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Ryder Cup spectator loses sight in eye after being hit by tee shot

A woman hit in the face by a golf ball during last weekend’s Ryder Cup said she has lost the use of her right eye and is considering legal action, ESPN reported Tuesday.

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Corine Remande, 49, was hit just above her right eye socket when Brooks Koepka hit an errant tee shot at the sixth hole at the Le Golf National course near Paris, ESPN reported. Remande’s injury occurred during the fourball matches between the United States and Europe.

“It happened so fast, I didn’t feel any pain when I was hit. I didn’t feel like the ball had struck my eye and then I felt the blood start to pour,” Remande told Agence France-Presse. “The scan on Friday confirmed a fracture of the right eye-socket and an explosion of the eyeball.”

"It looked like it hurt," Koepka, 28, the world’s current world No. 3 player, told reporters. “It's hard to control a golf ball, especially for 300 yards, and a lot of times the fans are close to the fairway.

"You can yell 'fore' but it doesn't matter from 300 yards, you can't hear it."

Kopeka signed a glove for Remande in offering an apology at the time, ESPN reported. 

He said he felt terrible after realizing the extent of Remande’s injury.

"You don't want to hit anybody in the face, especially not a woman, and it's not a good feeling," Kopeka told reporters.

While Remande praised Koepka, she criticized Ryder Cup organizers for “not making contact” with her following the incident, Newsweek reported.

“Quite clearly, there is responsibility on the part of the organizers,” Remande told the magazine. “Officials did not shout any warning as the player’s ball went into the crowd. More than anything I want them to take care of all the medical bills to make sure there is no risk of infection.”

A Ryder Cup spokesman said in a statement Tuesday that it was "distressing to hear that someone might suffer long term consequences from a ball strike."

"The spectator hit by a ball at the 6th hole during Friday's play was treated by first responders immediately and taken to hospital," the statement said. "We have been in communication with the family involved, starting with the immediate on-course treatment and thereafter to provide support.

“We can confirm that 'fore' was shouted several times but also appreciate how hard it can be to know when and where every ball is struck if you are in the crowd. We are hugely sympathetic and will do everything we can to support the spectator, insofar as that is possible under very difficult circumstances."Europe regained the Ryder Cup by winning 17.5-10.5.

Tiger Woods impersonator entertains crowds at TPC Boston

Tiger Woods never fails to draw a crowd when he plays in a PGA Tour event.

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Apparently, so does his doppelganger.

As Woods shot a final-round 71 at the Dell Technologies Championship at TPC Boston, a man impersonating the 14-time majors champion walked through the gallery and posed with fans, Golfweek reported.

The Woods impersonator was dressed like the golfer, wearing a Nike red polo shirt with a blade collar and a TW hat. He stopped, laughed and posed for photos with fans as he followed Woods’ final round.

Woods finished tied for 24th place, nine shots behind tournament winner Bryson DeChambeau, who shot 63 and 67 over the final 36 holes to win the tournament by two shots over Justin Rose.

Oregon spectator injured by Kevin Stadler's shattered golf club

Spectators watching golf tournaments are always alert to errant balls flying into the crowd. A piece of a golf club is a different matter.

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A spectator needed stitches Friday in Oregon when the head of Kevin Stadler’s golf club came loose and flew into the gallery at a Web.com Tour event, ESPN reported.

Stadler, 38, was playing in the WinCo Foods Portland Open at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club when he hit an errant tee shot at the 15th hole and slammed his 7-iron to the ground, The New York Post reported. The club head broke when it hit Stadler’s foot and flew into the crowd, hitting a spectator in the head, the newspaper reported.

The spectator needed six stitches, Web.com Tour rules official Orlando Pope told ESPN.

"It was a very freakish accident,'' Pope told ESPN on Saturday. “Kevin is devastated. He had trouble trying to finish the round. He was quite worried and felt so bad.”

Tournament officials did not release the name of the spectator. Stadler, the son of 1982 Masters champion Craig Stadler, missed the cut in the tournament. He was not available for comment, ESPN reported.

Shaun Micheel, who was playing in the same group as Stadler on Friday, posted about the incident on his Facebook account, according to ESPN.

“I had my head down but the club head flew behind me and hit a spectator to my right," Micheel wrote. “It's been awhile since I've seen so much blood. We stayed with him for about 15 minutes before the EMTs arrived. ...

“[Stadler] was absolutely shattered and we did our best to keep his spirits up. This was not done on purpose and we were astounded at the way the club was directed, but it just shows you how dangerous it is to throw or break clubs. Each of us in the group learned something today.”

Lefty's right moves: Phil Mickelson dances in shirt commercial

Lefty showed he had the right moves as he hawked long-sleeved shirts.

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PGA Tour star Phil Mickelson appeared in a commercial for Mizzen+Main that first ran Thursday, and the three-time Masters champion took some awkward dance steps while avoiding golf balls that whizzed past him.

Mickelson, who also owns five major titles and 43 victories on the PGA Tour, got down to do “The Worm” to finish off the 30-second commercial.

Mickelson, 48, began wearing the long-sleeved shirts at the Players Championship in May and signed an endorsement deal with Mizzen+Main, ESPN reported.

"I'll do private (lessons) for the right price," Mickelson joked after shooting a 66 Thursday at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio, which put him four shots behind first-round leader Ian Poulter. 

Mickelson said while it was “fun to laugh at yourself,” it was a tough chore to shoot the commercial because “it was a lot of work just to get those moves out of me."

Mickelson said he shot the commercial a month ago near his San Diego home and it took about an hour to produce, ESPN reported.

"Obviously, it's not the thing I'm most comfortable doing," Mickelson said. "But then (Mickelson’s wife) Amy said, 'You should just tell them that you know how to do The Worm.' After she said that, it was over, we were doing it.”

Minnesota man, 90, selling his 70,000 golf ball collection

For 80 years, a Minnesota man has pursued his “magnificent obsession” -- collecting golf balls. Now, 90-year-old RJ Smith is ready to sell his stash of roughly 70,000 balls, KARE reported.

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“I don’t want any of the money,” said the Rochester resident, who will donate any money he makes to charity.

Smith was diagnosed with cancer three months ago and is awaiting further tests. In the meantime, he decided to sell his collection, the television station reported.

Smith’s collection is stored in 460 milk crates stacked in his garage, KARE reported. His oldest golf ball dates to 1917, and no two golf balls are alike. The collection includes thousands of logos from college and professional sports teams, plus balls stamped with the names of automakers and other advertisers, KARE reported.

Smith collected his first ball when he was an 11-year-old caddie. Except for a stint in the military during World War II, Smith has pursued his hobby, the television station reported.

He has never paid for a ball, simply hunting them down in the roughs and hazards at Rochester’s golf course. He calls those areas his office, KARE reported.

“He'll come in and get a cart, ‘I'm just heading to my office quick, hold my messages,’” said Mike Manahan, the pro at Northern Hills Golf Course in Rochester.

“My wife always knew where I was at,” Smith told KARE. “I wasn't sitting in the bar.

“I couldn’t get her off the golf course and she couldn’t get me on to play with her,” Smith said. “So, I’d just go hunting golf balls while she played.”

But now the time has come to part with his collection, and Smith has no regrets.

“God has given me everything I've ever wanted in life and I've never had to ask,” he told KARE.

Ohio golfer, 93, scores hole-in-one in final round of career

It was a great way to cap off a long golf career.

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Ben Bender, 93, who has been playing golf for 65 years, played his final round at Green Valley in Zanesville, Ohio, last month. He went out in style, scoring his first hole-in-one, the Times Recorder of Zanesville reported.

Plagued by hip bursitis that caused him to cut his round short, Bender used a 5-wood to score an ace at the third hole at Green Valley.

"I'd come close to some hole-in-ones, but this one was level on the green before it curved towards the hole and went in," Bender told the Times Recorder. "I was in awe watching it. I played a few more holes, but my hips were hurting and I had to stop. It seemed the Lord knew this was my last round so he gave me a hole-in-one."

Green Valley manager Steve Galloway said that Bender got off to a rocky start, shooting at least a 7 on the other five holes he played.

"(Ben) shot 8 on 1 and 7 on 2 so you guessed it, a hole-in-one on 3," he said. "What an amazing feat by Ben (in his final round)."

Bender, a former 3-handicapper who has played since he was 28, played six days per week when he lived in Florida.

When he retired, Bender moved back to Zanesville and regularly played Green Valley, the Times Recorder reported.

"I was lucky to play golf this long, but I never expected (a hole-in-one)," Bender told the newspaper. "It was the last time I was able to play, and I think God had a hand in this. I loved the game and hate to give it up, but I can't play forever.”

Golfer's tee shot hits bird in mid-air at PGA Tour event

This is not what Kelly Kraft had in mind when he wanted to shoot birdie.

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Playing at the RBC Heritage PGA Tour event at Harbour Town Golf Links on Friday, Kraft’s tee shot at the par-3 14th hole glanced off a “giant, black bird” and fell into the water in front of the green.

The bird flew away, and so did Kraft’s chances of playing this weekend.

“It cost me the cut, most likely,” Kraft told PGATour.com. “There was a helping wind, and I hit a 7-iron, caught it perfect. It was probably 30 yards off the tee box and this giant, black bird swooped in front of it and hit it and the ball fell 20 yards short in the water. It would’ve been in the middle of the green. It might have been close. I got screwed.”

Hitting a bird on the golf course is a rarity, and Kraft called for a ruling from a Tour official. 

“Robert Garrigus (Kraft’s playing partner) came running up to me first,” said Mark Dusbabek, one of the Tour officials on site. “He said, ‘His ball hit a bird in flight! That’s a cancel-and-replay, right?’”

Wrong. The cancel-and-replay rule only applies when a ball hits a man-made object, like a power line, ESPN reported.

“The big difference is a bird is a God-made object,” Dillard Pruitt, another rules official, told PGATour.com. “Whereas a telephone wire is man-made. It’s just a stroke of bad luck. It doesn’t happen very often, but today is Friday the 13th. Freaky Friday.” 

Kraft was forced to take a double-bogey on the hole. He recovered slightly with birdies at No. 17 and No. 1, but bogeyed the seventh hole to finish at 1-over par 71. His two-round total of 143 meant Kraft missed the cut by one shot.

“It’s kind of a dumb rule that you can’t re-tee there,” Kraft said. “If you hit a power line, you can re-tee, and if a bird moves your ball while it’s resting you can replace it. But there’s nothing you can do about this.“This has got to be more unusual than a hole-in-one. Two moving objects colliding? I mean you hit balls all day long on the range and you don’t hit another ball in the air.”

Jack Nicklaus’ grandson sinks hole-in-one, brings grandpa to tears

Gary Nicklaus, 15, aced the ninth hole as the caddie for his grandfather Jack Nicklaus.

Known as GT, the younger Nicklaus scored his first-ever ace and had his grandfather in tears in a wild celebration. The 78-year-old Nicklaus finished tied for fourth at 4-under par. Their playing partner was 82-year-old Gary Player who finished tied for 10th.

Nicklaus, the six-time Masters champion, said he ranks the hole-in-one by his grandson as his number one golf memory.

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“To watch your grandson do that is special,” a still choked up Nicklaus said.

Gary Nicklaus said he was just trying to hit the ball on the green.

“For that to happen was unbelievable,” Gary Nicklaus said. “… It was surreal.”

Nicklaus said he asked his grandson three days ago whether he wanted to take the last tee shot. When he agreed, Nicklaus said he told the youngster he would get a hole-in-one.

The 68-year-old Tom Watson won the Par 3 Contest.

Nick Fleetwood and Thomas Pieters finished tied for second at 5-under par and Adam Hadwin and Chez Reavie finished tied for fourth with Nicklaus. 

Tiger Woods' shot lands in woman's handbag

Tiger Woods has made millions of dollars playing golf, so why was he rummaging through a woman’s handbag during Friday’s second round of the Valspar Championship?

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Woods, who charged into contention with a 3-under-par 68, hit his second shot at the par-4 ninth hole -- his final hole of the day -- to the right of the green. It landed in the handbag of Marianne Cousins, a 57-year-old resident of Clearwater, Florida, who was attending her first golf tournament, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

“We knew when he hit it, and then of course I didn't see it,” said Cousins told the Times. "All day I've been saying 'I don't even see them. How do people even see the ball until it hits on the green? All of sudden my friends started screaming, "It's in your bag!”

Cousins carries a clear plastic bag, one she takes to Tampa Bay Buccaneers games, where she is a season-ticket holder, the Times reported.

People around Cousins told her not to move, and definitely warned her not to touch the errant golf ball that was nestled in her handbag.

“I just froze there,” Cousins told the Times. “When Tiger came up and said ‘where's the ball?’ I said, ‘In my bag. Between my feet. I didn't touch it.’

"And he said, ‘thank you.’”

By rule, Cousins’ bag was considered an obstruction, which allowed him to take a free drop. So Woods reached into Cousins’ bag and continued playing. He chipped to within six feet but missed his par putt for his only bogey of the round, the Times reported. 

Woods ended Friday in a five-way tie for second place, two strokes behind leader Corey Conners, ESPN reported.

Stacy Lewis ends LPGA victory drought, pledges tournament earnings to Houston

Earlier this week, women’s professional golfer Stacy Lewis promised to give back to her hurricane-ravaged hometown. Sunday, she delivered in a big way.

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Lewis won the Cambia Portland Classic, earning her first LPGA title since June 2014. The 32-year-old, who grew up in the Houston suburb of The Woodlands, promised in a Wednesday tweet that she would donate her tournament earnings to help relief efforts for the victims of Hurricane Harvey. After shooting a 3-under-par 69 to win Sunday’s final round, Lewis donated her first-place check of $195,000.

“You know, when I said that I had the goal of winning the tournament -- you got to get a lot of things right, to go your way," Lewis told Golf.com. “Just what we're going to be able to do, we're going to be able to help rebuild houses and get their homes back. That's more important than anything."

Lewis still lives in the Houston area with her husband, Gerrod Chadwell, who is the women’s golf coach at the University of Houston. She had not won an LPGA event since the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship -- a drought of 83 starts. She had been the runner-up 12 times during that period.

One of Lewis’ sponsors, Marathon Oil, is pledging $1 million to the relief efforts, LPGA Tournament officials told ESPN. KPMG, another one of her sponsors, pledged to match her $195,000 donation.

Saturday night, Lewis said winning for Houston this week would be “up there” with her two major tournament victories.

“It would be probably one of my most special wins, just to be able to do this for the people in Texas and to do it too when everybody is watching,” she told Golf.com. “I kind of put all the eyeballs on me and put some pressure on myself, so it's nice to kind of see myself performing, too.”

Lewis finished at 20-under 268. She opened with rounds of 70, 64 and 65 to take a three-stroke lead into the final round.

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