Shotgun Start Spotlights


New makeshift schedule plans and Spotlight on the great redass Curtis Strange

This portly Friday episode begins with the latest news on what may come of a 2020 men’s golf schedule. We cover Golf Digest’s report that The Open will be canceled, and then review Eamon Lynch’s wide-ranging report on the initial plans for shuffling around the Masters, FedExCup, Ryder Cup preparations, and a potential west coast U.S. Open. Paddy Harrington’s plea for 12 captain’s picks and a Ryder Cup committed to 2020 is also discussed. Then we get to our SGS Spotlight subject, Curtis Strange. Is he the player of the 80s on the PGA Tour? We proffer some nuts-and-bolts facts on a great career, hit on his outrageous title winning moment in college, and then his rise up the money lists and at the majors. We relay some legendary stories about his redass instincts and hot-tempered outbursts that got him in trouble even with Arnold Palmer early in his career. The back-to-back U.S. Opens are discussed in detail -- the playoff win over Faldo and that “Soak Hill” Sunday run to put him in company with Hogan. The ‘85 Masters he nearly (or should have) won after shooting an 80 in the opening round is also covered in detail. The Ryder Cup pressure and ignominy of 1995, which resulted in heckles about choking for years is recalled via some vicious Rick Reilly columns. Reilly also humorously pops Strange for his mishandling of Sunday singles as captain in 2002. *That* Tiger Woods interview is also debated before a closing discussion on his legacy and HOF credentials.

PGA Tour plans to increase field sizes but keep pace of play, Spotlight on Sleepy Sandy

This Wednesday episode begins with news of a PGA Tour memo to players indicating that they should still plan to be back in action at Colonial in mid May. The memo also, per reports, outlined details of field increases and more opposite field events to maximize playing opportunities when the season resumes. The new pace of play policy, however, is pushed off to next year and this, along with a deluded memo that the Tour may resume in mid May, has us aghast. What also has us aghast is a Valero Texas Open all-time power rankings that put Charley Hoffman No. 1 ahead of Palmer, Snead, and others based on … all-time earnings. Then we get to our SGS Spotlight of the day, focusing on Woosie’s nearby boyhood rival, Sandy Lyle. This is a fun deep dive into Lyle’s upbringing, his hyped amateur days, his peak run at the top of the Order of Merit, and his quick-strike efficiency picking up two majors and a Players in an otherwise underwhelming record at those “big events.” A career intertwined with Nick Faldo is closely examined from their earliest days to their distinctly different personalities to their rise as two British legends. The quirks of the ‘85 Open and the improbability of the ‘88 Masters are discussed, as well as the circus atmosphere of his ‘87 Players. Some fun stories about his propensity for skipping range warm-ups, the late-career tiff with Monty over a Ryder Cup captaincy, and once drinking four glasses of wine before unexpectedly making a playoff are also among this reliving of the Lyle legend