Golf Buzz

December 2, 2014 - 9:08am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Victor Dubuisson
USA Today Sports Images
The Frenchman -- who would go on to be a force for Europe in the Ryder Cup -- channeled his inner Seve Ballesteros in the Match Play Championship to pull off two of the most impressive up and downs you'll ever see.

Over the course of the year, there are so many great golf shots hit in the professional ranks that it's almost impossible to narrow them down to the 10 best... but, we tried.

A team at PGA.com huddled up to debate the best shots of 2014 in professional men's and women's golf. Surely you'll think of a shot that didn't make our list and we understand that... and we want you tell us about it over on our PGA.com Facebook page.

YEAR END: PGA's favorite photos of 2014 | 2013's top shot

We're pretty confident, however, that these 10 shots will stand out in your mind as among the most memorable.

10. Rory McIlroy's 245-yard approach to the 72nd hole at PGA National in the Honda Classic. McIlroy needed a birdie to force a playoff, which forced the issue on the par-5 closing hole. He went for the green in two with an amazing cut 5-wood that nestled to within 8 feet of the hole to set up what would have been a tournament-winning eagle. McIlroy missed the eagle putt, but made birdie. He eventually lost in a playoff, but this shot was one of his best of the year -- and that's saying something.

 

9. Mo Martin's 240-yard approach on the final hole at Royal Birkdale in the Women's British Open. An underdog in every sense of the word, Martin hit this laser-like shot of a lifetime to within a couple feet of the hole to set up a short eagle putt to claim her first ever LPGA win... which also happened to be a major.

 

8. Billy Horschel's 30-foot par putt on No. 16 at East Lake in the final round of the Tour Championship. Put it this way -- not all 30-foot putts are created equal. That's the case here. Just when it looked as though the Tour Championship -- and a $10 million bonus for winning the FedExCup -- might be slipping away from Horschel, he nailed this bomb to pretty much guarantee the Brinks truck would be waiting behind the 18th green.

 

7. Michelle Wie's 25-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole at Pinehurst in the final round of the U.S. Women's Open. It's important to note here that Wie had a three-shot lead in the tournament when she stepped to the 16th tee. She then made a double-bogey that cut her lead to one. However, this fantastic birdie putt on No. 17 gave Wie a comfortable (well, as "comfortable" as can be in a major) two-shot lead with one hole to play, setting up the biggest win and moment of her career. (The putt is at the 43-second mark).

 

6. Tiger Woods holes a 91-foot birdie putt in Cadillac Championship at Doral. There weren't many highlights in 2014 for the oft-injured Woods, but this was one of them.

 

5. Paula Creamer holes 75-foot eagle putt to win HSBC Women's Champions playoff. Who doesn't love a risk-reward hole to close out a tournament? On this par 5 hole, Creamer elected to go for the green in two, while her opponent chose to lay up. Creamer found the green with her approach, but it was no guaranteed two-putt... It was actually a center-cut one putt for eagle that sent Creamer off on an understandable fist-pumping rampage.

 

4. Matt Jones holes out a pitch shot to win the Shell Houston Open. Talk about coming through in the clutch. Not only did Jones hole this shot to win for the first time on the PGA Tour... but it also allowed him to lock up the final spot in the Masters the following week. Pretty special.

 

3. Jamie Donaldson's approach to the 15th hole at Gleneagles to set up Europe's Ryder Cup-clinching point. Donaldson may have been a European Ryder Cup rookie, but he sure didn't look the part in Sunday's singles matches where he took down U.S. bulldog Keegan Bradley. Donaldson's wedge approach to kick-in range on No. 15 secured the win for Europe -- its third straight.

 

2. Rory McIlroy makes two eagles in three holes to close out third round of Open Championship. Remember when McIlroy was in that big slump? Yeah... we almost don't remember either. With these two eagles in three holes, McIlroy took a six-shot lead into the final round of the Open at Royal Liverpool, where he would claim his third major title.

 

1. Victor Dubuisson makes two incredible par saves from the desert at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. This little-known Frenchman -- who would go on to be a force for Europe in the Ryder Cup -- channeled his inner Seve Ballesteros in the Match Play Championship to pull off two of the most impressive up and downs you'll ever see.

Honorable mentions:
- Tom Watson chips one-armed & backwards at the Toshiba Classic
- Charl Schwartzel hits an incredible golf shot off the road at the Volvo Golf Champions
- Matt Kuchar's final hole greenside bunker hole out to win the Heritage 

 

December 1, 2014 - 9:13pm
john.holmes's picture
If Monday was a practice swing
Pete Pappas via Twitter
Here's a practice swing you might not want to practice.
Monday is almost over as I sit typing this, but I thought I'd share this funny Vine video with you. I've seen many goofy moments on the golf course – and perpetrated plenty of my own – but this is a new one for me.
 
