How To Catch A Cheat!

July 30th, 2015

Ever had an opponent who always somehow manages to magically find the fairway even though you’re sure if hit the rough? Now, I’m not saying that there are a lot of frauds out there, but we’ve all heard stories of the worst foursome ever at the clubhouse bar. Since many of you will be out on the green this summer, here’s a few things to look out for just in case you doubt another player’s game:

 

  • Moving the coin
  • Watch how the cheat marks the position of the ball on the green.

    Invariably they will use a big coin, like a 50p or inch-diameter foreign currency, carefully sliding the coin as far as possible under the ball. When replaced, the distance between ball and coin will be at least an inch nearer the hole or slightly to the side to avoid a spike mark or blemish on the green.

    Occasionally they will surreptitiously toss another coin a few inches, or even feet, nearer the hole (depending on the length of putt they face) and ignore the original marker to give themselves a closer putt.

    Watch, too when a marker in an opponent’s putting line goes down nearer the hole when measured a putter head’s length – the angle changes when replaced and the cheat steals an inch or two.

     

  • Taking a free drop
  • Always remember the immortal words of R&A Rules chief David Rickman: “a drop must be taken at the nearest point of relief, not the nicest point of relief.”

    Staked trees allow a free drop within one club length of the ‘nearest’ point of relief from the obstruction but invariably, the cheat wants full advantage from the situation.

    For example a drive off the tee is hooked into a plantation of staked young trees on the left of the fairway and finishes within inches of the right-hand side of a staked sappling. The cheat would automatically deem the clear, fairway side to be the dropping area on the right of the tree. However, chances are that left of the tree is the nearest point from which a full swing and unimpared stance can be taken – then one club length from there, no nearer the hole.

    Watch too, that the ball is dropped from shoulder height – not knee level to affect a better lie.

     

  • Improving your lie
  • Look out for the casual nudge of the ball with the toe cap in the rough – known in the trade as the ‘leather wedge’. Another trick is to casually press down the grass behind the ball with sole of the club or the foot, for a cleaner impact.

     

  • Point of entry
  • A ball played into a water hazard is a one stroke penalty but the next shot must be played keeping the point of entry between the hole and the point from which the next shot is to be played.

    The cheat will tend to steal a few yards to the right or left to allow play over the narrowest stretch of water possible – if at all!

     

  • Tapping down spike marks
  • Only pitch marks and old holes can be repaired or loose impediments removed on a green. The cheat will nonchalantly declare spike marks on the line of a putt fair game and if challenged will look incredulous but never guilty.

     

  • Changing a score
  • Cheats rarely have good memories – especially when it comes to scoring. They will claim a four when taking five or six shots or dismiss an air shot as a practice swing.

    Suspects should be watched carefully when you know they have miscounted. If they persist, simply refuse to sign their card.

     

     

    Check out this video from About.com for info on how to spot a cheat!

    Have you had to deal with cheaters, or maybe you’ve “stretched the rules” and want to come clean about your own cheats? Heck, maybe you want to brag about your fail-safe cheatin’ techniques! I’m all ears & want to hear ‘em in the comments below….

    ~Scratch

    Jason Day Birdies Final 3 Holes To Win The RBC Canadian Open

    July 27th, 2015

    Sniff’s Weekly Roundup

    I’ve collected the top news and trending topics in the golf world so you can catch up on what you need to know! I’ve included some of the top stories as well as some of the most interesting stories and links from all around the internet! Enjoy! -Sniff

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    Here’s What’s Happened:

    1. Jason Day wins Canadian Open with birdies on the final three holes. Day, who was coming off a fourth place finish at The British Open on Monday, made headlines last month as well after playing through a bout of vertigo at The U.S. Open. Bubba Watson finished one stroke behind Day, while Canadian David Hearn was two strokes away from becoming the first Canadian winner in over sixty years.

    2. Zach Johnson comes from behind to win The British Open. With The Open’s final round finishing up on Monday, we were left in suspense waiting to find out who the winner would be. Amateur golfer Paul Dunne was leading heading into Monday’s round, but ended up shooting a 78 in the final round, and finished tied for 30. Johnson met and defeated Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman in a four-hole playoff to earn his 12th PGA Tour Victory.

    3. Rebecca Artis overcomes rainy conditions to win Ladies Scottish Open. The Australian shot 6-under-66 on Sunday to earn a two-stroke victory over Suzann Pettersen. Lydia Ko, the second-ranked woman in the world, finished in fourth place. Ko was pleased with her performance stating she feels ready for the Women’s British Open which begins Thursday.

    4. Danny Willett wins his third European Tour title with European Masters victory. Coming off a sixth place finish at The Open last week, Willett made five birdies and zero bogeys in his final round of this weekend’s tournament. Matthew Fitzpatrick finished one shot behind Willett, while Sergio Garcia finished seventh.

    Links I Love:

     

    • A deli in Zach Johnson’s hometown of Des Moines, Iowa saw a spike in sales in a sandwich named the Zach Johnson after his British Open win. See the story at For The Win.

    • Robert Allenby fired his caddy Thursday after just nine holes of play. He then let a fan finish the day as his caddy. It’s now coming out that the caddy is calling Allenby a liar after the golfer claimed he was kidnapped in Hawaii earlier this year. It’s all so weird…

      What to Watch For:

    • The Quicken Loans National begins Thursday from Robert Trent Jones Golf Course in Gainesville, Virginia.

     

    You CANNOT Miss These Pics Of The New Olympic Golf Course!

    July 23rd, 2015

    Whether or not you think that adding golf to the Olympics is a good idea, it’s happening! When the Olympics kick off in Rio next year, it will mark the first time in 112 years that golf has featured in the world athletic competition. We still don’t know who will be competing (it’ll be 60 men and 60 women with no more than four players per nation & no more than two once past the top 15 in world rankings) and we haven’t heard anything about the course since the beginning of this year. Back in January, course designer Gil Hanse announced that construction on the course had finally finished after numerous setbacks. The clubhouse, however, won’t be finished until November. Test runs of the course will start in late 2015 or early 2016.  Here at the Rock, we’ve been waiting to see just what the course would look like, and NBC has delivered! NBC Sports posted photos of the course outside Rio. Take a look for yourself!

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    The 12th hole near the green, with the Olympic Village in the background.

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    “The old tree,” which is around 100 years old and on the 13th hole.

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    The 16th Green.

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    The 17th Green.

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    The Clubhouse Under Construction.

     

     

    Spieth, Dunne Are Top Stories At The Open

    July 20th, 2015

    Sniff’s Weekly Roundup

    I’ve collected the top news and trending topics in the golf world so you can catch up on what you need to know! I’ve included some of the top stories as well as some of the most interesting stories and links from all around the internet! Enjoy! -Sniff

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    Here’s What’s Happened:

    1. Weather disasters at British Open force a Monday finish for the second time in tournament history. Heavy winds and rain storms plagued St. Andrews Friday and Saturday. Play was suspended three hours on Friday while rain flooded the course and eventually needed to be drained to resume play. However, the rain lasted so long, 42 players – including then leader Dustin Johnson – were forced to finished their second round Saturday morning at 7am. Weather Saturday wasn’t much better – winds gusts forced play to be pushed back to late in the day. The second round was finally finished Saturday evening. Sunday held the third round. Barring any natural disasters, The Open will finish up on Monday.

    2. Jordan Spieth is one stroke behind at The Open. After a bogey on the par-4 ninth hole on Sunday, a fire was lit under the reigning Masters and US Open Champion. He finished the round with four birdies. Spieth is looking to become just the second golfer to win all three – Masters, US Open and British Open – in the same year, and with the PGA Championship next month, a win would set him up to be the only golfer to win all four events. Spieth will have to beat out ametuer Paul Dunne, Louis Oosthuizen and Jason Day who are currently tied for the lead.

    3. A 22-year old amateur is making a name for himself at The British Open. You may have never heard of Paul Dunne prior to this weekend, but the Ireland native who just finished school at University of Alabama-Birmingham took the outright at the tenth hole on Sunday and continues to lead into the final round Monday. Only three amateurs have won the British Open, and not since 1930 has it happened. Also, if an amateur wins, he is not eligible to win the prize money. It will be split up between the pros who made the cut.

    Links I Love:

     

    • Justin Timberlake and Alfonso Ribeiro were two of the celebrities who gathered to play golf at the American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe this weekend. Ribeiro decided to dance the Carlton after a crappy tee-shot, and JT joined right in.
    • Paul Dunne, the current leader at The British Open, didn’t even have a Wikipedia page before this weekend. But with his success this weekend, he went from a “nobody” to a “golfing machine created to rule the golfing world.” At least that’s what his newly created Wikipedia page said. It’s since been changed.

    • What to Watch For:

    • The RBC Canadian Open begins Thursday from Glen Abbey GC in Oakville, Ontario.

     

    Scratch’s Favorite Fun Facts About The Open Championship!

    July 16th, 2015

    Fun Facts About the Open

    1. Even though we refer to it as the “British” Open, the Open Championship wasn’t held outside of Scotland until 1894 -more than 30 years after it started. That year the winner was J.H. Taylor who was awarded £30 for his accomplishment.

    gwsl05_british_open_facts

    2. The oldest winner of the British Open is “Old” Tom Morris (left), who was 46 when he won in 1867. The youngest was his son, “Young” Tom Morris (right), who was 17 when he won the following year.

    3. “Old” Tom Morris held the record for the largest margin of victory in a major championship (14 strokes at the 1862 Open Championship) for 138-years, until Tiger Woods won the 2000 U.S. Open by 15 strokes.

    4. Gary Player won the British open in 1959, ’68, and ’74 — making him the only golfer in the 20th century to win the Open in three different decades (Harry Vardon and J.H. Taylor both did it in the 1890s-1910s). Player also holds the record for most Open appearances with 46.

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    5. The claret jug wasn’t the original prize. The winners of the first dozen Opens at Prestwick was presented with a red Morocco belt with silver clasps named the “Challenge Belt” (pictured above with the Claret jug). It was originally purchased by the members at a cost of £25. “Young” Tom Morris won four consecutive Opens held there from 1868-1872 (still an an unprecedented feat). Under the original rules of competition, if a player won three times in a row, he was entitled to keep the prize — meaning there was nothing to play for in 1871, and therefore, no Open was held that year.

    6. The trophy now awarded to the winner of the British Open is officially named the Championship Cup, though it is widely referred to as the “claret jug”. Claret is a dry red wine produced in the famous French winemaking region of Bordeaux. The British Open trophy was designed to look like the silver jugs used to serve claret at 19th century gatherings, thus the name.

    7. The very first open was held on 17 October 1860. Eight professionals assembled at Prestwick for a tournament to determine who would be the Champion golfer. The competitors played three rounds on the then 12-hole links, with Willie Park Sr beating Old Tom Morris by two shots. A year later, Prestwick announced that the tournament “shall be open to all the world.”

    8. St. Andrews is considered to the “home of golf” because golf was first played on the Links there in the early 1400s.

    The Old Course in 1891 - Looks pretty similar to today!

    The Old Course in 1891 – Looks pretty similar to today!

    9. St. Andrews created the standard of an 18 hole course. In 1764, the Old Course had 22 holes. The members would play the same hole going out and in with the exception of the 11th and 22nd holes. They decided that the first four and last four holes on the course were too short and should be combined into four total holes (two in and two out). St Andrews then had 18 holes that we’re all used to now. Around 1863, Old Tom Morris had the 1st green separated from the 17th green, producing the current 18-hole layout with seven double greens.

    10. The Old Course is usually closed on Sundays to let the course rest. Sunday play is only allowed on four occasions:

    • The final day of the Dunhill Links Championship, an annual event on the European Tour.
    • The final day of The Open Championship and Women’s British Open when it is held at the Old Course; this happens roughly once every five years for the men; the women’s championship began its turn on the rotation in 2007.
    • The final day of two top amateur events, the St Andrews Links Trophy and the St Rule Trophy.

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    Jordan Spieth Earns Fourth Win of 2015

    July 13th, 2015

    Sniff’s Weekly Roundup

    I’ve collected the top news and trending topics in the golf world so you can catch up on what you need to know! I’ve included some of the top stories as well as some of the most interesting stories and links from all around the internet! Enjoy! -Sniff

    Here’s What’s Happened:

    claret jordan v rickie

    1. Jordan Spieth gets fourth win of the year at the John Deere Classic. Spieth’s win Sunday came in the second hole of a playoff against Tom Gillis. Both men finished regulation play at 20-under. During the Playoff, Gillis sent his approach into the water, while Spieth made par. Gillis’ consolation prize is an invitation to the The Open, his first major appearance since 2011. Spieth became the first golfer to win four events before The Open since 2000. See the final leaderboard of the John Deere Classic.

    2. Meanwhile, in Europe, Rickie Fowler wins Scottish Open. Three of the last four holes were birdies for Fowler who earned his first win on European soil. Fowler waited until the final shot of the tournament to take the outright lead over Matt Kuchar. Fowler finished Sunday’s round with a 68, and he says he is feeling good about his chances at The Open next weekend.

    3. In Gee Chun wins U.S. Women’s Open in her first appearance at the tournament. Chun came from behind shooting a 66 on Sunday recording seven birdies and three bogeys on the day. Amy Yang had a chance to win the tournament on the final hole when Chun missed her putt for par, but Yang, who was playing a hole behind, failed to convert her putt as well. In the same tournament, Chella Choi shot the first ever 9-hole score of 29 at the U.S. Women’s Open.

    Winners

    Links I Love:

     

    • Did you see Jordan Spieth’s hole-in-one for eagle from 106 yards out. Check out the video that the PGA Tour tweeted out:

     

     

    Don’t Miss Your Chance To Win A FREE Solus Wedge Set!

    July 9th, 2015

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    My latest contest is startin’ to wrap up, but you’ve still got time to enter for a chance to win BIG! This time I’m givin’ away short game improvin’ sticks! The Solus 420 CS 3-Wedge Set will set you up for success no matter the course! They deliver the distance consistency and stability that every golfer wants! So don’t delay – go enter my awesome Giveaway Contest for FREE Solus 420 CS 3-Wedge Set!

     

    soluswedgeset_fb_giveaway_custombannerEnter to win via Facebook today! Don’t delay – the contest ends at 11:59 pm EST on July 15th!

    • The sweepstakes runs from July 1st to July 15th at 11:59pm, so you can’t procrastinate in entering to win these fabulous prizes.
    • You must be 18+ years old to enter and win. As much as we appreciate you young pups taking an interest in golf, get your parents to enter if you’re not quite reaching that age requirement.
    • All entries will be used and drawing will be random.
    • All you have to do is enter your email address. No purchase necessary! If you are chosen as a winner, the email address you submitted will be used to contact you to obtain an address to send the prize.
    • A Facebook account is needed to enter.
    • Only people residin’ in countries that we ship to can apply. International winners will get the value of the prize in caveman cash.

     

    The sweepstakes only lasts ’til 11:59pm July 15th, so enter quick for yer chance to win! Enter to win via Facebook today!

     

    Now that that’s are out of the way, let’s take a look at our fabulous prize!

     

    FREE Solus 420 CS 3-Wedge Set!soluswedgeset_fb_giveaway_button

    The 420 CS wedge was designed for players that have just started golfing to intermediate range. The wedge features make it as easy as possible to hit straighter, more predictable shots. The perfect wedge to help get your game to the next level!

    Features:

    • Crescent Cut Sole: Gives the Solus wedge more flexibility in shot selection by lowering the leading edge and giving extra bounce control
    • Optimal Center of Gravity: Solus wedges contain a higher, more “rearward” center of gravity allowing for a better distance consistency and stability
    • Pro Grind Heel: A camber has been added to the heel area of the crescent cut sole making it much easier to play the hard-to-hit, open face cut shots
    • Perimeter Weighting: Full perimeter weighting helps to control distance and direction on off-center shots, making for a more consistent short game

    Go to Rock Bottom Golf for more information of the Solus 420 CS 3-Wedge Set!

     

    So don’t delay Rock Heads, go Put Your Name In The Hat for a chance to win a FREE Solus 420 CS 3-Wedge Set!

    A Four-Man Playoff At The Greenbrier Classic!

