June 23, 2015 - 11:09am
mark.aumann's picture
Lenexa sinkhole
Associated Press/YouTube
A large hole has consumed a large portion of the 13th fairway of Canyon Farms Golf Club.

Heavy rains this month are being blamed for a massive sinkhole that appeared on a golf course in Lenexa, Kan., over the weekend. But that hasn't stopped the course from being in business -- or golfers from playing that hole. Workers at Canyon Farms Golf Club arrived to find a large portion of the 13th fairway missing. Or rather, down in a sinkhole. How big? The hole is estimated to be about 10 feet in depth, and from the aerial videos taken, the grass is still in place. According to story from KMBC-TV in Kansas City, the course was built over a vacated limestone mine, which may offer some explanation why the ground gave way so suddenly. Course workers have placed fences and barriers around the affected area -- and the teeing ground has been moved up to the other side of the sinkhole, allowing the hole to be played as a shorter par-4. You can view the news video from the Associated Press here. Still photos don't do this hole in the ground enough justice. It's definitely not the first time -- or will be the last -- that sinkholes have created havoc for golfers. Just this year, a sinkhole created a massive hole at Top of the Rock/Big Cedar Lodge in Branson, Mo. And another one made a mess of this Scottish course.

Sinkhole creates new course hazard
June 23, 2015 - 9:40am
mark.aumann's picture
Shattered trophy
Anna Nordqvist/Twitter
Anna Nordqvist with the LPGA ShopRite Classic trophy before ... and after.

Golf trophies come in all manner of shapes and sizes. Sculpted metal cups, ornate wood or even glass vases, like the one Anna Nordqvist won recently at the LPGA ShopRite Classic.

Most of the time, they arrive home safely. But that wasn't the case for Nordqvist.

Imagine her shock and dismay when she opened the cardboard box containing her beautiful glass trophy, only to find a pile of shattered glass shards.

[wide_search_equipment]

Once she got over her initial reaction, her comments on social media were quite humorous, as evidenced by this tweet:

 

 

Thankfully, there's a happy ending to the story. The shipper and tournament are working to replace Nordqvist's trophy -- and hopefully get it to her in one piece this time.

 

 

It's amazing in a way that there aren't more problems with trophies, especially crystal. Last year, Hunter Mahan's crystal vase snapped in two while he was placing it down for photographs.

But even big metal trophies can have issues. On Sunday, the top came off Jordan Spieth's U.S. Open Championship trophy while he was posing for photos. Last summer, Rory McIlroy made a quick grab to catch the top of the Wanamaker Trophy as it was being presented to him after winning the PGA Championship.

And in 1963, Jack Nicklaus nearly burned his fingers trying to hold the Wanamaker by its handles -- after it had been sitting in the hot Texas sun all afternoon. 

 

Trophy shatters, replacement ordered
June 23, 2015 - 8:56am
mark.aumann's picture
Safeco Field
Baseball fans at Safeco Field can try out the new golf simulator.

Take me out to the ... virtual driving range?

The Seattle Mariners have announced they're unveiling the first golf simulator installed in a major league baseball stadium. The new Safeco Field simulator is operated under the auspices of PGA Professional Gregg Rogers of nearly Bellevue.

"Putting a golf simulator in an MLB ballpark is unusual, but research shows that 42 percent of Mariners fans are also golfers," Rogers was quoted as saying in the team's news release. "This is an opportunity for us to grow the game of golf through a fun, interactive, high-tech experience."

HALL OF FAMERS: Ten of baseball's best golfers

The Safeco Field simulator -- located behind the centerfield bleachers -- uses high-speed 3D cameras to capture images and data at 2,300 frames per second. The images are projected onto a 20-foot wide curved high-definition screen. Golfers have the choice of playing holes from many of the best courses in the world, including St. Andrews, TPC Sawgrass, TPC Scottsdale, Spyglass and Pebble Beach.

[wide_search_instructor]

The simulator will open two hours before Mariners home games. For now, it's free, but there will be a charge in the future -- with a portion of the proceeds going to Mariners Care, the team's non-profit foundation.

In addition, Rogers and his staff will offer instruction and club fitting.

 

Golf simulator opens at Safeco Field
June 23, 2015 - 8:30am
mark.aumann's picture
Jason Day
USA Today Sports Images
Jason Day has decided to withdraw from this week's Travelers Championship.

Three days after collapsing with vertigo symptoms while playing in the U.S. Open, Jason Day has decided to withdraw from this week's Travelers Championship. Tournament officials made the announcement via Twitter:

 

 

The decision should come as no surprise, given how much difficulty Day seemed to be in at Chambers Bay, particularly during Saturday's third round. The day before, Day collapsed while walking up the fairway of the course's ninth hole -- on his last hole of the day. After several minutes, Day was helped to his feet and was able to complete the hole, earning a huge round of applause from the stunned gallery.

He was then driven by golf cart to the scorer's tent, where he signed his card, then taken to a van for further medical observation.

PUTTING TIP: Jason Day says 'walk the line'

Day then pulled off one of the gutsiest performances in U.S. Open history over the weekend. Despite the full effects of benign positional vertigo, Day shot a 2-under par 68 on Saturday to tie for the tournament lead. Unfortunately for him, he faded in Sunday's final round, finishing in a tie for ninth with a 74.

He posted this message to his Twitter account later:

 

 

Day has been suffering from vertigo symptoms for quite some time. According to the Associated Press, Day's caddie said dizziness was the reason Day had to withdraw during the final round of the World Golf Championship Bridgestone Invitational last August. Despite undergoing a procedure that was supposed to restore his equilibrium, Day was unable to play in last month's Byron Nelson after becoming dizzy during the pro-am.

 

Day withdraws from Travelers
June 21, 2015 - 10:48pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Dustin Johnson
USA Today Sports Images
You hate to see anyone lose like this... Dustin Johnson missed a short birdie putt that would have forced an 18-hole Monday playoff for the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay on Sunday.

For the first time since 2002, a player has won the first two majors of the season.

Tiger Woods turned the trick 13 years ago and, after his win in April at the Masters and his win on Sunday in the U.S. Open, Jordan Spieth has a chance to make it three majors in a row at the Open Championship in a few weeks at St. Andrews.

A win is a win, but surely Spieth didn't want to win like this.

RELATED: Spieth wins 2015 U.S. Open | Final U.S. Open leaderboard | Kirk's rant

Dustin Johnson smoked a 350-yard drive on the par-5 18th hole right down the middle. He needed a birdie to force an 18-hole Monday playoff and an eagle for the outright win.

With his second shot from 247 yards away, Johnson ripped a 5-iron to within 10 feet for what would have been a winning eagle putt.

Johnson sent the eagle try a few feet past the hole and was left with a knee-knocker for birdie.

Here's what happened:

You hate to see a player lose a tournament like that.

Johnson's missed birdie putt to force playoff
June 21, 2015 - 10:18pm
Posted by:
Doug Ferguson
tj.auclair's picture
Jordan Spieth
USA Today Sports Images
With his victory in the U.S. Open on Sunday, his second major in a row, 21-year-old Jordan Spieth became the youngest winner of the national championship since Bobby Jones in 1923.
 
Watch: Interview with U.S. Open champion Jordan Spieth at bottom of this page
 
UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. (AP) – Another major for Jordan Spieth. Another stunning loss for Dustin Johnson.
 
Chambers Bay delivered heart-stopping drama Sunday in the U.S. Open when Spieth birdied his final hole to become only the sixth player to win the Masters and the U.S. Open in the same year. The real surprise was not that he won, but how he won.
 
Johnson had a 12-foot eagle putt for the victory. Two putts would force an 18-hole playoff Monday. Less than a minute later, Spieth was shocked to be the youngest U.S. Open champion since 1923.
 
Johnson's eagle putt ran by the cup and stopped just over 3 feet away. With his future father-in-law Wayne Gretzky watching, Johnson's short birdie putt rolled by the left edge.
 
