Golf Buzz

June 8, 2016 - 9:21am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
PGA of America Archive
Won Jun Lee, a 17-year-old from South Korea, missed out on a spot in next week's U.S. Open at Oakmont after a rules violation in his sectional qualifier.

On Tuesday, we told you the story of amateur golfer Chris Crawford, who realized a dream when he holed a 40-foot birdie putt on his final hole of a 36-hole sectional qualifier to secure a spot in next week's U.S. Open at Oakmont.

Today, we bring you the nightmarish story of Won Jun Lee, a 17-year-old from South Korea, who missed out on a spot at Oakmont in the most crushing way imaginable -- not understanding one of the many tedious rules of golf.

Garry Smits from reports:

Lee, seventh in the World Junior Rankings, received a two-stroke penalty on the 11th hole during the second round after using a club to tamp down a pitch mark that his ball had left when landing behind the green.

According to golf rule 13-2, players are not allowed to repair such marks off the green when they might interfere with their swing.

Playing partner Tim Wilkinson called for an official at that point because he said Lee had already skirted the rule several times in the first round and another time at the second hole in the second round.

Instead of a par, the two-stroke penalty gave Lee a double-bogey six and a score of 68 instead of 66. At 5-under 139 for two rounds, Lee finished one-shot out of a five-for-two spots playoff to get into the U.S. Open.

More from Smits:

Without the penalty, Lee would have tied Wilkinson for second at 7-under and the five players who finished 6-under would have gone to a playoff for one spot instead of two.

“I had to say something ... it’s unfortunate because he’s a very, very good player,” said Wilkinson, a PGA Tour member. “I wanted him to realize that you’ve got to respect the game. And it’s about the rest of the field, too.”

Wilkinson said Lee initially denied tapping down the pitch mark.

“I said, ‘you can’t do that ... you can’t tap down pitch marks behind the ball,’” Wilkinson said. “He said, ‘no I didn’t,’ and I said, ‘yes you did ... I just watched you do it.’ Sorry, that was an admission of guilt to me.”

Yikes. Smits also reported that Lee left the course in tears and was unavailable for comment.  

June 7, 2016 - 6:05pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Tiger Woods
USA Today Sports Images
Tiger Woods announced on his website Tuesday that he would not be ready to return to golf for next week's U.S. Open.

Via his website,, Tiger Woods announced on Tuesday that he will miss both next week's U.S. Open at Oakmont, as well as the PGA Tour event that he hosts, Quicken Loans National at Congressional.

RELATED: What are Tiger Woods's chances of making 2016 Ryder Cup USA team?

Woods wrote in the post:

"While I continue to work hard on getting healthy, I am not physically ready to play in this year's U.S. Open and the Quicken Loans National. I am making progress, but I'm not yet ready for tournament competition.

"I want to thank everyone for their continued support. The positive texts, emails and calls I have received have been incredible. I want to wish Mike Davis, Diana Murphy, the USGA, the players and everyone at Oakmont a very successful week.

"I will be hosting and attending my foundation's tournament, the Quicken Loans National, at Congressional. It's the 10th year of our tournament, and we continue to support the community, the military and the programs of the Tiger Woods Foundation."

Woods has not played on the PGA Tour since a T10 last August in the Wyndham Championship.

This will be the third time in six years that Woods misses the U.S. Open. When the national championship was last played at Oakmont -- in 2007 -- Woods tied for second. 

Check out this Vine of a man uncorking a bottle of champagne with a pitch shot.

“Honey can you open this champagne bottle for me?”

“Sure let me grab my sand wedge.”

It’s not exactly the first tool that comes to mind. But when a Vine surfaced this week showing a man uncorking a bottle of champagne via pitch shot, the bar was raised for golfers worldwide.

The account, @holein1trickshots, boasts several very impressive tricks that have created a buzz on Vine. But is it too good to be true?

At this point in 2016, most of us have learned to not believe everything we see on the internet. With the improvements and accessibility of video editing software, internet hoaxes have become both more common and more believable.

So you be the judge, is this video real or fake?

And does it matter? This is either an incredible display of short game control or of video editing.


If the video is real, I have a couple questions: How many attempts did this take? How did he convince her to participate in this? And finally, how are neither of them wildly celebrating after? 

June 7, 2016 - 12:09pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Chris Crawford
USGA Twitter
With a U.S. Open spot riding on a 40-foot birdie putt at the 36th hole of the day, amateur Chris Crawford created a memory for himself that he'll never forget.

If you've been playing golf most of your life, chances are you've had those moments on the practice green, with the sun setting, imagining you were stroking a putt to win a major.

With the sun setting on the 18th green Canoe Brook's North Course in Summit, N.J., amateur Chris Crawford was faced with a 40-footer for birdie and a spot in next week's U.S. Open at Oakmont.

Crawford, who recently finished his senior season at Drexel, had just bogeyed the 17th hole after missing a 3-foot putt for par.

Perhaps a little spooked by that missed putt, Crawford hooked his tee shot on the par-5 18th hole and was forced to play his second shot down the adjacent 13th fairway. A third shot, from 185 yards, set up the 40 footer on his 36th hole of the day -- with everything riding on it.

Here's what Crawford went ahead and did (h/t

No matter what happens for Crawford next week at Oakmont, he'll never forget how he punched his ticket into the 116th U.S. Open. 

June 7, 2016 - 11:18am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Austin Swanger
Considering the rivalry between the University of Florida and the University of Georgia, it should come as no surprise that the Peach State is countering this week with a mammoth gator video of its own.

Remember last week when video emerged of that alligator/dinosaur from a golf course in Florida?

Well, considering the rivalry between the University of Florida and the University of Georgia, it should come as no surprise that the Peach State is countering this week with a mammoth gator video of its own.

In a video posted by Austin Swanger (h/t UPI), tournament coordinator at The Club at Savannah Harbor, you can see this monster named "Chester" hanging out near the cart path behind the first green:


"Since everyone seems to be fascinated with the big gator in Florida that has gone viral, I present to you our big boy here in Savannah!" he wrote.

If we're being fair, the Florida gator is larger than this one. But still, I'd prefer not to encounter either during my casual round of golf.

Swanger also had these videos on his Facebook page:


Once again... No thank you. 

June 7, 2016 - 9:39am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Ian Poulter
On Monday, Ian Poulter was named a vice captain for the European Ryder Cup team. Here we take a look at some of Poulter's top Ryder Cup moments as a player.

The news broke last week that Ian Poulter would be sidelined for the next four months due to a foot injury.

You never want to see anyone hurt. But with the news also came the realization/relief for Ryder Cup USA hopefuls that Poulter will not be participating in the 2016 matches at Hazeltine in September.

As a competitor, anyway.

On Monday, Ryder Cup Europe Captain Darren Clarke appointed Poulter as one of his vice captains -- a brilliant move by Clarke since Poulter has established himself as Europe's fiercest Ryder Cup competitor since Seve Ballesteros.

When it comes to Poulter and the Ryder Cup, outrageous things tend to happen. He plays like a man possessed in the bienniel matches. Players admit to trying to peak at the majors. Poulter always seems to peak at the Ryder Cup. The cup seems bigger for him than anyone else in the competition. Over the last several years of European dominance, Poulter has been right at the top of the list when you try to identify the players that have been the biggest thorn in the U.S. side.

Poulter has been a member of five European Ryder Cup teams. Only once in that stretch -- 2008 -- has he been on the losing end. His overall record is a remarkable 12-4-2 and his .72 winning percentage is tops amongst all Europeans with at least three Ryder Cup appearances.

Perhaps most amazing when it comes to the record is the fact that Poulter is 4-0-1 in singles. How nice it must be for a captain to know he is virtually assured a point when Poulter goes out on the final day.

Here are five of our favorite Poulter moments in the Ryder Cup:

Poulter sets the tone at 2012 matches. In the first match off of the morning foursomes on the second day of the 2012 matches at Medinah with Justin Rose, Poulter riled up the masses on the first tee, encouraging them to whoop it up as he played his tee shot. It was part rock concert, part golf match. A bold move at an away game. Poulter and Rose would win the match, 1 up:


Ian Poulter chips in at No. 15 in Day 2 Fourballs at the 2014 Ryder Cup. Poulter and Rory McIlroy would halve the match against Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler.


Poulter chips in for eagle on 11th hole at Celtic Manor in 2010 on his way to a dominating 5&4 victory over Matt Kuchar in singles:


Poulter birdies last five holes for win in 2012 Saturday Fourballs match with McIlroy over Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson. Just when it was looking like the 2012 Ryder Cup would be a rare U.S. romp, Poulter gave his European teammates a small glimmer of hope going into Sunday's singles, salvaging a crucial full point in the anchor match. That knocked the European deficit to 10-6 heading into the final day. A monster lead for the U.S., no doubt, but not insurmountable. The Americans proved that deficit could be overcome in 1999 when they rallied from the same four-point margin to win in Brookline, Mass. (This video shows Poulter's last three birdies beginning at the 8:02 mark):


Poulter was a perfect 4-0 at the 2012 matches.

And, finally, the facial expressions -- many of which you'll see in this Poulter Ryder Cup profile: