Professional golf, especially at the majors, rarely gives fans the big-name duel we witnessed on Sunday at Pinehurst. Over the course of 72 holes played on some of the most difficult courses in the world by 150 or so players, randomness and unpredictability often beat out logic and feel good stories. Everything falling into place for an unforgettable final nine is the exception, not the rule. That’s a big part of why the show Bryson and Rory put on will be remembered for years to come, for all the reasons Brendan mentioned above. One of the biggest prizes in golf was in the balance as two of its biggest stars battled demons, wiregrass, nerves, and tree roots down the finishing stretch. It was a gift golf rarely gives.

So while it’s extremely unlikely this week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Sahalee Country Club will match the drama of Sunday at Pinehurst, there’s at least a chance of the winningest players in the last two years duking it out this weekend. Lilia Vu and Nelly Korda have played in the same tournaments just a handful of times in 2024, with Vu absent from the first two majors of the year recovering from a back injury. Her return date was up in the air until last week, when she showed up at the Meijer LPGA Classic, displayed zero signs of rust or lingering back pain, and won in a playoff over Lexi Thompson and Grace Kim.

The win gives Vu and Korda a combined 11 victories since last February, including three of the past seven majors. The two have been ships passing in the night, however, as Korda struggled much of last year while Vu was racking up her wins. The aforementioned injury has sidelined Vu for most of Korda’s barrage of victories this year. It’s an unfortunate theme the LPGA has seen play out over the last few years. Injuries to stars combined with a record-breaking number of first-time winners has made big-name showdowns more scarce than ever.

Will this week mark the beginning of a budding rivalry that will see Korda and Vu trade majors in the coming years? Most likely not. The deck is very much stacked against that coming to fruition. The last time Sahalee hosted a major, teenagers Brooke Henderson and Lydia Ko met in a playoff that many hoped would be the first of many high-stakes showdowns. It wasn’t. Golf never pans out the way we think it will, but for the first time in 2024, the most important piece of the potential-duel puzzle is actually in place. Nelly Korda and Lilia Vu, the two top-ranked players in the world, will both be playing in a major championship tomorrow. Maybe, just maybe, golf will be generous for the second week in a row.

This piece originally appeared in the Fried Egg Golf newsletter. Subscribe for free and receive golf news and insight every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.