June 28, 2015 - 10:23am
john.holmes's picture
Philadelphia Cricket Club
Signs of the Saturday's storm were nowhere to be found on the Wissahickon course Sunday morning.
The biggest surprise so far at the PGA Professional National Championship is that the tournament actually got underway on time this morning. 
The Philadelphia area – along with much of the East Coast – was battered by a huge weather system on Saturday that caused significant storms from the Carolinas up to New England. As much as 1.4 inches of rain fell on the Philadelphia Cricket Club, and the rain persisted long into the night.
And yet, the first round began at 7:30 a.m. sharp, with both the Militia Hill and Wissahickon courses damp but in pristine condition. They're in such good shape so soon after such bad weather, said PGA Director of Golf Jim Smith Jr., because Director of Grounds Dan Meersman and his staff got out ahead of the rain.  
"The biggest thing is we mowed everything tight" on Saturday, "knowing the weather was coming," Meersman explained. "We exceeded the PGA's target speed for the greens [on Saturday], knowing the greens would come back to it. We hit their goals."
That's even more impressive when you consider that the two courses in use this week are very different in the sense that the Wissahickon Course – a classic layout originally designed by A.W. Tillinghast that opened in 1922 – was completely renovated less than two years ago. 
"Every blade of grass on that course is new," said Meersman, who's been at the Philadelphia Cricket Club for seven years. "We had to be a little more careful there" than on the Militia Hill course, which opened in 2002.
Grooming the courses so thoroughly beforehand also lessened or eliminated some of the chores that might have been difficult, or impossible, in the hours leading up to the first tee times. 
"We knew the bunkers would be fine," said Meersman, adding that his crew spent considerable time cleaning up the teeboxes and landing areas that couldn't be mowed without potentially damaging them because the ground was so wet.
Ironically, Meersman said, one of his biggest challenges was not overdoing things.
"Having the people available that we have is like having 100 racehorses at the starting gate," he said. "Everybody wants to do so much. But we really had to make sure we don't let our enthusiasm lead us into any mistakes."
Planning helps PNC start on time
June 27, 2015 - 5:10pm
mark.aumann's picture
Bubba Watson
PGA Tour/Twitter
Bubba Watson took advantage of a lucky ricochet to save par on the 15th hole Saturday.

Sometimes you make your own luck. Sometimes it's made for you.

During Saturday's third round of the Travelers Championship, co-leader Bubba Watson pulled a 7-wood so far right that it could have wound up out of bounds. But watch the video to see what kind of a lucky break Bubba got.



The sound of ball hitting tree is very evident in the audio.

Faced with a long bunker shot -- much better than what Watson probably expected when the ball left his club -- Watson dumped it into a greenside bunker near the lake. Faced then with a rare "double sandy," Watson put it within four feet and calmly sank the putt for a "routine" par.


Bubba's wayward drive, lucky break
Beau Brinkley
USA Today Sports Images
Beau Brinkley's real job is long snapper for the Tennessee Titans.

Charity golf tournaments have hole-in-one prizes all the time, usually for something like a new car or a vacation -- and rarely does anyone actually make an ace to win. If someone does hole out, they're usually won by someone in the community but not particularly well-known elsewhere.

But the Nashville Sports Council Golf Tournament on Thursday not only featured an unusual prize, but it was won by Beau Brinkley, who just happens to be the long snapper for the NFL's Tennessee Titans.

According to this story in the Nashville Tennesean, Brinkley aced the par-3, 182-yard eighth hole at Gaylord Springs. And since the tournament was sponsored by Jack Daniel's, Brinkley won himself an entire barrel of single barrel select premium whiskey -- both the contents and the barrel.

How big is a barrel? Well, it holds about 250 bottles of whiskey. Brinkley mentioned later in an interview with ESPN that he'd like to keep the barrel as a reminder of his once-in-a-lifetime shot. And a lifetime of shots, as well.

Although since the traditional celebration for a hole-in-one is drinks on the house, Brinkley's supply of whiskey could already be dwindling.

Ace earns NFL player a barrel of whiskey
June 25, 2015 - 3:16pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Trash Can
We've all seen a good, juvenile meltdown on the golf course. But this one might top them all. When a golfer from England couldn't fit his clubs in a trash bin, he went and shoved his head in instead... and got it stuck.

I've seen my share of meltdowns on the golf course, but this one takes the cake.

The Telegraph has the story of a 49-year-old man named Dave Sayers from Newcastle-under-Lyme, England. Sayers had a bit too much to drink during a charity golf outing.

RELATED: Travelers Championship leaderboard | Laird holes out for eagle | Kaymer's pond birdie

Running hot after a few bad shots, Sayers told the Telegraph his plan was to dump the clubs in the trash bin. They didn't fit, so he did the next, ahem, logical thing.

"I went to put my head in the bin, but then I couldn't get it out," he said.

Oh, and the best part of this for all of us? There's video of the incident:

The next time things get bad on the golf course, just remember -- there's a good chance it won't be "have my friends rub vaseline on my head so I can get it out of a trash can" bad.

h/t Golf News Net 

Angry golfer gets head stuck in trash can
June 25, 2015 - 10:46am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Martin Laird
Martin Laird made the par-4 17th hole at TPC River Highlands a whole lot easier on Thursday -- he holed his second shot for an eagle.

The 17th hole at TPC River Highlands, a 420-yard par 4, is one of the trickier holes on the closing stretch at the Travelers Championship. Water guards the entire left side of the hole.

RELATED: Travelers Championship leaderboard | 5 players to watch | Bubba hoping for bounce back

Needless to say, a good drive is a must. And, if you hit a solid drive, you might even get a little lucky and do what Martin Laird did this morning:


How about a nice little, eagle-2 to pencil in on the scorecard?

Laird holes out from 140 yards at Travelers Championship
June 25, 2015 - 8:43am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Martin Kaymer
Faced with a third shot on a par 5 from a pond, chances are most of us aren't thinking "birdie is in play." That's not how Martin Kaymer thinks. He proved it Thursday.

The BMW International Open is taking place on the European Tour this week in Germany.

Martin Kaymer is playing the event in his home country. He had four birdies in Round 1 on Thursday, including the incredible one you'll see below from the par-5 ninth hole (his final hole of the day), on his way to an even-par 72:


That was quite the adventure. What a recovery shot. And a heck of a way to end a round. 

Kaymer's recovery from a pond leads to unlikely birdie