to watch: Snedeker had a solid 2014-15 season, which included a win at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He wound up 23rd in the final FedExCup standings. Any season in which a player makes it to the Tour Championship has to be considered a good one. However, Snedeker has to be a little disappointed having missed out on the Presidents Cup. Well, lucky for him, he gets to turn the page quickly. It's a new season and the Ryder Cup is the carrot now dangling in front of him.

3. Justin Rose
Best finish in 2015-16 season:
Debut
Reason to watch: Rose's lone victory last season came at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, but the 2013 U.S. Open winner was a regular contender. I expect that we'll see a lot more of that in the new season as well. Rose is just so steady. I don't expect him to play a lot of golf on the PGA Tour before 2016 -- this might be one of maybe two starts.

2. Steven Bowditch
Best finish in 2015-16 season:
Debut
Reason to watch: The Australian has won on the PGA Tour in each of the last two seasons and was a member of the International Presidents Cup team for the first time a week ago. He heads back to Silverado after having finished runner up a year ago. In his last PGA Tour start -- the Tour Championship -- Bowditch finished T12. I think he'll keep the momentum rolling into a new season and perhaps it could lead to his first multi-win year.

1. Rory McIlroy
Best finish in 2015-16 season:
Debut
Reason to watch: It's not often one can call a season "frustrating" when he finishes in the top 10 on seven occasions, including two victories. But, that's life when you're Rory McIlroy, who also missed a little bit of time with that gruesome ankle injury. After watching Jordan Spieth and Jason Day take off in 2014-15, you have to believe McIlroy is extra motivated to make a statement in the new season. Can that start at Silverado this week? Why not?   

October 14, 2015 - 8:38am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Michelle Wie
@themichellewie on Twitter
Michelle Wie isn't afraid to try something most may consider "different." Last year in South Korea, it was a live squid. This week in South Korea, it was... chicken's feet.

Michelle Wie is definitely adventurous when it comes to dining.

Last year, while in South Korea, she posted a video of herself eating a live squid.

Well, this week she's back in South Korea and decided to take in another local delicacy: chicken's feet.

Here it is:

 

From all accounts, "It tastes like chicken."

Jessica Korda and Nelly Korda
Jessica Korda via Twitter
Jessica Korda and her sister Nelly both earned victories the week after they posted a video of themselves dancing off the teebox.
 
One of my most favorite recent posts here on PGA.com featured LPGA Tour player Jessica Korda and her younger sister Nelly showing off their teebox dance moves to the infectious strains of "The Power."
 
I thought it was fun to see the siblings enjoying themselves in such a goofy way. Little did I know that they were secretly using the song to "power up" for a pair of victories one day and half a world apart.
 
Jessica – an LPGA Tour veteran at age 22 – won her fourth career title at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia on Sunday, though it was overshadowed a bit by the Presidents Cup in South Korea. She finished with a 6-under 65 for a four-shot victory over Lydia Ko, Stacy Lewis and Shanshan Feng in the first stop on the tour's fall swing through Asia.
 
 
A day after Jessica picked up her trophy in Kuala Lumpur, 17-year-old Nelly won the American Junior Golf Association's Ping Invitational in Stillwater, Okla. And if you thought Jessica's four-shot margin of victory was impressive, check this out – Nelly won by 11 on Monday!
 
She was up by a mere nine as she stood on the final tee, then she eagled the 72nd hole to cap off her 11-shot victory over U.S. Women's Amateur finalist Sierra Brooks and Andrea Lee. That eagle, by the way was her second on the 18th hole in the event's three rounds.
 
Neither sister credited "The Power" for powering her to victory, but the coincidence is just too great to ignore, don't you think. Well, maybe not, but I’m not taking any chances – "The Power" is officially my new go-to teebox tune.
 
And ICYMI, here's the video that made (I'm guessing) all this winning happen: