Hello. Please pay careful attention to the next sentence. You cannot skip over Thanksgiving by playing Christmas music in early November. As soon as the post-Thanksgiving-dinner bloat hits, sure, toss on Mariah Carey and have at it. But not a second sooner.

Old dog learns new trick

Contrary to what the trophy says, Brian Gay won the Bermuda Championship on Sunday. The 48-year-old shot a final-round 64 and birdied both the 72nd hole and the first playoff hole to defeat Wyndham Clark. The victory is Gay’s first on the PGA Tour since 2013 and his first top 10 since the 2019 Bermuda Championship. Bermuda Championship Results

Until recently, no one would have mistaken Brian Gay for a long hitter—or even an average one. In the 2010s, the PGA Tour veteran hovered between 265 and 283 yards off the tee, never finishing better than 170th in driving distance. But in the past year, Gay has transformed himself into Gaynz. He averaged 288.5 in the 2019-20 season and is clocking in at a hair under 300 so far in 2020-21. Now in his late 40s, Gay has revitalized his career by chasing distance. Modern golf!

Snarky remarks aside, this is a huge win for Brian Gay. Next spring, he will play in just his third career Masters, and he has job security until he qualifies for the Champions Tour next December. But given how things are going, he might not even want to switch tours.

A matter of time

It took about two months of sustained brilliance, but Will Zalatoris has finally gained special temporary membership on the PGA Tour. Zalatoris finished T-16 at the Bermuda Championship, earning more than enough FedEx Cup points to lock up big-tour status for the rest of the 2020-21 season. He now has four top 20s in five PGA Tour starts this fall, 15 top 20s in his past 16 events, and the No. 57 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking. In short, Will Zalatoris is a beast, and we’ll be hearing a lot more from him.

Quick Hooks

Callum Shinkwin captured his first European Tour title at the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Open on Sunday. The 27-year-old Englishman eagled the 72nd hole to shoot a 63 before defeating Finnish journeyman Kalle Samooja in a playoff showdown between two elite golf names. Cyprus Open Results

South African Daniel van Tonder won for the fourth time in six events on the Sunshine Tour this weekend. His latest win at the Investec Royal Swazi Open moved him into the OWGR top 150 of for the first time in his career.

Needing a runner-up to receive special temporary membership status on the PGA Tour, Ollie Schniederjans settled for third place behind Gay and Clark in Bermuda. But Schniederjans did earn a berth at next week’s Houston Open, where he will have another chance to improve his status. Not bad for a guy who got into the Bermuda field on a sponsor exemption.

Brian Gay wasn’t the only vet to find the fountain of youth at Port Royal Golf Course. Sixty-four-year-old Fred Funk, a short hitter even in his prime, made the cut at the Bermuda Championship and ended up T-59. His son Taylor missed the cut after going 73-81 on Thursday and Friday. (Oh, the only other players to make a PGA Tour cut at age 64 or older since 1970? Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, and Tom Watson. H/t PGA Tour Comms.)

Darren Clarke birdied the 72nd hole at the TimberTech Championship for his first PGA Tour Champions win. Bernhard Langer and Jim Furyk finished one shot behind Clarke. Results

Diamond Resorts—incidentally, a sponsor of Brian Gay—announced a three-year extension of its Tournament of Champions sponsorship on the LPGA Tour. The Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions is just two years old but has become a fun way to kick off the LPGA season each January. Press Release

Legendary actor Sean Connery died yesterday, and for many golfers the golf scene in Goldfinger, in which Connery’s James Bond faces off against the villainous Auric Goldfinger at Stoke Park, sprang immediately to mind. The Scotsman was, as it turns out, an avid golfer. Lorne Rubenstein has a poignant personal remembrance of Connery for SCOREGolf.

The Latest from The Fried Egg

Shotgun Start: Bermuda Brian, the fraud of “distance debate,” and The Old Course

Nothing can dampen spirits on this Victory Monday thanks to the work done by one Brian Gay, he of team Centinel Spine. Brendan and Andy rejoice in a win from an older poofer of the golf ball, and perhaps the oldest wearer of a flat bill on Tour. The spine discussion leads to an aside on the physical troubles of D.A. Points, which was painful to watch in Bermuda. Gay’s win, however, is not some evidence that there’s no distance problem in golf, but rather proof of variety borne out of a different setup and shorter course. This leads to a mini-rant from Brendan on the phrase “distance debate” and a plea to abolish the use of it. Callum Shinkwin is given his due as the Cyprus winner. On the Champions Tour, they ponder how the TimberTech Championship forced a split screen with the damn playoff on the regular PGA Tour. Is the title sponsor providing some free deck work at Sawgrass? They wrap with misgivings about their crappy football teams and praise for Joe Buck and Troy Aikman’s pointed criticisms of the Bears play-calling, with a hope for similar critiques from PGA Tour coverage. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Pro Shop

We’ve turned the calendar to November, so it’s time to swap out the headwear. Luckily, there’s a fresh batch of Fried Egg beanies in stock. Get yours today!