By PGATOUR.COM Staff
Jacksonville native Bud Cauley was on-hand at Thursday's Jaguars-Texans game, participating in a halftime closest-to-the-pin contest with Jaguars mascot Jaxson de Ville. Not surprisingly, the TOUR pro came out on top.
Hitting from a high corner of EverBank field, Cauley and Jaxson de Ville each took one shot at a small target at midfield. Since Cauley won the contest (although the mascot certainly made it interesting), the Jaguars Foundation made a $10,000 donation to the Bud Cauley Foundation, which raises money and awareness for military-related charities.
Below is video of Bud's shot.
Cauley was also featured on NFL Network in an interview with Michael Irvin before the game.
Ernie Els received the news of the death of Nelson Mandela while he was at home in South Africa playing in the Nebank Golf Challenge. Prior to the second round of the Sunshine Tour event, Els stopped to offer some thoughts on the Nobel Prize winner and personal friend.
Q. Your initial thoughts on the day?
A. It is a very sad day. A very sad day for South Africa and the world really. We have lost one of the iconic leaders of our time. You cannot say anything bad about the man. He fought for what he believed in, went to prison for so many years and came out to lead our country up until now. He was the father of our country and our continent. It’s just very sad that he had to go. He was 95 and led a full life but a lot of that wasn’t spent on what he was so good at because he was away for so many years.
Q. You have met the man, you must have some personal memories?
A. I get him for the first time in 1994 with Mr (Johann) Rupert when we had a dinner together and then after that we stayed in touch. I used to play that tournament at Houghton and his home was very close to Houghton Golf Club. He came over one time and we exchanged gifts with each other. That was kind of a Press function but I have still got the picture from that day in 1996 in my office in the US. And then every time I won a tournament he used to call me. I remember flying to London on one occasion. We were sitting up front and then Mr Mandela came onto the plane last. He was sitting in the front seat and he saw me and my daughter sitting next to me and all of a sudden he didn’t really want to see me anymore – he wanted to talk to my daughter. He got Samantha to go up there and she sat on his lap and he spoke to her like she was his grandchild. They were special times and the little time we had together was very special. He was just the most amazing person I have ever met.
Q. How did you find out last night?
A. I started to get a lot of text messages coming through, mostly from the U.S., and I checked it out and then put the television on and it was all over the news. That is how we heard about it.
Q. Is there a sense for you and the other South African players that today will be an emotional day on the course?
A. Very tough, yes. He was our President and the man who changed our lives. It could have been so different in South Africa but he kept his head and kept everyone going forward. I was in the Air Force when the ANC was banned. I remember those days in the 1980s when the Government was against the ANC. You know, they were our enemies. And then President Mandela comes in and takes over the country and leads it in a democratic way. He was an unbelievable guy and the guys who lived in that generation will really miss him.
Q. You are wearing black ribbons as a mark of respect?
A. Yeah, I think that is the right thing to do. It is the least we can do. It is going to be a tough day for the whole country so we will see how it goes.
By PGA TOUR staff
Former South Africa President Nelson Mandela, who emerged from prison after 27 years to lead South Africa out of apartheid, died on Thursday. He was 95.
Here is a statement from PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem:
"We share the world’s mourning of Nelson Mandela’s death. We had the honor and privilege of meeting Mr. Mandela during The Presidents Cup in 2003, when he attended the opening ceremony and graciously made himself available to meet individually with the players. It was a memorable week and his mere presence helped elevate the stature of the event. We truly feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet such a great man."
By PGATOUR.COM staff
Former South African President Nelson Mandela died Thursday at age 95.
News of the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize recipient's passing was mourned the world around and some players -- both current and former -- have taken to Twitter to share their thoughts. We've compiled some of those Tweets below.
Condolences to all on the passing of our beloved Father of the South African Nation, Nelson Mandela. Madiba we loved you. Rest in Peace.— Gary Player (@garyplayer) December 5, 2013
Nelson Mandela's courage, forgiveness, love & hope inspired people around the world. He made me want to be a better man. RIP Tata— Gary Player (@garyplayer) December 5, 2013
Pop & I felt your aura when we met, I feel it today & I will feel it forever. You have done so much for humanity...— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) December 6, 2013
My thoughts & prayers go out to Pres Nelson Mandela's family on his passing today. One of the greatest humans I ever had privilege to meet.— Greg Norman (@SharkGregNorman) December 5, 2013
By D.J. Piehowski, PGATOUR.COM
Billy Horschel spends a lot of time hitting balls on the range. Usually not at night, however.
Horschel, winner of this year's Zurich Classic of New Orleans, was at TPC Sawgrass on Wednesday evening, shooting (in the dark) his part in one of the PGA TOUR's upcoming TV spots.
"We should make it look like that scene in 'The Legend of Bagger Vance,'" Horschel said excitedly as crews arranged lighting and camera around the TPC Sawgrass range. "The one where Matt Damon is hitting balls in the dark. That's what this feels like."
We won't spoil the theme of the new ads, but you can expect to see a "rough cut" online by the end of the year.
By PGATOUR.COM Staff
Chih-Bing Lam carried his own bag en route to shooting 4-under 66 in the first round of the Hong Kong Open. And that wasn't even the crazy part of the story.
Lam, who's tied for third and only two shots behind leader David Higgins, only got into the event after a odd sequence of events. He started the day as an alternate, but got in the field after one player decided to caddie after guessing he wouldn't get in the field, another player was disqualified after his caddie went to the wrong tee and a third player was stopped from playing while in the middle of his swing.
Anthony Kang, who started the day ahead of Lam on the alternate list, decided to caddie for Unho Park, who shot a first-round 71, after guessing a spot in the field wouldn't open up. Finland's Joonas Granberg was disqualified for not making his tee time after his caddie went to the wrong tee.
Jeppe Huldahl was called to the tee after Granberg's disqualification. He was stopped mid-swing and told that he could not play because the first alternate had to be an Asian Tour member since the disqualified player, Granberg, was an Asian Tour member, according to golfcentraldaily.com. The Hong Kong Open is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and Asian Tour.
That's when Lam was called to the tee. He had to run to the tee, and teed off in a sweat before carrying his own bag and shooting 66. "I ran up to the 11th tee. I had an extra club which I took out before I teed off, I had a bunch of old golf balls, no yardage book, no caddie," Lam said. "It worked out well for me."
To make things even more bizarre, Lam played in the same threesome as Park, the player who Kang caddied for. (Click here for a video interview with Lam, Kang and Park.)
By PGATOUR.COM Staff
Jacksonville native Bud Cauley will take on Jaguars' mascot Jaxson de Ville in a closest to-the-pin contest at halftime of tonight's game against the Houston Texans (8:25 p.m. kickoff). Cauley and Jaxson de Ville will each hit an approximately 125-yard golf shot from atop the Sky Patio in the south end zone to an island green located at the 50-yard line.
The Jaguars Foundation will make a $10,000 donation to the Bud Cauley Foundation if Cauley is closer to the hole. If Jaxson de Ville is closer, the Jaguars Foundation will make a $1,000 charitable donation to Second Harvest Food Bank and every fan in attendance will receive a free order of cheesesticks from Papa John’s. In addition, if either Jaxson de Ville or Cauley makes a hole-in-one, one fan selected prior to the game will win $1 million from the Jaguars.
Tiger Woods is among 12 men nominated for the United States Sports Academy's Athlete of the Year.
On-line voting for the male and female award winners continues until midnight Friday, Dec. 20. Click here to cast your vote.
Woods, who won five times on the PGA TOUR in 2013, is joined on the ballot by last year's winner, track star Usain Bolt, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, cyclist Chris Froome, Miami Heat forward LeBron James, marathoner Wilson Kipsang, skier Todd Ligety, soccer standout Lionel Messi, tennis star Rafael Nadal, Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, boxer Manny Pacquiao and gymnast Kohei Uchimura.
Tennis star Serena Williams, who won last year's women's award, returns to the 2013 ballot along with LPGA standouts Inbee Park and Suzann Pettersen, as well as gymnast Simone Boles, swimmer Missy Franklin, sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, WNBA standout Maya Moore, hurdler Brianna Rollins, skier Mikaela Shiffrin, soccer star Abby Wambach and figure skater Kim Yuna.
The Athlete of the Year ballot is the culmination of the Academy’s year-long Athlete of the Month program, which recognizes the accomplishments of men and women in sports around the globe. Each month, the worldwide online votes along with the Academy’s selection committee choose the male and female winners.
The Academy, in conjunction with NBC Sports, will announce the 2013 Athletes of the Year on Wednesday, Dec. 25.
With the PGA TOUR set to resume its 2013-14 season the first week of January, PGATOUR.COM is previewing the top 30 players to watch heading into the new year. We'll count down one a day in December until we unveil our No. 1 player to watch on Dec. 30, the Monday of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
Check out this preview of No. 26 Charl Schwartzel and join the discussion below on how you think he'll perform in 2014. Click here for more on the top 30 to watch in 2014.
NO. 26 PLAYER TO WATCH: CHARL SCHWARTZEL
2014 OUTLOOK: Expectations were high for Charl Schwartzel following his win at the 2011 Masters, where he birdied the final four holes for the victory. Since then, however, he is winless on the PGA TOUR (though he does have a couple of victories on the European and Asian Tours). And it's not as if he has played poorly -- he was third at both Riviera and in Dallas at the HP Byron Nelson Championship. He also played well at the U.S. and British Opens with one round basically undoing his chances both times. There aren't really any major holes in the South African's game but one area he must improve on: His play on the weekend. -- Brian Wacker
THUS FAR THIS SEASON: Schwartzel has yet to make a start in the 2013-14 season.
His strength is the absence of a weakness. It's not the sexiest profile but it adds up over time. Missed just five of his last 54 cuts with 33 top 25s during that stretch. Like many golfers from lands outside the U.S., his limited schedule squelches his potential firepower. -- Rob Bolton
|ON THE MARK
Charl has one of my top five favorite golf swings on TOUR. Not only is his very balanced and wide technique easy on the eye, it produces some tremendously powerful and accurate shots. When Schwartzel is at full flight he is as impressive as anyone in the game. A balky putter has held him back but if he can figure that out I have no doubt that he can be a consistent force in the global game. -- Mark Immelman
I watched the South African play during the West Coast Swing last year and had him pegged as an early favorite to win The Masters. The monster season never materialized but I still look at Schwartzel’s game and think he could win any week and anywhere. He contended in the Northern Trust Open and could win there this year. -- Fred Albers
|INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Still seeking his first win on TOUR since the 2011 Masters, Schwartzel took a step forward in greens hit -- climbing from 153rd in ’12 to 72nd in ’13 -- but a step back in scrambling -- dropping to 140th (55.02 percent) from 50th (58.95 percent) in ’12. His putting continues to progress, as he moved all the way to 44th in strokes gained in ’13 from 102nd in ’11 and 73rd in ’12. -- Bill Cooney