Golf Buzz

August 22, 2012 - 12:51pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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David Lynn at the PGA Championship
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David Lynn was a final-round star at Kiawah Island, but he might not get to show his stuff at Medinah.

Ever made a snap decision that turned out to have a major impact on your life? David Lynn did, and it might cost him a potentially once-in-a-lifetime spot on the European Ryder Cup team

Lynn, you might remember, is the unheralded Englishman who shocked the world by finishing second to Rory McIlroy in the PGA Championship 10 days ago despite playing in only the second major of his life and his first in America. As he walked off the final green, a PGA Tour official told him that his top-10 finish had earned him a spot in last week’s Wyndham Championship in North Carolina if he wanted it. But Lynn – who owns only one European Tour victory at age 38 – had planned all along to return to England, declined and didn’t give it much thought at the time.

As it turns out, a finish of 46th or better at the Wyndham, combined with the bounty of Ryder Cup points he earned at Kiawah Island, would have kept him solidly in the running for a spot on the European team. The last chance to make the team is this week’s Johnnie Walker Championship in Scotland and, by skipping the Wyndham, it turns out, Lynn would have had to win in Scotland to eke onto the squad.

But then came the next plot twist. On Monday, Peter Hanson of Sweden – who has already earned a spot on the team – withdrew from the Johnnie Walker.

The strength of the field of every tournament – and therefore the world ranking points available – is based on the ranking of the players in the field. When Hanson dropped out and was replaced by a lower-ranked alternate, that recduced the points on offer by just enough so that if Lynn wins, he will come up 0.68 points short of earning that final automatic spot.

Less than one measly, miserable little world ranking point could mean the difference between making his Ryder Cup debut and watching on TV like the rest of the world.

Now, obviously, Lynn would still be eligible for one of Captain Jose Maria Olazabal’s two captain’s picks, but even Lynn admits that seems unlikely. The widespread speculation is that Ian Poulter already has one of those picks locked up, and that big-hitting Nicolas Colsaerts is the leading candidate for the other.

The best-case scenario for Lynn right now, it seems, is for him to play extremely well this week and have Colsaerts finish either first or second – that would boost Colsaerts into the 10th spot, bumping out the current No. 10, Martin Kaymer. Kaymer hasn’t been playing well this year as he adapts to a swing change, and Olazabal could pick Lynn based on his current good form.

"In hindsight I made a mistake -- I should have played last week," Lynn said at the Johnnie Walker. "I said I was going home. I was prepared for being out there for one week, not two, and I'm a bit like that when I get something in my head."

For complete coverage of the 2012 Ryder Cup, click here.

 

August 22, 2012 - 9:55am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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En-Joie
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En-Joie Golf Course in Endicott, N.Y., played host to last week's Dick's Sporting Goods Open on the Champions Tour.

 

The PGA Tour is in New York this week for the first leg of the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedExCup -- The Barclays at Bethpage Black. As you know, Bethpage Black is one of the most well-known public golf courses in the world and has played host to the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Opens. 
 
Since we love courses that are open to everyone, we asked PGA.com Facebook Nation this week to tell us: What are the best public courses to play in the New York City area?
 
Check out the answers you submitted and don't forget to click on the course's name so you can leave a review for others to see.
 
August 21, 2012 - 1:16am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Tiger Woods
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Tiger Woods is one property lighter after selling a condo in California.

Tiger Woods might still be the world’s best-paid golfer, but even he isn’t immune to the pain that the real estate market can dish out.

According to The Los Angeles Times, Woods landed in the rough with his recent sale of a condo in Corona del Mar, Calif., he bought before the housing downturn. Woods bought the place in 2004 for $3 million, but unloaded it for $2,213,875.

The townhouse-style unit contains about 2,000 square feet and boasts an open living room on its second story to take advantage of views of Santa Catalina Island, the paper said. The condo had three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a loft and a balcony.

There was no indication of how much time Woods spent in the unit. His primary residence these days is a mansion on Jupiter Island, Fla., that he bought with a $54.5 million mortgage in 2010.

August 20, 2012 - 10:14am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Davis Love III, 2012 Ryder Cup
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U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III will finalize his team with four captain's picks on Sept. 4. If you were Love, who would you pick?

 

At the conclusion of the 94th PGA Championship at Kiawah Island's Ocean Course, the eight automatic spots for the U.S. Ryder Cup team was solidified (read the full story here), as the two-year point-getting process came to a close. 
 