    July 6th, 2015

    Sniff’s Weekly Roundup

    I’ve collected the top news and trending topics in the golf world so you can catch up on what you need to know! I’ve included some of the top stories as well as some of the most interesting stories and links from all around the internet! Enjoy! -Sniff

    Here’s What’s Happened:

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    1. Danny Lee wins four-man playoff to earn first PGA Tour victory. Lee defeated Kevin Kisner, David Hearn, and Robert Streb who all finished at 13-under Sunday at The Greenbrier Classic. It took two playoff holes, but Lee outlasted the rest. Robert Streb had putter issues, but was given a replacement putter for the playoff rounds. Lee and Hearn made birdie putts on the first playoff hole, sending Kisner and Streb to the clubhouse. This was Kisner’s third playoff loss this year on tour. Lee parred the final hole to win it all.

    2. Tiger Woods finishes Sunday with a bogey-free round. He didn’t end up in the top 25, but Woods left the Greenbrier Classic feeling encouraged about his performance. It was the first time he was bogey-free in 55 rounds.

    3. Austrian Bernd Wiesberger rallies to win French Open. Being called the best round of his career, Wiesberger shot five birdies in six holes to secure a solid three-shot victory on Sunday. With the win, Wiesberger became the first Austrian golfer to win the French Open. He finished Sunday’s round with eight straight pars and his sixth birdie of the day.

    4. US Golfers tweet support for the US Women’s National soccer team. With their first World Cup Championship in 16 years, it’s easy to get behind the women’s soccer team’s effort. Sunday evening, American golfers tweeted their support for the women after they beat the defending champions Japan by a score of 5-2. Even The Greenbrier Classic twitter account took some time to mention the ladies.

    Links I Love:

     

    • Oops, missed the ball there, Shaq. Watch as Shaquille O’Neal totally whiffs on a tee shot at the Greenbrier Classic Pro-Am.
    • Robert Streb was part of the four-man playoff at the Greenbrier Classic this weekend. This is after he broke his putter and was forced to putt with… a sand wedge. Check out For The Win’s recap of all Streb’s putts.

      What to Watch For:

    • The John Deere Classic begins Thursday from TPC Deere Run in Silvas, Illinois.

     

    Beat The Heat: Scratch’s Top Ten Tips Golfing In The Summer Heat!

    July 2nd, 2015

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    Golfing in hot and humid weather can be dangerous. Heat stroke and heat exhaustion can be serious. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that almost 320 American die every year from heat-related illnesses. However, if you take the right precautions, there’s no reason you can’t be hitting the course all summer long!

    1. Stay hydrated

    The best thing you can do for yourself on hot days is to stay hydrated. This helps replace the water lost from sweating and prevents fatigue. And if you’re fatigued, your golf game is guaranteed to suffer!

    Stay away from coffee, sodas, and alcohol. C affine and alcohol act as a diuretic and will dehydrate you even more. You probably don’t need a sports drink unless you are super active. They are no more hydrating than water and are full of empty calories and added sugar. If you need more flavor, add a low-cal flavor packet or just some lemon juice!

    The Mayo Clinic has a good article on the Symptoms Of Dehydration. Learn what they are so you know if you need to stop and head inside!

    2. Drink more water than you think you need.Drinking-Water

    Thirst is not a good indicated of whether you need water. When you feel thirsty, it means that you’re already dehydrated. You can even satisfy your thirst and still need more water. Keep drinking water throughout all 18 holes even if you’re not thirsty.

    Drink one to two glasses of water before you start your round. While golfing try to drink 2 to 4 glasses (16-32 ounces), every hour. When you do hit the 19th hole, stay away from the booze and stick to water.

    3. Golf in the morning or evening.

    This should be obvious. Avoid being out during the hottest part of the day. However, the hottest time during the summer is not noon. While the sun’s radiation is strongest at noon, the temperature is not. The temperature will continue to climb so long as the earth is receiving more incoming heat than the earth is radiating back to space. It will actually peak between 3 pm and 4:30 pm each afternoon. After that, as the sun gets lower in the sky, the temperature will begin to fall gradually back from its high, and the drop in temperature accelerates after sundown. Scratch would recommend golfing from either 7am-12pm or 5-sun down.

    4. Use Cooling Gear
    Sure you soak the dirty towel you’ve been using on your clubs in some water and throw it around your neck, but let’s be honest, that’s just gross. Instead try some cooling gear like the Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad Sports Towel. Just wet it, and it’ll stay cool for up to 2 hours!

