Golf Buzz

May 13, 2014 - 12:05pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
golf blunder
Mike Benzie
A golfer takes a swing at a tee shot during a charity tournament. You probably don't want the ball to get that high that fast with a fairway wood.

OK, so we're getting a lot of mileage out of the now-famous double-gaffe by Richard H. Lee on the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass on Sunday in the final round of the Players Championship.

In case you somehow missed it, here is is one last time:



Was it funny? Sure it was... but only because the rest of us can relate to what he was going through.

We've all been in that situation -- like Lee -- where things didn't work out quite as planned with a golf shot. Unlike Lee, chances are your blunder didn't happen in a PGA Tour event.

RELATED: Shortest consecutive shots ever on Tour? | Lee's daughter chimes in

To show Lee he's not alone, we asked our friends -- the 233,000+ strong in Facebook Nation (click here to join the masses) -- to share the biggest golf-shot blunder they've personally experienced.

Most of the entires below are hilarious and at least one is a little sad. Want to add to the discussion? Click here.

"Whiffed a putt sitting on the lip in college trying not to step on players line." -- John Farrell

"Taking a practice swing in a sand trap and the club slips down my hands and my club hits the sand." -- Joe Catalfano

"Last week at Bobby Jones Golf Course with Richard Danielson. Hit two straight 'just short' uphill wedge shots that rolled down the hill in front of me back to my feet. But made a tough putt to save 'Double Par!'" -- Mike Benzie

"Par three, back and forth between traps on opposite sides of the green before settling for a nine." -- John Dresko

"Swing and miss the ball completely on the first tee box during league play. Not one of my finer moments." -- Paul Peterson

"Blading a green-side bunker shot and ending up on the tee box of the next hole." -- Eddie Weaver

"Second level PAT in Canada... 36 holes in one day, target score 152. Two shots to play with going to the 35th hole. Striped drive leaves perfect wedge distance to middle of green. Laid sod over the ball so badly that it barely got to the large pond fronting the green. Wind up making triple, missed birdie putt on last hole to miss target by one." -- Ty Woodruff

"Taking practice swing on tee box on rainy day and hybrid slips out of my hands and into pond." -- Chuck Posten

"Knocked away a gimme putt in a tourney where you had to putt out. Then to top it off it went into a water hazard... lost ball." -- Steve DuHamel.





Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.


May 13, 2014 - 10:20am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
William Rainey, golf, golf trick shot
This is just one of a few incredibly impressive trick shots by college golfer William Rainey.

In case you're new around these parts, here's something you should know: we love trick shots.

This morning, I stumbled upon one that's been up since February, but was new to me (h/t to @GolfClubWankers, one of my favorite Twitter follows).

See the Vine below of William Rainey, a freshman from the College of Charleston men's golf team, incorporating a ping-pong table as a prop to hit an incredible between-the-legs trick shot.

I thought that was pretty cool, so I went over to Rainey's Vine page to see if there was anything else.

Well, well. Looks like our friends, the Bryan Brothers, might have a little competition in the trick-shot game.

Here's one incorporating an Olive Garden breadstick -- essential to any college golfer's diet:

Here's another hitting only the top ball off a pyramid of range balls (very impressive):

And the craziest of all? This "stair-pong" shot:

There are a couple more on the Vine page.

Overall, very impressive stuff.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.


Richard H. Lee at The Players Championship
Even Richard H. Lee's daughter couldn't believe he almost missed the ball on two straight strokes.

One of the most unforgettable moments from Sunday at The Players Championship came from Richard H. Lee. Unfortunately, that unforgettable moment is one that he would rather forget.

Lee, of course, is the guy who all but whiffed on not one but two little shots in a row on the 17th hole – and if you haven't seen the video, you can catch it right here

At least he accepted his ignominy with a sense of humor. 

"Well I had an interesting 17th hole... Two shots = ball moved 2 inches. Whiff + whiff," he tweeted Sunday night, adding the hashtag: #sportscenternottop10

On Monday, Lee tweeted again. This time, he provided his daughter's reaction:

Lee's wedge malfunction cost him a double bogey on No. 17 en route to a final-round 73. He tied for 65th at TPC Sawgrass, and will be right back at it this week at the HP Byron Nelson Championship – where, hopefully, he'll do better than his daughter


Adam Scott
Getty Images
Adam Scott didn't knock Tiger Woods out of the world No. 1 spot on the curse, but will do so off the course this coming week.

Adam Scott had four chances to knock Tiger Woods out of the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking over the last few weeks, but wasn't able to do so. Ironically, the Australian newlywed will replace Woods as No. 1 next Monday even though both players are taking this week off.

In fact, Scott would have passed Woods on Monday if he had skipped The Players Championship, but clearly he wasn't going to skip one of the biggest events on the PGA Tour. And while he isn't exactly thrilled to be claiming the top spot because of mathematics, he'll take it.

"I think it's a nice feather in the cap, probably," Scott said after tying for 38th at The Players Championship. "I mean, if I was never world No. 1 when I'm this close, I'd be disappointed, but I'd also much rather win the U.S. Open and not be No. 1 at all this year. That's what it comes down to."

GOLF BUZZ: PGA Tour player R.H. Lee hits two of the shortest shots ever at Players

Each player's world ranking is determined by dividing the total number of ranking points he has achieved by the number of events he's played over a two-year period. More recent events count more than older events within that two-year period, and the numbers are recalculated every week.

Scott will become the first Australian player to become No. 1 since Greg Norman ruled for 331 weeks in the 1980s and 1990s.

Heading to TPC Sawgrass, four players – Scott, Henrik Stenson, Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar – could have knocked Woods off his ranking pedestal. None was able to do it – and of those contenders, only Kuchar is scheduled to play the HP Byron Nelson Championship this week. Kuchar would need to gain 53 world ranking points at the Byron Nelson to jump all the way to No. 1, according to Golf Channel rankings expert Alan Robison and, based on its strength of field, the event tentatively will have only about 40 points to give its winner.

Meanwhile, Martin Kaymer – who took over as world No. 1 a few months after he won the 2010 PGA Championship – climbed back into the top 30 in the wake of his victory at The Players Championship. Kaymer, who was No. 1 for eight weeks in 2011, began this year at 39, and was down to No. 61 before he arrived at TPC Sawgrass.


May 12, 2014 - 10:20am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Richard H. Lee
Richard H. Lee, baffled by a shot he just hit on the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass on Sunday, would be baffled again moments later.

If we're being honest here, it's safe to say we take a bit of evil pleasure in watching the best players in the world do anything -- even just once -- that resembles something we're familiar with in our own game.

On Sunday, during the final round of the Players Championship, Richard H. Lee did just that.

Twice... on consecutive shots.

It all happened on the par-3 everyone knows, the 17th at TPC Sawgrass.

RELATED: Kaymer wins Players Championship | What's in the winners' bags? | Sunday photos

We know what you're thinking: If there's something a PGA Tour caliber player would do on that hole that I could also do, it would be to hit a tee shot in the water.

You're right, but that's not what Lee did. His tee shot, while a little long, did stay dry. Which makes this arguably the strangest double bogey ever made on the hole.

MORE: Richard H. Lee's daughter has last laugh on dad's 17th-hole blunder

With his tee shot resting against the collar of the fringe and the rough, Lee attempted to hit a "belly" wedge on to the green. The problem? He very nearly missed the ball entirely. Once the club made contact on the top of the ball, it traveled a mere inches.

Realizing that perhaps the belly wedge wasn't the best idea, Lee then opted for his putter. The rough grabbed the putter and he nearly missed the ball again, sending it just a few inches further and still not on the green.

Here's the video:



From there, Lee managed to get up and down for double bogey.

There is nothing rare about a double bogey on the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass for the best of players. But, you'd be hard-pressed to find another double bogey by a PGA Tour player on that hole who used the same golf ball for each of the five shots.

Lee bogeyed the last hole for a final-round, 1-over 73 and tied for 65th.

Lee had a great sense of humor about his 17th-hole mishap via Twitter this morning:



Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.


Justin Rose
USA Today Images
Justin Rose was involved in a rules debate Saturday concerning whether his ball moved at address.

PGA Tour officials required slow-motion replay and high-definition television screens to determine whether Justin Rose's ball moved as he was about to address it Saturday during third-round action at The Players Championship. Did the ball move when he was lining up for his chip? Officials first docked him two strokes, then changed their minds Sunday morning, citing the new decision that went into effect on Jan. 1 dealing with situations "not easily discernible to the naked eye."

ROSE'S PENALTY RESCINDED: PGA Tour officials rely on Decision 18/4

But when you're playing a round at your local course, it's up to you and your partners to know Rule 18-2b and its consequences. According to Bryan Jones, co-vice chairman of the PGA Rules Committee, the rule is really pretty simple to remember: "Address the ball, ball moves, replace the ball, one-stroke penalty."

Here's the actual language from the rule book concerning what to do in that specific situation:

"If a player’s ball in play moves after he has addressed it (other than as a result of a stroke), the player is deemed to have moved the ball and incurs a penalty of one stroke.

MORE ON DECISION 18/4: "Visual evidence" rule to take effect Jan. 1

"The ball must be replaced, unless the movement of the ball occurs after the player has begun the stroke or the backward movement of the club for the stroke and the stroke is made.

"Exception: If it is known or virtually certain that the player did not cause his ball to move, Rule 18-2b does not apply."

For example, you set your club behind the ball and it rolls from its position -- whether you touched it or not -- that's a violation of Rule 18-2b. That's because "the player is 'deemed' to have caused this movement," Jones said.

GOLF GLOSSARY: A dictionary of terms, from A to Z

So whether you're playing stroke play or match play, that's a one-stroke penalty. But what does the rule mean by "replacing" the ball? Jones said you have two options, depending on the situation.

"Remember, replace can mean place or drop," Jones said. "If the previous location of the ball is precisely known, it is placed back in that spot. If not, it is dropped. The exception is on the putting green, where it is always placed."

Interestingly enough, if the ball moves because of gravity, it is considered a violation of Rule 18-2b. Replace the ball, take the penalty. If the ball rolls backwards at address and is stopped by the clubhead, that's also covered under Rule 18-2b. Replace the ball, take the penalty. 

There are some exceptions. For example, if the ball moves in a bunker without being affected by the player's stance or approach to the ball, that's not a penalty. And if the ball only wobbles and remains in its original position, Decision 18/2 says there's no penalty and no need to replace. We've seen "oscillation" brought up in tournament play in the past.

Jones calls Rule 18-2b a "default" rule.

"A couple of other examples are Rule 16-2 which 'deems' a ball that is overhanging the hole to be 'at rest' after 10 seconds even if it is still moving," Jones said. "And Rule 27-1c, Ball not found after 5 minutes, 'deems' a ball love after a five-minute search even if it is found and identified by the player at five minutes and one second."

So even without TV cameras and instant replay, you should be able to determine conclusively if you've run afoul of Rule 18-2b and what to do about it.