Did you know “Friday” is derived from the Old English word “Frīġedæġ”? Did you not really care for that fun fact? Too bad, you know it now. Anyway, golf was played really well by some people yesterday and really poorly by others. Let’s find out who shot what and what it meant.
Really Sleepy Meetup
Webb Simpson tops the RSM Classic leaderboard after a blistering finish on Thursday. Starting on the back nine at the Sea Island Plantation course, Simpson shot 35-30 on his way to a first-round 65. Webb birdied seven of his final ten holes, including each of his last three. Leaderboard
- A trio of players—Cameron Tringale, K.H. Lee, and Rhein Gibson—sit one shot off Simpson’s pace at the RSM Classic. Tringale and Lee shot 64 on the Seaside course while Gibson shot 66 on the Plantation course. Yes, 64 is the same as 66 in this case. Just trust us. (The Plantation course is a par 72, while the Seaside is a par 70)
- Nine players, including 39-year-old rookie Scott Harrington, Greenbrier winner Sebastián Muñoz, Hank Lebioda, and Brian Harman, sit T-5 at five under par.
- Fresh off back-to-back victories, Brendan Todd shot a first-round 66 on the Seaside course and finds himself T-14 through one round. Todd is looking to be the first player to win three consecutive times since Dustin Johnson did in early 2017.
- Sixteen players are tied with Todd at -4. Among them are Alabama standout Davis Riley, Doc Redman, J.T. Poston, U.S. Amateur runner-up Will Gordon, and last year’s RSM Classic runner-up Patrick Rodgers.
- Tournament host Davis Love III shot a 68 and is tied for 43rd. DL3 beat his son Dru by five shots on Thursday.
M the L the V / And can’t no other Frenchie put it down like me / Lorenzo-Vera
Thanks, Fergie. As you can probably tell, Mike Lorenzo-Vera leads after one round of the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. The Frenchman made eight birdies and an eagle on Thursday for a 63. MLV entered the week 36th in the Race to Dubai standings, too far back to win the season-long title, but we’re sure he’d still enjoy the $3-million tournament prize.
While Lorenzo-Vera is in the lead for now, he will have to outlast the crème de la crème this weekend. Rory McIlroy (64), Jon Rahm (66), Tommy Fleetwood (67), Tom Lewis (67), Rafa Cabrera Bello (68), Marcus Kinhult (68), Danny Willett (69), Justin Rose (69), Francesco Molinari (69), Haotong Li (69), and Thomas Detry (69) are all inside the top 10. For those playing along at home, that’s four players in the top 10 of the Official World Golf Ranking and three others in the top 40. Rahm and Tommy lad have a chance at the Race to Dubai title, but they need to climb passed Bernd Wiesberger, who currently sits T-14 in Dubai. DP World Tour Championship Leaderboard
With what he called “possibly the best shot I’ve hit all year,” Rory McIlroy set up a closing eagle on Thursday. McIlroy hit this 3-wood 291 yards into the par-5 18th. As our friend Brendan Porath pointed out, everyone promptly forgot about the poor Frenchman who beat Rory on the day.
All for one
Sei Young Kim leads the CME Group Tour Championship by two shots following her first-round 65. The 26-year-old South Korean was one of three players to play bogey-free golf on Thursday, setting herself up to make a charge at the $1.5-million prize. Kim won twice this season and entered the week riding four straight top 10s.
Plenty of other top-tier talent is nipping at Kim’s heels. Nelly Korda (67), Georgia Hall (67), Marina Alex (68), Brooke Henderson (68), Lizette Salas (68), Danielle Kang (69), and Su Oh (69) are all in the top 10. Leaderboard
Yesterday, Brooks Koepka confirmed that he was withdrawing from the Presidents Cup to nurse a knee injury. As expected, U.S. captain Tiger Woods then announced that Rickie Fowler would replace Brooks on the roster at Royal Melbourne in three weeks. It’s a safe pick and probably a smart one, but as Will Gray argued for Golf Channel, there were more exciting options. Full Story
The PGA Tour announced on Thursday that there will be alterations to its pace-of-play policy in 2020. According to a source in Rex Hoggard’s article, the changes are “not drastic.” God forbid golf actually does something substantial about the issue.
Robert Garrigus opened up to Golfweek about his suspension from the PGA Tour for using medical marijuana. You gotta feel for the guy. “There’s a gray area there,” he said, “but the Tour has always been black and white.” Full Story
Shotgun Start: The Rory Paradox, Rick’s the Pick, and a Two-Gloved Flashback
This revelrous Friday episode begins with an appreciation for the early leaderboards across the globe from the LPGA to Dubai to Georgia. The RSM Classic is a cornucopia of Shotgun Start favorites, and Brendan and Andy run through some of the regulars as well as update low and “high Davis” on the leaderboard. Over in Dubai, they praise Frenchman Mike and discuss Rory’s outrageous shot and opening round. This leads to a lengthy discussion about the high bar for measuring Rory success and whether anything he does at a non-major makes an impression. The life and times of Troy Merritt are celebrated in the “Journeyman of the Day” segment, where they read from an article that characterized Merritt as dangerous at the Masters and also a human highlight reel (his new nickname). News hits on Rickie filling in for Brooksy at the Presidents Cup and comes with less criticism than you might expect. Flashback Friday is an homage to Tommy Gainey, the 2012 winner at Sea Island. It features a reminiscence of his final round 60 and a reading of his story insulating water heaters for $9 per hour while trying to make it on mini tours. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.
Ducks inspired our headline this morning. Did you know that ducks are waterproof? Yeah, water just rolls off their feathers. Since most things aren’t waterproof, make sure you have your Fried Egg towel handy. Grab one today!