Yes, we used this headline last year. It’s just too fun not to use again.
Anyway, lots of golf to get to today! The Memorial at Muirfield Village starts Thursday, the U.S. Women’s Open goes to the Country Club of Charleston, and the NCAA Championship ends this morning. Oh, there is also action on the European and Web.com Tours as well as on some developmental tours. Got all that?
And they’re like, it’s better than yours
One of the best non-majors takes place this weekend, the Memorial Tournament. Hosted at Jack Nicklaus’ Muirfield Village, the Memorial is a strong event. Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, and defending champion Bryson DeChambeau will all be present. Memorial Tee Times
At this point in 2018, Bryson DeChambeau’s resume was nowhere near what it is today. He had one win, the 2017 John Deere, and had just broken into the top 50 in the OWGR in April. After three-putting the 72nd hole, Bryson held on to defeat Kyle Stanley and Ben An in extra holes for his second career win. He would go on to win three more times in 2019, and now finds himself inside the top 10 in the world.
Bryson comes in to defend his title after three straight missed cuts. He has only one top 10 in his last eight events, and he needs some mojo to get things back on track. Only Tiger has gone back-to-back at Muirfield Village. (He won three in a row.)
Speak of the devil: Tiger is making his first non-major start since the WGC Match Play back in March. Tiger got into the mix at MV last year but finished T-23. It will be his last start before heading to Pebble Beach for the U.S. Open.
Justin Suh, Norman Xiong, and Jovan Rebula all received spots in the field via the tournament’s youth showcase exemptions. Xiong was a stud at the University of Oregon last season but has struggled so far as a pro. Suh is coming off another first-team All-American season at USC, and Rebula is in the midst of a solid career at Auburn. Rebula played the 2019 Masters after winning the British Amateur, and has spots in the 2019 U.S. Open and 2019 Open Championship as well.
You know who has played surprisingly good golf recently? Jim Furyk. After falling outside the top 300 in the world last season, Furyk finds himself 50th this week. He has six top 20s this year, but will need to play excellent golf around a brawny Muirfield Village to compete.
- The milkshakes are (reportedly) very good at MV. Just thought you might not have heard that.
Success at Muirfield is often about iron play, with that in mind here’s who Paulie likes. Full article
A Raynor First
In a weekend full of great golf, the event to watch will most certainly be the U.S. Women’s Open. The world’s best women will take on Seth Raynor’s Country Club of Charleston this weekend, the first time a non-senior major has ever been held at a Raynor layout. Ariya Jutanugarn will defend her title after winning her first major championship at the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open. She will face a field that includes the best professionals and amateurs in women’s golf. Minjee Lee, Jin-Young Ko, Lexi Thompson, and Brooke Henderson headline the pro contingent while the stars of the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amatuer, Jennifer Kupcho and Maria Fassi, will represent the ams. Tee Times
The Country Club of Charleston is set on a relatively flat piece of land, but Raynor’s ingenuity brings the property to life. Brian Silva and Kyle Franz have recently done restoration work on this southern gem, uncovering the genius of Raynor’s design. Andy Johnson put together a fantastic course overview video, highlighting what to watch for at this week’s event. The video discusses the routing, template holes, subtle features of the design, and many other characteristics that make the Country Club of Charleston a special venue. Full Video
Campus Roundup with Will Knights
Phew. If you missed yesterday’s quarterfinal and semifinal drama at the NCAA Championship, do yourself a favor and find a replay. Here’s a brief recap…
Five of the six team matches went down to the final pairing, with two ending in extra-hole sudden death.
Stanford and Texas will meet in the final. Stanford knocked off Wake Forest and Vanderbilt while Texas played their way through Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
The No. 1 ranked OSU Cowboys suffered a devastating defeat to Texas as Steven Chervony (Texas) came back from dormie to beat Zach Bauchou (OSU) in 19 holes.
Matthew Wolff got absolutely waxed by Cole Hammer (Texas) in the semifinals. Hammer birdied six of his first eight holes, playing some incredible golf to knock off the NCAA individual champion.
The final match will get underway early on Wednesday, so be sure to tune into Golf Channel in the morning.
Golf Digest posted an article on Wednesday in which they gave players and coaches a chance to say what they wanted about the USGA and the U.S. Open. The catch? It was completely anonymous. This continues the trend of players being reluctant to put their names on potentially controversial statements. The article is detailed and worth your time, but mainly it shows how few players want anything that approaches a true test of golfing skill.
Thirty-three players teed it up for the U.S. Open qualifier in Japan—well, for the first round at least. 18 players withdrew before the afternoon round, five of whom were under par. Scoring
The Web.com Tour heads to Raleigh for the Rex Hospital Open. Tee Times
Across the pond, the Belgium Knockout event gets underway on the European Tour. Tee Times
Justin Rose and longtime caddy Mark Fulcher are splitting up (for now) as “Fooch” attempts to regain his health. Fulcher had heart surgery over the winter and his doctor recommended that he take an extended leave from caddying. Full Story from Rex Hoggard
The Latest Podcasts and Articles
Shotgun Start: NCAA heartbreak and match play format angst, war on the USGA, and Memorial picks
There’s too much golf to discuss! This Wednesday episode begins with the schedule for the week, focusing on some of the notables at Memorial and questioning how we frame a person becoming a “notable.” Then we discuss the funky Belgian Knockout format on the Euro Tour this week getting OWGR points but the Tour Championship needing a secondary low gross leaderboard to satiate the OWGR board. The U.S. Women’s Open gets event of the week and deservedly so as we highlight the best women’s players in the world taking on a truly unique venue for major golf. Oklahoma State’s heartbreaking NCAA loss to Texas then gets a full dissection. We ask if it was too dark to keep playing and if that impacted the outcome, which gives Andy an opening to rant on pace of play. We also again revisit whether match play was the best format to decide it. Some main themes from the Golf Digest survey of anonymous players and coaches lambasting the USGA and their U.S. Open follies is discussed before we go into a further examination on Friday. In news, we enjoy Jack Nicklaus saying he does not care at all about the “chase for 82” and how that ambiguous number may be built on a bed of lies. We wrap with our weekly fantasy and one-and-done intel for Memorial from the expert Fried Egg Paulie. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify