Devil Ball Golf

  • The Danes took the World Cup of Golf on the back of a second-round 60. (Getty Images)
    The Danes took the World Cup of Golf on the back of a second-round 60. (Getty Images)

    The Danes are the champions of the World Cup of Golf.

    The duo of Soren Kjeldsen and Thorbjorn Olesen won the biennial two-man team event at Kingston Heath in Australia on Sunday, holding off a trio of teams for a three-shot win at 20-under 268.

    The U.S. team of Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker, the French duo of Victor Dubuisson and Romain Langasque and the Chinese team of Wu Ashun and Haotong Li all finished tied for second place.

    The final day of the competition — just as the second round — was played as a best-ball competition, with the Danes shooting a 6-under 66 to hold off the surging Frenchmen, who shot 63. The Swedish duo of Alex Noren and David Lingmerth had the low final round, shooting 62 to finish alone in fifth place.

    Kjeldsen said he reveled in the opportunity to play in a two-man team, drawing on emotion he didn’t previously experience.

    “I think the psychology has been really interesting

    Read More »from Denmark wins the World Cup of Golf
  • The U.S. duo of Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler are hanging in at the World Cup of Golf. (Getty Images)
    The U.S. duo of Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler are hanging in at the World Cup of Golf. (Getty Images)

    The United States duo of Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker are just five shots back heading into the weekend at the World Cup of Golf. Tied for fourth place, the Americans say they’re yet to play their best team golf.

    “A few more [birdies] would have been nice to go into the weekend with, but we’ve done a good job with what we’ve had,” said Fowler after a second-round, 5-under 67 in the best-ball format that has them trailing the Danish duo of Soren Kjeldsen and Thorbjorn Olesen at Kingston Heath in Australia.

    “We haven’t had any of our best golf yet, or anything close to it, so we’ll get our run here very soon.”

    The Danes were on point on Friday, shooting a team 60 that got them to a 12-under total. In a six-hole stretch, the Danes made two eagles and three birdies, boosting their round. The scoring conditions on Friday, where the team average was just under 67, were much better than a

    Read More »from U.S. in contention at World Cup of Golf as Denmark goes low
  • Peggy Kirk Bell (right) was one of the great champions and teachers of women's golf. (Getty Images)
    Peggy Kirk Bell (right) was one of the great champions and teachers of women’s golf. (Getty Images)

    Golf legend Peggy Kirk Bell passed away on Wednesday in North Carolina. She was 95 years old.

    Bell, who was born Oct. 28, 1921, in Findlay, Ohio, took up golf at the age of 17, and it came to her naturally. Bell won three Ohio Amateurs in the 1940s before winning the 1949 North and South Women’s Amateur and Titleholders Championship for her only LPGA major. She was also a member of the 1950 Curtis Cup team before turning pro.

    As a touring pro in the early days of women’s professional golf, Bell became close friends with Babe Didrikson Zaharias. Bell played with Zaharias in her final round before dying from cancer at age 45 in 1956.

    Shortly after she married her high-school love, professional basketball player Warren Bell, the couple purchased the Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club in Pinehurst, N.C. The Bells and their family have operated the resort ever since, and it has hosted a variety

    Read More »from Golf legend Peggy Kirk Bell dies at 95
  • Rory McIlroy has enjoyed a great 2016. (Getty Images)
    Rory McIlroy has enjoyed a great 2016. (Getty Images)

    The late, great Arnold Palmer was a big fan of sending letters to winners of golf events around the world and of responding to each and every piece of fan mail.

    It seems Rory McIlroy has taken up Mr. Palmer’s affinity for reaching out to fans through the mail as well.

    McIlroy sent a letter to the young man who caught the ball he threw toward the gallery after making an eagle 2 on the 70th hole of the Tour Championship in September. Ultimately, that shot was pivotal in McIlroy making a three-man playoff before eventually defeating Ryan Moore to win the season-ending event, the FedEx Cup and its $10 million prize.

    The fan, named Brady, got the letter, which was shared with ESPN’s Jason Sobel, who is friends with Brady’s uncle.

    The letter reads:

    Hi Brady!

    I hope

    Read More »from Rory McIlroy pens letter to young fan who caught Tour Championship ball
  • For those of us who have played golf for a long time and are still waiting on that first hole-in-one, this story hurts a little bit.

    Teaching pro Emma Brown was working with a female student on her very first golf lesson, working on a short course to hit irons off the ground. The student hits a little bit of a low bullet that hits the flag, and then it goes down in the ground for what is, well, a hole-in-one. Her reaction is priceless, one of shock and joy as she runs to the hole to see the ball in the cup and continue the celebration.

    hole-in-one-first-less

    If you want to throw some kind of asterisk on it, or you say it’s fake, then you’re probably a bitter hater who hasn’t gotten that ace yet. Don’t worry; yours is coming…someday.

    Or at least I keep telling myself that.


    Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

    Read More »from New golfer makes hole-in-one during her first golf lesson
  • Mackenzie Hughes wins on the PGA Tour at Sea Island. (Getty Images)
    Mackenzie Hughes wins on the PGA Tour at Sea Island. (Getty Images)

    The 2016 portion of this PGA Tour season was supposed to be over on Monday morning, the start of an official six-week break for players to re-charge the batteries before resuming ceremonies in Hawaii in January.

    Well, that didn’t quite work out at the RSM Classic on Sunday. Five players tied after 72 holes at the Sea Island Golf Club, sending the tournament into a sudden-death playoff that fought a losing battle with daylight. After Billy Horschel missed a two-foot putt to remain in the playoff, the four remaining players — Mackenzie Hughes, Camilo Villegas, Blayne Barber and Henrik Norlander — all made par 4 on the second playoff crack at the 18th hole. Darkness then set in, and the quartet had to return to the Seaside Course on Monday morning to decide a winner.

    In the end, it was Hughes that survived and picked up his first PGA Tour win in just his ninth-career start.

    The playoff resumed at the par-3 17th, with all

    Read More »from Mackenzie Hughes finishes off first PGA Tour win in Sea Island Monday finish
  • The men's Olympic golf tournament was one for the older guys. (Getty Images)
    The men’s Olympic golf tournament was one for the older guys. (Getty Images)

    Golf appears set to remain a part of the Olympic program for at least two more Games.

    The Guardian reported Monday that the International Olympic Committee is expected to include golf in the 2024 program. The IOC is set to meet early in 2017 to go over last summer’s Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and discuss the possiblity of changing what sports are included.

    When golf was admitted to the Olympic program in 2009, the sport was assured it would be in the 2016 and ’20 Games. However, its future beyond ’20 was pointedly uncertain, dependent upon how the sport was received in Rio after a 112-year absence. Despite concerns from potential participants, particularly male golfers, over the spread of Zika virus, the tournaments both proved compelling, attendance and ticket sales were strong and television ratings were affirming of interest in golf as an Olympic sport.

    Justin Rose won the gold medal in the men’s

    Read More »from Report: Golf to get a spot in the 2024 Olympic program
  • Matt Fitzpatrick took the title home in Dubai. (Getty Images)
    Matt Fitzpatrick took the title home in Dubai. (Getty Images)

    The European Tour season came to an end on Sunday in Dubai, with one of the circuit’s future stars taking home the trophy.

    Matt Fitzpatrick picked up his third-career win and second of the season, taking the DP World Tour Championship on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai. He finished at 17-under 271, beating out fellow young-gun Englishman Tyrrell Hatton by a shot. Hatton, playing ahead of Fitzpatrick, drove in a hazard bisecting the par-5 18th hole, leading to a bogey. Fitzpatrick, needing a birdie to win, played the finisher with precision to make the winning 4 from 4 feet.

    “It means the world. To win one of these Final Series events is really special, and this one in particular – obviously the last tournament of the year,” Fitzpatrick said. “For me to win on the final week of the year is special.”

    This is the icing on the cake of a break-out year for the former U.S. Amateur winner, adding to his Nordea

    Read More »from Matt Fitzpatrick wins Euro Tour Dubai finale; Stenson wins season-long Race
  • Jordan Spieth has a way of hanging around, even when he’s not at his best. His peers say the most admirable — and, to them probably, annoying — trait is his way of turning in scores better than how he played. He did that again on Sunday at the Emirates Australian Open, and it was good enough to get him into a three-way playoff for his second Aussie Open title in three years.

    Then he won the thing.

    Jordan Spieth wins the Aussie Open again. (Getty Images)
    Jordan Spieth wins the Aussie Open again. (Getty Images)

    Spieth beat Aussies Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall with a birdie on the first playoff hole, earning the win after finishing regulation at 12-under 276 at Royal Sydney Golf Club.

    The 23-year-old didn’t look in good shape to find the playoff with three to play. However, he sank a 30-foot bomb on the 16th hole for birdie, then made back-to-back pars from difficult situations to post 12 under. Meanwhile, Geoff Ogilvy double-bogeyed the 16th himself to fall out of position to win, leaving Hall and Smith

    Read More »from Spieth wins Aussie Open in playoff, hopes to springboard into 2017
  • Rory McIlroy got grilled in a recent interview, and the person who asked him all the tough questions was the only person who could: a 9-year-old boy.

    The European Tour has a regular series called “BIG Little Interviews” with a boy who goes by the name of Billy. He has a cute English accent, and he’s welcomed some of the Euro Tour’s most well-known players for an interview. Billy isn’t confined by being a reporter or trying to maintain a relationship with a player or even the decorum of being a non-ironic adult. The result? Billy can ask all of the uncomfortable questions with biting wit.

    rory-billy-interview

    And that’s just what Billy does with the four-time major winner. Among the topics Billy hilariously broaches with McIlroy:

    McIlroy’s curly mop when he was a teenager. “It was a phase, Billy,” McIlroy said, laughing at himself.

    The decision to skip the Olympics. McIlroy admitted he got on board with the Zika excuse that proved unfounded. He said, “A few people used that excuse, and I just sort of got

    Read More »from Rory McIlroy gets hilariously grilled by 9-year-old in interview
  • Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth are making big bucks. (Getty Images)
    Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth are making big bucks. (Getty Images)

    Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy make a lot of money. You knew that. But you probably didn’t have an idea of a ballpark figure that those two guys are banking.

    Let’s put it this way: Both Spieth and McIlroy make enough to appear on a new Forbes list of highest earners of celebrities and athletes under 30.

    The 23-year-old Spieth came in 10th on the list, which measured income from June 1, 2015 to June 1, 2016. He tied with Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, raking in an estimated $53 million before taxes. Spieth’s income combines his PGA Tour earnings, including the $10 million FedEx Cup bonus from 2015, as well an estimated $32 million in endorsement money from the likes of Under Armour, Titleist and Coca-Cola.

    McIlroy came in at 14th on the list with a $42.5 million haul. An estimated $20 million of that came from sponsor Nike. His $10 million FedEx Cup bonus did not fall within the measured window.

    Taylor Swift

    Read More »from Spieth, McIlroy on Forbes list of richest celebrities under 30
  • Martin Kaymer in the European Tour's Mannequin Challenge
    Martin Kaymer in the European Tour’s Mannequin Challenge

    The #MannequinChallenge has been taking social media by storm, and golf really hadn’t gotten into it yet. Then the European Tour went ahead and not only took care of that participatory dearth, but they won the whole thing.

    Ahead of this week’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, the Tour staff, players and its social media team put together an amazing scene on the grounds at host Jumeirah Golf Estates.

    It starts in the locker room, with players like Chris Wood getting treatment, Andrew “Beef” Johnston looking at text messages and a few others looking at the Guinness Book of World Records for being the fastest foursome to play a hole of golf in the world. Then the scene goes outside, with Padraig Harrington dabbing for some reason while some of the valet guys get VIPs out of their vehicle. Then there’s

    Read More »from European Tour wins the #MannequinChallenge with amazing Dubai scene
  • Tiger Woods is planning on a comeback in a few weeks. (Getty Images)
    Tiger Woods is planning on a comeback in a few weeks. (Getty Images)

    Tiger Woods bailed out at the last minute on his first crack at a return from a pair of 2015 back surgeries. Now, as the days tick down to his next potential return date, Woods’ agent insists the 14-time major champion is well on his way back to competition.

    After pulling out of the Safeway Open in October, saying his game wasn’t quite ready for public consumption, Woods said he was targeting a return at his Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, played December 1-4.

    Mark Steinberg, Woods’ agent, told ESPN’s Bob Harig that Woods is “getting after it a bit more, continuing to work toward that goal (of returning at Hero) and excited to get back out there and compete, see the guys and be in the locker room instead of being a (Ryder Cup) assistant captain.”

    Woods hasn’t teed it up competitively since finishing tied for 10th at the 2015 Wyndham Championship. A pair of back surgeries, including a second microdiscectomy as a

    Read More »from Agent: Tiger Woods on track for Hero World Challenge return
  • Rory McIlroy finished the PGA Tour season in style, winning the Deutsche Bank Championship and the Tour Championship to win the FedEx Cup for the first time. After a delirious Ryder Cup performance and a T-4 at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China, McIlroy returns to Dubai looking to capture the points-race double.

    McIlroy comes into the European Tour’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai in fourth place in the Race to Dubai points standings. He trails leader Henrik Stenson, as well Danny Willett and four-time winner this season Alex Noren in points. Conceivably, McIlroy is the last player in the standings with a chance to win the Race and its $1.25 million bonus to the winner.

    However, McIlroy, knowing Stenson’s record at the host course and Noren’s hot streak, has dismissed his chances as fantasy.

    “Mathematically I can win the Race to Dubai, but it’s not going to happen,” he said Tuesday. “I wouldn’t hold my breath. I think the three guys that are ahead of me are playing

    Read More »from McIlroy considers himself long shot to repeat in Race to Dubai
  • Two years ago, Jordan Spieth closed with a final-round 63 to win the Emirates Australian Open in conditions that flummoxed most everyone in the field, including Rory McIlroy.

    McIlroy was so impressed by Spieth’s performance, he said that Spieth, or anyone at their level, would be lucky to post that 63 again given 100 more chances in the same conditions.

    Turns out, that round, that week, was a jumping pad for Spieth toward a two-major season in 2015 that ended with a FedEx Cup title and a total of five PGA Tour wins. This week, Spieth returns to Australia, after a six-week break, looking to once again bottle some Down Under mojo for 2017.

    “I learned how to really close a tournament,” Spieth said Tuesday of that week. “And then we went into (2015) and did that a few times. So, it was big. I could use another experience like that in order to gather how we felt, how we produced.”

    Jordan Spieth returns to the Aussie Open. (Getty Images)
    Jordan Spieth returns to the Aussie Open. (Getty Images)

    It’s not like Spieth had a bad 2016. He won twice on

    Read More »from Spieth returns from six-week break seeking to rekindle Aussie Open bounce
  • The European Tour announced Tuesday a new seven-event, loosely connected series, dubbed the Rolex Series, which will offer high-purse events designed to maintain the allegiance of the best European-born players and attract other top global stars.

    The docket, which starts in May with the Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship in England, will feature six events with a purse of $7 million, and it will conclude with the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, which will have an $8 million purse. The five other tournaments in the series are the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, the Italian Open, the Turkish Airlines Open and the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa.

    The series effectively renders the current Final Series — the three-event, formerly four-event, swing that led to the season’s conclusion — dead.

    The Rolex Series events now make it easier for top European players and European Tour members to target particular

    Read More »from European Tour cultivates Rolex Series to offer high-purse events
  • The Zurich Classic of New Orleans is turning into a buddy trip for 2017 and beyond, as the PGA Tour bucks with its overwhelming docket of stroke-play events.

    The Tour officially announced Monday that the annual event played at TPC Louisana in Avondale will become a two-man team event. There will be 160 players in the field, with 80 teams of two. The top 80 players in the PGA Tour’s priority ranking — the order in which players get first crack to play in a tournament — that commit to the field will get to pick their partner. That partner must have PGA Tour status or secure a sponsor exemption into the event.

    Rickie Fowler is ready to team up with an Aussie. (Getty Images)
    Rickie Fowler is ready to team up with an Aussie. (Getty Images)

    Two teams have already been announced for the 72-hole tournament, which will be played April 27-30. Jason Day and Rickie Fowler will be a duo, as will European Ryder Cup stalwarts Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson.

    “I’ve loved being a part of team events throughout my amateur,

    Read More »from Zurich Classic of New Orleans goes to two-man event in 2017
  • Aditi Ashok made history in India on Sunday. (Getty Images)
    Aditi Ashok made history in India on Sunday. (Getty Images)

    Aditi Ashok made history on Sunday, becoming the first Indian-born player to win on the Ladies European Tour.

    The 18-year-old, who made a splash in golf’s return to the Olympics, won the Hero Women’s Indian Open by a shot over two-time LPGA major winner Brittany Lincicome and Belen Mozo at DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurgaon. A closing even-par 72 was enough to hold on for a 3-under 213 total and the victory.

    Only sweetening the win for Ashok, who won with a 4-foot birdie on the final hole, is that it came in her home country.

    “I’ve had a lot of good finishes at the Indian Open and to finally get the job done feels good, especially as an Indian player in front of my home crowd,” Ashok said. “It means a lot to win this.”

    Ashok turned pro last year at the age of 17, going on to win the LET’s Q-school. However, that title did not initially come with a lot of playing opportunities. Ashok has made good on the chances she’s had

    Read More »from Aditi Ashok becomes first Indian winner on Ladies European Tour
  • Alex Noren has been in a groove all season, winning three times on the European Tour before this week’s Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa. He popped out of that groove on Saturday at Gary Player Country Club, shooting a 3-over 75 that left him six shots back of the 54-hole lead.

    Well, Noren found that groove again, and he did it quickly.

    Noren shot 9-under 63 on Sunday to turn a six-shot deficit into a six-shot win, pulling away from South Korea’s Jeunghun Wang, who closed with 3-over 75 in search of a third European Tour win this season.

    The 30-year-old made up ground quickly, deftly placing his approach shots in positions to give himself makeable birdie and eagle bids.

    “All I was trying to do was hit the right shots at the right pieces of the green and putt uphill, and then not make too many bogeys,” Noren said. “Because around here, I think you’ve got a few birdie chances.”

    He converted early and often, getting to 8 under par on the

    Read More »from Alex Noren wins Nedbank Challenge for fourth Euro Tour win of the season
  • Mike Davis leads the USGA as executive director and CEO. (Getty Images)
    Mike Davis heads the USGA. (Getty Images)

    It hasn’t been a good last handful of years or so for the Rules of Golf. They’ve been used by observant fans to get players in trouble from the comfort of their couches. They were muddied in a way that marred the end of the U.S. Open, perhaps the ultimate stepping-in-it moment for the USGA, which, along with the R&A, crafts the rulebook.

    In the wake of the litany embarrassing situations the Rules of Golf have created, the USGA is working toward making them a little easier to understand.

    Speaking at the PGA of America’s annual meeting this week in New York, USGA executive director and CEO Mike Davis said the organization will soon unveil a first-effort version of a revised, simplified slate of rules.

    “We are assessing how we can make the Rules of Golf easier, plain English, easier to apply. Some of the rules right now are simply too difficult,” he said, according to Golf Channel.

    That can only be a good thing, particularly, as Davis indicated, if

    Read More »from USGA's Davis signals simplification of Rules of Golf