Tommy Fleetwood has spent the last two weeks quarantining in the Hamptons and playing golf at Shinnecock Hills, National Golf Links of America, and Friar’s Head. That’s unrelated to the contents of this newsletter, but we just thought we should let you know.
Across the pond
The European Tour and—more importantly—Coffee Golf are back this week! The Betfred British Masters gets underway on Wednesday morning at Close House Golf Club, marking the first full-fledged Euro Tour event since the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters ended on March 8th. Eddie Pepperell, Min Woo Lee, Marcus Kinhult, and tournament host Lee Westwood headline the field. Tee Times
Keith Pelley and the European Tour have taken a cautious approach to this return, putting a premium on keeping air travel to a minimum. The British Masters kicks off a six-week stay in the UK, during which players and workers won’t have to drive more than a few hours between events. Players are also restricted to certain hotels and restaurants. It’s a different approach than the PGA Tour has taken and in theory will lead to fewer positive Covid-19 test results. Only time will tell.
Read John Huggan’s article in Golf Digest for more about the regulations the European Tour has put in place.
The bigger picture
While the PGA Tour is in town this weekend, Minneapolis is still very much focused on social reform after the murder of George Floyd back in May. The PGA Tour will donate all proceeds raised during Wednesday’s 3M Open Compass Challenge—featuring Tommy Fleetwood, Paul Casey, Matthew Wolff, and Will Gordon—to causes related to social justice in Minneapolis. In addition, players are being asked for their thoughts on these issues during pre-tournament press conferences. Brooks Koepka had the following to say on Tuesday: “As a world, as people, we need to continue to grow, and I think we’re at least bringing light to it now.”
Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Tommy Fleetwood, and Tony Finau are among the big names in a relatively weak field at the 3M Open. Tee Times
Martin Trainer had to find an emergency fill-in caddie this week. That’s because Aaron Crawford, Trainer’s full-time looper, shot a bogey-free 63 on Monday to qualify for the 3M Open. Sounds like a good player, you know, in his own right.
The first PGA Tour University ranking was released on Tuesday night. This new system provides a way for NCAA seniors to earn status on one of the PGA Tour’s feeder tours around the world.
Kohler’s Blackwolf Run is adding a 10-hole, four-bath short course and a putting course next summer. Designed by Chris Lutzke, the par-3 course will have holes ranging from 65 to 150. The “baths” will provide a non-golf option for resort guests. Full Story from Gary D’Amato
Lexi Thompson finished runner-up to Sunny Kim on the Minor League Tour this week. The No. 9 player in the Rolex Rankings will return to the LPGA Tour next weekend. The win is Kim’s 71st on the MLT and his 56th straight top-15 finish. Beast.
The Korn Ferry Tour is in Springfield, Missouri, for the Price Cutter Charity Championship this weekend. Tee Times
The Latest from The Fried Egg
Paulie’s Picks: 2020 3M Open – It’s not the strongest field at TPC Twin Cities this week, but Fried Egg fantasy guru Paulie has found some diamonds in the rough. Check out his full DraftKings and one-and-done picks!
Yolk with Doak, Episode 23: Getting to 18, Pacific Dunes, and the original Sheep Ranch
Tom Doak is back! The lead architect at Renaissance Golf Design joins Andy to talk about his latest book project, Getting to 18. They discuss the writing process, a few excerpts from the book, the story of how Tom met Bill Coore, and the secrets behind the routings of Pacific Dunes and the original Sheep Ranch. To purchase Getting to 18, a limited-edition book, visit doakgolf.com. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.
Shotgun Start: Lumpy’s moment, All-time Jacks, and a fall West Coast swing
This Wednesday preview begins with an apology Tour to Argentinians, canals, and Ernie Els’ golf course design philosophies. Then Brendan and Andy get into the schedule for the week, which quickly detours into a closer view of the bottom of the 3M field. It’s a field replete with also-rans and nebulous career exemptions while the best young players are relegated to lower tours. They hail the return of #CoffeeGolf and the start of the inaugural Coffee Pot series, with the first Euro Tour tournament hosted by an SGS favorite. They ponder if the thin 3M field is due to a lack of “pro-am” cash wooing some of the bigger names that surprisingly patronized the Twin Cities last year. Could a caddie, who Monday qualified, beat his usual loop this week head-to-head at TPC Sod Farm? Then there’s a proposal for a fall West Coast swing that’s being rumored as a replacement for a potential canceled Asian swing in October. Venues are listed and times and objectives are debated. News hits on the continued Wednesday Charity exhibition series on Tour and an admirable attempt by the Rolex Rankings to even things out as Tours resume play at different paces. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.
A former sod farm, TPC Twin Cities isn’t the most comely of PGA Tour venues. If you’d like to look at something more appealing, grab one of our photography prints. Our collection includes photos from Ballyneal, Kingsley Club, Sand Valley, Sweetens Cove, and more. Shop today!