We'll let the shots speak for themselves.
What just happened? pic.twitter.com/OeH6FjRusc— Hunter Mahan (@HunterMahan) September 28, 2014
I have felt better! http://t.co/hL4llmV91M— Lee Westwood (@WestwoodLee) September 29, 2014
Well I think I'm looking a little worse for wears this morning. 4am put ourselves to bed and now off to the airport.=4 pic.twitter.com/AeWGtW2cOQ— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) September 29, 2014
GLENEAGLES, Scotland -- A big theme heading into the Ryder Cup this year among those who play on the PGA Tour is the abundance of golf they have faced in the past two months.
Reuters/Russell Cheyne U.S. captain Tom Watson lamented the amount of golf played by members of his team in the run-up to this week's Ryder Cup matches. Watson didn't use it as an excuse, though.
The hectic schedule is what originally caused U.S. captain Tom Watson to request that there be a week between the PGA Tour's season-ending Tour Championship and the Ryder Cup.
That wish was granted by PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, with other consequences. The four-tournament FedEx Cup playoff run caused distress in other ways, with the top players being asked to compete six of seven weeks and seven of nine going back to the Open Championship.
"I am concerned about how much these players are playing before they reach the Ryder Cup," Watson said Tuesday at Gleneagles, where the Ryder Cup begins Friday. "Two years ago I made my point to [PGA of America president] Ted Bishop and to Tim Finchem about a week off between the end of the FedEx Cup ... as I said these players are playing seven out of eight tournaments or eight out of nine tournaments in a row.
"They are tired. That's too much golf, but just the way it is. You have to deal with it. [It] does concern me, and if they could rectify that by a change in the date or the way these tournaments are played prior to it, that would be great for the Ryder Cup."
In years past, the FedEx Cup was viewed as a positive, as a way for players to keep sharp leading up to the Ryder Cup.
But the past two years especially, the grind of the late-season run has had more than a few players grumbling.
That said, Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley did not compete in the Tour Championship and had the past two weeks off. The other 10 members of the team played in Atlanta, with only Jim Furyk faring particularly well.
European team member Graeme McDowell suggested that the Americans are at a disadvantage because of the schedule as well as playing a Presidents Cup in non-Ryder Cup years.
"Let's put it this way: I'm not disappointed that I have to play every year," Furyk said. "I would see it as an honor if I got to qualify. I didn't qualify last year [for the Presidents Cup] and I dearly missed it. So I'm happy to be back and happy to be playing in the team format and trying to provide some leadership.
"I'm not making any excuses for the way we've played. But it's not difficult to get up for the Ryder Cup or to be excited or to feel rejuvenated. I just played eight out of the last 10 weeks, and I couldn't be more excited about being here on a Tuesday, which is a day that this is usually my least favorite day of a PGA Tour event. I love the fact we play every other year and if we could do this every year, I would be excited."
Furyk is making his ninth consecutive appearance on the U.S. Ryder Cup team dating to 1997 but has been on just two winning teams -- 1999 and 2008.
GLENEAGLES, Scotland -- U.S. Ryder Cup team member Rickie Fowler isn't shy about the patriotism angle. When he showed up in Scotland with the rest of the U.S. team, he was sporting a new haircut that included the letters "USA" shaved into the right side.
"I thought it was great," said U.S. captain Tom Watson, who accompanied the team on a charter that arrived Monday morning. "I thought it was terrific. It brings a spirit, a light spirit to the team."
Fowler tweeted a photo of himself on Sunday after having gotten his hair cut. He is playing in his second Ryder Cup, which begins Friday morning.
Looking to get a tee time at Winged Foot? How about Trump National? Apparently even the president of the United States sometimes gets the brush-off, according to a broadcast report.
President Barack Obama was in the New York City area for Labor Day, and his Secret Service advance team inquired about possible tee times at those two elite clubs and some others, according to NBC 4 New York.
The president was in town, the report said, for a fundraiser and a wedding. According to the report, this isn't the first time a sitting president was rebuffed by elite clubs, especially considering that the Labor Day holiday is considered by many to be one of the last big weekends for golf in the Northeast.
Obama had been criticized recently for hitting the links while major crises flared up in the Middle East and the Ukraine.
Every golf fan has an Arnie story. Even if it isn't their own tale, fans of the golfing legend Arnold Palmer, who turns 85 on Sept. 10, 2014, tell it like it's their own.
In that line of thinking, we've pulled together some of the best tweets wishing The King all the best on No. 85.
And, of course, feel free to share your own below, as well.
Love this pic of the King in the locker room at Old Palm. pic.twitter.com/vnqBRue8XO- Lee Westwood (@WestwoodLee) September 10, 2014
Easy money he'd shoot better than his age. Happy Birthday AP.- Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) September 10, 2014
Happy 85th birthday Mr Palmer! A man responsible for transforming our sport and continues to do so today- Jordan Spieth (@JordanSpieth) September 10, 2014
Happy 85th Birthday, Mr. Palmer! This photo was snapped when he was just 23 years old. Thanks for everything, Arnie. pic.twitter.com/AMzGMyoTP0- Golf Digest (@GolfDigest) September 10, 2014
My 5 favorite Arnold Palmer pics...No. 5 is Tiger & The King at Bay Hill in 2013, the ultimate "caption this": pic.twitter.com/Pav8GUnLz2- Matt Ginella (@MattGinellaGC) September 10, 2014
Arnold Palmer was the 1st golfer to buy his own plane. Bought a used Aero Commander turboprop in 1962 for $27K- darren rovell (@darrenrovell) September 10, 2014
Arnold Palmer endorsed more things than any athlete in sports history. Alpaca wool cardigans? pic.twitter.com/vIvfrkjV3L- darren rovell (@darrenrovell) September 10, 2014
One of my favorite moments on Tour 1992 PGA. Happy Birthday Mr. Palmer. pic.twitter.com/pUV9D7nH2t- Jim Gallagher Jr. (@GallagherJr) September 10, 2014
Each week of the season, our experts share their insights into which players fit the criteria for our four categories: Horse for the Course (a golfer who knows the track inside and out), Birdie Buster (a guy who could take it low), Super Sleeper (a player who could unexpectedly contend) and Winner.
This week, the PGA Tour heads to East Lake Golf Club for the Tour Championship in Atlanta.
Horse for the Course
Michael Collins, ESPN.com senior golf analyst: Sergio Garcia
Although he has never won this event, Garcia has finished second twice and posted a T-9 last year. Just like Billy Horschel finding the hazard on the final hole at Deutsche Bank, Garcia's triple-bogey on the 17th last week is just a blip on the radar.
Farrell Evans, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Bill Haas
In 2011, the 32-year-old son of Champions Tour player Jay Haas won the Tour Championship at East Lake on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff with Hunter Mahan in one of the most exciting finishes in playoffs history.
Bob Harig, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Justin Rose
The Englishman has never won the Tour Championship, but he has contended each of the past two years, with a runner-up finish in 2012.
Kevin Maguire, ESPN.com senior golf editor: Justin Rose
He's never finished outside the top 20 at East Lake! OK, so it's only a 30-man field (well, 29 this week). Rose did finish sixth last year and second in 2012, so he clearly can get around this track without too many issues. That $10 million bonus is probably a pipe dream as he starts the Tour Championship at No. 26 in the rankings.
Collins: Jordan Spieth
Last year as a rookie, he finished runner-up. Now in the throes of a sophomore slump (I write that very sarcastically), Spieth shows up 11th on the FedEx Cup points list with an outside shot to win the $10 million. Expect another top-5 finish coming off his T-8 last week.
Evans: Ryan Palmer
A tie for fifth in the PGA Championship vaulted the 37-year-old Texan into the conversation for a U.S. Ryder Cup captain's pick. But making it to the Tour Championship was always his primary goal. He fulfilled that objective with a tie for fourth at the BMW Championship.
Harig: Billy Horschel
You have to love the way his game has come around the last few weeks, following a second-place finish at the Barclays with a victory at the BMW Championship to put himself in contention for the FedEx Cup title.
Maguire: Bubba Watson
Any time you can get the big-hitting Bubba to focus, watch out. He's sitting there with $10 million dangling in the wings. That kind of coin will get his attention.
Collins: Morgan Hoffmann
If you're not rooting for this guy after starting the playoffs as the second-to-last man in, you must hate Cinderella, puppies, kittens and babies. He shot 62 on Saturday and followed it up by dropping a 63 on Sunday at the BMW Championship just to make it this far. Did I mention this was only his second top-10 of the year? His first was at the Barclays two weeks before!
Evans: Morgan Hoffmann
Making his first start in the Tour Championship, the former Oklahoma State star earned his way to Atlanta with a tie for ninth at the Barclays and third in Denver that included a 63 in the final round.
Harig: Hideki Matsuyama
Nobody in this field would be a surprise winner, but Matsuyama would rank as the biggest, longest shot given he barely got into the field at No. 29 (Dustin Johnson at 30 is not playing) with a tie for 20th at the BMW. He has not had a top-10 finish since winning the Memorial.
Maguire: Ryan Palmer
The Texas A&M Aggie, who is 23rd in the FedEx Cup standings, finishes a remarkably consistent season having missed just three cuts in 22 starts. He followed up his T-16 in Boston with a tie for fourth last week at the BMW Championship, so clearly Palmer is kicking it into high gear for the season's finishing run.
Collins: Rickie Fowler
Karma. I believe in it. How fitting will it be for this event to be Fowler's first win of the year? If there's a golf god, Fowler will take the FedEx Cup too. Since the U.S. Open, his only finish outside the top nine was a T-23 at Deutsche Bank. I'm thinking an extra $10 million will ease the pain of the PGA Championship loss just a little.
Evans: Jim Furyk
The last of Furyk's 16 tour wins came at East Lake in 2010, when he took the Tour Championship to earn the FedEx Cup playoffs crown. The oldest player in the field at 44, the former Arizona star is coming off a tie for fourth in Denver at the BMW Championship.
Harig: Rory McIlroy
What a way to finish the PGA Tour season. McIlroy has made it a priority to add the FedEx Cup title to all his other efforts this year. A victory at the Tour Championship guarantees it.
Maguire: Jim Furyk
Wouldn't it be amazing if Furyk, who hasn't been able to convert his last eight 54-hole leads on the PGA Tour into victory, finally broke through at the place of his last victory in 2010? Since he's No. 7 in the rankings, there's a pretty good chance that victory would also give him a second FedEx Cup title.
CHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. -- In golf speak, it is called "taking relief" -- when a player gets to drop his ball away from various obstacles during the course of a round. Billy Horschel took the term to a different level on Sunday at Cherry Hills Country Club, outside Denver.
Having hit his approach shot to the 18th green in the final round of the BMW Championship, Horschel, 27, started running toward the gallery ropes.
The television cameras followed him toward the spectators, and everyone was puzzled about what had him in such a hurry -- as he was two putts away from securing a $1.44 million check.
Simple, really. "I'm sure the whole world saw me sprint, but I had to go to the bathroom," Horschel said. "I had been holding it for way too many holes and I just felt like, you know, I can sort of relax now. Let's just go ahead and go to the bathroom before I can't go."
Horschel found a portable restroom just off to the side of the 18th hole, then was in a much calmer state of mind as he headed to the green and two-putted for his par that secured a two-stroke victory over Bubba Watson.
The win was Horschel's second on the PGA Tour. He heads to this week's Tour Championship in second-place in the FedEx Cup standings, behind Chris Kirk and ahead of Watson and Rory McIlroy. The winner of the FedEx Cup gets a $10 million bonus.
CHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. -- For the second straight day, Rory McIlroy 4-putted a green at Cherry Hills, doing it at the same hole as he did on Saturday.
The No. 1-ranked player in the world took it in stride, choosing to laugh at himself rather than get too upset over it.
Just incase anyone missed my 4 putt yesterday, I had to do it again =H decent week overall, still in a great position going to Atlanta.— Rory Mcilroy (@McIlroyRory) September 7, 2014
"It sort of shows everyone out there that we do the same things as they do every weekend," McIlroy said after finishing in a tie for eighth, 6 strokes back of winner Billy Horschel at the BMW Championship.
Of course, McIlroy took the classy way out by failing to mention that most everyone else can't hit 350-yard tee shots, drive par-4 holes or, well, win consecutive major championships.
But McIlroy did give up 5 strokes to par at the par-3 12th over the weekend, making a triple-bogey on Saturday -- when he 4-putted from 4 feet -- and then a double-bogey Sunday when he 4-putted from 19 feet.
And give McIlroy credit for acknowledging that Saturday's 4-putt might have played a role in Sunday's 4-putt.
"Over the second putt it was [on my mind]," McIlroy said. "I said, let's not give any more shots away to this hole. So maybe I put a little bit too much pressure on myself to hole the second putt.
"On the third putt I'm thinking, 'OK, you don't want to 4-putt again,' and I actually [holed] a decent-length putt for a 4-putt."
As for the oddity of it?
"Two 4-putts on the game green? It's not my worst," McIlroy said. "I have 5-putted before. But it's one of those things that at least I can laugh about it and move on."
McIlroy will head to Atlanta for this week's Tour Championship fourth in FedEx Cup points after Horschel moved to second behind Chris Kirk. Bubba Watson, who finished second at Cherry Hills, moved to third. Hunter Mahan is fifth and any in the top five would capture the FedEx Cup with a victory at East Lake.
Cars, trucks, motorcycles, stays at fancy resorts and private plane rides are just some of the many hole-in-one prizes that have been given away at PGA Tour and European Tour events.
This coming week at the KLM Open in the Netherlands, though, there will be a first.
A free trip into space!
That was not a typo. XCOR Space Expeditions is offering the first player to make a hole-in-one during the tournament at the par-3 15th hole at Kennemer Golf and Country Club the ride of a lifetime. The hole plays uphill at 170 yards on the scorecard.
"If you make a hole-in-one here, you are justifiably a star," said Daan Slooter, tournament director for the KLM Open, on europeantour.com.
There will be a full-size model of the Lynx Mark 1 ship on display next to the 15th green all four rounds so golfers can see exactly what they'll be riding in should they be the first. The prize package is worth $100,000, and according to the website, you'll be able to take your "journeys into space starting at the end of 2015."