October 10, 2015 - 3:07am
PGA Tour via YouTube
South Africans Branden Grace and Louis Oosthuizen have stolen the headlines at the Presidents Cup this week, and with good reason – they're a perfect 3-0 as they play this afternoon fourball matches.
Another South African deserves a shoutout, though, and that would be Charl Schwartzel. Best known as the 2010 Masters champion, Schwartzel arrived in South Korea with a virus, and felt so bad that he skipped much of the International teams's pre-tournament practice and even sat out on Thursday.
Since then, however, Schwartzel has played well. He and Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee teamed up for a 2&1 win over Bill Haas and Chris Kirk in the Friday fourballs, then he and Jason Day narrowly lost to the U.S. powerhouse duo of Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson in the Saturday morning foursomes.
Schwartzel and Day are teamed again this afternoon against Spieth and Patrick Reed, and the match is all square as I write this. Part of the reason for that is Schwartzel's tee shot on the 164-yard, par-3 fifth hole.
Schwartzel went aggressively at the flag, and his shot landed just to the left of the stick before spinning to a stop less than two feet from a hole-in-one. He made the birdie to counter a birdie a birdie from Reed, thanks to a shot that is the a bout the best thing we’ve seen so far in the session.
You can see it here, with another excellent Schwartzel shot from this morning right below.
October 10, 2015 - 1:42am
The 2019 Presidents Cup will be played in the Australian state of Victoria, PGA Tour officials announced on Saturday, as will the 2016 World Cup of Golf.
The host venues in Melbourne and exact dates will be determined later, officials said, but the events likely will be held in November of their respective years. The 2017 Presidents Cup will be the third played in Australia, while the 2016 World Cup will be played Down Under for the fifth time in its 58-year history.
"Australia is home to some of the best golfers on the PGA Tour – not to mention some of the world's most passionate fans," said PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem. "The success of the recent 2011 Presidents Cup and 2013 World Cup of Golf has reinforced Victoria's stature as a global golf destination and make the area a perfect choice to welcome these esteemed competitions back within the next four years."
"I'm very, very happy that we're returning to Melbourne, where I won the World Cup," said Jason Day, one of four Australians competing in the current Presidents Cup. "Whether we play at Royal Melbourne or some other golf course, I just like playing that sort of golf, and being back in front of the home crowd will be fantastic. And for up and coming players from Australia, they have something to shoot for – that goal of getting on that Presidents Cup team and playing in their home country."
The Presidents Cup was held at Royal Melbourne in 1998 and 2011; no other international venue has hosted the event more than once. Melbourne also was the site of the International Team's only outright victory in 1998, when Peter Thomson's International team defeat Jack Nicklaus' U.S. team 20 1/2 to 11 1/2. In 2011, Fred Couples led the U.S. team to a 19-15 win over Greg Norman and the Internationals.
Melbourne also hosted the World Cup of Golf in 1959, 1972, 1988 and 2013. In 2013, the event was a 72-hole stroke play tournament held at Royal Melbourne. Day shot a final-round 70 to win the individual event, and he paired with Adam Scott to claim the team prize. In 2016, the World Cup will return to its original team format.
"It's exciting news, any time Australia gets big events," said Scott, a seven-time Presidents Cup participant. "Obviously with the World Cup going back and Jason and I having won it the last time it was played in Melbourne, I look forward to hopefully playing again, and the same for the Presidents Cup."
Before heading to Melbourne in 2019, the 2017 Presidents Cup will be held at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J.
October 10, 2015 - 12:27am
PGA Tour via YouTube
Matt Kuchar has had a pretty quiet week so far at the Presidents Cup – he and Patrick Reed lost to the powerhouse South African duo of Branden Grace and Louis Oosthuizen on Thursday and then sat out on Friday.
He was back in action in this morning foursomes, though, and teamed with Bill Haas for a crucial halve in their match with Korean favorite son Sang-moon Bae and Japan's Hideki Matsuyama. The match was tight throughout, with neither team ever getting more than one hole ahead.
In fact, the match was all square as the two teams played the par-5 15th hole, where Haas' approach shot found the green but settled down 44 feet from the hole. Making things more challenging, Kuchar's putt needed to climb up and over a large ridge about two-thirds of the way to the flag.
No worries, though. Kuch poured it right into the cup. Even better was his reaction, which you can see at the end of the clip posted below – if you can have a "drop mic" moment in golf, he pretty much nailed it.
October 9, 2015 - 7:48pm
PGA Tour via Twitter
If there's one club Bubba Watson relies on, it's his driver. So when he broke his big stick on the range a few minutes before his Saturday morning foursomes match at the Presidents Cup, he needed to go to a back-up.
The good news: He brought his back-up with him to South Korea. The bad news: He didn't bring it with him to the course, and had to begin his match with no driver in the bag.
So the cavalry was dispatched back to the team hotel, and the driver fetched. It was then delivered to assistant captain Fred Couples, who raced it to Watson out on the course with a bit more enthusiasm than the laid-back Freddie usually displays.
That's Freddie in the red hat, showing off his twirling – I think – skills. All this video needs is a Benny Hill soundtrack:
October 9, 2015 - 5:58pm
The British Masters rejoined the European Tour schedule this week with an interesting new twist – each year going forward, a different prominent British player will serve as its host. Handling that job this week at Woburn Golf Club is Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter, who just happens to call Woburn his home club back in jolly old England.
Poulter's duties have kept him from focusing exclusively on his golf game, and as a result he's not among the leaders through 36 holes. But he did make one especially memorable brdie putt on the par-4 12th hole in today's second round.
Check it out:
Have you ever seen a ball hang on the lip as long as this one does before it falls in? It peeks in longer than even Tiger's famous putt at the Masters before it finally makes up its mind.
Poulter's return hasn't been all good, though. He suffered an incredible horseshoe on Thursday, and flat-out shanked a wedge out of the rough earlier today. You can see those unfortunate shots here:
October 9, 2015 - 4:31pm
Florida State golf team via Golf Channel
There are a bunch of interesting college football games on tap this weekend, including the rivalry game between Miami and Florida State up in Tallahassee Saturday night. I'm not sure how the game will turn out, but I do know one thing: the golf teams at those schools are as entertaining as their gridiron counterparts.
To get in the rivalry spirit, the golfers from the U and FSU each put together videos showing off their skills in both golf and cinematography. Both videos appeared on Golf Channel's "Morning Drive" earlier today.
I'm from Texas, so I have no dog in this fight, but I loved both of these productions – for their attitude as much as their creativity with clubs and balls. The music is fun, the action is briskly paced and the kids are all having a blast.
Take a look at 'em, and tell us which one you think is best:
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