Golf Buzz

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Brian Gay's ball was this close to being an ace at the par-3 16th stadium hole.

Many of the more than 200,000 golf fans who packed TPC Scottsdale for Saturday's third round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open were looking for a reason to roar. And for the ones surrounding the par-3 16th, only a hole-in-one would do.

They unfortunately were denied this day. But there were definitely more than a few close calls that sent the decibel meter rising, none closer than this shot by Brian Gay.



Charley Hoffman nearly set off bedlam with this shot.



And then there was Anirban Lahiri, who put this tee shot right on target, drawing a huge roar.




Of course, an ace was on everyone's mind, but the crowd also enjoyed Brian Harman's birdie effort just fine.



And what the heck happened here to Webb Simpson? That's highway robbery of the highest sort.



In any case, another highlight-filled day for the sunshine-splashed and well-hydrated Phoenix Open crowd.


PGA Tour/YouTube
Matt Every gets congratulations after his eagle hole-out Saturday.

The rowdy fans surrounding the 16th hole get most of the attention at TPC Scottsdale, but the shot of the day Saturday during the third round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open may have come from the other side of the course.

Matt Every was 209 yards from the hole on No. 2 after his tee shot skittered off into the desert. But then he pulled off this amazing shot.



Just to get it back onto the fairway would have been quite an accomplishment. But to hole out? That's a mighty fine highlight.


February 5, 2016 - 3:54pm
mark.aumann's picture
PGA Tour/YouTube
Jack Maguire sets up to his his tee shot at the 12th hole Friday at TPC Scottsdale.

Playing in only his second PGA Tour event, Jack Maguire made his first ace.

Hitting a 7-iron at the par-3, 192-yard 12th hole during Friday's second round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Maguire's shot ran true once it landed on the green.



It was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise forgettable week for Maguire, who shot 83 in the first round and had back-to-back bogeys before stepping up to the tee for his hole-in-one. Even with the ace, he was 12-over-par for the tournament to that point and in a three-way tie for last, 12 shots off the cutline.

February 5, 2016 - 11:51am
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T.J. Auclair
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Justin Thomas
@PGATOUR on Twitter
Facing a tough shot from behind a tree on Friday during the second round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Justin Thomas snapped his 8-iron in half on said tree during his follow through.

Playing the par-5 15th hole at TPC Scottsdale in the second round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Friday, Justin Thomas found himself directly behind a tree for his second shot after a wayward drive.

Using an 8-iron to attempt a pitch back out into the fairway, Thomas snapped the club against the tree on his follow through. He was, however, able to advance his ball just short of the fairway and went on to make a par.

RELATED: Broken club -- What's allowed under the rules?

Here's a look at the shot:

Because Thomas damaged his club in the course of play, he is allowed to replace it under the rules of golf.

Rule 4-3a: If a player's club is damaged in the normal course of play, he has three options. One, he can continue to use the club for the remainder of the round. Two, he can repair it or have it repaired without unduly delaying play. Three, if the club is unfit for play, he can replace the damaged club with any club, with three caveats: you can't borrow a club from anyone playing the course, you can't fix it by carrying around spare parts and you can't delay play while making the switch.

February 5, 2016 - 10:40am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bubba Watson
USA Today Sports Images
One day after stating his negative feelings toward the course where the Waste Management Phoenix Open is played, the TPC Scottsdale fans let Bubba Watson have it when he arrived at the par-3 16th hole on Thursday.

Bubba Watson, a runner-up in each of the last two years at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, banking over $1 million in those two starts, admitted earlier this week that -- well -- TPC Scottsdale isn't exactly his favorite venue on Tour.

"I don't like it," Watson said Wednesday. "I'm not going to PC it. I don't like it at all."

He wasn't done there.

"Obviously, I'm here because of my sponsors and everything," Watson said. "I love coming here. It's always great weather. Used to have a house here. It's always beautiful coming here and playing here."

As the Associated Press reported:

He reiterated that he's only playing the tournament out of loyalty to Phoenix-based Karsten Manufacturing, the maker of his Ping equipment, and sponsors Oakley and Stance Socks.

"I just mentioned why I'm here," Watson said. "I've got three beautiful sponsors that love it here."

Ouch. Honesty is the best policy, but maybe not so much when you're talking about the venue that features the rowdiest crowds -- and hole (the par-3 16th) -- on the PGA Tour.

Watson tried to backtrack on his words via Twitter before his first round Thursday:


But, that wasn't enough for the fans at No. 16 who showered Watson with boos when he arrived in the first round. The damage had been done and theyy let the two-time Masters champ know about it:


Despite all the boos, Watson birdied the hole and shot an opening 2-under 71 that had him very much in contention. 

Harold Varner III
PGA Tour via YouTube
The raucous gallery at No. 16 appreciated Harold Varner's long birdie putt, but they really loved his celebratory "dab" after it fell.
No doubt Harold Varner III is focused on playing as well as he can in this, his rookie season on the PGA Tour. But it's safe to say he's also got a little case of Super Bowl fever this week.
The East Carolina product is also a huge fan of the Carolina Panthers, and quarterback Cam Newton in particular. So when he drained a curling 36-footer for birdie on the raucous 16th hole at the Waste Management Phoenix Open this afternoon, he didn't hesitate to offer a little homage to Newton in celebration.
Once the putt fell, Varner performed an emphatic "dab," just like Newton does after scoring. Varner's dance move ignited the gallery so much that he did it again, sending the crowd into even more of a frenzy.
Varner ended his day with a 1-under 70. But if can roll in some putts like that one on 16, he might be dabbin' some more late Sunday afternoon – just before Newton and the Panthers take the field to try to do some more dabbin' of their own. Take a look: