As all of your annoying coworkers say, thank God it’s Friday! Spring is in the air and it’s starting to feel like golf season. We’re through two rounds of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, TX, with the final round of group play this afternoon. There are also crowded leaderboards across the rest of professional golf that promise for an action-packed weekend.
Austin City Limits
Since there are no leaders in match play, today’s wrap-up will just be quick-hit facts. WGC Dell Technologies Leaderboard
Twenty of the 64 players have no chance to advance out of pool play after two rounds.
Of the 44 remaining, 10 are 2-0 and control their own destiny on Friday.
Rory McIlroy and Francesco Molinari have been the most impressive to this point. Both Euros have been dominant in their first two matches, and neither has had to play past the 15th hole.
Defending champion Bubba Watson lost both of his opening matches and will not be moving on to the match-play bracket.
Sergio Garcia won both of his opening matches, moving to 5-0 in pool play in this event over the last two years.
Jordan Spieth played solid golf over the first two days and is one win away from moving on to the weekend. Spieth’s best finish this season is a T-35, so a strong showing in Texas would go a long way for his confidence.
Branden Grace upset Dustin Johnson to take control of their group. The South African nearly won at TPC Scottsdale but is still looking for his first professional victory since 2017.
Jamaica, Bahamas, Tony Romo, Puntacana
The other PGA Tour event of the week is the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship. (Really, guys? Couldn’t find a shorter name?) Through one round of the event, Matt Jones, Joel Dahmen, and Paul Dunne are tied for the lead after firing a trio of 66s on Thursday. Jones is the only one of the three with a PGA Tour victory, but Dahmen and Dunne are world-class players. Sungjae Im, Sepp Straka, and Sam Burns join them in the top 10. Leaderboard
Who Is the One Who Knocks in Savannah?
The Web.com Tour has a crowded leaderboard in Savannah this week with many notable players in the hunt. Dan McCarthy and Byron Meth (aka Mr. White) lead with first round 65s, but twelve players are within two shots of the lead. McCarthy was a stud on the Mackenzie Tour two years ago but is still in search of his first Web.com victory. While Meth is more of an unproven talent, he has had solid form recently. Most notably he qualified for the 2015 Masters after defeating Doug Ghim to win the 2014 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship. Marty Dou (67), Doug Ghim (67), and Cameron Percy (67) are among the group chasing the leaders. Leaderboard
Some Artificial Flavors
Julian Suri and Stephen Gallacher find themselves tied for the lead after one round at the Hero Indian Open. Both shot first round 67s on their way to the top of the leaderboard and will enter Friday with a one-shot advantage. Robert Karlsson (68), Shubhankar Sharma (69), and Edoardo Molinari (69) are also in the top 10. HIO Leaderboard
Chella Choi leads after one round of the LPGA Founders Cup event in Phoenix. Ariya Jutanugarn, Inbee Park, Jin Young Ko, and Minjee Lee are all T-3. Leaderboard
Tiger may have lost on Thursday, but he definitely had the shot of the day. Video
Kiradech (accidentally) uses the punch bowl on 17 at Austin CC. Video
The Latest Podcasts and Articles
The Fried Egg Podcast – Loss Aversion in Professional Golf
Ever wonder why players make more par putts than birdie putts of the same length? This episode of TFE podcast with Andrew Urbaczewski and Ryan Elmore delves into loss aversion in professional golf. Andy, Andrew, and Ryan discuss all things strategy and the mental elements that determine the success of golfers. Listen on iTunes, Spotify, and Stitcher.
Shotgun Start: Match Play angst, the Bitcoin Boy goes low, and Romo’s amateur status
We begin this Friday edition with a personal story about the hazards of Los Angeles sidewalks. Then we get to the golf and Andy is not happy at all with how convoluted the PGA Tour has made such a simple, beautiful format of the game. We check in on some of the early match play results, lament Bryson’s actions from each of his first two matches, and critique the response to Tiger’s incredible shot from the bushes. Then we head to Puntacana to hail the Bitcoin Boy, aka Charlie Beljan, who returned to the PGA Tour living under par and inside the top 25. Also from Puntacana, we ponder the true amateur status of Tony Romo. In Flashback Friday, we celebrate a tournament that’s now extinct but is highly relevant for our modern moment. Our Masters fact of the day gets into some trademarking practices from the grounds at Augusta National. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify