Programming note: there will be no Friday newsletter this week as we at The Fried Egg celebrate (or recover from our celebration of) the Fourth of July. We hope everyone has a safe and fun holiday!
You feel that? The wind is a little stronger, the grass a little browner, the ball flights a little lower. Links season is officially upon us. The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open kicks off at Lahinch Golf Club on Thursday, headlining an action-packed weekend.
Irish you were beer
The Irish Open is one of the most underrated tournaments of the year, plain and simple. This event has visited a variety of links courses across Ireland recently, and now it serves as one of the final lead-ins to the Open Championship. Previous hosts include Royal County Down, Royal Portrush, and Portstewart, but this will be the first time the Irish Open has gone to Lahinch. Tee Times
Lahinch – Laid out by Old Tom Morris and redesigned by Alister MacKenzie, Lahinch is filled with intrigue. The best known holes are No. 4 (“Klondyke”), a par 5 that plays directly over a massive dune, and No. 5 (“Dell”), a blind par 3 with a green wedged between two dunes. Throughout the course, competitors will face the kinds of old-world challenges that have practically gone extinct in the modern pro game. We highly recommend grabbing some coffee and watching some morning coverage this weekend.
Three more – While many players in the field are using this week as a tune-up for the Open, there are still three qualifying spots available to those not yet exempt. Players will have to finish in the top ten to earn a ticket to Royal Portrush.
The homeboys – Big-name Europeans have taken more interest in the Irish Open in recent years. European Ryder Cup members Tommy Fleetwood, Jon Rahm, and Thorbjørn Olesen will be in the field along with defending champion Russell Knox. The Irish contingent at Lahinch will include Shane Lowry, Paul Dunne, and Padraig Harrington. Northern Irishman and former event host Rory McIlroy will not be there.
Print of the Week
We are pleased to introduce a new section of the newsletter: Print of the Week! Each week, we will have a new photo for sale, and a percentage of the proceeds will go to different charities. Charities will rotate every month, while the prints will rotate weekly.
Up first is the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund. Started in 1989, the DMSF provides funding to help less fortunate kids attend quality high schools in the Chicago area. The DMSF gives out 125 scholarships each year, making a huge difference in the lives of many children as they pursue a better education. Get this week’s Sand Valley print in our pro shop!
Sticky Note Classic
The PGA Tour visits the state of Minnesota this week for the inaugural 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities. With memories of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship still fresh, Minneapolis-St. Paul is overflowing with golf these days. Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, and Bryson DeChambeau headline the field. Tee Times
Brooksy – We’re not sure why Koepka is making the trip to Minnesota, but he’s in the field for his final appearance before Portrush. Much has been made of his lackadaisical performance in recent regular Tour events, so we will see if he shows up at TPC Twin Cities with his A game. Yesterday Koepka also introduced a new logo and website. The logo is pretty uninspired, reminding more than one golf nerd of Skratch’s “S.”
Starving artists – The 3M is one of just a few remaining opportunities for a much-talked-about quartet of new professionals to earn FedEx Cup points for 2019. Viktor Hovland, Matthew Wolff, Collin Morikawa, and Justin Suh all tee it up this week with hopes of earning their way into Korn Ferry Tour Finals, or even temporary PGA Tour membership.
Top 125 – As we near the end of the season, it is time to start paying close attention to those on the bubble to retain their PGA Tour cards. Every point is valuable for guys like Sebastián Muñoz (124), Zach Sucher (128), and Hank Lebioda (129).
For this week’s 3M Open, Paulie has his eye on long drivers, hot hands, and players with past success at Arnold Palmer-designed golf courses. Full Story
Richard Fitzpatrick of the Irish Times put together a great run-down of the history behind Lahinch Golf Club. Full Article
The Korn Ferry Tour heads to New York this week for the LECOM Health Challenge. Tee Times
Green Bay (ugh) plays host to the LPGA Tour this weekend. Jeongeun Lee6, Sung Hyun Park, and Nasa Hataoka headline the field. Tee Times
Stanford standout Brandon Wu was among 12 players to earn their way to the Open Championship via final qualifying. Scores
Gil Hanse and crew recently finished up their restoration of Merion Golf Club. This video goes in depth on the history of the course and the features that Hanse has restored.
The Fried Egg Podcast
Southern Hills Country Club’s Golf Course Superintendent Russ Myers joins Andy to discuss subjects ranging from his work at Southern Hills to his time working grounds at Augusta National. Russ has a long history with championship golf and tells stories from cutting cups in front of Greg Norman to restoring LACC and Southern Hills with Gil Hanse. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify
The Shotgun Start: The land of 10,000 man-made lakes and links season begins at Lahinch
It’s July, which means it is now the European Tour’s time to shine, so this holiday week episode begins with a discussion of the Irish Open at Lahinch, the classic links on the west coast of Ireland. We lament its weak field strength but contrast it with the dartboard tour’s venue in the upper midwest. Andy also worries that the new compacted schedule is eroding interest in some of these events. We have some early intel from the Sticky Note Classic with alarming reports that this “former sod farm” will be pillow soft with at least one disturbing backboard setup. We also discuss Rory Sabbatini choosing to pass on this week’s Challenge Tour event in Slovakia, where there’s a 783-yard par-6 that momentarily leaves Andy speechless. In news, we hit on Brooks Koepka’s new logo, a sneaky great tip for U.S. Amateur qualifying, and a study on the king of golf’s national opens. We wrap with some @FriedEggPaulie picks for the 3M Open, some insight on what this new venue compares to on the old schedule (hint: another Palmer course), and a few tips for the Irish Open as well. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify