Golf Buzz

George Coetzee
@europeantour
George Coetzee and Dylan Fritelli hit less than ideal second shots into a par 5 during the third round of the China Open, but wound up with looks at eagle anyway.

In golf, it's often said, "it's better to be lucky than good."

Make no mistake about it -- players at the highest level are insanely good. But, it's also nice to occasionally get that stroke of good fortune.

That's what happened for South African players Dylan Fritelli and George Coetzee in the third round of the European Tour's China Open on Saturday.

On the par-5 18th hole, both players elected to go for the green in two.

Both players hit less than ideal shots that made a beeline for the grandstands.

In both cases, the balls caromed off the grandstand and onto the green, leaving each player with unlikely eagle putts.

Here's a look at the two shots:

Coetzee would make the eagle, while Fritelli would "settle" for a birdie.

Golf, man.

April 30, 2017 - 11:45am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Ian Poulter
USA Today Sports Images
Thanks to Brian Gay finding a loophole in the PGA Tour's FedExCup points formula, he and Ian Poulter retained their PGA Tour cards through their respective major medical extensions.

Earlier this month, European Ryder Cup hero Ian Poulter lost his full-exempt status on the PGA Tour, falling just $30,624, or 63.654 FedExCup points short of what he needed to retain his Tour card after taking a major medical extension.

Or so we thought.

Thanks to some smart detective work by fellow PGA Tour player Brian Gay (a four-time winner), both Poulter and Gay -- it turns out -- will retain their fully exempt status for the remainder of the 2016-17 season.

It was all because of a mathematical gaffe that it appeared Poulter and Gay would be in the uncomfortable position of needing to rely on sponsor exemptions for starts.

Alan Shipnuck from Golf.com explains:

Gay began digging into his FedEx Cup totals for his 2016-17 finishes and only then noticed a lightly publicized change to this season’s points breakdown. The Tour has restructured the distribution, giving fewer points to finishes below 14th. For instance, a 20th-place finish last season was worth 51 points, but this season it brings only 45; 30th place has been devalued from 41 points to 28. Major medicals extensions are not pegged to a specific season; indeed, Gay had accrued his $917,000 across the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. But thanks to the Tour’s new math, his finishes this season were worth fewer points.

The same, obviously, went for Poulter.

Gay immediately put in a call to the PGA Tour, essentially arguing, "You can't change the formula for points in the middle of a major medical extension."

The PGA Tour's four elected player directors then met with commissioner Jay Monahan and unanimously agreed that Gsay was right. The points from the old formula were retroactively awarded and also got Gay a spot in the Players Championship.

When Gay found out the news last Friday, it quickly dawned on him that the loophole would likely also apply to Poulter.

Poulter figured his full status was gone after a missed cut in San Antonio last week. But, as Shipnuck reported, when he retroactively received the FedEx points for this season, he had enough to fulfill the medical extension.

Happy times.

Shipnuck had this from Gay texting Poulter:

“Ian wrote, I freakin’ love you with a bunch of red hearts,” Gay says, laughing. “We talked later, and he didn’t even know the FedEx points were different this season. He was happy and he was angry, because his people hadn’t known what was going on and obviously the Tour did a poor job of explaining it, and the guy has gone through hell over this.”

Sounds like Gay is in line for a special gift from Poulter, no?

“He said he would get me a proper bottle of wine,” says Gay. “I was thinking more like some private jet flights, but that’s O.K, I’ll take the wine.” 

 

 

April 30, 2017 - 11:09am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Giannis Antetokounmpo
Twitter
Giannis Antetokounmpo made a recent trip to Topgolf. Lucky for us, the camera was rolling when the big man took a crack at golf.

Paging all PGA Professionals in Milwaukee: If you're looking for a student, you might be wise to track down Milwaukee Bucks small forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The "Greek Freak" -- an NBA all star in 2017 -- recently posted a video of a recent trip to Topgolf.

Let's just say his swing needs some work:

It sure isn't pretty, but at least he's trying! Get that man some lessons!

Anybody waiting for the cheap Charles Barkley comparison on the swing is going to have to wait longer... Barkley's been playing forever. 

April 28, 2017 - 7:00am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
miura
Miura Golf
Miura wedges are about as premium as premium can get. If you're looking to dial in your short game, these are wedges you should certainly consider.

One thing I try to do before the start of every new golf season is to get my clubs tuned up -- new grips, check the lies and lofts and shafts.

Like most golfers, I struggle enough with my game that I don't need the equipment bringing me down.

The importance of a proper fitting cannot be understated. Without one, golfers are cheating themselves. For anyone who doesn't think they're good enough for a fitting, the truth is you're not good enough to not have one. It's an investment in lower scores and, at the end of the day, isn't that what all avid golfers are after?

As we all know, the most important part of your game is from 100 yards and in. Along with my recent tune-up, I was also in the market for some new wedges, hoping that just the right ones, along with all my hard work around the greens, will lead to lower scores.

During the tune-up a few weeks back, I was interested in learning more about a golf company out of Japan called "Miura."

RELATED: Best new drivers for 2017 | Best new irons | Best new putters

Among golf club aficionados, clubs produced by Miura are considered to be about the best a player can get his or her hands on.

Just a little background -- master craftsman Katsuhiro Miura hand crafts each of his clubs, one-by-one with his two sons in a factory every day. They're not mass produced and a special forging technique yields incredible feel, which is what sets Miura apart.

These aren't just golf clubs, they're pieces of art.

Since "feel" is put at such a premium by Miura, I was most interested in the company's black, forged wedges, made out of carbon Japanese steel.

Tom Spargo, a Golf Digest top-100 clubfitter in the country and a top-10 worldwide club-builder by the Golf Clubmakers Association, owns Spargo Golf in Cranston, R.I., which is where I was able to look into the wedges.

When I asked Spargo about his own club set up -- someone who works with the best of the best on a daily basis -- he didn't miss a beat.

"Miura," he told me.

When someone like Spargo, who makes a living out of knowing the ins and outs of all kinds of equipment tells you what he has in his own bag, there's probably a good reason for it.

Appearance-wise, they're about the prettiest wedges I've ever seen and that's because of its simplicity. It's a straightforward, sleek design with no gimmicky features that looks beautiful at address. While looks aren't everything, there's no doubt that there's a level of confidence a golfer has when he or she has equipment that looks good to the eye at address.

I looked at several Miura wedge models in Spargo's shop and -- for me -- nothing compared looks-wise to the Miura Black Forged. There's just something about that black clubhead that took it over the top for me.

Before ordering the wedges -- a 52-degree gap, 56-degree sand and 60-degree lob ($263/per) -- I was dialed in for a proper shaft, which ended up behing a True Temper, Dynamic Golf, S400. That particular shaft came in a Tour Issue black steel, which was just so sharp against the wedge heads.

After a quick turnaround -- roughly a week -- for the heads to arrive and be built with the shafts, I took the new wedges out to the range and to a large short-game area at my local course.

The feel was soft with a lot of feedback on full swings -- just what you want. The good shots felt tremendous, while the off-center hits made me what to get right to work on hitting the next good shot.

Around the greens from distances inside 50 yards I was amazed at my ability to control shots even out of the rough and even produce spin from not-so-spinny lies and the feel was second to no wedge I've ever hit before.

What got me so excited about these wedges around the green was my ability to lower my hands, move the club forward or back in my stance, open the face and simply swing without worrying about the club doing it's thing. It glided through the grass perfectly.

I can't wait to see how this all translates over the course of an entire season.  

Tiger Woods
YouTube
Since today marks the start of the NFL Draft -- and it's a Thursday -- we decided to #throwbackthursday the time when Tiger Woods tackled an actor during a commercial shoot for Buick.

It's NFL Draft Day, so, in that spirit, we decided to put together a throwback Thursday that you you may remember: The time Tiger Woods ad-libbed during a Buick commercial shoot and flat-out tackled the actor who stole his clubs from his spot on the driving range.

Here it is:

The actor certainly didn't see that coming.

A lot of NFL teams could use a linebacker with moves like that.