Let’s end the month with a bang, shall we? May has been a busy month in the golf world, and this week is no different. Big names are in the hunt at the Memorial, the U.S. Women’s Open is off to a fast start, and a former swing coach is sounding off in eye-opening fashion.
The Moore the Merrier
Ryan Moore is your first-round leader after firing a bogey-free 65 to open the Memorial Tournament. He opened with five birdies in his first seven holes, and finished the day inside the top 10 of both Strokes Gained: Approach and SG: Putting. Memorial Tournament Leaderboard
Moore is no stranger to the winner’s circle on the PGA Tour, but it has been a while. His most recent win was the 2016 John Deere Classic, a win that helped lift him onto the Ryder Cup team that season. Since his 2016 victory, he has gotten into contention a few times and does have two top-three finishes on the season. Statistically one of the best ball-strikers on tour, his Thursday performance was not a fluke. Expect Ryan Moore to hang around into the weekend.
A Familiar Face
Jordan Spieth is in the mix for the third week in a row after opening with 66 at Muirfield Village. His ball-striking was still mediocre on Thursday, but two chip-ins and three strokes gained with the putter helped vault him to the top of the leaderboard. 2019 has been the worst of his career to this point, but he is coming off two straight top 10s and looks to be gaining confidence with every round.
A group of five players, Anirban Lahiri, Marc Leishman, Bud Cauley, Martin Kaymer, and Vaughn Taylor sit in a tie for third place. While all world-class players, Cauley has the best story going this week. A year ago at the Memorial, Cauley was in a car crash that left him sidelined for the rest of the 2018 season. He has played well in his return, but it would be fitting if he got a win at the place that caused him so much pain just one year ago.
Patrick Cantlay sits in a tie for eighth place after opening with 68. Cantlay is coming off three straight top 10 finishes and finished fourth at the Memorial last year.
Despite two bogeys, Tiger got off to a solid start with a first round of 69. Big Cat is a five-time winner of the Memorial, but has not won at Muirfield Village since 2013.
Other notables in the top 30 are Rickie Fowler (T-12), Xander Schauffele (T-12), Gary Woodland (T-12), Max Homa (T-23), Phil Mickelson (T-23), and Justin Thomas (T-30).
The U.S. Women’s Open got underway at Country Club of Charleston on Thursday. Mamiko Higa (65) leads Gina Kim (a) (66) and Esther Henseleit (66) through one round, while Sei Young Kim (67) and the Korda sisters (67s) are all in the top 10. Higa has won five times on the LPGA Japan Tour, and her opening 65 is the third lowest ever recorded in a U.S. Women’s Open. All eyes will be on Gina Kim tomorrow, as the Duke sophomore looks to win the event as an amateur. Two-under through 16 holes, Kim closed eagle-birdie to get to the clubhouse with a 67. U.S. Women’s Open Leaderboard
It was announced late Thursday that Hank Haney has been suspended from his spot on PGA Tour Radio, effective immediately. Haney took to the airwaves on Wednesday with some sexist and racist comments about the LPGA and the U.S. Women’s Open. We won’t get too in the weeds here, but suffice to say that Haney absolutely deserves his punishment. Golf has long been known as a game of exclusivity and exclusion, a reputation many of us are working hard to break. There is simply no place for comments like Haney’s. Many players, the LPGA, and commissioner Mike Whan took to social media to voice their opinion on Haney’s hurtful speech. For more on the subject, we highly recommend Michael Bamberger’s piece on Golf.com. There is no word on when, or if, Haney will be back on the radio.
The Stanford Cardinal emerged as NCAA champions with their 3-2 victory over Texas at the Blessings Golf Club. Isaiah Salinda, Brandon Wu, and Henry Shimp scored the winning points for Stanford as the school captured its ninth national title. Scoring
One round of the Belgium Knockout is complete on the European Tour. The top 64 players after Friday’s final stroke-play round will move on to play 9 holes matches this weekend. Scoring
Joey Bramlett sits atop the Web.com’s Rex Hospital Open leaderboard after opening with 64. Rhein Gibson, Stevie “Fountains” Lebrun, Rob Oppenheim, and Conrad Shindler are amongst others in the top 10.
Phil Mickelson is dropping bombs again.
The Latest Podcasts and Articles
Episode 140: Seth Raynor & CC of Charleston with Anthony Pioppi
uthor, historian, Executive Director of the Seth Raynor Society and podcast host Anthony Pioppi joins Andy to discuss Seth Raynor and this week’s U.S. Women’s Open host, Country Club of Charleston. Anthony discusses Raynor’s career and how he got into golf as well as his famed template holes and what he expects from this week’s tournament. Listen to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify.
Shotgun Start: Bryson’s slow play and the Pros v. the USGA with ESPN’s Kevin Van Valkenburg
A rousing Friday episode begins with Bryson DeChambeau’s nonsensical excuses for his pace of play after he was hit with bad times on Friday at the Memorial. We discuss Bryson moving the goalposts and neglecting the fact that playing in a reasonable time is a skill. Then we move to more pleasing matters, namely the U.S. Women’s Open and how Charleston has provided a great test for the best in the world so far. In a less pleasing segment, we address Hank Haney’s awful comments on the Women’s Open. A Flashback Friday centers on the 2006 Memorial, taking us down the path of the famed Henry Picard, that time Jack Nicklaus angered the field using different bunker rakes that made sand shots more challenging, and the 2006 winner Carl Pettersson, whose life and times before and after the anchor ban get a review. Finally, we are joined by ESPN Senior Writer Kevin Van Valkenburg to discuss the fiery comments in Golf Digest from a gaggle of anonymous PGA Tour pros, coaches, and caddies lambasting the USGA. We discuss some of the larger themes from the piece, who looks worse from it — the players or the USGA, KVV’s three favorite quotes from the lengthy collection, course setup philosophies, the concept of par, and if the fractious relationship is reconcilable at all. Lastly, we finish with a rapid fire reading of a handful of quotes from the piece and adjudge them “Silly,” “Salient,” or “Gotta Hear Both Sides.” Listen on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify