You know what’s great? Waking up and watching golf. You know what’s even better? When there’s more golf in the afternoon. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Happy Windsday

As majors at Royal Troon tend to do, Thursday’s action at the AIG Women’s Open exceeded the hype. Wind wreaked havoc throughout the day, leading to many high scores and just 13 players at even or better. AIG Women’s Open Leaderboard

Three players broke par on Thursday, but it was Amy Olson who stole the show. Playing in the afternoon wave, the 28-year-old American turned in the only sub-70 round of the day with a 67. She sits three shots clear of her nearest competitors, Sophia Popov and Marina Alex. The trio stood out on a day when the field scoring average was north of 76. Others in the mix include Catriona Matthew (71), Anna Nordqvist (71), Nelly Korda (72), Allison Lee (72), Lydia Ko (72), Lizette Salas (73), and Ariya Jutanugarn (73).

In other Women’s Open news…

The R&A announced the sites of the next five AIG Women’s Opens on Wednesday. The future sites are Carnoustie (2021), Muirfield (2022), Walton Heath (2023), St. Andrews (2024), and Royal Porthcawl (2025). Muirfield, Walton Heath, and Royal Porthcawl will be first-time hosts of the event.

This is a great step for what should be one of the game’s iconic championships. It’s important for the best players to showcase their skills on the best courses. That’s not to say that past Women’s Open sites have been poor, but they haven’t been on the same level as the men’s rota courses. Now they absolutely are. Also, the inclusion of Muirfield hints that the club has repaired relations with the R&A. Perhaps this means that the men’s Open will return sometime soon. Muirfield was famously removed from the rota in 2016 when it failed to vote to allow women members. The club reversed that decision in March 2017.

Trust the process

The “Live Under Par” slogan may be on its way out, but its spirit is still alive and kicking on the PGA Tour. Nearly 50 players shot 68 or better on Thursday, and about 100 were even or better. Kevin Streelman, Harris English, and Cameron Davis lead after 18 holes with their 64s. Notable contenders include Bubba Watson (65), Kevin Kisner (65), Matthew Wolff (65), Daniel Berger (66), Adam Scott (66), and Tommy Fleetwood (66). UPS’s own Louis Ooshuizen (65) also turned on the gas in his heroic effort to be the first Big Brown-sponsored player to win the FedEx Cup. Northern Trust Leaderboard

Quick Hooks

The European Tour lost long-time media relations coordinator Kate Wright this week. She was 36 years old and had been battling cancer for two years. “Wrighty,” as she was known, was a favorite among both staff and players, and many shared their memories of her on social media. Check out the European Tour’s touching write-up on her career and her impact on the organization.

Brooks Koepka withdrew from the Northern Trust on Wednesday, citing his nagging knee injury. His withdrawal ends his 2019-20 PGA Tour season, as he is currently 95th in the FedEx Cup standings, and only the top 75 make it to next weekend’s BMW Championship. While he has downplayed his injury over the past two months, this withdrawal—along with the image of him being worked on by his physio in the middle of his rounds at the PGA Championship—say otherwise. He clearly needs some time off before the U.S. Open.

Over on the Korn Ferry Tour, Nick Hardy and Jimmy Stanger top the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship through one round. Marty Dou is four shots behind. Leaderboard

The top seven players from the World Amateur Golf Rankings earned exemptions into the U.S. Open on Wednesday. Those players are Takumi Kanaya, Ricky Castillo, Chun An Yu, Davis Thompson, Eduard Rousaud, Sandy Scott, and John Pak. More from Golf Channel’s Will Gray

Shane Bertsch leads the Charles Schwab Series at Bass Pro Shops Cedar Lodge (yes, that is the actual name of the tournament) with one round remaining. Bernhard Langer, Kenny Perry, and Wes Short Jr. are two shots back. Leaderboard

Zac Blair announced that he has closed on a property outside of Aiken, South Carolina, for the long-awaited Buck Club. Architects Tad King and Rob Collins are on board, and Zac posted a routing map. The naysayers have taken a hit.

Apparently Bryson DeChambeau has rabbit ears.

The Latest from The Fried Egg

The Fried Egg Podcast, Episode 188: Stewart Hagestad – 2020 U.S. Amateur and Bandon Dunes

One hundred and seventy-nine episodes after his first appearance, Stewart Hagestad rejoins The Fried Egg Podcast to discuss his run to the quarterfinals at the U.S. Amateur last week. Andy and Stewart talk not only about the tournament but also about how Bandon Dunes compares to other competitive venues, how match play contrasts with stroke play, their favorite amateur events, and the upcoming U.S. Open. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Shotgun Start: Peak Coffee Golf, Bryson on the science of sound, and a nuclear family take

Great friend of the SGS, Shane Bacon, joins for this Friday episode that winds from unsolicited parenting advice for new dad Andy to the joys of watching a windy Royal Troon test the best women’s players in the world. Brendan and Shane discuss those conditions, the search for Gorse the Horse, and Lydia Ko’s early play. On the PGA Tour, they discuss the “First to Three” now going up against the “Chase for 83” as well as the many low scores early at TPC Boston. Also hit are DJ’s refusal to pop back at Brooksy, Ryan Moore’s rest week during the PGA completely blowing up on him with the curse of Jaco Van Zyl, and Bryson’s irritation with sound travels. A news segment hits on Tiger continuing to play to the FEC, Brooks opting out of the season, and the Phoenix Open announcing they won’t build out the 16th hole like usual. Then they unearth some spicy, even nuclear, takes from Roger Sloan about the PGA Tour “abandoning” families and his “embarrassment” about it. They wrap with a truncated Flashback Friday on Seve winning in Westchester before a few more thoughts on Andy as a dad. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Pro Shop

The weather at the AIG Women’s Open is a reminder that fall is right around the corner. Make sure you’re ready with our Fried Egg crewneck sweater from B. Draddy! It’s our go-to when the weather turns. Get yours today!