March 19, 2015 - 9:48am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Madeira Islands Open
European Tour Instagram
Wind ruled the day on Thursday at the European Tour's Madeira Islands Open in Portugal, as evidenced by this incredible video.

Play was halted before it even began in the first round of the European Tour's Madeira Islands Open in Portugal on Thursday due to severe weather conditions.

It wasn't because of pouring rain and lightening, however.

RELATED: Playing in the wind | Driving tee shots into the wind

While glorious blue skies splashed Clube de Golf do Santo da Serr, the wind was out of control -- just howling.

It was so strong in fact, that the European Tour posted this video on Instagram that shows a ball sitting still on a green suddenly blow three feet into the hole:

 

The wind just holed this putt at the #MadeiraIslandsOpen to take the outright lead at the weather affected tournament.

A video posted by European Tour (@europeantour) on

 

How crazy is that?

European Tour video shows strong winds blow golf ball into hole
March 18, 2015 - 9:05am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
The Preserve
The Preserve
PGA Professional Troy Pare was looking for a way to get the word out on Rhode Island's Preserve. What he came up with was a tournament -- The Preserve Open, the Greatest Day in Golf -- offering over $20 million in cash and prizes.

In these tough economic times for golf clubs across the country, it's important to explore ideas that might have one time been considered outside the box.

One club in Wyoming, R.I. – The Preserve – is doing just that, thanks largely to the brainstorming of its new Director of Operations, Troy Pare.

Pare, a successful PGA Professional who played in the 2010 PGA Championship by virtue of his fifth-place finish in the PGA Professional National Championship, helped develop the idea for a “first of its kind,” tournament. It’s called The Preserve Open presented by Benrus – The Greatest Day in Golf.

Open to men, women, juniors, professionals and amateurs, no matter the handicap, The Preserve Open is an 18-hole, par-3 event scheduled for Thursday, June 18, 2015, offering – get this – over $20 million in cash and prizes.

[wide_search_instructor]The Preserve is a 9-hole, par-34 course, that can also be played as an 18-hole par-3 course (which it will play for The Preserve Open), with hole-in-one prizes of $1 million on each.

"It's a ground-breaking golf tournament -- a term that's hard to use in today's game," Pare said. "We have created an 'Open' golf tournament that actually allows every golfer to compete on the same course with absolutely no handicap restrictions.”

Formerly the head professional at Wannamoisett Country Club in Rumford, R.I., Pare helped organize the world-renowned Northeast Amateur, which has crowned champions such as Ben Crenshaw, Scott Hoch, John Cook, Hal Sutton, David Duval, Jonathan Byrd, Luke Donald and Dustin Johnson. It also hosted the 1931 PGA Championship won by Tom Creavy and will host the 2016 Junior PGA Championship.

Pare wanted to do something unique to kick off his first season at The Preserve, a site that also has fly-fishing, bird-hunting, zip-lining, tennis and more.

"Clubs nowadays need to trust their PGA Professionals and what they can accomplish," Pare said. "We bring great value and insight in how to be successful."

The idea for The Preserve Open started small. Bruce Vittner, a local golf writer and long-time member of the Golf Writers Association of America, suggested a Pro-Am event to bring awareness to the facility.

Pare and his team wanted to have the Rhode Island Golf Association (RIGA) involved, as well as including the PGA presence, something he was able to accomplish by reaching out to contacts and friends he’s established through the years at the New England PGA Section.

“Our event quickly went from a simple pro-am to a $20 million cash and prize event in about five weeks,” said Pare, who has been a six-year member of the NEPGA Board of Governors and a seven-year member of the tournament committee.

The Preserve Open is expected to offer the richest purse in New England outside of region's PGA Tour events -- The Travelers Championship and the Deutsche Bank Championship -- with over $100,000 guaranteed.

“It will also be televised on the New England Sports Network (NESN),” he said. “Amateurs have a chance to make money without losing their amateur status, too. In the qualifiers (which we have 5 of them), amateurs who make a hole-in-one on any hole will win $10,000. In the finals, the amateurs who get a hole-in-one on any hole will win $1 million."

What has also made this event appealing to nearby PGA Sections, such as the Met Section, is the timing. "The Greatest Day in Golf" will be played just 10 days before the start of the 2015 PGA Professional National Championship at The Cricket Club in Philadelphia.

"It makes sense for them to play and get ready for the PNC,” Pare said. “And they don't have to take much time out of their schedule to play. So we will attract many, many of those players."

For more information on "The Greatest Day in Golf -- The Preserve Open" visit www.thepreserveopen.com

Categories: Troy S Pare, PGA
PGA Professional driving force behind 'Greatest Day in Golf'
March 18, 2015 - 8:29am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bryan Bros.
YouTube
In the latest Bryan Bros. trick-shot video, George and Wesley get you ready for March Madness.

In the spirit of the NCAA's March Madness, the Bryan Bros. have put together a new trick-shot video incorporating basketball.

It's not as flashy as their previous efforts with juggling and other props, but if you're not impressed by a half-court shot with a golf club and basketball, well, I don't know what to tell you.

RELATED: Meet the Bryan Brothers | Trick shot with live alligator | Compilation

Here it is:

And don't forget, you can keep up with all the March Madness action with our friends over at NCAA.com.

Bryan Bros. tricks shots, March Madness edition
The Parneviks
TV3
Jesper Parnevik and his family have plenty of crazy escapades on and off the golf course in "The Parneviks."
 
This is a big week for Jesper Parnevik. The most successful Swede in PGA Tour history turned 50 on March 7, and is making his Champions Tour debut this week in Tucson.
 
Perhaps more important, he and his family are starring in a new reality TV series on TV3 in his native Sweden, and it premiered on Monday. Parnevik, of course, is the son of Bo Parnevik, long regarded as one of Sweden's best comedians, and he's been quite the character himself, both on and off the links. 
 
In the eight hourlong episodes of "The Parneviks" airing this spring, the show tries to capture the wackiness that is Jesper and his clan – wife Mia, their four teenagers and a nonstop rotation of visitors including high-profile Swedish athletes, entertainers and even politicians who drop by the Parneviks' 13,000-square-foot house in Jupiter, Florida.
 
 
"The house is always in chaos, we always have people over because Sweden is very dark in the winter," Parnevik told Golf Digest, adding that he had as many as 80 guests visiting over the Christmas holidays. "It's a big house, but it's usually not big enough." 
 
Parnevik is an old hand at media exposure, but said he was pleasantly surprised at how easily being on camera came to his children.
 
"It was cool to do as a family," he said. "It was kind of good therapy … we grew together." 
 
 
Given that he's been so, well, entertaining all these years, we have to ask: What took so long? Parnevik said he'd been approached to do shows before, but had always said no. He changed his mind, he told the Golf.se website in Sweden, after Swedish TV personality Carina Berg did a program with his family.
 
"If you have it like this [lots of guests and family activities] every week, you have a show," Parnevik said Berg told him. And now that the first season is on the air, Parnevik said he has enjoyed getting to know the guests who have come to his house and hearing their stories. 
 
The TV3 website has a variety of previews and even episodes that you can take a look at. But, as you might suspect, they're in Swedish. If you'd like to find out more, here's a video of Parnevik discussing the show – in English – on the Golf Channel:
 
 
Jesper Parnevik and family starring in reality TV show in Sweden
March 17, 2015 - 2:20pm
Michael.Benzie's picture
March 17, 2015 - 12:30pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Keegan Bradley
USA Today Sports Images
Keegan Bradley has come close to winning at Bay Hill on more than one occasion. Is this the week he closes the deal?

The PGA Tour is at the King's place this week -- Bay Hill Club and Lodge -- for the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where Matt Every returns as the defending champ.

The field is loaded with stars, headlined by world No. 1 Rory McIlroy, who is looking to get back to his winning ways.

RELATED: Arnold Palmer Invitational tee times | McIlroy seeks Bay Hill bounceback

Two-time Masters champ Bubba Watson is in the field, along with Ernie Els, Adam Scott and more.

Bay Hill is always a stern test -- Palmer makes sure that's the case. So who will come out on top this time around and be shaking hands and sharing a hug with Arnie on the 18th green come Sunday?

Here are the five you'll want to keep an eye on.

5. Henrik Stenson
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Fourth at Valspar Championship
Reason to watch: Stenson -- who finished in the top-8 each of the last two years at Bay Hill -- enters this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational on the strength of a T4 at the WGC-Cadillac Championship two weeks ago and a fourth-place showing at the Valspar Championship just last week. He's on a roll and it's coming at just the right time for the Swede, who is still in search of his first major championship win. The Masters is right around the corner.

4. Keegan Bradley
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T4 Northern Trust Open
Reason to watch: Bradley's T4 at Riviera in February has been his lone bright spot of the season thus far. I anticipate that changing at Bay Hill this week where he was the runner-up a year ago and tied for third in 2013. We all know how fired up Bradley gets on the course. Now, if he could just get some confidence going, I love his chances at Arnie's place.

3. Rickie Fowler
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T3 at WGC-HSBC Champions
Reason to watch: Fowler is always a player I'm excited to watch. But my expectations for him in 2015 after he finished in the top-5 at all four majors (without a win) in 2014. His lone top-10 this season came back in early November in China. His next-best finish came two weeks ago -- a T12 at Doral. I think he's going to bounce back this week from his missed cut at Bay Hill a year ago -- he tied for third there in 2013. After that missed cut at Bay Hill in 2014, Fowler went on to roll off nine of his 10, top-10 finishes for the season. He's going to try and recreate that run a week earlier this time around.

2. Adam Scott
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T4 WGC-Cadillac Championship
Reason to watch: All that promise for Scott with the short putter and a T4 at Doral and then he went and missed the cut last week at Innisbrook. It was his first missed cut on the PGA Tour since the 2012 HP Byron Nelson Championship. So, yeah, don't read too much into it. It's a blip on the radar. Furthermore, Scott finished third at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2014, which could have been a win were it not for a crushing final round of 4-over 76 -- the worst final-round score out of any player who finished in the top 15. He's got unfinished business at Bay Hill.

1. Jason Day
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Won the Farmers Insurance Open
Reason to watch: For a long time, we've been waiting for Day to have a breakout season on the PGA Tour. He's been very good for years, but he's one of those players you expect to turn out multiple-win seasons regularly. Well, every time he tees it up now for the rest of this season, he'll have a chance for multiple victories thanks to the win at Torrey Pines in February. Day's track record at Bay Hill is far from sensational -- his best finish there is a T25 -- but he might just be a different, stronger player this year than ever before.

Here's how my five to watch fared at last week's Valspar Championship:

5. Jim Furyk -- T40
4. Luke Donald -- T53
3. Jordan Spieth -- Winner
2. Gary Woodland -- Missed cut
1. Adam Scott -- Missed cut  

5 players to watch at Bay Hill