    5. Wear the right clothes.

    What you wear can DEFINITELY effect how you feel during the summer heat. Luckily for you, I’ve already written up a good how to on the subject. Read my article Beat The Heat: What To Wear This Summer On The Course!

    6. Avoid the sun

    You might burn more calories walking the course, but if the sun is brutal, grab a cart! Wear a hat and don’t forget your sunscreen. The longer you’re in direct sunlight, the greater your chance of heat stroke.

    7. Snack right.

    Don’t eat anything heavy or fatty before your round. Carry easy protein and fiber—dried fruit, bananas, apples, nuts, beef jerky, any sports bar with 10 grams of protein and 3 of fiber. Fruit is also a great snack because it’s a natural way to rehydrate. You’ll want to keep your energy up as the heat will drain you. Just try to keep each snack around 250 calories or you easily overeat!

    8. Snack strategically

    Nosh on holes, 3, 6, 9, 12 and 15. Having something small and regular will stabilize your energy levels, keep you from becoming over-stimulated, and help you maintain your focus and fine motor control. It’ll also curb the desire to gorge at the bar.

    9. Grab for more.hot-golf

    Even at your best, it’s hard to hit for maximum distance. It’s even harder in the sapping conditions. Adjust your expectations for your game and use a little more club—the 7-iron over the 6—than you’d usually hit with to compensate, says Eric Alpenfels, director of the Pinehurst Golf Academy.

    10. Build a stronger base on the treadmill.

    Hit the gym. Try the exercise bike, treadmill, or elliptical. While good for overall health, cardiovascular exercise will help prepare you for challenging conditions, building overall endurance, leg strength and power, says Anthony Slater, performance specialist and general manager at Core Performance Center. Building up your physical stamina will pay off in the long run!

     

     

    What do you Rock Heads do when the temperature spikes? Let me know in the comments!

    Bubba Watson Wins Again At Travelers!

    June 29th, 2015

    Sniff’s Weekly Roundup

    I’ve collected the top news and trending topics in the golf world so you can catch up on what you need to know! I’ve included some of the top stories as well as some of the most interesting stories and links from all around the internet! Enjoy! -Sniff

    Here’s What’s Happened:

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    1. Bubba Watson snags top prize at Travelers Championship. For the second time, Watson won at Travelers, this time outlasting Paul Casey on the second hole of a playoff. Casey came back from a five shot deficit to force a playoff with Watson. With his eighth career PGA Tour victory — all of which occurred after 2010 — Watson’s win this weekend has generated buzz about Bubba being a shoe-in for the World Golf Hall of Fame.

    2. Na Yeon Choi captures ninth career LPGA title. Despite a shaky round at Pinnacle Golf Club in Rogers, Arkansas on Sunday, Choi eagled the par-4 16th to ensure a two-stroke victory at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. Choi fell behind Stacy Lewis after heading into Sunday as the leader. Lewis bogeyed her final hole and ended up tying for third. Lewis has gone 27 tournaments without a victory.

    3. Jeff Maggert wins Senior Open in Sacramento. This is Maggert’s second major victory this year, his first coming last month at the Regions Tradition. He finished at 10-under-270 at a rainy Del Paso Country Club. The group of Maggert, Bernhard Langer, and Colin Montgomerie have now combined to win the previous eight majors — Maggert with two, Langer with three, and Montgomerie with three.

    4. Former Marine shoots a 57, including three holes-in-one, at an amateur tournament in Virginia. Patrick Wills made four birdies in the first six holes and two of his holes-in-one came on a par-4. The tournament was at Laurel Hills Golf Course in Lorton, Virginia. The score was so amazing, even the tournament coordinator didn’t believe it when he was told. However, Wills has witnesses — two of his sons watched it all happen.

    Links I Love:

  • Minutes after a fan yelled out to use a 4-iron, Bubba Watson hit an amazing shot with a wedge. He turned to the crowd and replied, “That’s why you’re on that side of the ropes.” The shot set up a putt for birdie.

  • Donald Trump is telling everyone who works at Univision to stay off of his golf course? It can all be chalked up to politics. You can read more here.

    What to Watch For:

  • The Greenbriar Classic begins Thursday from The Old White TPC in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.