Golf Buzz

April 19, 2017 - 9:14am
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PGA of America
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Junior Invitational
Pritchard/PGA of America
The Junior Invitational will begin at Sage Valley on Thursday. On Tuesday, the tournament held its opening ceremony.

GRANITEVILLE, S.C. (April 18, 2017) -- Golf Channel’s Charlie Rymer and PGA Tour Champion Kevin Kisner were featured speakers during the Opening Ceremony of the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley Golf Club on Tuesday night, signaling the official kickoff of the 2017 tournament. Recognized by GolfWeek as the premier junior golf event in the world, the Junior Invitational will be held April 20-22 at Sage Valley Golf Club in Graniteville, South Carolina.

“The Opening Ceremony is a very special time for our players, their families and our sponsors,” said Tournament Coordinator Elaine Barnhill. “We’re delighted that Charlie and Kevin were able to be with us to help make the 2017 Junior Invitational a memorable experience. And, I must give a special thanks to all of the Sage Valley staff who made a fast transition when the rain caused us to change plans at the last minute. They continue to prove each year why the Sage Valley reputation for service is so renowned.”

RELATED: Tee times for Round 1 of the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley Golf Club

A former player on the PGA Tour, Rymer joined Golf Channel in 2008 and currently serves as co-host for “Morning Drive”, the network’s daily news and lifestyle program. Rymer also contributes to the network’s coverage of the Drive, Chip and Putt Championships and Golf Central’s coverage of the NCAA Golf Championships. Rymer won the 1985 U. S. Junior Amateur and went on to become a two-time All-American at Georgia Tech. The Fort Mill, S.C. native spent more than 10 years playing professional golf and in 2015 was elected into the PGA of America as a certified PGA professional.

Kisner is a PGA professional currently at No. 38 on the World Golf Ranking. A native of Aiken, S.C., Kisner played college golf at the University of Georgia and was a member of the 2005 NCAA Division I Championship team. He earned his first PGA Tour victory in 2015 winning the RSM Classic. The win moved him into the Top 20 in the world rankings and put him at the top of the early FedEx Cup standings moving into 2016.

The Junior Invitational is open to the public, offering patrons and golf enthusiasts a rare opportunity to experience the members-only club and its pristine Tom Fazio-designed course. Admission is $5 for three-day entry and tickets can be purchased at the gate upon arrival. 

April 19, 2017 - 9:08am
Posted by:
PGA of America
tj.auclair's picture
Junior Invitational
Pritchard/PGA of America
Here's a look at the tee times for the prestigious Junior Invitational at Sage Valley Golf Club, won by Austin Eckroat in the boys' division in 2016.

Tee times for the Opening Round of the Junior Invitational on Thursday, April 20:

8:30 a.m. -- Pak (Scotch Plains, NJ), Adrien Pendaries (France), Matthew Wolff (Agoura Hills, CA)
8:40 a.m. -- Matias Honkala (Finland), Eddy Lai (San Jose, CA), Kyle Vance (Audubon, PA)
8:50 a.m. -- Brandon Mancheno (Jacksonville, FL), Davis Shore (Knoxville, TN), Khavish Varadan (Malaysia)
9:00 a.m. -- Fred Lee (Australia), Max Schmitt (Germany), Trey Winstead (Baton Rouge, LA)
9:10 a.m. -- Alejandro Aguilera (Spain), Garrett Barber (Stuart, F), Reese Ramsey (Austin, TX)
9:20 a.m. -- Kaiwen Liu (China, Joaquin Niemann (Chile), Mason Nome (Houston, TX)
9:40 a.m. -- Jacob Bergeron (Slidell, LA), Wilson Furr (Jackson, MS), Garrick Higgo (South Africa)
9:50 a.m. -- Ricky Castillo (Yorba Linda, CA), Cole Hammer (Houston, TX), Min Woo Lee (Australia)
10:00 a.m. -- Austin Eckroat (Edmond, OK), John Axelsen (Denmark), Karl Vilips (Australia)
10:10 a.m. -- Nicholas Lyerly (Salisbury, NC), Jeewon Park (South Korea), Rayhan Thomas (India)
10:20 a.m. -- Eugene Hong (Orlando, FL), Justin Kim (Rome, GA), Marcus Svensson (Sweden)
10:30 a.m. -- Jonathan Goth-Rasmussen (Denmark), Cameron John (Australia), Travis Vick (Houston, TX)
10:50 a.m. -- Noah Goodwin (Corinth, TX), Kaito Onishi (Japan), Patrick Welch (Providence, RI)
11:00 a.m. -- Ryan Gerard (Raleigh, NC), Thomas Mulligan (Ireland), Trent Phillips (Inman, SC)
11:10 a.m. -- Paul Chaplet (Costa Rica), Brandon Gillis (Nashua, NH), Sean Maruyama (Japan)
11:20 a.m. -- Noah Norton (Chico, CA), Kristoffer Reitan (Norway), Jack Trent (Australia)
11:30 a.m. -- Edgar Catherine (France), Walker Lee (Houston, TX), Wocheng (Aden) Ye (China)
11:40 a.m. -- Falko Hanisch (Germany), Won Jun Lee (South Korea), Michael Sanders (Davidson, NC)

April 18, 2017 - 12:26pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Tiger Woods
USA Today Sports Images
Tiger Woods reveals first course design for the public at Missouri's Big Cedar Lodge Resort.

