Golf Buzz

March 18, 2017 - 3:27pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Emiliano Grillo
The sixth hole at Bay Hill features a lake along the left side. On Saturday, that body of water claimed two of Emiliano Grillo's golf balls and then he gave it his club too.

Emiliano Grillo was cruising along at Bay Hill on Saturday.

At 7 under, he was just two shots off the lead when he stepped to the tee at the par-5 sixth hole.

That's where the wheels came off.

Grillo, winner of the Open in 2015 and who finished 11th in the 2015-16 FedExCup standings, hit two balls in the water at No. 6 and then tossed his 3-iron in:


Associated Press golf writer Doug Ferguson put it best:



Grillo eventually found the green and two-putted for a quadruple-bogey 9 to drop back to 3 under.


To his credit, Grillo bounced back with a birdie at the par-3 seventh to get to 4 under. 

March 18, 2017 - 2:06pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rickie Fowler
Rickie Fowler found the water at the par-4 11th hole at Bay Hill on Saturday... then nearly holed out for a birdie.

Saturdays on the PGA Tour are known as "Moving Day."

On Saturday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Rickie Fowler -- dressed like the Arnold Palmer umbrella logo -- moved in the right direction.

Sporting duds that could probably be seen in outer space, Fowler fired a 7-under 65 early in Round 3 that moved him 49 spots up the leaderboard at the time of this post.

The coolest shot from the round came at the par-4 11th.

Like Henrik Stenson on Friday afternoon, Fowler found himself playing his third shot from the water left of the green (the ball wasn't submerged).

Unlike Stenson, Fowler hit a highlight-reel shot from the drink, nearly holing out for the most unlikely of birdies.

Instead, he had to settle for a "how did he pull that off" par.

Check it out:

March 18, 2017 - 10:53am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Henrik Stenson
@PGATOUR on Twitter
Interesting things happen when Henrik Stenson plays a golf ball from water (remember Doral in 2009?). On Friday, Stenson played from some water at Bay Hill and ended up barefoot and putting with a wedge.

Golf is a funny game.

For reigning Open Champion Henrik Stenson, the par-4 11th hole at Bay Hill in the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational was hilarious... to everyone but the Swede.

After hitting his approach from the fairway 163 yards out, Stenson found himself in the water hazard just left of the green. Rather than take a penalty, Stenson walked down into the water.

With his first shot from the drink, Stenson -- shocking even himself -- found dry land. It all went downhill from there.

Check it out:

When all was said and done, Stenson walked away with a triple-bogey 7 (and not bad at all putting barefoot with a wedge, we might add).

Stenson would shoot 74 for the day and his 5-over 149 total led to a missed cut.

Stenson hadn't missed the cut since winning the Players Championship last May. 

March 17, 2017 - 9:14am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Arnold Palmer
@APInv on Twitter
In a fitting tribute to Arnold Palmer, the winner of this week's tournament at Bay Hill will receive a red cardigan sweater, the kind Palmer made famous.

Earlier this week, we learned that instead of the traditional blue blazer given to the winner of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, this year the victor will receive a red cardigan sweater -- the kind Arnold Palmer made famous.

On Thursday, sweater was revealed on Twitter.

Is that a beauty, or what?

This week has been all about Arnold Palmer and, rightfully so. It feels like everyone at Bay Hill has just hit the perfect note down to every detail.

It's been a fitting tribute to the man who brought the game we love to the masses.

March 17, 2017 - 8:31am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Cody Gribble
@PGATOUR on Twitter
Cody Gribble encountered an alligator during the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill on Thursday. Instead of running the other way, he nudged it into the water.

What would you do if you encountered an 8-foot alligator while playing a round of golf?

If the answer isn't "run the other way" surely you'd at least make certain to keep a safe distance, right?

Not Cody Gribble, a 26-year-old PGA Tour rookie who won the Sanderson Farms Open last fall.

In the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill on Thursday, Gribble saw -- make that, "couldn't miss" -- the gator sunning itself at the water's edge.

Rather than walk in the opposite direction, a ho-hum Gribble -- hands in pocket and all -- walked right up to the beast and gave it a pat on the tail sending the spooked reptile into the water.

Check it out:

It reminded us of John Peterson at the Zurich Classic a few years back when a gator was giving his playing partner, James Driscoll, a hard time in a bunker:


Alligator guarding golf ball, knocked away with a rake

A post shared by @cjzero on

March 16, 2017 - 8:38am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bryson DeChambeau
USA Today Sports Images
Cell phones on the golf course? They're OK with me as long as you're not talking when it's my turn -- or your turn -- to hit.

Let me start out by admitting I'm not very good at golf. Man, it hurts to admit that.

Try as I might, I'm very rarely able to hold a round together for 18 holes. I might have the occasional round in the mid-to-high 70s when everything comes together, but more likely than not I'm in the 85-90 range.

But, like many of you, I just absolutely, positively, 100 percent love the game. When I finish out on the 18th green, I can't wait to play my next round. It's the best, isn't it?

Well, it's mostly the best. Here's a list of nine things that absolutely drive me bonkers in my playing partners:

9. Stepping in my putting line. Yes, it's a casual round. No, it's not to win a major. But I've got enough problems with my game. I don't need to have you stepping in my line while I'm preparing to strike a rare, fairly makeable birdie putt.

RELATED: Your biggest golf course pet peeves | Golf's unwritten rules | Rules on gimmes

I've tried as nicely as possible to mention this to playing partners many times. The typical response is either, "It's OK, I'm wearing spikeless shoes," or, "Seriously? You're worried about that?"

It's not a worry. It's about being courteous. And even though your shoes are spikeless, I have enough of a problem trying to negotiate a left-to-right breaker without an impression of your foot in the way.

8. Excessive practice swings. This is especially annoying when playing with a high-handicapper. There's nothing worse than watching someone take 10 practice swings only to hit the ball 15 yards. Golf's slow enough. Be ready to hit when it's your turn.

7. Waggles. A couple of them are fine. More than three? Figure it out, dude. Unless you can hit it like famous-waggler Jason Dufner, there's no reason for excessive waggles.

6. Not carrying an extra ball in your pocket. Unless you're a low single-digit handicapper, there's a good chance you're going to lose at least one golf ball over the course of a round.

Rather than making the rest of the group wait as you walk back to your cart and shuffle through your bag, would it be so difficult to simply have another ball at the ready in your pocket so we can keep things moving along?

Even worse, when said no-golf-ball-in-the-pocket-violator doesn't feel like walking back to the cart and asks, "Do you have another ball on you?"

No offense, man, but I really don't want to give you my $4 apiece Pro V1 that you're no doubt going to lose on the next shot. I don't say that to be rude, it's just that those nuggets aren't cheap!

5. Spending more than five minutes looking for a lost ball. Ugh. You ever play with someone who actually enjoys when someone loses a golf ball? Not because their playing partner is going to have to take a penalty stroke, but because it means we're about to start a golf-ball hunting expedition?

It's an excuse to pull out the ball hawker's 15th club -- the golf-ball retriever. You know what I'm talking about? That thing that extends about 15 feet so you can pull balls out of the water, out of tight spots in the woods and rough?

Drives me crazy. Don't get me wrong -- I'm happy to help on a ball search... for the allowable five minutes. And I'm also appreciative of my playing partners who help search for my ball. And if you find golf balls during that five-minute search, way to go! But, after five-minutes, for the sake of my sanity and the sanity of the golfers playing behind us, it's time to take a drop and move on.

4. People who don't follow their ball flight and then ask, "where did my ball go?" OK. Just to be clear here -- I'm not talking about when you're teeing off into the sun and become temporarily blinded as soon as you look up to see where your shot went.

I'm talking about the player who isn't nearly as good as he thinks he is and -- displeased with the contact he's just made -- drops his head in disgust and doesn't follow his ball... and then expects his playing companions to tell him where it went and help him find it. That's what caddies are for. I'm not your caddie. Sure, I like to keep an eye on where my playing partner's golf balls go so I can help them find it and keep things moving along. But, when you're acting like a lunatic, don't be surprised if your totally unnecessary, embarrassing actions take my attention away from your shot.

Don't like the shot? Fine. Whine about it after you've followed where it landed.

3. People who mysteriously forget how to do simple math. No matter how bad you are at golf, chances are you're rarely going to be tallying a score over "10" right? At that point, you've probably picked up and taken the dreaded "X" anyway.

What drives me crazier than a plugged lie in the lip of a steep bunker is when you're the group's scorer and, upon completion of a hole, you ask the simple question, "What was the damage, guys?"

Inevitably, there's always one person -- let's call him "Joe" -- who either stands there in the middle of the green (holding up the group behind), points a finger out zig-zagging it across the fairway in front of him trying to replay and count up each stroke he took. Or, even worse, when Joe has the worst case of short-term memory loss you've ever seen. You know what I'm talking about here?

You: "What did you get there, Joe?" (knowing you saw at least six shots BEFORE he reached the green)

Joe: "Let me think... Yup. I had a five there."

I've never understood cheating one's self on the golf course. Weird.

2. People who spit on the green or ash out their cigarettes/cigars on the green. Disgusting. Do you think I want to putt my golf ball through a puddle of your expectorate? Nobody playing after you wants to do that either. Same goes for ash or sunflower seeds.

1. Cell phones when I'm hitting a shot or while you're supposed to be hitting your shot. I get it. We live in a world that has an incredible dependency on smartphones. Maybe you're playing hooky from work and need to be able to respond quickly to an email or text. It's annoying, but hey, I get it.

What I don't get, however, is when you're showing such little courtesy to me and your other playing companions that you can't even halt your conversation while we're trying to hit our shots. Newsflash: We're their to enjoy a round of golf. We didn't just drop 80 bucks to listen to you on your phone all afternoon. If it's all that important, you probably shouldn't be on the golf course in the first place.

And when it's your turn to hit, put the damn thing down! Why do the rest of us have to wait for you to wrap up the conversation and hit before we can proceed to the next green or tee.

I had this happen in a course-opening event last year. One person in the foursome was from the PR agency running the event -- you know, the kind of person you'd expect to be the most respectful, accommodating and "let's make this a great day" guy in the group.

He did not put the phone down ALL. DAY. It was miserable for the other three guys in the group. We never said anything. So, probably our fault that it lasted as long as it did. I guess we were thinking commonsense had to take over eventually. It never did.

I occasionally see this same guy on the local news promoting events in the area. Whenever I see his face, I'm immediately reminded of the least enjoyable round of golf I've ever played.