"I'm still amazed that I won, let alone that we weren't playing tomorrow," Spieth said. "So for that turnaround right there, to watch that happen, I feel for Dustin, but I haven't been able to put anything in perspective yet."
 
Lost in Johnson's blunder was the clutch play of the Masters champion. Having lost control of the tournament with a double bogey on the 17th hole, Spieth drilled his tee shot and hit a 3-wood that caught the back bank and rolled below the cup. His eagle putt was wide left, giving him a 1-under 69.
 
He walked off the green at 5-under 275 and worried about golf's biggest hitter playing the par-5 behind.
 
"I didn't think it was good enough," Spieth said. "But man, I couldn't be more happy right now."
 
Spieth becomes the first player since Bobby Jones to make birdie on the 72nd hole to win the U.S. Open by one shot, all because of Johnson's three-putt. The 21-year-old Texan heads to St. Andrews next month in pursuit of golf's holy grail – the Grand Slam.
 
Tiger Woods in 2002 was the last player to get the first two legs of the slam. In 1960, Arnold Palmer went to St. Andrews for a chance at three in a row.
 
For all the criticism of the unique course at Chambers Bay, this was the theater at its finest.
 
But there will be lingering questions about the condition of the greens, so bumpy that they were referred to as broccoli and Billy Horschel said he lost respect for the USGA. This championship ended with a short miss, the target of complaints all week.
 
The final hour was so wild that four players could have won over the last two holes.
 
Tied for the lead with Branden Grace of South Africa, Spieth looked like he wrapped this up with a 25-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole. He turned toward Puget Sound, pumped his fist and yelled, "YEAH!"
 
That gave him a three-shot lead because Grace hit his tee shot onto the railroad tracks out-of-bounds and made double bogey.
 
And then his lead was gone.
 
Spieth hit into the fescue-covered mounds right of the 17th and made double bogey.
 
Louis Oosthuizen made one last birdie – his sixth over the last seven holes – for a 67 to post at 4-under 276. Johnson, who had a two-shot lead at the turn until missing so many putts on the back nine, was forgotten until he stuffed his tee shot on the par-3 17th to 4 feet for birdie.
 
Spieth, a wire-to-wire winner at Augusta National, showed he can be clutch with his 3-wood into the 18th. And then came Johnson in the final group, blasting his tee shot so far that he only needed a 5-iron, and he put that to 12 feet.
 
Make it and win. Two putts and he still gets a playoff.
 
He made par.
 
Johnson said he might have hit it even farther past the hole if he had not seen the speed of Jason Day's putt.
 
"I did everything I was supposed to do," he said. "I hit the ball really well. I'm proud of the way I handled myself and the way I played today. I just really struggled getting it in the hole today. I didn't think I was hitting bad putts. I thought I was hitting them pretty good they just weren't going in."
 
It was the fourth heartache for Johnson in the majors, and this was the worst. He didn't shoot 82 in the final round like he did at Pebble Beach in the 2010 U.S. Open. He didn't ground his club in a bunker that cost him a spot in the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straights. He didn't hit a shot out-of-bounds like he did in the 2011 British Open.
 
Twelve feet from a win. Three putts and he lost.
 
"Just missed it left," Johnson said.
 
Jason Day, who collapsed on Friday with vertigo only to rally for a share of the 54-hole lead, fell back with missed putt and was never in the hunt on the back nine. He closed with a 74 to finish five shots behind.
 
Grace never recovered from that double bogey on No. 16 and shot 71 to tie for fourth with Adam Scott (64) and Cameron Smith (68).
 
It was a homecoming of sorts for Spieth – and his caddie, Michael Greller.
 
Greller was a sixth-grade math teacher who caddied in the summer at Chambers Bay when he hooked up with a young Texan who needed a caddie at Gold Mountain, where Spieth won the U.S. Junior Amateur. Greller knew this course better than any caddie. And he had the right horse who's on the ride of his life.
 
Spieth is the youngest player to win two majors since Gene Sarazen in 1922.
 
Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Doug Ferguson from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
 
 
Spieth wins 2015 U.S. Open in stunning finish at Chambers Bay