Zach Johnson cracked driver
Zach Johnson finished his round on Sunday at 2-under.

Talk about Midwestern strong.

On Sunday at The Barclays, Johnson noticed a crack in his driver head of his Titleist 913 D2. So he did what any professional would do and replaced it on the spot.

After his round, Johnson went to Twitter to explain what had happened. 

 

Afterwards, it seemed like Johnson was in a good mood about the incident. 

 

Even other players got in on the fun. 

 

But fear not, Johnson was prepared for such an emergency. 

 

There's been no word about the fate of the cracked clubhead. Maybe he should make it take a very icy Ice Bucket Challenge for charity. 

Zach Johnson makes quick repairs on driver
Seung Yul Noh
How did Seung Yul Noh not know you are not allowed to play a shot off another putting green?

The cardinal rule in golf is "play it where it lies," but there are significant exceptions to Rule 13-1 -- one being, you must take free relief when your ball is sitting on another putting green. 

That's what makes Seung Yul Noh's decision to take a big divot from a green during Thursday's opening round of The Barclays such a head-scratcher, because that's as much common sense as having any knowledge of Rule 25-3. It falls in the same category, according to co-vice chairman of the PGA rules committee, Bryan Jones, as not hitting from out of bounds or hitting off another person or their equipment. 

RULE 25-3: Noh penalized for hitting ball off wrong green

You shouldn't do those things, not just because they're illegal but because they're hazardous.

"These are great examples of where the Rules of Golf, often bashed for complexity and harshness are simple and full of common sense," Jones said. "Many courses have holes close to each other and balls often land on other putting greens. Imagine if players had the liberty of hacking away?

"The Putting Green has always been a special place under the Rules and this privilege is extended to Putting Greens throughout the course. Rule 25-3 provides and requires a player to drop (for free) off of a 'Wrong Putting Green,' although the player may stand on one to play a ball that lies off of it."

GROUND UNDER REPAIR: When you can take a free drop

With rules officials readily available, Jones said all a PGA Tour player has to do is raise his hand and someone will come over and offer a rules interpretation. The fact that Noh didn't do that, even though former PGA Tour player-turned-PGA Tour rules official Brad Fabel was fairly close, compounded the mistake.

"I have no doubt that if [Fabel] were closer to Noh and could clearly see the ball on the green, he would have intervened," Jones said. "Rules referees are trained to prevent infractions, if at all possible. It is another reason that golf is truly unique in competitive sport.

"The referee will try on behalf of all players to prevent 'crime,' sometimes he is simply not in position to do so."

HITTING THE WRONG BALL: What do you do if you wind up playing your partner's ball?

So what about players using a club other than a putter on the green they're playing to? Perfectly acceptable under the rules, according to Jones. If you feel using a hybrid or a wood to get some loft on the ball, or if the position of the flag requires a chip, you may do so without drawing the two-stroke penalty Noh incurred.

So be respectful of the course, as well as the rules. Know when you should "play it where it lies" and when you can, and should, take a drop.

 

 

Why the rules can keep you from being a hazard to yourself and the course
August 23, 2014 - 1:45pm
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Justin Rose
The par-4 fifth hole at The Barclays is definitely reachable from the tee, as Justin Rose proved Saturday, coming within a foot of a hole-in-one.

As Phil Mickelson has proven twice this week, the par-4 fifth hole at The Barclays is reachable from the teeing grounds -- if you can keep the ball from flying off into the grandstand.

So here's Justin Rose from 283 yards away in Saturday's third round:

Always happy to be left with a tap-in eagle.

Rose nearly holes out from 283 yards
August 23, 2014 - 12:50pm
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Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson's two incredible shots from the grandstand this week at The Barclays has spawned #PhilWasHere.

Phil Mickelson's two shots from the grandstands on consecutive days at The Barclays has spawned its own meme, based on the hashtag #PhilWasHere. Obviously, Lefty can hit it "where it lies" from anywhere.

Check out just a sample of some of the places Phil was able to scramble out of trouble. All it takes is a grasp of Photoshop and a limitless imagination:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mickelson spawns #PhilWasHere meme
Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson prepares to hit a shot from the grandstand next to the fifth hole Friday at The Barclays.

It was Oscar Wilde who famously wrote the phrase "life imitates art." He certainly had to have been referring to Phil Mickelson, who always seems to be one shot away from needing to pull off a scene from a sequel to "Tin Cup" or "Happy Gilmore."

Friday's second round of The Barclays was a perfect example. Mickelson hit his tee shot on the par-4 fifth hole well left, and then got an unfortunate bounce when his ball ricocheted into the grandstand.

Ninety-nine percent of the field would have surveyed the situation and taken a drop. But Phil being Phil, that's all the more reason to do something extraordinary (or take a page right out of Hollywood) or foolish.

Besides, how often do you get a perfect lie on all-weather carpet and a clear shot to the green over a row of chairs and a beer bottle? Just watch.

Unfortunately, real life doesn't always mirror Hollywood. If it had, Mickelson's ball would have gone in the hole, or at least landed on the green. Instead, he failed to get up and down from the bunker and had to settle for bogey.

But for the crowd in the grandstand, it may have been the most exciting bogey of the day.

And unbelievably, Mickelson did it AGAIN on Saturday morning. Except this time he made par, mainly because he had already practiced the shot 24 hours before!

 

 

You truly can't make this stuff up, folks. Talk about your flair for the dramatic. 

Watch: Phil's TWO grandstand plays at The Barclays
Rickie Fowler in New York City
Rickie Fowler sure knows how to visit New York City in style.

With the PGA Tour making a stop this weekend in Paramus, N.J., golfers have been dropping clues all over social media on the proper way to visit New York. We've scoured all the sites and have come up with five steps on how to visit the Big Apple like a PGA Tour professional.  

Step 1: Grab a bite to eat

New York is home to some of the best restaurants in the world. The Big Apple has you covered no matter what type of food you want, and at virtually any hour of the day. If you're like Russell Knox, you go for what may be the biggest slice of pizza in history.

 

 

Step 2: Go see the sights

There are plenty of marquee landmarks in New York. Everything -- from Coney Island in Brooklyn to Central Park in Manhattan -- is just a subway ride away. If you're like Rickie Fowler, you'll stop at the Empire State Building and get a great view of the city.

 

Step 3: Go for a run

After eating such a large meal earlier in the day, you may worry about gaining a few pounds -- especially if you want to play your best on the course. But fear not, there are plenty of parks in New York where you can work off those extra calories. Best part, you never know if Rory McIlroy will join you for your jaunt. 

 

 

Step 4: Go to a professional sporting event

There are multiple nightime options when visiting New York, but one of the more popular ones is to catch a game. The New York sports scene has you covered every time of the year, though going to see the Jets or Giants play does require a quick trip into New Jersey. Even if you're not a fan of the team or sport you're at, it's still a great experience. 

 

 

Step 5: Guest star on a late night talk show

This one is reserved for all you big stars. New York is home to a number of late-night talk show hosts. One of the more popular options recently has been the "Tonight Show" with Jimmy Fallon. 

 

 

Complete these five steps and you'll have visited New York like a true PGA Tour professional. 

Of course, this list is assuming you have some free time and don't have to get up early for a round of golf. If you find yourself in that case, Ian Poulter has one suggestion for you. 

 

 

Visit the Big Apple: Five tips from the Tour pros