The first week of April is not normally known as an anticipated time in the golf world, but this year is different. On Sunday, women from around the world will play Augusta National in competition for the first time ever. The Augusta National Women’s Amateur is a groundbreaking event for the sport, and we are excited to watch.
All Gassed Up
The PGA Tour heads to San Antonio this week for the Valero Texas Open. Previously played after the Masters, the Valero now serves as the final opportunity to gain entrance to the Masters. Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler headline the field, while players like Graham McDowell look to earn a last-minute invite to Augusta. Valero Texas Open Tee Times
Last year marked the first career PGA Tour victory for Andrew Landry. The native Texan started the day tied for the lead before shooting a final-round 68 to win by two shots over Trey Mullinax. Landry shot a tournament record 17 under last year and returns to defend his title in 2019.
Glory’s Last Shot – The Masters field is 99.9% set. The only way someone can still get into the field is by winning the Valero this week. Ian Poulter did exactly that last season as he won the Houston Open to earn his invitation.
Big Tex – Amazingly, 19 Texans have won the Valero Texas Open. Andrew Landry and Jimmy Walker are the most recent to do it, but the only Texas natives to win the event multiple times are Justin Leonard (3) and Ben Crenshaw (2).
Spieth – With the Masters starting in one week, all eyes will be on Jordan Spieth. Jordan has been historically great at Augusta, finishing no worse than T-11 and notching four top-3 finishes. Still, the Dallas-born Spieth is in the midst of the worst slump of his career and finds himself ranked 32nd in the OWGR. He may not need it, but a little confidence heading into Augusta National wouldn’t hurt.
With the Tour in San Antonio at the Norman designed and AT&T sponsored, Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio, precision is king. Paulie likes ball-striking to reign supreme this week, read his picks here.
The first major of 2019 belongs to the LPGA as the ANA Inspiration gets underway on Thursday. Played at Mission Hills Country Club, the ANA always delivers a ton of drama. Last year saw Pernilla Lindberg defeat Inbee Park and Jennifer Song in a playoff that lasted into Monday morning. Lindberg finally rolled in a 30-footer for birdie on the eight playoff hole to seal the victory. The ANA will run at the same time as the Augusta National Women’s Amatuer, an unfortunate overlap that caused four players to turn down invites to Augusta. ANA Inspiration Tee Times
The ANWA starts today at Champions Retreat Golf Club, and Ryan Lavner has written a phenomenal piece on one of the players in the event. Haley Moore, a senior at the University of Arizona, has dealt with bullying her whole life. Her triumph at the 2018 NCAA Championship turned her into a superstar. Read Ryan’s full article HERE
While there won’t be coverage of the first few rounds of the Augusta National Women’s Amatuer, you can still follow along online. Tee Times and live scoringare available on the official website along with information on Champion’s Retreat and Augusta National.
Ever wonder what it would be like to move to Europe and learn to play links golf? Phillip Johnson has done just that, and he wrote a great piece on his travels for The Fried Egg. Find Phillip’s article HERE.
For whatever reason, Matt Kuchar and Sergio Garcia felt the need to put out this incredibly awkward video on Monday. Apparently they are all good? You decide.
The Latest Podcasts
The Fried Egg – Eric Lippert (PGA Professional at Pebble Beach)
On this episode of The Fried Egg, Andy sits down with Pebble Beach PGA Professional, Eric Lippert. They discuss the resort, preparation for the U.S. Open, and what it’s like to run such a highly profiled venue. Listen on iTunes, Spotify, and Stitcher.
Shotgun Start: ANA and ANWA, A “National” Open in Texas, and scripting nonsense
This Wednesday episode begins with a rundown of the schedule and a surprise contender from abroad for Andy’s event of the week. We get in to the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, reviewing the format, and offering a different venue we’d prefer to see for the first two rounds. Then we hit on the ANA Inspiration and how it might be a model for The Players to wedge its way into the first major of the year. We ponder schedule difficulty and whether some amateurs should have to choose between Augusta and the first major championship. Then we get to the Texas Open, discussing the telecom-branded golf course and the field before proffering some absolutely fantastic Fan Vote Friday Jr. choices. Some bizarre language in a Masters scripting press release is panned. We close with Paulie’s picks for the Texas Open and a Masters fact of the day that unearths an amazing personality who could be considered a forerunner to the hands-on imposing style of Justine Reed. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify.