Oct 18, 2013 | 08:27 AM

An Olympics With Bite?

While The Buzz, and others, wonder if the 2016 Olympics in Rio will be held at all—including whether the Gil Hanse-designed golf course will be finished in time—another potential problem is rearing its ugly head. Alligators. Well, not alligators actually, but caimans, which are alligator-like creatures that, according to BloombergBusinessweek, “live in sewage-infested lagoons around western Rio, and some have moved into water features built as part of the… course.” The International Golf Federation says “the risk is minimal,” and that they’ll have a plan to keep golfers and spectators safe from as many as 6,000 caimans. Plus, “if they do arrive, they arrive at night.” Feel better? But wait, that’s not all. Brazil is also home to a giant rodent called the capybara, which could “dig up the grass.” Let the games begin…we hope.

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Oct 17, 2013 | 12:29 PM

In the Pink in Bermuda

By shooting 64 (a new course record) at Port Royal Golf Course yesterday in the second round of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, Adam Scott won $600,000 (a nice paycheck for 36 holes), honorary membership at the course, and a pink jacket to go with the green one he earned at Augusta last April. Despite inclement weather, TV viewers were treated to an eyeful of this gorgeous public-access facility. While not long at 6,842 yards, the rolling, windswept design gave this year’s major champions (with Padraig Harrington subbing for Phil Mickelson) plenty of tussle, notably at the par-three 16th, Port Royal’s postcard hole (above). Recently stretched to 235 yards from the tips in the wake of a recent $14.5 million refurbishment, the target here is a narrow, well-bunkered peninsular green that clings to a shelf above the turquoise-blue sea. Scott parred 16 and eagled the par-five 17th to close the door on runner-up Justin Rose. The smart money says that Scott, if he keeps draining putts with his broomstick, will be back to defend his title in 2014.

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Oct 16, 2013 | 01:51 PM

King Jordan

It’s good to be Jordan Spieth. After turning pro last fall and starting the 2013 season with no PGA Tour status, he became the youngest player ever to win on tour, went from No. 810 in the Official World Golf Ranking to 21st, and finished 10th on the money list with almost $4 million. He also was a Captain’s Pick for Freddie Couples’ Presidents Cup Team and earned the Tour’s Rookie of the Year award. And yesterday he pulled off a bucket-list doubleheader, getting to play Pine Valley AND Augusta National IN THE SAME DAY! Spieth shot 67 at Pine Valley in the morning, tweeting, “Golf day to remember today. Pine Valley is incredible! The 18th is just one of the many amazing views...,” posting the photo above on Instagram. He then presumably flew by private jet to Augusta, where he and his playing partners were the only group on the course. “Heaven on earth,” he tweeted in the gloaming.

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Oct 15, 2013 | 06:22 AM

Quick Thoughts

Alabama’s number-one-ranked public golf course, Farm Links, will soon try to do something that hasn’t been done in decades—get everyone around the course in 3.5 hours or less. On November 2, they will welcome the public for a day of ready golf, minimal ball marking on the greens, and minimal ball searching off the fairway. About an hour from Birmingham, Farm Links already has a reputation as America’s first R&D golf course, having hosted more than 1,000 industry professionals for hands-on seminars in eco-friendly, cost-cutting, and technological innovations in greenkeeping and course management, but this will be their first experiment involving actual play of golfers. Data will be recorded in the hope of identifying the practices that best encourage a swifter pace of play. Godspeed!

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