Bryan Bros' latest trick is a 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 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 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 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 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 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.

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Tiger putts way into contention at The Open

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 5:17 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – When Tiger Woods benched his trusty Scotty Cameron blade putter last month at the Quicken Loans National for a new TaylorMade mallet-headed version some saw it as a sign of desperation, but if his performance on Carnoustie’s greens on Saturday were any indication it could end up being a calculated success.

Woods stormed into contention on Day 3 with a 5-under 66 to move to within shouting distance of the lead at The Open, thanks in large part to his vastly improved putting.

“I hit so many good putts out there today, and this week from distance, I've had really good feels,” said Woods, whose 29 putts on Saturday belies his performance on Carnoustie’s greens. “Even as this golf course was changing and evolving, I've maintained my feels with the putter. I've made a couple of putts from about 40 to 60 feet, which is nice. I just feel like I've been able to roll the ball.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

The highlight of Woods’ round came at the par-4 ninth hole when he charged in a 40-footer for birdie from the front edge of the green to begin a run of three consecutive birdies. Perhaps more impressive, he didn’t have a three-putt, and has only had two all week, which is always a bonus on links courses.

Woods temporarily took a share of the lead with a lengthy birdie putt at the 14th hole and scrambled for a par save at the last after his drive nearly found the Barry Burn.

“I hit a few putts that I think should have gone in from 20, 30 feet today," he said. "So that's always a good sign.”

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TT postscript: A 66, he's in contention - awesome

By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 4:58 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods went berserk Saturday and shot 5-under 66 to vault up the leaderboard at The Open at Carnoustie:


At 4:13PM here in Scotland, when Tiger two-putted for birdie on the par-5 14th hole, he held a share of the lead in a major championship. It was once unthinkable, but it happened. I saw it with my own eyes.

• Tiger’s last two weekend rounds in the 60s in The Open both happened at Carnoustie and both happened on July 21. In 2007, Woods shot 69 here. On Saturday, that score was clipped by three shots. Tiger shot 65 in the second round of The Open at Royal Liverpool in 2006. He won his third claret jug that week. Tiger last shoot 66 in a major during the second round of the 2011 Masters.

• This is the sixth time that Tiger has recorded three consecutive rounds of par of better to start The Open. He went on to win three of the previous five times.

• One bad swing, the only bad swing of the day according to Tiger, produced the luckiest of breaks. Standing on the 18th tee with an iron in hand, Tiger pulled his tee shot that hit on the top of the Barry Burn and very easily could’ve ended in a watery grave. Instead it ended in thick rough, some 250 yards from the pin. Tiger punted it up the fairway, but got up and down from 83 yards to save par and shoot 66. “I hit my number,” he quipped about hitting wedge to 2 feet.

• On the other hand, the lone bogey came from one poor putt. On the par-3 16th hole, with half of Scotland screaming his name, Tiger missed a 7-footer for par. It was deflating at the time because the last three holes are so difficult. Pars on the last two holes were stellar.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

• Final stats: 12 of 15 fairways, 14 of 18 greens and 29 total putts. Tiger hit six drivers and one 3-wood, proving that he was way more aggressive. He hit four drivers on Friday and only one on Thursday.

• One of the aforementioned drivers that he hit on the ninth hole was well left and in some thick round, 170 yards from the hole. A safe approach to 40 feet set him up for and easy two-putt par. But he slammed the putt home and made an improbable birdie. “I hit so many good putts out there today, and this week from distance, I’ve had really good feels,” he said.

• In his own words about his chances of winning: “It certainly is possible. I’ve shown that I’ve been there close enough with a chance to win this year. Given what happened the last few years, I didn’t know if that would ever happen again, but here I am with a chance coming Sunday in a major championship. It’s going to fun.”

Yes, yes it is.

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Watch: Guy sleeps next to many beers at Open

By Grill Room TeamJuly 21, 2018, 4:55 pm

It's Moving Day at The Open Championship for all but one sedentary fan.

Cameras caught this potentially browned-out man having himself a Saturday snooze on the browned-out grasses of Carnoustie:

Browned out. That's a great term. Glad it's in the public domain. We've been using it all weekend. I imagine we'll continue to use it. A lot.

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Watch: Tiger makes 6 birdies, 1 amazing par in Rd. 3

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 4:10 pm

Tiger Woods started the third round of The Open at even par, having made seven birdies and seven bogeys over the first 36 holes at Carnoustie.

Following three pars to start on Saturday, Woods went on a birdie binge.

No. 1 came with this putt at the par-4 fourth.

No. 2 with this two-putt at the par-5 sixth.

No. 3 thanks to this 30-footer at the par-4 ninth.

No. 4 after nearly jarring his approach shot on the par-4 10th.

No. 5 when he almost drove the green at the par-4 11th and two-putted, from just off the green, from 95 feet.

And No. 6, which gave him a share of the lead, came courtesy another two-putt at the par-5 14th.

Woods bogeyed the par-3 16th to drop out of the lead and almost dropped - at least - one more shot at the par-4 18th. But his tee shot got a lucky bounce and he turned his good fortune into a par.

Woods shot 5-under 66 and finished the day at 5 under par.