Golf Buzz

February 3, 2014 - 12:29pm
Posted by:
John Byrwa
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Kevin Stadler, 2014 Ryder Cup
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Kevin Stadler carded a final-round 68 to earn his first win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Newly crowned Waste Management Phoenix Open champion Kevin Stadler will now begin to reap the many rewards that come with winning his first PGA Tour title.

There’s the satisfaction of realizing a lifelong dream.

There’s the gratification of knowing that you can perform at your highest level when the pressure is the most crushing.

There’s the two-year PGA Tour exemption and, of course, the hefty winner’s check.

And if that weren’t enough, Stadler and his dad, 13-time PGA Tour winner Craig Stadler, will also make history come April when they become the first father-and-son duo to compete in the same Masters.

But if he keeps up his stellar play, perhaps his most prestigious reward would come in September in Scotland.

With his white-knuckle final-hole victory over Bubba Watson at TPC Scottsdale on Sunday, the soon-to-be 34-year-old Stadler – his birthday is this Wednesday – earned a valuable 1,116.002 points to vault 38 places into the top 10 of the latest Team USA Ryder Cup Points Standings.

2014 RYDER CUP: U.S. Points Standings | How U.S. points are earned | Team USA | Team Europe

Here’s a quick look at the current top 12:

1.      Jimmy Walker (2,417.83)
2.      Phil Mickelson (2,374.98)
3.      Jason Dufner (2,261.28)
4.      Zach Johnson (2,196.28)
5.      Harris English (2,106.94)
6.      Dustin Johnson (2,012.41)
7.      Ryan Moore (1,986.20)
8.      Webb Simpson (1,982.90)
9.      Chris Kirk (1,805.31)
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10.   Kevin Stadler (1,492.70)
11.   Brian Stuard (1,228.11)
12.   Patrick Reed (1,217.55)

Watson, who played brilliantly through 68 holes, stumbled down the stretch in Scottsdale to miss out on his first win since the 2012 Masters. He drove it in the water en route to a bogey on the par-5 15th – shockingly, the long-bomber made only one birdie and three pars on the reachable 553-yard hole – then bogeyed the par-3 16th before missing a 5-foot par putt on the 18th green that would have forced a playoff with Stadler.

As a consolation prize, Watson earned enough Ryder Cup points to jump from 50th place to 19th.

Among those who also improved their respective place on the U.S. points standings were Ryan Moore, who jumped from ninth to seventh; Charles Howell III (18 to 15); Chris Stroud (22 to 21); Hunter Mahan (37 to 26); Pat Perez (33 to 27) and Brendan Steele (69 to 49).

This week, the PGA Tour moves to California’s picturesque Monterey Peninsula for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

February 3, 2014 - 12:07am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Russell Wilson and the Super Bowl trophy
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The Seattle Seahawks' big victory in the Super Bowl prompted a lot of discussion from PGA Tour players on Twitter throughout the game.
 
What did you think of the Super Bowl? Among the players on the PGA Tour, there was a pretty wide range of opinion and emotion as the Seattle Seahawks dismantled the Denver Broncos at Met Life Stadium Sunday night. Here’s a collection of tweets from some of our favorite players as the game unfolded:
 
February 2, 2014 - 2:58pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Birdie Box
Courtesy of Birdie Box
Birdie Box will deliver, each month, a personalized box of golf-themed goodies to you or your favorite golfer.
The 2014 PGA Merchandise Show, held Jan. 22-24 in Orlando, showcased thousands of new products great and small from hundreds of vendors. After walking the 10 miles of aisles in the Orange County Convention Center for two days, I've come up with a list of 10 products that caught my eye, and I'm rolling them out over a 10-day period. Here is the ninth one:
 
Surely you're familiar with the Fruit of the Month Club. You sign up, and each month you receive a different kind of fruit depending on what you want and what's in season. There are a numbers of variations on the concept, from Pajamas of the Month to Teddy Bear of the Month to Gourmet Jerky of the Month.
 
And now, there's Birdie Box, a subscription club just for golfers.
 
The concept is simple. You buy a subscription – for one month, three months, six months or a year – for yourself, your favorite golfer or maybe a business colleague. In return, your recipient gets a box filled with different golf-themed goodies for each month of the subscription.
 
In each box, the company says, is a mix of the hottest golf, lifestyle and nutritional items that could be anything from balls and tees to wines and cigars to shirts and caps. The product mix will vary from month to month, but each box is guaranteed to contain products valued at $100 or more. 
 
Each box is created especially for each user, based on preferences they list in their profile and feedback from previous boxes. But the content of each box is surprise until it's opened – and that's the fun part. 
 
Subscriptions run from $44.95 for one month up to $500 for a year's worth of monthly boxes, and there are separate subscriptions available for men and women. In addition, Birdie Box has created a ''First Major'' box filled with goodies celebrating the first major of the year and scheduled to arrive in early April, and other boxes for the other majors and holidays like Father's Day are also in the works.
 
For more information, check out www.BirdieBox.com.
 
Previously:
 
February 2, 2014 - 12:51pm
mark.aumann's picture
Phoenix Open fans
Getty Imags
A PGA Tour record crowd of 189,722 attended Saturday's third round of the Phoenix Open.

Saturday's crowd at the Waste Management Phoenix Open was announced at 189,722 -- a new PGA Tour one-day record. Perhaps that doesn't seem like much of a big deal. But just think about it in different ways, and it's a very big deal indeed.

Sunday's Super Bowl will be held at MetLife Stadium, which has a listed capacity of 82,500. That means the folks at TPC Scottsdale on Saturday could have filled MetLife twice -- and there would have been 24,722 people still trying to buy tickets from scalpers outside.

BEST GOLF FAN EXPERIENCES: Check out our five faves!

How about something a little closer to home? Combine the seating of all four of Phoenix's professional home venues -- University of Phoenix Stadium (63,400), Chase Field (49,033), US Airways Center (18,422) and Jobing.com Arena (17,125) -- and you still come up nearly 42,000 seats shy. The 10 Cactus League spring training stadiums hold a combined 107,565 -- 57 percent of what would be needed for Saturday's attendance. Scottsdale's estimated population is 223,514, only 33,792 more than what piled into TPC Scottsdale in one day.

That's a pretty good-sized city right there, bigger than Salt Lake City (189,314), Tallahassee, Fla. (186,971), or Huntsville, Ala. (183,739). In fact, the crowd at the Phoenix Open would have been the fourth-largest city in Scotland, just slightly smaller than the population of Dundee (195,021).

IT'S GROUNDHOG DAY: Bill Murray golfing photos

Let's say you wanted to pack everybody up and take them to next week's AT&T National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. The largest passenger jet in the world is the Airbus A380, which has seating for 525 people. So you'd only need around 362 A380s stacked up at the terminals at Sky Harbor International to handle everybody, not including all that lost luggage.

What about the world's largest cruise ship, the Allure of the Seas? It has cabin space for 6,296 passengers, which means you'd need 31 ships of that size to ferry every Phoenix Open fan to another port -- although the Salt River is probably not particularly navigable for anything bigger than a kayak. And don't forget to tip your servers and cabin stewards.

And what if you offered to treat everybody to a free round of golf? That's 47,431 foursomes. If your course can handle a foursome every nine minutes, starting at 7 a.m. and having the last foursome off at around 4 p.m. (with no weather delays), it'd take approximately 790 days to get the last group back in the clubhouse. That's two years and two months worth of greens fees. I hope there are a lot of rental clubs and golf carts available. 

Almost 190,000 fans on one golf course? That's a pretty big deal, when you sit down and think about it.

February 1, 2014 - 7:34pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Adams Golf Tight Lies fairway woods
Courtesy of Adams Golf
The new Tight Lies fairway woods from Adams Golf contains the originals' low-profile face along with new-generation slanted slots cut into the crown and sole.
The 2014 PGA Merchandise Show, held Jan. 22-24 in Orlando, showcased thousands of new products great and small from hundreds of vendors. After walking the 10 miles of aisles in the Orange County Convention Center for two days, I've come up with a list of 10 products that caught my eye, and I'm rolling them out over a 10-day period. Here is the eighth one:
 
The second half of 2013 saw the return of several venerable brands of golf equipment, few more eagerly welcomed among club aficionados than Tight Lies fairway woods from Adams Golf. The original Tight Lies, which debuted in the mid-1990s, were revolutionary for their ''upside down'' head shape that made getting the ball up in the air easy.
 
Since then, of course, drivers have gotten significantly larger, and fairway woods have followed suit – many of today's fairway woods have heads as large as the drivers of a generation ago. And while they're great for hitting off the tee or good lies, their larger heads make them more challenging to hit well from the rough or a waste bunker or anywhere else that has less-than-perfect turf conditions. 
 
This development created a perfect opening for the reintroduction of Tight Lies fairway clubs and now, almost two decades after the originals debuted, Adams has reinvented its most famous and successful stick. The new Tight Lies fairway clubs feature a modernized version of the ''upside down'' head shape, and boast a significant improvement in generating ball speed and, therefore, distance, while maintaining the low profile and shallow face that made the original models so distinctive.
 
The heads of Tight Lies clubs were always smaller and lighter than most of their competitors, and Adams' engineers have thinned away even more weight in the new versions by carving slots in both the crowns and soles. Some other recent Adams clubs also contain this Cut Sole technology, but the slots in the new Tight Lies heads are slanted back toward the face to enhance the spring off the face on both pure and mishit shots.
 
In fact, Adams says, the new Tight Lies clubs provide as much as 10 percent more firepower off the face than recent clubs. That means that the new clubs can maintain their low and deep center of gravity – which helps get the ball up in the air – without losing much oomph. They also boast the tri-sole design from the original to reduce the amount of turf interaction during the shot.
 
The standard Tight Lies fairway club comes in 14-, 16-, 19- and 22-degree versions (essentially 3-woods to 7-woods), while the Tour model comes in 14.5- and 18-degree editions. The standard models carry a suggested retail price of $199.99, while the Tour clubs go for $229.99. They're available at select retailers and at www.Adamsgolf.com.
 
Previously:
 
Phil Mickelson at Phoenix Open
Getty Images
Phil Mickelson gets ready to throw a football Saturday to the Phoenix Open crowd surrounding the 16th hole.

Phil Mickelson's back must be feeling a whole lot better, based on the form he exhibited Saturday while tossing footballs to the boisterous crowd at No. 16 during the third round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Mickelson, who plays golf left-handed but throws with his right, had quite a bit of zip on his first toss. It was a head-high frozen rope that would have made Joe Montana proud. He then showed some pretty good distance by throwing at least two balls into the upper deck boxes that surround the par-3 hole, which is playing at 126 yards during Saturday's round.

FAVORITE FAN EXPERIENCES: Check out our top five!

The balls were donated by Mickelson's brother, who just happens to be the golf coach at Arizona State. Mickelson signed them and decided he'd toss them into the crowd after his tee shot.

Unfortunately for Lefty, he turned out to be a better quarterback than golfer on that hole. His tee shot missed the green, short and left of the flag. He then wound up in a sand trap when his chip shot failed to make it to the putting surface. Adding in a couple of putts, Mickelson carded a double-bogey 5.

Perhaps Russell Wilson and Peyton Manning ought to take notes ... on how not to get up and down for par.

Watch Phil wind up and let fly here: