After an 18 month hiatus, golf's favorite boy band is reuniting.
"Golf Boys", a group founded by PGA TOUR star Ben Crane, featuring Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler and Hunter Mahan which parodies boy bands, have released their second song, “2.Oh”. The song was written by the golfers' friend and popular recording artist, Mat Kearney.
The first Golf Boys video, released in June of 2011, quickly became an Internet sensation and has amassed nearly 6 million views on YouTube. Aside from Tiger Woods-related videos, it's the most viewed video on the Internet featuring professional golfers.
An encore video was not originally planned, but fans begged for one relentlessly.
Crane, the unofficial band leader, reached out to Kearney, an avid golfer and friend from his college days in Eugene, OR, to help with the second song. Kearney set out to write a song that played off of the golfers’ individual style and personality, but also managed to name-drop numerous PGA TOUR stars including: Stewart Cink, Aaron Baddeley, Adam Scott, Ricky Barnes, Rory Sabbatini, Kevin Na, Jason Day, Louis Oosthuizen, Bo Van Pelt and Stuart Appleby.
“Ben and I have been friends for a long time,” says Kearney. “He mentioned they might do a new Golf Boys song, so I got off the phone and tried to come up with a hard hitting hip hop track. I thought using golfers’ names as puns would be pretty dang funny. I sat there for hours cracking myself up. How often do you get to write a rap for someone who's won the Masters?”
The video is on Ben Crane's YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/bencranegolf
The Golf Boys use the videos to raise money for charity and hope to introduce a younger generation to the game of golf. For their second video, the Golf Boys are partnering with international aid organization, charity:water. 100% of proceeds from Golf Boys “2.Oh” will be dedicated to the construction of clean water wells in Ethiopia through charity:water. Since 2006, charity:water has been able to provide clean water to over 3.2 million people in 20 countries. The Golf Boys set up a fundraising page on the charity:water website so that fans can learn more about the cause and, if interested, contribute: www.mycharitywater.org/GolfBoys. "We are in a truly unique era," says Crane, "I love that we can goof off on YouTube and help people across the world. I'm all in for that."
Watson agrees. "We obviously don't have any profit motive here. We're just having fun and sharing a bit of our personality with fans. I think it's awesome that we will be able to provide clean water and awareness for our brothers and sisters in Ethiopia. If we can reach new fans and grow the game of golf in the process, that's a huge bonus.”
Historically, golf has had one of the older viewer demographics in sports, something that Crane feels provides an opportunity for Golf Boys.
"Tournament golf requires tremendous focus. We can't show raw personality in competition like other sports,” says Crane. “I think making these videos has helped make us more relatable to a demographic that might not otherwise be attracted to golf. As professional golfers, we’re sort of caretakers of the game. There is nothing wrong with being an older sport, but we want to do our best to grow it. The easiest way to do that is by engaging younger fans.”
Crane created a YouTube channel in September of 2010 after filming a popular workout parody video as a favor for a friend. The video went "viral" around the golf community and Crane was encouraged to start a regular series. Since that time, Crane has released numerous videos poking fun at his supposed insecurities such as his pace of play, pre-round routine and rapid hair loss. In January of 2013, Crane's YouTube channel passed Lebron James to become the second most-viewed YouTube channel of any active athlete. Crane doesn't profit from the viewership, as the channel is “owned” by he and his wife’s foundation and any revenue received is donated to charities that they support.
“On a personal level, social media has done a lot to change the perception of who I am,” says Crane. “I think I’ve been able to show fans a different side of myself and other pro golfers. I’m a golfer, first and foremost, but spending one day every few months to create a video that raises money for charity and might grow the game is too good of an opportunity to pass up.”
MARANA, Ariz --This was a battle of two of the PGA TOUR's resident bombers, but Jason Day was ready to take advantage of Bubba Watson's struggles on the greens.
Day's win was his second blowout of the week. He never trailed in the match after winning three of the first six holes with two birdies and a par to go 2 up.
Watson birdied the seventh to cut into the Aussie's lead but Day responded with a two-putt birdie from 43 feet at the par-5 eighth and went 3 up at the turn when his opponent bogeyed the ninth.
Watson and Day traded wins with birdies at the 12th and 13th. But Watson got into trouble in the desert at the driveable par-4 15th and eventually conceded the hole to end the match.
Day advances to the Accenture Match Play Championship quarterfinals for the second time in three tries at this event.
"It was just really steady golf," Day said. "Bubba gave me a couple early on and I just tried to hold that lead, and I tried to extend it. I think I was 4 under through 14 holes, so overall very, very happy with how I played. Like I said before, it was just steady."
SCORECARD STATS: Day made six birdies and nine pars in 15 holes. Watson had 11 pars, three birdies and a bogey.
HOLES WON: Day won seven holes. Watson won three holes.
NEXT UP: Day faces Graeme McDowell, who defeated Shane Lowry 3 and 2.
MARANA, Ariz. -- Bubba Watson was in control for the first 10 holes, building a 3-up advantage. Jim Furyk staged a rally on the back nine, thouugh, and held steady until he couldn't get up and down the 22nd hole.
The reigning Masters champ struck quickly, winning the second with a birdie and the fourth with a par. Furyk made a 3-footer for birdie at the par-5 eighth to briefly cut into that lead but Watson got it back -- and then some -- when he won the next two holes with a par and a 20-foot birdie.
Furyk, a crowd favorite who played his college golf at nearby Arizona, won three of the next four holes with a 16-footer for birdie and two pars to even the match at the 14th hole. A birdie at the 15th hole put Watson up again but Furyk made a last-ditch 5-footer at the 18th hole to square the proceedings and extend the match. Both men had their chances in sudden death, too.
Watson missed a 5-footer on the first extra hole that would have given him the victory, then the two halved the next, the par-5 second, with birdies. Furyk couldn't convert an 11-footer at the third that would have given him the win after Watson missed the green, but the tables were turned on the 22nd hole where Furyk pitched to 23 feet and couldn't make the putt for par.
"It was a good match," Watson said. "I was up early. He made some putts, he missed some putts. And then on 18, I hit a good shot in there and he topped me, and I missed my putt.
"Struggled on 3, the third extra playoff hole, somehow made a 10-footer, 12 footer and just kind of hung on. That's all I did is I hit quality iron shots it seems like all day, but I just didn't make the putts, but somehow hung on to win."
SCORECARD STATS: Watson made four birdies, two bogeys and one double bogey. Furyk made four birdies, three bogeys and one double bogey. Interestingly, the double bogeys came on the same hole so it was no harm, no foul.
HOLES WON: Watson won six holes. Furyk won five holes.
NEXT OPPONENT: Jason Day, who beat Russell Henley in 19 holes.
MARANA, Ariz. -- American Bubba Watson came out sizzling on Thursday to put away pesky Englishman Chris Wood, 2 and 1, in the first round of the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.
Watson, a No. 2 seed, will now face Jim Furyk in the second round. Watson reached the semifinals here two years ago.
The Masters champ struggled on Wednesday before a snowstorm halted play. The match was all square through six holes at that point, even though Watson had suffered a double bogey and a bogey in that stretch.
But on Thursday, he won the seventh hole with a par, then eagled the par-5 eighth when he holed out from off the green. That put him 2 up.
Watson birdied the 11th and 13th holes to match Wood, who was also playing better than he had the previous day. When Wood birdied the par-4 15th with an 11-foot putt, Watson's lead was reduced to 1 up.
But Watson won the next hole, the par-3 16th, when he rolled in an 18-footer for birdie. Both players birdied the 17th, Watson hitting his approach shot within 3 feet.
"We both played better this afternoon," Watson said. "Yesterday with the cold weather we all struggled a little bit. We both made birdies, and we just kept tying, and luckily I made some birdies down the stretch."
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Michael Phelps has stood on the starting block, ready to dive into the water and compete at the highest level, during three different Olympic Games. He holds the all-time record for gold medals with 18, too.
But nothing prepared Phelps for what he felt on Wednesday when he stepped to the 16th tee at TPC Scottsdale during the pro-am at the Waste Management Phoenix Open with reigning Masters champion Bubba Watson.
"I felt my heart was going to jump out of my chest," Phelps said. "... I was very nervous and my club was like shaking as I'm over the ball. I just pretty much had to try to swing the club as fast as I could. But it's wild.
"I have never heard people 'boo' you, but I'm sure it's happened, my face is just under water. So it was a little different experience. Hopefully I have a chance to come back and play again. It's a great event. I had a blast today, and being able to play with Bubba, it's something else."
Watson said Phelps, who is the student on the "Hank Haney Project" that begins airing on Golf Channel next month, has potential -- particularly in his short game. At the same time, when someone asked what the best part of the swimmer's game was, Watson smiled and said "that he's done with 18 holes."
"It's one of those things where it's a great athlete, one of the best Olympians, or the best Olympian, coming to a different sport, so obviously it's a big change, different mental set, different mental focus, and he's not used to it," Watson said. "He hasn't had the practice that we've had. But you can see he's an athlete and he's competitive, so he could be good if he practiced and put some time into it."
Conversely, Phelps said Watson was more than welcome to join him in the pool sometime. "I don't know if he would, but I'd have to give probably a fairly healthy handicap just like he would have to give me a fairly big handicap here," he said.
Phelps said that in deference to the work he's doing with Haney, Watson didn't give him any tips on the course -- but added "he was pretty much giving me a hard time from hole one." The two have been texting and talking since the Olympics and saw each other at the Ryder Cup but Wednesday was the first time they ever played together.
"He really is a very talented person," Phelps said. "It's just amazing to me how much power he has and how fast he comes to the ball."
Phelps said he has a several friends who are scratch golfers and he'd like to get there, as well. While he thinks he can, he knows it won't be easy.
"I see some really good shots that show that, but then I have some really terrible shots that make me the worst golfer in the world," he said. "... I have to try to narrow the gap as much as I can."
Phelps called golf the "most humbling sport in the world. I literally don't think I've ever done anything where I can't like semi pick it up." He's nearing the end of "The Haney Project" but hopes he can continue to work with the instructor, who is one of the three who have taught Tiger Woods.
One of the things Phelps likes about the game is the variety of the courses. And now that he has time on his hands, the legendary swimmer would like to play all of the top 100 in the world. He figures he's got 96 or 97 to go.
"I dive into the swimming pool it's the same temperature, it's the same length, it's the same depth," Phelps explained. "So there's a lot of really cool things like (the fact that no course is the same), and like being able to play in Scotland at St. Andrews and being able to come down here and experience the 16th green here, the 16th hole here.
"I've been able to have some really cool experiences in the sport so far, and there's a lot on my to do list, and we have a long time to do it."
Another thing on Phelps' to-do list? Go to the Super Bowl on Thursday, and he definitely has a rooting interest.
"I'm a Baltimore boy, so I'm cheering for the Big Man, and hopefully Ray (Lewis) can have a shot at another one," Phelps said. "He's been telling me all year he just wants to get back there. This is kind of icing on the cake, and hopefully he can be in the center of that field on Sunday night and hoisting the championship trophy."
Bubba Watson is auctioning off a spot in the WM Phoenix Open pro-am for charity. (Petersen/Getty Images)
Bubba Watson has partnered with eBay for a charity auction that will feature three items, including a spot to play alongside Watson in the pro-am of this year's Waste Management Phoenix Open (click here for the auction).
The auction is part of a campaign called "New Year, New You" and will benefit the First Tee of Phoenix and the USO of Phoenix. It runs through Jan. 10.
Other items being auctioned includea VIP experience at the tournament, which includes two clubhouse tickets for Thursday and Friday, two VIP tickets to the Birds Nest for concerts Thursday through Saturday, accomodations at the Fairmont Princess Resort for Tuesday through Friday, one dinner at the hotel and a 2013 pin flag signed by Watson.
The third item is an autographed 2012 Ryder Cup visor won by Watson during his Saturday four-ball match. It also includes a golf glove signed by Watson.
The round with Watson, meanwhile, includes a custom set of PING clubs and a tour of the PING facility, $1000 worth of Oakley merchandise, a room at the Fairmont Princess, VIP tickets to the tournament and the Birds Nest.
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM
Oakley will have another major winner on its roster for the 2013 season, after the company announced on Thursday that 2012 Masters winner Bubba Watson would be joining the team.
“Oakley gets it,” Watson said. “I’m proud to join their family because they love the game and they never stop pushing technology to make the game better. Whatever they can do — whatever can be done — Oakley will do it. I respect that.”
While Rory McIlroy hasn’t been officially unveiled as a Nike athlete — the announcement is supposed to come the week of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, McIlroy’s first event of the season — the move away from Oakley to the Swoosh is all but a done deal. With the two-time major winner no longer part of the equation, Oakley decided to position itself for the future with two former major winners in Watson and Zach Johnson, who signed on at the end of December.
“Oakley has the kind of attitude I connect with,” Watson said. “It’s about keeping it fun but staying locked-in on achieving the best, even when it means taking chances. Oakley doesn’t get bogged down with the kind of thinking everybody else is stuck on. They respect the game as much as I do, and they take good care of their family. That’s why I’m happy to join them.”
Watson, who was with Travis Mathew for the last three years, will likely become the face of Oakley’s performance golf apparel line. He’ll wear the company’s performance golf apparel for the upcoming season. The new apparel line includes Oakley’s O Hydrolix technology that manages moisture to minimize cling and maximize comfort. Oakley’s also added OctoStick grip tape to the hem to keep the polo in place during the round.
Oakley’s new performance golf apparel line is available on its website and ranges in price from $50-70.
To preview the 2013 PGA TOUR season, PGATOUR.COM is counting down the Top 100 Players to Watch in 2013. For an archive page with the top 100 players and for an explanation on how the list was compiled, click here.
2013 PREVIEW: The 2012 season was one of big changes for Bubba Watson, who managed to win his first major championship in dramatic fashion barely two weeks after adopting a newborn named Caleb. His game is a potent combination of length and accuracy -- Watson ranks first in driving distance and second in greens in regulation -- although a dip from 120th to 157th in strokes-gained putting leaves room for improvement in 2013.
2012 DEFINING MOMENT: Watson would tell you it's the culmination of the four-year odyssey to adopt a child that ended with him and his wife Angie bringing Caleb into their family. But the wedge Watson curved out of the trees on the second playoff hole at the Masters was also a game-changer as it paved the way for his win over Louis Oosthuizen. Watson went on to post seven top-10s and finished in the top 25 in all 16 of the events where he made the cut. – Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
ALBERS’ QUICK TAKE: Bubba hit the best shot on TOUR last season. His approach into the 10th green during the playoff at the Masters was remarkable. In 2013, he has to deal with the obligations of being a major champion, but I get the impression Bubba is so happy at being a dad, he will no longer sweat the little stuff. -- Fred Albers, SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio
BOLTON’S FANTASY OUTLOOK: It all came together for the lefty in 2012, both personally and professionally. And for someone that could be perceived as living life by the minute, it was compelling every time he teed it up. Provided one of the cooler stats of the year in that all 16 of his cuts made went for top 25s. (All but one of those were top 20s.) Now, he turned 34 in early November, so the question is how long he can be expected to maintain this kind of magnificence, but he's in the heart of his prime, so we'll deal with that reality another year. -- Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy expert
2012 QUICK REVIEW
Regular Season ranking
Final Playoffs ranking
|Best finishes||1st||The Masters|
|By the Numbers
Cuts made: 16
Rounds played: 66
Top-10 finishes: 7
Money List rank: 5th
Driving distance: 1st
Driving accuracy: 135th
Greens in regulation: 2nd
Strokes gained-putting: 157th
Scoring average: 4th
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
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On the second playoff hole of the Masters Tournament, Bubba Watson bends his approach shot from the trees at the par-4 10th hole to 15 feet, helping him earn his first career major championship.