Here's a look at the top 8, in order:
 
1. Tiger Woods (seventh appearance)
2. Bubba Watson (second appearance)
3. Jason Dufner (debut)
4. Keegan Bradley (debut)
5. Webb Simpson (debut)
6. Zach Johnson (third appearance)
7. Matt Kuchar (second appearance)
8. Phil Mickelson (U.S.-record ninth appearance)
 
U.S. Captain Davis Love III has a big decision to make on Sept. 4 -- actually, make that four big decisions. On that day, Love will announce his four captain's picks to fill out the 12-man roster that will represent the U.S. against Europe at the matches, Sept. 28-30, at Medinah Country Club, just outside Chicago.
 
If you were Love, who would you choose to round out the team?
 
Let's take a look at Nos. 9-20 when points closed:
 
9. Hunter Mahan
10. Steve Stricker
11. Jim Furyk
12. Rickie Fowler
13. Brandt Snedeker
14. Bo Van Pelt
15. Dustin Johnson
16. Robert Garrigus
17. Bill Haas
18. Ben Curtis
19. Scott Piercy
20. Kyle Stanley
 
Nine of the players on that list have won at least once in 2012: Mahan (twice); Stricker; Fowler; Snedeker; Johnson; Haas; Curtis; Piercy; and Stanley.
 
With Mahan being a two-time champ in 2012, it's hard to believe he wasn't able to qualify on points. Stricker is a member of six U.S. teams in international competition (two Ryder Cups and four Presidents Cups) and is a favorite partner of Woods. Furyk is also a favorite teammate of Woods. While Furyk has yet to win in 2012, he's been close several times.
 
You'd think all three of those players have a good chance of being picked. 
 
That leaves one more spot -- at least in my mind. Who would Love take with that final pick? Does he go with the young Fowler, who was sensational down the stretch at Celtic Manor in 2010? Is it Snedeker -- a fellow Sea Island, Ga., resident? Van Pelt, a top-10 machine in 2012? Johnson, who probably would have qualified on points were it not for injuries and forced time off? 
 
Does Love look even further down the list? David Toms at No. 24? Nick Watney at No. 30? Shoot... Fred Couples at No. 92?
 
Who knows?
 
So who would you pick? Let us know in the comments section.
August 20, 2012 - 9:29am
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PGA of America
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Junior Ryder Cup

 

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- An elite group of junior golfers representing seven states will host their European counterparts in the 8th Junior Ryder Cup, Sept. 24-25, at Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club.
 
The 2012 U.S. Team includes reigning Junior PGA Champion Robby Shelton of Wilmer, Ala., who captured boys' title in the 37th Junior PGA Championship presented by Under Armour and Heritage Food Service Group, Aug. 3, at Sycamore Hills Golf Club in Fort Wayne, Ind.
 
Cameron Champ of Sacramento, Calif., and Samantha Wagner of Windermere, Fla., the respective runners-up in the boys' and girls' divisions of the 2012 Junior PGA Championship, also earned automatic spots.
 
The United States Team, comprised of six boys and six girls who are U.S. citizens and graduating high school in 2013, or younger, will face a European squad of junior golfers in the biennial competition.
 
For more information, click here.
August 20, 2012 - 2:22am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Golf ball in hole

One hole-in-one just isn’t enough for some people.

Twice in the last two weeks – that we know of – a golfer has carded not one but two aces in a single day.

First up was 67-year-old Rich Akin of Houston, who made both of his during a Men's Golf Association event at the Quail Valley Golf Course in the suburb of Missouri City. Akin plays to an 8-handicap, but even so, the odds of making two aces in the same round, according to the National Hole-In-One Registry, are 67 million to 1.

Making his two aces even more special is the fact that Akin used the same ball on both shots. He saved the ball after his first one, according to The Houston Chronicle, but then lost his replacement ball in a water hazard, so he put the original back in play. That, it turned out, was a pretty good move.

The aces were the fifth and sixth of Akin’s life and they all have come at Quail Valley.

But if he was feeling special, he quickly got some company when Jim McCulley carded two aces in the span of five holes in Edmonton, Canada, last week.

Playing in the annual Irish Open at Gull Lake Golf Course in Rimbey, Alberta, McCulley got his first hole-in-one on an uphill par-3 hole that The Edmonton Journal describes as protected by a huge sod wall bunker known as “Big Daddy.” Soon thereafter came ace No. 2, when McCulley knocked his shot onto the green of another par 3, and watched his ball spin eight feet to the left and duck into the hole.

Because his first one came on an uphill hole, McCulley didn’t see it go in. But he and several other people saw the second one all the way. He now has four aces for his career.

McCulley, like Akin, is an avid golfer – he plays to a 2.9 handicap – and has even more of a golf connection. He's the northern Alberta rep for Callaway Golf.

He’s also the latest in a string of golfers to record amazing aces in the Edmonton area this summer -- back-to-back groups got holes-in-one (and the second one was by an 8-year-old) at the Edmonton Petroleum Club, and two golfers in the same group made holes-in-one back-to-back at Blackhawk Golf Club.