Golf Buzz

March 19, 2017 - 1:45pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Zach Johnson
@PGATOUR on Twitter
Just when it looked like a bunker shot by Zach Johnson was going to zoom past the hole, it hit the ball of Johnson's playing partner and redirected its path right into the hole for a birdie.

Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.

Zach Johnson, a two-time major winner, is no doubt good (better than most, in fact).

But on Bay Hill's 17th hole in the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday, Johnson was extremely lucky.

Plugged in a greenside bunker after his tee shot at the par 3, Johnson blasted out. The ball had some serious pace and looked as though it would run well past the hole.

Instead, it hit the ball of Johnson's playing partner, Byeong Hun An, took a sharp left and dropped directly into the center of the cup for an unlikely birdie:

Johnson will take it.

As cool as that was, nothing comes close to touching the bank-shot ace Louis Oosthuizen made in the final round of the Masters a year ago:

I mean, come on.

March 18, 2017 - 6:05pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Charley Hoffman
@PGATOUR on Twitter
In a situation where he happily would have taken a par following a wayward tee shot, Charley Hoffman instead made an improbable birdie on the 18th hole at Bay Hill on Saturday to grab a share of the 54-hole lead.

Charley Hoffman was in trouble after his tee shot on Bay Hill's par-4 18th hole was pulled left.

Fighting some tree trouble, Hoffman pulled off an excellent punch shot that ended up just on the front edge of the green.

Even from there, however, a two-putt was a tall order.

Not for Hoffman though. Forget all that. He went ahead and knocked down the 71-footer for birdie to snag a share of the 54-hole lead at 11 under with Kevin Kisner.

Here it is:

Dinner sure is going to taste better tonight for Hoffman. That birdie at 18 made it three in a row to end the day. 

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.