Golf Buzz

December 4, 2016 - 2:16pm
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T.J. Auclair
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Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods hit two shots on his front nine Sunday in the final round of the Hero World Challenge that he might not hit again in competition all of next year.

Not all pars are created equal.

Most of the time with PGA Tour players, pars are made in the "routine" way. For instance, on a par 3: Tee shot on green, two putts, move along to the next hole.

That wasn't the case for Tiger Woods on his second hole Sunday in the final round of the Hero World Challenge. After getting a little unlucky with a bounce on his tee shot, Woods got up to the green to find his ball nestled between the fringe cut and the rough.

How do you play that shot?

If you're Tiger, just flip your putter sideways and hit it with the toe:



Not a bad recovery. And well done to hole the par putt.

At the par-5 sixth hole, however, Woods took a double-bogey 7 that dropped him to 3 over for the day (he bogeyed No. 5). The adventure on No. 6 included a chip shot from on the adjacent shared green with No. 13 that Woods chunked:



The next shot cozied up to 6 feet, but Tiger missed the putt and walked off with double -- his fourth double bogey of the week.

December 4, 2016 - 1:03pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Bubba Watson
@PGATOUR on Twitter
We're not sure if he was disgusted with the putt and thought it was going to come up short, or confident that it was going to find the bottom of the cup. Either way, great highlight from Bubba Watson.

Bubba Watson is the defending champion at this week's Hero World Challenge.

Though he's not going to successfully defend his title, he did provide a fantastic highlight on the par-5 third hole Sunday.

Faced with a roughly 25-foot birdie putt, Watson hit the putt and then started walking the ball right to and into the hole.

Check it out:



I'm not sure what to make of this. Was Watson disgusted with the stroke and figuring he missed? Or, was he so confident that it was going in, he just figured he'd hurry up, pick it out of the hole and move on?

Either way, boss move.

December 3, 2016 - 5:08pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Tiger Woods
USA Today Sports Images
How did Tiger Woods follow up Friday's impressive 7-under 65? Find out here how his entire third round of the Hero World Challenge played out along with highlights and social media reaction.

Remember how spectacular Tiger Woods was in the early 2000s? Well, that's how he looked when he began the third round of the Hero World Challenge on Saturday at Albany in the Bahamas.

But he just couldn't keep the momentum for all 18 holes.

When the final score was added up after a double bogey due to a water-ball second shot on No. 18, Woods finished with a 2-under 70. That got him to 8-under 208 for the tournament and nine strokes behind leader Hideki Matsuyama when his round ended.

Woods birdied his first three holes of the day, got up and down for a brilliant par at the fourth and then holed out a ridiculous bunker shot at the par-3 fifth hole -- four birdies in five holes.

RELATED: Hero World Challenge leaderboard | Matsuyama's eagle hole out | Tiger's bunker blast

On the sixth hole, Woods made his first bogey of the day, but backed it up right away with a birdie at the seventh. The bogey was Tiger's first over-par score in 24 holes, going all the way back to his double-bogey on No. 18 on Thursday to finish with a 1-over 73.

Woods would birdie the par-5 11th hole, but was slowed with back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 12 and 13 to fall back to 3 under for the day and 9 under for the tournament.

At the 17th hole, Woods holed a roughly 20-foot putt for his seventh and final birdie of the day. Unfortunately, he gave it right back when he ran into trouble at the last. A tee shot sailed right into a waste area. With a sketchy lie, Woods was short and left of the green and wound up in the water. With his drop, Woods failed to get up and down and took double bogey. It was a disappointing end to what had been a mostly promising round.

That said, the week has gone better than anyone could have reasonably expected thus far -- no injury issues and a game that's looked sharp with occasional flashes of brilliance. 

Here are some of the highlights from Tiger's third round:

Just like in Round 2, Woods pounded his opening tee shot down the middle of the fairway on Saturday and stuffed a wedge approach to set up a kick-in birdie to quickly move to 7 under:

Woods also knocked it close with his tee shot on the par-3 second hole to make it two birdies in two holes:

Woods hit a fabulous pitch shot at the par-5 third hole to set up a tap-in for his third birdie of the day:

Woods holed out on No. 5 for birdie to get to 10 under and within two shots of the lead at the time:

Woods erased his bogey at the par-5 sixth hole with this up and down from a bunker for birdie on No. 7:

Here's a look at some of the reaction on Twitter to Tiger's third round.



December 3, 2016 - 3:35pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Hideki Matsuyama
@PGATOUR on Twitter
Hideki Matsuyama has been the hottest player in the world lately. He isn't showing any signs of cooling off in the Bahamas with shots like this one for eagle.

Japan's Hideki Matsuyama has been on fire globally, lately.

Since the Tour Championship, Matsuyama has won three times -- the Japan Open, WGC-HSBC Champions and the Taiheiyo Masters. The only tournament he didn't win since the Tour Championship was the CIMB Classic... where he finished second.

In the Bahamas this week at the Hero World Challenge, Matsuyama is continuing his roll. This hole-out for eagle on the par-4 seventh hole helped Matsuyama moved to 17 under and four shots clear of Dustin Johnson.

How about a little more emotion, Hideki! 

December 3, 2016 - 2:29pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Tiger Woods
@PGATOUR on Twitter
Tiger Woods is off to a red-hot start in the third round of the Hero World Challenge. He birdied each of his first three holes before holing out from a bunker at No. 5 for his fourth birdie of the day.

Buckle up, folks.

We've been waiting a long, long time for Tiger Woods to make his return to the game. So far, he isn't disappointing. In fact, he's straight up looking like early-2000s Tiger Woods at Albany in the third round of the Hero World Challenge today.

RELATED: Hero World Challenge leaderboard | How Tiger fared on Friday

After birdies at each of the first three holes, Woods made a tremendous up-and-down par save at No. 4 and then... BOOM! Holed out this bunker shot at No. 5 to make it four birdies in five holes and move to within two shots of the lead:



Is there anything more fun to watch than Tiger Woods when he's on?

December 3, 2016 - 11:31am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Rory McIlroy
It was a beautiful reaction from a 9-year-old boy when he came face-to-face with his hero, Rory McIlroy, on a television show in Ireland on Friday night.

He's genuine and honest in interviews. He's a fabulous golfer, already sporting four major victories at age 27. And, perhaps his greatest attribute, he's GREAT to kids.

That last part was on display back in Ireland on Friday night.

During a program called the "Late Late Toy Show on RTE," a 9-year-old boy named Charlie Smyth was playing McIlroy's videogame while rattling off all kinds of statistics and accomplishments of his hero -- McIlroy -- to show host Ryan Tubridy.

Smyth, while talking about all the money McIlroy has made recently -- including the $10 million prize for winning the PGA Tour's FedExCup -- joked to Tubridy that maybe McIlroy could give the boy a loan.

Tubridy said, "Well why don't you ask him?"

That's when McIlroy strolled out from behind a curtain to the absolute delight of Smyth who hardly knew what to do as he looked at his idol walking toward him.

McIlroy didn't come empty handed. He brought Smyth signed copies of his game for both Xbox and PlayStation -- he wasn't sure which console the young lad had -- brought tickets for Smyth and his family to attend next year's Irish Open, where McIlroy will be the defending champion, and offered up some fantastic words of encouragement.

Here's how it all played out.

Does it get any better than that?

That went a lot better for McIlroy than the last time he encountered a 9-year-old...