Sundays are better when Matt Nagy isn’t torturing us. Happy Monday.
Disgruntled at the Pelican
It’s not easy to hit putts when surrounded by rich Floridians dressed as Smurfs. Lexi Thompson proved as much on Sunday at the Pelican Women’s Championship. On the 71st hole, after her playing partner Nelly Korda recorded a triple, Thompson three-putted to make bogey. She went on to miss a five-footer for the victory on 18, falling into a playoff with Korda, Sei Young Kim, and Lydia Ko. On the first playoff hole, with Korda already in for birdie, Thompson slammed her five-footer past the hole. It was Korda’s fifth victory of the year.
This was, without question, one of the most exciting finishes of the LPGA season. All four players in the playoff were in the top 15 of the Rolex Rankings. Yet Golf Channel still managed to cut away from the action on the 18th hole in favor of the Charles Schwab Cup. Thankfully, coverage returned just in time for Lexi’s miss at the end of regulation. We remain confused about “how TV contracts work.”
With the win, Korda leapfrogs Jin Young Ko in the LPGA Player of the Year Award race, setting up a potentially epic battle at the CME Globe Tour Championship. It’s been Nelly’s year, but Ko just won’t go away. Hopefully next week delivers the exclamation point the season deserves.
The Future of Golf
The LPGA Tour has been consistently entertaining this year, in large part because the tour has worked recently to improve its product.
Like the LPGA, the USGA is investing in the future of golf. From agronomy studies to junior golf initiatives, the USGA is committed to setting up the game for future success, and its members play an integral role in these efforts. Right now, Fried Egg readers can earn exclusive benefits with their purchase of a USGA membership, including a subscription to the Golf Journal, a personalized bag tag, and discounts at the USGA store.
The oil man
With rounds of 66 and 65 on the weekend, Jason Kokrak overcame a nine-shot deficit to win the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open at Memorial Park.
It’s been a whirlwind year for Kokrak. This was the 36-year-old’s third PGA Tour title in the past 13 months—and the third PGA Tour title of his career. Kokrak’s sudden surge in his mid-30s has had a lot to do with his putting, which is saving him nearly four shots a tournament compared to 2020.
But for us, the golf course was the star of the show at the Houston Open. At first glance, Memorial Park wouldn’t seem to be a challenging test for the best golfers in the world. But with its clever green complexes and runoff areas, the course gets in players’ heads like few tour venues do. It was a fun watch and a solid contribution to a surprisingly entertaining weekend in pro golf.
Joachim Hansen, the European Tour’s Mr. November, shot a bogey-free final round to win the AVIV Dubai Championship.
Phil Mickelson, this year’s PGA Championship winner, won the Charles Schwab Cup Championship on the PGA Tour Champions. Because of course he did. In addition, Bernhard Langer won his sixth season-long Charles Schwab Cup. Because of course he did.
World No. 1 Jon Rahm withdrew from the DP World Tour Championship, the final event of the 2021 European Tour season. After a busy season and the birth of his first child, Rahm chose rest. He is currently third in the Race to Dubai standings.
Min Woo Lee registered his third straight top-10 finish with a T-5 in Dubai. Now No. 51 in the OWGR, the rising Australian star can earn a Masters invite if he cracks the top 50 by year’s end.
The Latest from The Fried Egg
The Shotgun Start – Andy recorded this episode in the Airbnb that the Fried Egg team is currently sharing, and we can report that there was plenty of shouting. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.