July 30, 2015 - 2:56pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Rickie Fowler
@PGATOUR on Twitter
Rickie Fowler ended his first round of the Quicken Loans National Thursday on the highest of highs -- with a hole-in-one.

What's the best way to finish off a round of golf? A birdie, you say?

Yeah, that's nice. But Rickie Fowler prefers an ace... so that's what he did on the par-3 ninth hole -- his 18th hole of the day -- at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in the first round of the Quicken Loans National on Thursday.

RELATED: Quicken Loans National leaderboard | PGA Tour players seeks help locating missing dad

Check it out here:


The ace gave Fowler an opening round of 4-under 67.

Fowler aces his final hole in first round of Quicken Loans National
July 29, 2015 - 10:09am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Justin Rose
USA Today Sports Images
Justin Rose has won the Quicken Loans National twice at two different venues. Will this week be the third?

The PGA Tour is at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Va. this week for the Quicken Loans National, hosted by Tiger Woods.

Justin Rose returns as the defending champ having won at Congressional one year ago.

This week begins a grueling stretch for many of the world's top players, with a World Golf Championship coming up next week, followed by the PGA Championship and the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedExCup.

RELATED: Quicken Loans tee times | Hurley asks for public's help in search for missing father

Here are the players you'll want to keep an eye on this week.

5. Bill Haas
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Won the Humana Challenge
Reason to watch: For the first time this season, Haas has missed the cut in two consecutive starts. It's time to get out of the funk. Aside from playing to win tournaments this year, Haas is also trying to earn a spot on the U.S. Presidents Cup to which his father, Jay, is the captain. Jay would love to have Bill on the team, no doubt. He'd love it even more if he didn't have to use one of his two captain's pick. Bill is currently No. 16 in the standings. The top 10 at the conclusion of the Deutsche Bank Championship make the team on points. It's time for Bill to get going.

4. Jimmy Walker
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Won the Sony Open in Hawaii and the Valero Texas Open
Reason to watch: Over the last three years, few players have been as consistently good as Walker. This season alone, he has six top-10 finishes in 17 starts. Two of those were wins and two were runner-up finishes. Up until this week, Walker played just two events in all of June and July -- the U.S. Open (T58) and the Open Championship (T30). That tells me he's setting himself up to be well rested for a hectic end of the season push. I like it.

3. Sang-Moon Bae
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Won the Frys.com Open
Reason to watch: As we learned last week, this will be Bae's final season on the PGA Tour before reporting back to his home country of South Korea for mandatory military service. This is something that has been weighing on Bae for a long time. And, leading up to the decision, you'd have to think it had an impact on his play. Dating back to the Wells Fargo Championship in the middle of May, Bae has made seven starts. Four of those have been missed cuts and his best finish in that stretch was a T49 at the Memorial. Now that Bae knows for certain what his future holds back home -- and though he may not like it -- I think he'll bring a peace of mind to the course and make the best of what's left this season.

2. Rickie Fowler
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Won the Players Championship
Reason to watch: Fowler is a player to watch now whenever and wherever (see the Scottish Open) he tees it up. If his name is on the tee sheet, he's a favorite. It's still hard to believe he's only a two-time winner on the PGA Tour. Like many of the game's elite players, Fowler has had somewhat of a limited May-July schedule as he gears up for the busy weeks ahead. I expect him to start that push with a great finish this week.

1. Justin Rose
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans
Reason to watch: Rose is the defending champion of this tournament. Granted, it's at a different venue this year, but Rose has won the event twice already at two different venues. Rose, who turns 35 on Thursday, has been playing some fantastic golf of late, including a playoff loss at the Memorial and a T6 in the Open Championship. Surprisingly, Rose's lone multiple-win PGA Tour season was in 2010. It feels like he's due for another one of those.

Here's how my five to watch fared last week at the RBC Canadian Open:

5. Brooks Koepka -- T18
4. Jim Furyk -- 4th
3. Matt Kuchar -- T7
2. Bubba Watson -- 2nd
1. Jason Day -- Won  

Five players to watch at 2015 Quicken Loans National
July 28, 2015 - 2:42pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Billy Hurley III
USA Today Sports Images
In an emotional press conference at the Quicken Loans National on Tuesday, PGA Tour player Billy Hurley III asked for the public's help in finding his father who has been missing for nine days.

In an emotionally-charged press conference on Tuesday at the Quicken Loans National, PGA Tour player Billy Hurley III announced that his father, Willard Hurley III, has been missing for nine days.

Luke Kerr-Dineen from USA Today's For the Win blog reports that Hurley, 33, said his father left home nine days ago, "with some clothes and cash, and no one has heard from him since."

Hurley said his father has no history of mental illness.

