Devil Ball Golf

  • Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike is looking to help run a flawless 2020 Olympic Games. (Getty Images)
    Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike is looking to help run a flawless 2020 Olympic Games. (Getty Images)

    Yet again, golf faces a conflict over a high-profile club and its membership practices.

    Kasumigaseki Country Club will host the men’s and women’s Olympic golf tournaments during the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The problem is that the club doesn’t admit women as full members. It’s a practice Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike would like to see changed. She has asked the club personally to admit female members.

    “I feel very uncomfortable about women not being able to become a regular member in this era,” Koike said Friday, according to Reuters.

    Women are also reportedly banned from playing at the club on Sundays — which seems an obvious optics problems considering Olympic medals will be on the line for women, perhaps on a Sunday, at the course.

    This is the second time in the space of two years that a prominent golf club has come under fire for choosing not to admit women as full members. In May

    Read More »from Tokyo governor implores 2020 Olympic golf host club to admit women
  • Breaking 60 has become so passe in golf that Woody Austin did it on Friday in the first round of the Diamond Resorts Invitational … and didn’t know he’d done it.

    We kid, of course; shooting 59 or better is still a big deal. However, Austin wasn’t keeping track of his strokes in the conventional sense at the Orlando event. The field, which features a mix of 27 PGA Tour Champions and four LPGA Tour pros, as well 47 celebrities, is being contested under the modified Stableford scoring system. Austin made 10 birdies and an eagle, adding up to 43 points and first place among the pros. It also added up to 59 at the par-71 Tranquilo Golf Club at Four Seasons Resort.

    “I really never thought about it until I birdied 16,” Austin said. “That got me to 11 under and I thought, OK.”

    Woody Austin becomes the second pro in as many days to shoot 59. (Getty Images)
    Woody Austin becomes the second pro in as many days to shoot 59. (Getty Images)

    The thing is, Austin didn’t know the host course was a par-71 track. So when he walked off the 18th hole, he had no idea of what he

    Read More »from Woody Austin unwittingly shoots 59 in Diamond Resorts Invitational
  • Justin Thomas shot the eighth round of sub-60 in PGA Tour history on Thursday, shooting 11-under 59 in the first round of the Sony Open in Hawaii.

    For anyone who thought last week’s winner of the SBS Tournament of Champions was due for a post-victory letdown, they were wrong.

    Thomas came to his final hole of the first round of the Sony Open in Hawaii at 9 under on the day. With a birdie on the second of the two par 5s he’d see on the round, he could top the course record he already had a share of from two years ago. After finding the fairway bunker with his tee shot, Thomas smashed his 207-yard second shot to 15 feet from the hole for an eagle that would give him a 59.

    “I was so bummed when that tee shot went in the bunker,” he said. “I thought it was going to be good. I got up there and had a perfect lie, and I’m like, you know what am I going to do, lay up? And if it comes off, great, and if not, whatever.”

    Justin Thomas is the latest member of the Sub-60 Club (Getty Images)
    Justin Thomas is the latest member of
    Read More »from Justin Thomas opens Sony Open in Hawaii with 59
  • Rory McIlroy has said he
    Rory McIlroy has said he “resents” the Olympics for forcing him into an awkward choice. (Getty Images)

    Don’t expect to see Rory McIlroy in the Parade of Nations at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

    Ahead of this week’s BMW SA Open in South Africa, the reigning FedEx Cup champion said he doesn’t intend to compete in the Olympic golf tournament — for either Ireland or the United Kingdom.

    “More likely than not, I won’t be going to the Games in 2020,” McIlroy said. “Just because of my personal feelings towards – not the Olympic Games, the Olympic Games are great and I think golf included in the Olympics is fantastic. But for me, it’s just something I don’t want to get into, and that’s a personal choice and hopefully people respect that decision.”

    When McIlroy bowed out of the 2016 Olympics, he cited the Zika virus threat in Rio de Janeiro. However, in an interview last week with the Irish Independent, McIlroy came clean with his real reason: a resentment of the Olympics that he was forced to

    Read More »from Rory McIlroy unlikely to compete in 2020 Olympic golf tournament
  • Jim Furyk is the new U.S. Ryder Cup captain (Getty Images)
    Jim Furyk is the new U.S. Ryder Cup captain. (Getty Images)

    Jim Furyk is the new United States Ryder Cup captain, set to lead the American dozen into Paris for the 2018 matches.

    Furyk was officially named the head man on Wednesday, winning over the votes of the Ryder Cup committee that includes three PGA of America officials, as well as players Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and outgoing captain Davis Love III.

    “I am anxious to get started and recapture the momentum we enjoyed at Hazeltine, both in the team room and on the golf course,” Furyk said. “It’s been a long time since we’ve won in Europe and I am looking forward to the challenge.”

    Love won’t be going far from the Ryder Cup, however, as Furyk has named Love as one of his assistant captains for the matches.

    “Davis is going to be a tough act to follow. He put a system in place, got the players behind it,” Furyk said. “His experience, two captaincies and a vice captaincy, will be priceless for me, so I’m happy to have him by my side.”

    Read More »from Jim Furyk named new U.S. Ryder Cup captain; mulls playing role
  • Jordan Spieth wants to flash the pearly whites a little more in 2017, and, aside from perhaps getting revenge at Augusta National, enjoy his professional life a little more.

    “Honestly, I want to have a lot more fun,” Spieth said Tuesday at the Sony Open in Hawaii, in Honolulu. “I want to smile more on the golf course. I want to just feel like I’m really enjoying the process of playing and living out my dream.”

    Spieth said he wants more in 2017 than the two PGA Tour and three total worldwide wins last year, but he also said he needs to acknowledge that it’s not going to come as easy as it did in 2015, something he admitted he failed to do at times post-Masters.

    “I think there were certainly times where my fuse was a little too short,” he said. “I mean, people go through those kind of stretches. I don’t know, just here and there, complained a bit where it was unnecessary. Just when I’m talking to [caddie] Michael [Greller] and stuff. It doesn’t do any good.”

    Jordan Spieth is looking to simplify and have more fun in 2017. (Getty Images)
    Jordan Spieth is looking to
    Read More »from Jordan Spieth wants 2017 to be more fun, avoid having a 'short fuse'
  • The PGA Tour remains in the Aloha State for the Sony Open in Hawaii, the second event of 2017 and the first full-field event of the year.

    Fabian Gomez defends his title in a tournament where Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Thomas and Justin Rose headline one of the event’s deeper fields in recent memory.

    Here are our top five players this week:

    1. Hideki Matsuyama – Yes, Matsuyama’s putter didn’t show up when he needed it down the stretch against Justin Thomas. But Justin Thomas is the only guy who has beaten him in the last three months.

    2. Jordan Spieth – Spieth had a very nice Sunday to back-door himself a top-three finish. He had a lot of wild numbers on a course where those are hard to pull off. He MC’d here last time in 2014.

    3. Jimmy Walker – Walker is a past winner here and absolutely loves this golf course. He’s a no-brainer.

    4. Justin Thomas – Thomas has two wins on the season, and they’ve come in tournaments where you have to go low. However, they haven’t been in

    Read More »from Power rankings: Sony Open in Hawaii
  • Rory McIlroy has four major titles. He’s been No. 1 in the world multiple times. He just won the FedEx Cup and its $10 million prize. His estimated brand value, according to his management company, is in the area of $400 million.

    And despite everything he has accomplished, McIlroy could conceivably show up in some public places and not get recognized. It’s nothing against the Ulsterman; it’s just the reality for most golfers.

    GettyImages-471414586

    Tiger Woods doesn’t enjoy the luxury of anonymity — anywhere, ever. Woods’ dominance helped him transcend golf to become a sporting and cultural icon. Winning 14 majors and owning the sport in a way no one ever truly has will do that for a guy. But it comes with a price, one McIlroy now realizes he’s not willing to pay for greatness.

    In a wide-ranging, must-read interview with the Irish Independent, McIlroy said he “could not live like that.”

    McIlroy gave even a simple example of how fame has paralyzed Woods’ social

    Read More »from Rory McIlroy says he couldn't live Tiger Woods' life
  • Vice-captains Jim Furyk and vice-captain Tiger Woods of the United States spray champagne after winning the Ryder Cup during the closing ceremony of the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club on October 2, 2016 in Chaska, Minnesota. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Vice-captains Jim Furyk and vice-captain Tiger Woods of the United States spray champagne after winning the Ryder Cup during the closing ceremony of the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club on October 2, 2016 in Chaska, Minnesota. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

    Jim Furyk is expected to be named the next U.S. Ryder Cup captain, leading the United States side into Paris for the next edition of the biennial matches.

    Furyk could be named to the position as soon as this week, according to Links Nation, who was first to report the news.

    In a subsequent report from The Telegraph, Furyk appears to have beaten out Fred Couples for the role. Couples led the American Presidents Cup team to three consecutive victories over the International team in the matches played on off years of the Ryder Cup cycle.

    Furyk will be tasked with leading the Americans to their first back-to-back wins in the series dating back to 1991 and ’93, when Tom Watson was the last American captain to lead a

    Read More »from Report: Jim Furyk to be named 2018 U.S. Ryder Cup captain
  • Rory McIlroy caught a lot of flak, from all sides, when he told reporters at the British Open why he wasn’t taking part in golf’s return to the Olympic games.

    Among other things, McIlroy said he “didn’t get into golf to try and grow the game,” a saucy retort to many in the sport that opined participation in Rio was practically compulsory for the future of the sport. McIlroy didn’t play — and neither did about two dozen eligible players, almost all men — and the men’s tournament turned out to be a great duel between Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson.

    Rory McIlroy has the goods to be one of golf's all-time greats. (Getty Images)
    Rory McIlroy has the goods to be one of golf’s all-time greats. (Getty Images)

    Now, some five months removed from the Olympics, McIlroy details the real reason he chose not to compete in the Olympics.

    Golf’s governing bodies give Northern Ireland-born players the option to represent either country in international competition, creating a conflict for those players who face a cultural sensitivity on both

    Read More »from Rory McIlroy details real reason behind skipping Olympics
  • Justin Thomas leads by two shots heading into the Kapalua finale. (Getty Images)
    Justin Thomas leads by two shots heading into the Kapalua finale. (Getty Images)

    Justin Thomas has two PGA Tour wins, an accomplishment any of his peers would be happy to have on their resume if they don’t already.

    However, among more casual golf fans, Thomas’ wins may have never hit their radar. They came in back-to-back years at the CIMB Classic, a limited-field event played in Malaysia in October. It’s one of those events on the PGA Tour’s fall-of-the-prior-year portion of its wraparound schedule, played at a time when sports fans are generally just taking a little bit of a break from golf.

    Just because fewer people saw those wins than victories in the U.S. in the meat of the Tour’s season doesn’t mean they’re worth any less. In fact, Thomas’ successful defense at the CIMB Classic gives him an important distinction as golf kicks off in 2017. Thomas is the only player to have beaten Hideki Matsuyama in his last five worldwide starts.

    The Japanese star ended 2016 on a monstrous

    Read More »from Justin Thomas leads by 2 at Kapalua, seeking third PGA Tour win of short career
  • Davis Love III will enter the World Golf Hall of Fame. (Getty Images)
    Davis Love III will enter the World Golf Hall of Fame. (Getty Images)

    We’ve been over this a thousand times over the years: Pro golfers and the slopes do not mix.

    Victorious 2016 Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III became the latest example to prove the point, now finding himself on the sidelines for eight weeks while he recovers from a broken collarbone suffered in a snowboarding accident. The accident happened last week while in Utah, according to Golf Magazine, forcing the 52-year-old Love to change his plans from playing a full schedule split between the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions in January and February to recuperating at his home at Sea Island in Georgia.

    So, what happened? A gnarly injury on a double black diamond slope?

    “It was on the bunny slope,” Love said of the awkward fall. “That’s where these accidents happen.”

    After those eight weeks of recovery time, Love can get back to hitting golf balls, getting his game in shape for an April kick-off to his competitive 2017.

