Bryan Bros' latest trick is a Web.com Tour win

By Ryan LavnerMarch 21, 2016, 4:14 pm

Wesley Bryan once swished a 40-yard wedge shot with a basketball. He banked a soccer ball off a brick wall and into a garbage can. He smashed a drive after Rory McIlroy flopped the ball over his brother’s head.

It makes winning a Web.com Tour event seem easy by comparison, no?

With his brother and trick-shot partner, George, on the bag, Bryan won the Chitimacha Louisiana Open on Sunday in just his third career Web.com start. Now up to No. 3 on the money list, he is in line for one of the 25 PGA Tour cards at the end of the season.

Yes, he can impress with normal golf shots, too.

“You always think and believe that you’re going to win,” Bryan said by phone Monday, “but the reality and statistics show that it just doesn’t happen very often. Being able to win so early is a huge jump-start toward the ultimate goal.”

The Bryan Bros have become viral video stars over the past few years. Their YouTube page has nearly 25,000 subscribers. A few of their stunts have more than a million views. They’ve inked sponsorship deals with companies like Callaway, GoPro and TopGolf.

But Sunday’s victory was a reminder that they’re more than just trick-shot artists.

Wesley, 25, was a two-time All-SEC performer at South Carolina with plenty of experience in big-time USGA events. George, 28, owns the lowest scoring average in school history at USC and his game is still plenty sharp – he shot 65 in last week’s Monday qualifier on the Web.com and missed by one shot. That turned out to be a blessing in disguise, with his brother earning $99,000 for the victory.

The Bryans’ first trick-shot video, in 2014, gained more than a million views. Since then, they’ve traveled the country and posted more than 40 videos. Their schedule was so hectic last year with corporate outings, shows, member-guests, premieres and parties that Wesley played in only a handful of SwingThought Tour (formerly Hooters) events.

“It was the lightest schedule I’ve ever played,” he said. “I lived half of the year on an airplane.”

Last September, Wesley shut down all of the trick-shot requests and focused on his game. Playing the best golf of his life, he advanced through all three stages of Q-School, finishing ninth at the finals to earn his Web.com Tour card.

On the PGA Tour, Bryan might never need to hit a drive after it ricochets off four cement tiles, but there are ways in which his trick-shot career has helped his solo act.

“There have been plenty of times when I stand on the tee box and I think: If you throw this up and hit it, you’d have no problem hitting the fairway, so it should be a lot easier from the tee,” he said. “It just kind of frees you up for the shot.”

Bryan tied for seventh in his season opener. On Sunday, he holed a 15-foot birdie putt on 17 to shoot 68 and win by one over Julian Etulain in Louisiana. He plans to play every event until he locks up his card.

Seems Bryan has a lot more talent than just incredible hand-eye coordination.

“It’s very satisfying,” he said. “There’s no validation in my eyes, but maybe in the eyes of others who have only seen our videos. I’ve felt all along that I’m good enough for the PGA Tour.”

Becoming a Web.com Tour winner – and moving one step closer to the big leagues – won’t shut down the Bryans’ side business, however. Wesley was calling Monday from Dallas, on-site from their next trick-shot collaboration. He said that he and his brother likely will film four or five videos this year to fulfill their contractual obligations.

“They’ve got to be worth our while,” he said. “We’re only going to film massive collaborations.”

They still won’t be better than what he and his brother are producing this season.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee: