Golf Buzz

PGA Tour/Twitter
Rory McIlroy acknowledges the crowd Sunday after his 59-foot birdie putt on the final hole.

The Masters is just three weeks away and Rory McIlroy put on a show Sunday worthy of a green jacket-winning trip around Augusta National.

He shot 65 at Bay Hill, including this outstanding 59-foot birdie putt on the final hole. Onions.


And to cap the day off, McIlroy had an opportunity to thank Arnold Palmer in person for the week, as posted on Twitter.




Before you toss around McIlroy's name as the Masters favorite, there is a caveat. He made six double-bogeys at the Arnold Palmer Invitational this week and posted rollercoaster rounds of 75, 67, 75 and 65. That meant a finish well down in the standings, and not the kind of consistency you'd like to see in one of his final tuneups before the azaleas begin blooming.

So flashes of brilliance coupled with flashes of frustration for the Northern Irishman, who would love nothing more than to add a green jacket to his collection of golf trophies. But he has a lot of company in that regard.



March 18, 2016 - 12:18pm
Melissa.Blanton's picture
Jason Day
Jason Day remains at the top of the Arnold Palmer Invitational leader board.

In case anyone was wondering if Jason Day's putting would continue its lights-out form, he cleared things up rather quickly.

Thursday's round included a one-putt barrage on his last 7 holes.

And Hhe took the overnight lead with his 6-under 66.

Friday? Things like this happened.






The birdie that would take him to 9-under for the tournament.

Also, it's not just the putting game that's strong this week.

His short game is also on fire. Check out this approach shot on the third.


He finished up Friday with this birdie for a round of 65 and the lead at 13-under.



We could watch those all day.

HEAT'S ON: Day takes lead with one-putt streak

Jordan Spieth's bracket
Jordan Spieth via Twitter
Who would be Kansas' opponent in the NCAA final game? Jordan Spieth forgot to pick a winner in one of the national semifinal games.
Like the rest of us, Jordan Spieth has college hoops on the brain today. He even filled out a bracket and shared it on Twitter, with the caption "Bring it on.. #bold.
But oops – the world No. 1 forgot something. He didn't pick a winner of one of the semifinal games.
Maybe it doesn't matter – he clearly is going with Kansas to win the whole thing. But we figure that's really just an oversight – and perhaps one that he might've avoided had caddie Michael Greller been looking over his shoulder like he does in a hilarious new SportsCenter commercial that you can see down below.
Justin Rose with Graeme McDowell
PGA Tour via YouTube
Justin Rose (l) got a handshake from Graeme McDowell after sinking his approach shot for an eagle on the par-4 third hole at Bay Hill.
Justin Rose is English, not Irish, so you wouldn't necessarily think that he'd find a lot of luck on the golf course on St. Patrick's Day. And at the start of his first round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, that seemed to be the case.
Rose opened on the back side at Bay Hill Thursday morning with a par and then a double bogey, but bounced back with a birdie on No. 12, his third hole of the day. After three straight pars, he eagled the par-5 sixth hole by sinking an 18-foot putt. Another bogey on No. 1, his 10th hole, dropped him back to even, and that's where he was as he steppd up onto the tee box on the par-4 third hole.
He crushed his drive 319 yards right into the elbow of the big dogleg left, and had only a wedge for his 112-yard approach shot from the fairway. As you can hear on the video below, the Golf Channel analyst noted that Rose should expect to hit it within seven or eight feet from that distance.
Rose clearly had a slightly higher goal – his shot hit just short and right of the flag, hopped a couple times and curled into the right side of the cup for an eagle. He raised his arms in triumph, and got a congratulatory handshake from Graeme McDowell – a Northern Irishman who must've been wondering why Rose was hogging all the St. Paddy's Day mojo in their group.
Rose, by the way, finished up with a pair of biries and four pars for a 4-under 68 – not bad, considering he was 2 over after his first two holes.
Here's his big eagle:
Jackie Burke
Steve Elkington via Twitter
Jackie Burke still has the sweet swing than won him both the Masters and PGA Championship in 1956.
No doubt about it, we were all a little bummed today at the news that Arnold Palmer won't be able to hit a ceremonial tee shot to kick off the Masters next month. Palmer, 86, is nursing a sore shoulder that won't let him swing a golf club.
But here's a little tidbit that'll cheer you up – a few hours after the news about Arnie broke, Steve Elkington posted a quick video of Jackie Burke smacking a golf ball on the range.
Take a look at the swing in the video below – it's  just gorgeous. Burke is 93 years old, and can still give that thing a ride.
Burke was never as famous as players like Palmer or Jack Nicklaus, but he too is a World Golf Hall of Famer. At 5-foot-7 and maybe 160 pounds, Burke owns the honor of being the oldest living Masters champion – he won his green jacket in 1956, the same year he also won the PGA Championship. That's 60 years ago!
The year after those two majors, Burke teamed up with fellow future Hall of Famer Jimmy Demaret to create Champions Golf Club in Houston. A classic golf facility to this day, Champions hosted the 1967 Ryder Cup and the 1969 U.S. Open. It's also hosted multiple editions of the Tour Championship over the years, and is the site of Ben Hogan's final PGA Tour appearance at the 1971 Houston Champions International.
Burke won a total of 16 PGA Tour titles, and played on the 1951, 1953, 1955, 1957 and 1959 Ryder Cup teams. He served as playing captain in 1957 and non-playing captain in 1973, and was a special assistant to Hal Sutton at the 2004 Ryder Cup. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2000 and received the PGA Tour's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.
He remained a popular teaching professional even after his touring career took off and, 75 years later, he's still sharing his wisdom with amateurs and professionals alike. And, as you can, see, he's still showing that he's got plenty of golf left to play. Go get 'em, Jackie – and big thanks to Elk for sharing the video. It really made our day.