    If

    Read More »from Davis Love III out 8 weeks after breaking collarbone while snowboarding
  • Dustin Johnson had his best year in 2016. (Getty Images)
    Dustin Johnson had his best year in 2016. (Getty Images)

    Dustin Johnson had a career year in 2016, winning his first major at the U.S. Open and adding a pair of other PGA Tour titles en route to securing the peer-voted PGA Tour Player of the Year award.

    At a TaylorMade Golf launch event in December, however, Johnson said he doesn’t believe he’s yet played his best golf. It makes sense, then, that the long-hitting 32-year-old ironically has a short memory.

    “I’m pretty good at not really thinking about what I did in the past, because it doesn’t really matter,” said Johnson ahead of this week’s event at Kapalua’s Plantation Course in Hawaii. “It’s all about what I’m doing right now and what’s coming up, because it doesn’t matter how good a year I had last year. That doesn’t matter anymore; it’s this year. We’ve got all new goals and new things that I want to do.”

    Naturally, Johnson, who found a reliable cut off the tee and confidence with his wedges last year, hopes to carry those facets

    Read More »from Despite career year in 2016, Dustin Johnson not thinking much about past success
  • Tiger Woods and Donald Trump (Getty file photo)
    Tiger Woods and Donald Trump. (Getty file photo)

    After more than a year on the sidelines with injuries, Tiger Woods is returning to the public eye, and he remains as big a draw as ever … both to average sports fans and to the president-elect.

    Woods teed it up with Donald Trump over the Christmas holidays, and in a wide-ranging blog post, Woods gave a few details on how their round went … starting with a nice compliment for the future commander-in-chief. “What most impressed me was how far he hits the ball at 70 years old,” Woods said. “He takes a pretty good lash.”

    The characteristically tight-lipped Woods offered no insight into the topics of their on-course discussion beyond “bantering, bickering and needling,” though Woods did note that he shared with Trump his vision of how golf could be a more fun, inclusive sport.

    Woods has played with every president since Clinton, and noted that he wasn’t playing Trump for any stakes, just “fun.”

    Elsewhere in his post, Woods disclosed his busy

    Read More »from Tiger Woods on Donald Trump's golf: 'A pretty good lash'
  • Ben Roethlisberger is an avid golfer. (Getty Images)
    Ben Roethlisberger is an avid golfer. (Getty Images)

    Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and two-time Super Bowl winner Ben Roethlisberger has obviously made his life and a fortune playing football. However, now that he’s 14 seasons into his career and a father, he hopes that his children don’t turn to the sport if they have the chops to be a professional athlete.

    “If they want to. I’m not gonna tell them they can’t. I will encourage my kids to do whatever they want to do and love to, whatever it is,” Roethlisberger said on “The Dan Patrick Show” on Wednesday.

    “Hopefully it’s golf, though.”

    In particular, Roethlisberger raised his concern about the replacement surgeries he expects in the years to come after he walks away from football. Big Ben knows knee-replacement procedures are in his future.

    “I hope it’s just an outpatient surgery, like going to the dentist,” he said. “I’m hoping we get that far that fast.”

    Roethlisberger is an avid golfer, playing with fellow athletes and celebrities

    Read More »from Ben Roethlisberger hopes his kids choose golf over football
  • Tiger Woods returned to golf at the Hero World Challenge. (Getty)
    Tiger Woods returned to golf at the Hero World Challenge. (Getty)

    Tiger Woods is starting to fill out his schedule, now committing to three PGA Tour events in the next three months.

    Woods announced Wednesday that he will play in the Farmers Insurance Open, played Jan. 26-29 at Torrey Pines’ two golf courses just outside of San Diego. Woods has won there eight times as a pro, including the 2008 U.S. Open, the last major he has won of the 14 in his career. The 79-time PGA Tour winner last played the event in 2015, withdrawing early in the now-infamous “glute activation” incident.

    [Tee off and sign up to play Yahoo Fantasy Golf]

    This will mark Woods’ first official PGA Tour start since finishing tied for 10th in the Wyndham Championship in August 2015.

    Then, as previously announced, Woods will play in the Genesis Open, formerly the Northern Trust Open, at Riviera Country Club from Feb. 16-19. His tournament-management company runs the event, and Woods has historically played in those

    Read More »from Tiger Woods commits to Farmers Insurance Open, Honda Classic, Dubai
  • Jordan Spieth has always done well at Augusta National. (Getty Images)
    Jordan Spieth has always done well at Augusta National. (Getty Images)

    It’s hard not to remember — and cringe at the thought of — Jordan Spieth’s Masters-stunting 8 on the par-3 12th in last April’s final round. It’s a seminal moment in Masters history.

    However, Spieth went on to win at Colonial in May for his first PGA Tour win in his native Texas. Then, in November, he pulled out a playoff win in the Australian Open, despite not having his best stuff.

    While he’ll never get completely over what happened at Augusta National, Spieth seems to have moved on well from the Masters meltdown. In fact, Spieth has since returned to the Georgia club and exacted a little revenge from the perilous short hole.

    Speaking Wednesday at the SBS Tournament of Champions, Spieth described a December trip to the club to play with members. He played from the Member Tees during the trip, except on the 12th hole.

    “I was very nervous when I got on 12 tee, and I hit an 8-iron over the bunker to about 15 feet,”

    Read More »from Jordan Spieth exacts a measure of revenge on Augusta National's 12th
  • Meet new PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan. (Getty Images)
    Meet new PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan. (Getty Images)

    The PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup has been around for a decade, and it’s done a great job in creating a logical end to the season, complete with a massive payday for a season-long champion and four closing events with elite fields.

    However, the FedEx Cup playoffs and the PGA Tour season end in late September, weeks into both college football and NFL seasons. By then, golf is on the back burner for sports fans, meaning the audience for the playoffs isn’t nearly as big as it could be.

    The PGA Tour seems to have realized this, with chatter at the Tour Championship last September about the possibility of ending the playoffs before Labor Day. Bumping up the FedEx Cup playoffs would have wide-reaching impact on the PGA Tour schedule, including the possibility of moving The Players Championship back to March and slotting the PGA Championship, run by the PGA of America, into May from its now-traditional August spot.

    New PGA Tour commissioner

    Read More »from New PGA Tour commissioner hints at future major schedule change
  • Jordan Spieth was a winner his last time out at the Aussie Open. (Getty Images)
    Jordan Spieth was a winner his last time out at the Aussie Open. (Getty Images)

    Golf is back! After about a month and a half off, the PGA Tour resumes its season this week with the SBS Tournament of Champions from Kapalua Resort’s Plantation Course on Hawaii.

    [Tee off and sign up to play Yahoo Fantasy Golf]

    Jordan Spieth defends the title he won last year in the winners-only event by eight shots, reaching 30 under par. World No. 1 Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama are among the 32 players in the field for the no-cut tournament.

    Here are our top five players for this week:

    1. Hideki Matsuyama – How can you not like a guy who is the hottest on the planet? Four wins in his final five 2016 starts. He was on the medal stand here in his debut in 2015.

    2. Jordan Spieth – Spieth won in Australia to end 2016. He’s the defending champion. He’s only been in the top two in two prior starts.

    3. Dustin Johnson – DJ is a past winner here, and he doesn’t necessarily have to play controlled

    Read More »from Power rankings: SBS Tournament of Champions
  • Jason Day is making some style changes in 2017. (Getty Images)
    Jason Day is making some style changes in 2017. (Getty Images)

    With the turn of the calendar to a new year, many of golf’s best enter into a game of musical logo placements, with pros taking on new equipment and apparel deals.

    World No. 1 Jason Day had already previously announced he would continue to play TaylorMade equipment through his bag in 2017 and beyond as part of a multi-year extension with the company. However, on Sunday, Nike Golf made official news known in the golf world since late summer last year, that Day would leave adidas Golf to sign an apparel and footwear deal with the Swoosh.

    “Joining Nike is a dream come true,” Day said in a release formally unveiling the deal. “The brand is synonymous with the world’s best athletes. I’m honored and can’t wait to be part of the team and working closely with Nike to take my game, and the sport of golf, to even higher levels.”

    Day will begin wearing Nike apparel at next week’s SBS Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.

    The Aussie will

    Read More »from Jason Day, Rory McIlroy among stars making changes for 2017