It was posted on Twitter by golf writer Pete Pappas, who's previously posted several other similarly funny videos. I don't know who this golfer is or when or where the video was shot, but it made me laugh. Hopefully, you'll get a chuckle out of it, too.
 
And by the way, if your ball moves when you hit it with a divot from your practice swing, it counts as a stroke.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lydia Ko
Getty Images
Lydia Ko will study psychology while she continues her career on the LPGA Tour.
Lydia Ko missed her high school graduation the other day, but she had a good excuse: Her school is in New Zealand, and she was busy wrapping up her first full season on the LPGA Tour by winning the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Florida.
 
Ko, 17, who also ran away with the LPGA Tour's rookie of the year award, made it back to the Pinehurst School in Albany, New Zealand, last week, though, and took part in an awards ceremony for the school's youngest students. And, she said, she's planning to continue her education as well.
 
Starting next year, Ko will study psychology at South Korea's prestigious Korea University in Seoul. She was born in South Korea before moving to New Zealand at age 6.
 
 
"I'll have to listen to what the university says to decide how I will do my studies," she told the Yonhap news agency. "I'll have to make sure I submit the required papers and projects as the majority of my classes will be done online."
 
Even as she began building her golf career, Ko has spoken of pursuing her education. She once said she hoped to study at Stanford University, where Michelle Wie recently graduated.
 
Ranked No. 3 in the world after her CME Group Tour Championship victory gave her five LPGA Tour titles, Ko is planning to visit family members in Korea over the holidays and then return to Florida to prepare for the 2015 LPGA Tour season.
 
December 1, 2014 - 11:33am
mark.aumann's picture
Country Club of Greenfield
Adis Jarovic/Twitter
Country Club of Greenfield employee Adis Jarovic took two photos of the same scene, 19 hours apart.

If you need a visual representation of what happens when weather ends the golfing season, this is it.

PROPER PREPARATION: Tips for playing in cold weather

Adis Jarovic, a native of Montenegro and employee at the Country Club of Greenfield in Massachusetts, snapped a photo of the sunset just as he finished one of the last rounds of golf at the course Tuesday afternoon. When it began snowing the following morning, Jarovic recreated the same shot -- and this is what PGA head golf professional Kevin Piecuch tweeted to us.

 

"I think we got about six inches," Piecuch said. "It was a quick storm, but it was our first big storm of the season and it basically shut us down for the season. It was kind of neat that he took it."

Piecuch said Jarovic just started playing golf about a year ago and has become passionate about it, so Jarovic wanted to make sure he got on the course before the weather changed. And he did a wonderful job of illustrating how quickly golf course conditions can change, particularly in late November.

November 30, 2014 - 6:04pm
mark.aumann's picture
Greg Norman
Greg Norman/Twitter
Greg Norman poses for a selfie Sunday with his golfing partner.

Greg Norman is one tough Aussie, as evidenced by this selfie he posted Sunday on Twitter:

 

 

Why is a photo of Norman on a golf course newsworthy? Because a little over two months ago, Norman almost lost his left hand at the wrist.

Norman was pruning trees at his South Florida home on Sept. 13 when he accidentally sliced into his left wrist with the chainsaw, nearly severing the limb. Amazingly, Norman missed the main artery by a fraction of an inch, and doctors were able to successfully perform surgery.

In less than 24 hours, the Shark was back at the scene of his accident, wearing a large protective cast on his left arm but giving the thumbs up signal with his right.

Here's his quote from the Associated Press story on Sept. 14:

"Thank God the blade wasn't running full speed or it would have taken my hand off," Norman said. "I handled everything as calmly as I could. There is no major damage. There is nerve damage, but no muscular damage. They fixed me up and here I am."

 
November 30, 2014 - 2:27pm
mark.aumann's picture
Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth
USA Today Images
Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth played in the same pairing at the Open Championship earlier this year.

Rory McIlroy isn't easily impressed. The top-ranked golfer in the world already has four major tournament victories -- including the 2014 Open Championship and PGA Championship -- was named 2014 PGA Player of the Year and 2014 PGA Tour Player of the Year, won the European Tour's 2014 Order of Merit, the 2014 Vardon Trophy and the 2014 Byron Nelson Award.

In short, he's had a pretty good year. That also means he's a pretty good judge of golfing excellence.

So when McIlroy raves about your round, like he did about Jordan Spieth's final-round 63 in the Australian Open, that's saying something.

Here's Mac's tweet:

 

 

Maybe Rory and Bubba will let Jordan join in on their next holiday e-card.