RELATED: Tee times: Quicken Loans National | Drama between Allenby, caddie continues

Kerr-Dineen cited this piece from Hurley's presser, where he took no questions, but said he intended to play this week:

"I'm coming to you guys for help. Last Sunday, nine days ago, he took some clothes, took some cash, and no ones heard from him since … No one know why he left, he’s been married to my mom for 30 years and now he’s gone. I just want to let him know that: Dad, we love you and we want you to come home. We have no idea where he is … I just found out so hopefully he checks for my score or my tee time and realizes it’s time to come home." 


Father of PGA Tour player Billy Hurley III missing
July 28, 2015 - 9:02am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Robert Allenby
USA Today Sports Images
Just when we thought the dust might be settling after Robert Allenby's mid-round firing of caddie Mick Middlemo last week in Canada, Middlemo is calling into question Allenby's claims that he was drugged, kidnapped, beaten and robbed earlier this year in Hawaii.

Things just keep getting uglier and uglier between Robert Allenby and ex-caddie Mick Middlemo after the dust up that led to the looper's firing midway through the first round of last week's RBC Canadian Open.

In case you somehow missed it, Allenby alleges that Middlemo became aggressive toward him during the round after the two had a disagreement on the fourth hole. Allenby explained his side of the story to ScoreGolf.com

"I said to him, 'You know this happens every week,'" Allenby told ScoreGolf, referring to a disagreement on club-selection. "'This has happened for like the last three or four or five months. We keep making bad mistakes and you're not helping me in these circumstances.'"

RELATED: Allenby, caddie have ugly split mid-round in Canada | Caddie refutes Allenby's claims

And that was pretty much the printable version of the argument.

Middlemo bounced back and refuted Allenby's version of the events.

"The discussion was only about waiting for the wind to die down and hit the 8-iron; the 7-iron was never discussed. Not once. He came up 10 meters short of the front of the green. ... He hit a bad shot," Middlemo told ESPN.com.

"He said, 'I can't believe this fat (expletive),' loud enough for everyone to hear. There's a lot as a caddie I can take but a personal attack like that. ... If this was an office in any country in the world, that would be considered bullying. ... I can take it if you call me the worst caddie in the world, tell me I'm horrible at picking clubs, but there's a line you just can't cross."

Many have come to Middlemo's defense, stating that the caddie's version of the events are the way they actually went down.

To make the whole thing a little more soap-opera-ish, Geoff Shackelford surfaced a report from The Age's Megan Levy, where Middlemo made some damning statements about Allenby and his strange fiasco from early this year in Hawaii, where the golfer claimed he had been drugged, kidnapped, beaten and robbed.

This from the story:

Middlemo now says he believes Allenby simply fell over and injured his face after drinking too much wine and tequila and not eating enough food.

"Do I think he got mugged and bashed and absolutely robbed? No I don't. That's the story I told because that's the story he told me to tell because I wasn't there," Middlemo told News Corp Australia.

"Do I think he just fell over and cracked his head? Honestly I do … I think he fell over and someone picked up his wallet and had a great time with his credit card."

Wow. Something tells me these two won't be exchanging Christmas cards this year. 

More drama between Allenby and ex-caddie
July 27, 2015 - 1:15pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bubba Watson
@GolfDigest on Twitter
During a recent photoshoot for Golf Digest, Bubba Watson smacked a fairway wood right into a drone occupying airspace in his target line. The result wasn't good for the drone.

Bubba Watson with a fairway wood in his hands and a drone in his target line always had "bad news" written all over it for the drone.

Lucky for us, Golf Digest put all those things in place during a recent photo shoot and we get to see the two-time Masters champ absolutely destroy the drone.

RELATED: Drone stands no chance against Jason Day | A drone's view of the Old Course at St. Andrews

Golf Digest teased it with this tweet:


Here's the actual video:


That was awesome.

Bubba Watson knocks drone out of sky with fairway wood
July 27, 2015 - 11:59am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
skeet shooting
Who doesn't love a good golf gag? This one would frighten most, but luckily it was just for a prank show -- a skeet-shooter visits unsuspecting golfers at a driving range.

Golf is a game that lends itself to some great gags. Whether it's tossing your friend a new golf ball that explodes on impact, sounding off an air-horn in a friend's backswing, or taking the reinforcement strap off the clubs before the motorized cart takes off, there's always room for a good laugh.

For the record, I don't condone any of those things... just pointing out some of the funnier stuff I've seen.

RELATED: Jordan Spieth celebrates 22nd birthday | Jason Day's unique winner's gift

Well, this morning, I came across a great one -- definitely don't try this at home.

The video, by "Just for Laughs Gags," is a few years old and is tagged as, "Golf Shooting Range Pranks."

Here's the premise: Unsuspecting folks are enjoying a bucket of balls at the driving range. The pranker, meanwhile, is nearby with a shotgun pretending he's skeet-shooting. Instead of skeets, however, he's taking aim at the golf balls.

The expressions on the golfers' faces are priceless -- everything from frightened to can't stop laughing.

Check it out:


In fairness to skeet shooters, there was that one time when Brandt Snedeker took to the skeet-shooting range with his golf club. And this happened:


Check out this driving range/skeet-shooting prank