Golf Buzz

April 8, 2017 - 7:25pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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charley hoffman
@TheMasters on Twitter
Charley Hoffman opened the door for loads of the game's biggest names with a crushing double bogey on the 16th hole in the third round of the Masters.

Charley Hoffman had been in control of the 81st Masters for most of the week, the table set by his amazing 7-under 65 which was the best score of the blustery first round by four shots.

That all changed on the par-3 16th hole in Saturday's third round. He led by a shot at 6 under when he reached the tee.

RELATED: 2017 Masters Tournament leaderboard | Photos from Day 3 of the Masters

When he walked off, Hoffman trailed by a shot, making double bogey on the hole when his tee shot found the water:

That right there was the only water ball of the day at the 16th. And what terrible timing for Hoffman.

That opened up a can of worms for some of the biggest names in golf -- Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth, in particular -- who were just waiting for Hoffman to make a blunder.

When the third round ended, Hoffman's even-par 72 left him at 4 under and two shots out of the lead going into what is sure to be an epic final day of the 2017 Masters.

April 6, 2017 - 2:10pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Dustin Johnson
USA Today Sports Images
Dustin Johnson withdrew from the Masters one minute before his 2:03 tee time on Thursday.

After a mishap that happened at the absolute worst time -- 3 p.m. on the eve of the Masters -- Dustin Johnson, the world's No. 1 player, has withdrawn from the Masters.

Roughly 23 hours ago, Johnson slipped on some stairs at his Augusta, Ga., rental home and landed on his lower back.

While it was reported that his condition seemed to be improving throughout Thursday, things changed when he arrived at Augusta National to prepare for his opening round.

Johnson spent time on the driving range with his brother/caddie, Austin, and coach Butch Harmon.

RELATED: 2017 Masters Tournament leaderboard | Masters first-round photo gallery

He took a couple of breaks to get treatment on his back, according to Golf Channel's Todd Lewis.

Johnson then returned to the range to hit longer iron shots and driver, but it was clear he didn't have the fire power we're used to seeing from one of the game's longest players.

At 2:02 p.m. EDT, just one minute before his 2:03 p.m. tee time with Bubba Watson and Jimmy Walker, Johnson decided to withdraw.

In 2014, Tiger Woods was the No. 1-ranked player in the world and was also forced to miss the Masters.

ESPN reported that Johnson said one in every three swings hurt him at impact. He expects to be fine in 2-3 days, but did not want to risk further issues by giving it a go at the Masters.

Here's the moment Johnson decided to withdraw:



April 3, 2017 - 11:19am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Lexi Thompson
People had a lot to say about how things unfolded Sunday night at the LPGA's ANA Inspiration, where late leader Lexi Thompson was assessed a four-stroke penalty for something that happened a day earlier after playing 12 holes in the final round.

By now, you've likely heard what a crazy Sunday night it was at the LPGA's first major of the season -- the ANA Inspiration.

In case you missed it, here's a summary...

Lexi Thompson had a two-stroke lead with six holes to play in the final round at Mission Hills. As she walked off the 12th green, the 22-year-old winner of the 2014 ANA was approached by LPGA rules officials.

At that point, it was explained to Thompson that she was going to be assessed a four-stroke penalty for an infraction that occurred on the 17th hole a day earlier in Round 3. Immediately, her two-stroke advantage switched to a two-stroke deficit.

The massive penalty came in two two-stroke parts.

RELATED: Lexi Thompson assessed four-stroke penalty at ANA Inspiration

First, Thompson was given a two-stroke penalty for incorrectly replacing her golf ball after marking it. Video evidence shows that Thompson marked her ball to the side and then replaced the ball in front of the marker.

A TV viewer noticed the infraction and emailed the LPGA, which decided to take action.

The second two-stroke penalty was the result of Thompson signing for an incorrect third-round score. Unaware of any wrongdoing at the time, Thompson signed for a 67. It should have been a 69 with the initial two-stroke penalty. When she didn't apply the penalty -- which again, no one had knowledge of at the time -- and signed for the 67, that's when the second two-stroke penalty came into play.

Here's the LPGA's explanation of the penalty:

Until a recent rule change, Thompson actually could have been disqualified altogether signing for an incorrect score.

Understandably, Thompson became very emotional when the officials broke the bad news to her.

Somehow, she managed to birdie three of her last six holes -- to go along with one bogey -- to force a playoff with So Yeon Ryu. Thompson would lose on the first hole of sudden death.

As one can imagine in this day of social media, the reaction by players and fans alike was immediate.

Here's a sampling:

Here's Thompson's interview after the tournament.

Your heart goes out to Thompson, but did she handle that like a champion, or what?

Reporters on the scene said that even after the crushing defeat, Thompson spent time signing autographs for fans.