Tiger Woods announced on Tuesday that his first design for a public golf course will be at Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale, Missouri.

The name of the 19-hole course -- that's right, "19" -- will be "Payne's Valley," a tribute to the late Payne Stewart, a three-time major winner who was born in Springfield, Missouri.

Along with the big course, slated to open in 2019, Woods will also design a par-3 course for guests of Big Cedar Lodge.

Woods teased the announcement in a tweet on April 12:

Woods was at Big Cedar Lodge for Tuesday's announcement, along with Johnny Morris, owner of the resort and founder of Bass Pro Shops, as well as Stewart's widow, Tracey and Tom Lehman.

As a designer, Woods has completed two courses: Bluejack National near Houston, Texas and Diamante's El Cardonal in Mexico.  

April 18, 2017 - 9:26am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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kangaroos
YouTube
Inevitably, you're going to encounter wildlife on the golf course. But an entire herd of kangaroos? That's what happened recently in Australia.

If you play golf, you're going to encounter wildlife over the course of the round.

Maybe it's a gator or a snake. Maybe it's beautiful birds. Perhaps it's annoying geese. Even deer.

In Australia, it isn't uncommon to come across a kangaroo.

Or, in the case of Sanctuary Point at St. George's Basin Country Club, TONS of kangaroos.

Check it out this video from a gentleman named Greg Tannos, who encountered the herd:

April 18, 2017 - 9:14am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Dustin Johnson
USA Today Sports Images
After withdrawing from the Masters due to an injury -- literally at the last minute -- world No. 1 Dustin Johnson is on track for a return at the Wells Fargo Championship.

On the eve of the 2017 Masters, world No. 1 and tournament favorite Dustin Johnson suffered a lower back injury when he fell down some stairs at his rental home in Augusta.

There's probably never a "good time" to get hurt, but this was especially disappointing for Johnson who had just won in three consecutive starts and was in in peak form for the season's first major.

Johnson went to Augusta National the next day hoping to tee it up in Round 1, but after a brief practice session where he was experiencing significant pain, he decided to withdraw one minute before his scheduled tee time.

RELATED: World No. 1 Dustin Johnson withdraws from Masters after freak fall on stairs

"To get injured on Wednesday afternoon, the day before the tournament starts, is a major disappointment," 2018 Ryder Cup USA Captain Jim Furyk told PGA.com in a Q&A. "That late in the game, all your preparation is done. You're not only thinking about the next day, but you're raring to go.

"I'm sure Dustin was disappointed to have to miss it because of how well he's been playing. Maybe he thinks it's a missed opportunity. But he'll have plenty more chances. I really feel bad for him, but more importantly, I hope he gets back to 100 percent soon."

As of Tuesday, it appears things are looking up for Johnson.

Golf.com's Jessica Marksbury reached Johnson by phone to find out how he's progressing.

"It's still a little bit bruised," Johnson told Marksbury. "But today I hit balls, and everything was pretty good. It's a little tight, but I can swing just fine. I was very happy with my practice session today. I was hitting it very well. Hardly any issues. I would say it’s about 85, 90 percent."

Johnson told Marksbury he laid on the couch and watched the Masters, but, "I didn't like watching though. That's one thing I don't want to do anymore."

Johnson announced last week that he intends to make his return at the Wells Fargo Championship, May 4-7. Johnson stressed that he isn't rushing back, but called a practice session where he hit balls all the way through driver, "very reassuring."

Good news, indeed. 

April 17, 2017 - 10:08am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Wesley Bryan
USA Today Sports Images
Long-known as a golf trick-shot artist, Wesley Bryan saved his best trick to date for Sunday at the RBC Heritage.

Ask any PGA Tour player and he'll tell you that outside of winning a major, the most difficult tournament to win is one played in your home state.

In the 48-year history of the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town on South Carolina's Hilton Head Island, no South Carolinian had ever slipped in to the Tartan jacket given to the tournament's winner.

Until Sunday, when PGA Tour rookie Wesley Bryan turned the trick -- just his latest trick.

RELATED: Meet the Bryan Brothers -- golf's trick-shot artists | Bryan Brothers up the ante

The 27-year-old Bryan from Columbia and a University of South Carolina alum, fired a 4-under 67 in the final round for a 13-under 271 total, to hold off Luke Donald by a single shot.

Over the last few years, Bryan has been on a meteoric rise.

After qualifying to play on the Web.com Tour in 2016, Bryan won three times on that tour, earning the rare "performance promotion" that grants a Web.com player an immediate promotion to the PGA Tour.

And now, just in the middle of April during his rookie season, Bryan has already locked up a win, a two-year-exemption and a spot in the 2018 Masters.

It was only a few years ago when people were asking this question about Bryan: "Yeah, but can he actually play?"

The answer has turned out to be a resounding "YES" but the question was legitimate.

Wesley, you see, along with brother, George, got themselves on the golf map as arguably the best golf, trick-shot duo the world has ever seen, churning out viral video after viral video.

Many of the early videos were shot at the golf academy of their father, George, a PGA professional, in Chapin, S.C.

Here's a small sampling of their work:

So, yeah, that question of whether or not Bryan could play at a high level was a fair one. Clearly spending all that time mastering trick shots couldn't leave a whole lot of time for working on one's complete game.

But somehow, Wesley Bryan pulled it all off.

Oh, and Bryan's win on Sunday was no abberation. It was the completion of a steady progression, his fourth top-10 this season.

Clearly, Wesley Bryan is no one-trick pony.