Happy weekend, everyone. If you were on the receiving end of the Northeast snow storm, golf may be the furthest thing from your mind. But the newsletter marches on.
All the marbles
After a week of battling the elements at the U.S. Women’s Open, the LPGA has moved to warmer climes for the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Florida. The season-ending tournament features nine of the top 11 players in the Rolex Rankings and will determine who wins the Race to the CME Globe. The 2020 purse has been slightly reduced because of the pandemic, but the tournament still offers the biggest winner’s payout—$1.1 million—on the LPGA Tour.
After the first round, 2018 CME champion Lexi Thompson leads the way at 7 under. Thompson has finished T-6 or better in each of her past three appearances at Tiburón Golf Club, so her strong start was no surprise. Others in the mix include Sei Young Kim (67), Megan Khang (67), Jin Young Ko (68), Carlota Ciganda (68), Cristie Kerr (68), Anna Nordqvist (68), Maria Fassi (68), and Minjee Lee (68). Leaderboard
If you had forgotten that there was an LPGA event this week, you’ve probably been getting your golf content online. Yesterday, many media outlets put the CME Group Tour Championship on the social-media back burner in favor of the practice round for the PNC Championship, which Tiger Woods is playing with his 11-year-old son Charlie. The SEO scramble became somewhat nauseating. We got blow-by-blow accounts of Tiger and Charlie’s practice sessions, detailed breakdowns of the kid’s swing, and piles upon piles of father-son photos.
Look, we get it. Tiger-related content is, has been, and will continue to be king. Plus, there’s no denying that Charlie’s action is impressive, and that seeing him play next to his dad is heartwarming. We’ll tune in this weekend and tell you what happens. But we don’t need to obsess over the 11-year-old’s every move, especially at the expense of proper coverage of a big-time women’s event.
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said that Covid-19 vaccination will not be mandated for tournament participants. “I think vaccination is a choice, and I would apply the same logic and the same amount of care to that subject as we have to every other subject, and that is to try and do our best to educate our members on vaccination and the pros and cons associated with it,” Monahan said. “But ultimately it’s an individual decision.” For reference, here is CDC guidance on vaccination.
Workday signed on as the new sponsor for Jack Nicklaus’s Memorial Tournament. The deal will start in 2022, and basketball star Steph Curry’s foundation, Eat. Learn. Play., will be the event’s new beneficiary. Previously, Curry had been in talks to host a yearly PGA Tour event at TPC Harding Park. The 2026 Presidents Cup was even moved from Harding Park to Medinah Country Club in order to accommodate the potential tournament. It seems that those plans have fallen through.
Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas announced they will play the European Tour’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January. It will be JT’s first appearance in the event.
Twelve years after retiring from competition, Annika Sorenstam is mulling a return to major championship golf. Full Story from Brentley Romine
Predictably, Natalie Gulbis, who received a head-scratching sponsor exemption this week, is DFL after round one of the CME Group Tour Championship.
With her feet in what we imagine to be a gator-infested pond, Anne van Dam worked some magic on this approach at the CME.
The Latest from The Fried Egg
Over the next couple of weeks, we will be finalizing the 2021 Fried Egg Events calendar! We were disappointed that we had to cancel our 2020 slate of events, but we have exciting plans for next year at several great courses. We will release the final schedule in January, but in the meantime, here’s a sneak peak of a few of the host sites.
The Yolk with Doak, Episode 27: Tom’s 2020 American Road Trip
Tom Doak returns to delve more into his recent road trip across the United States. During his travels, Tom visited two upcoming projects, Dornick Hills in Oklahoma and Sandpiper in California. He and Andy also discuss how beauty affects a hole’s reputation, memorable superintendents, and much more. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.
Shotgun Start: The Catnip Carnival, ProSet Friday, and Year-in-Review teaser
This episode is the usual ramble for Friday, touching on the people of Wisconsin’s propensity to make Old Fashioneds with brandy and also eating raw ground beef sandwiches. But first, Brendan and Andy begin with the Thursday Charlie Woods show and the many hard-won impressions and aggregations that populated the internet thereafter. They take issue with some of it and try to distinguish what’s appropriate coverage of an 11-year-old who has entered a publicly broadcast event. A new segment, ProSet Fridays, is an edification on former Tour pro David Peoples. Over on the CME, Natalie Gulbis is in last place while Lexi is back on top after social media denigration of an image of her swing last week. News runs through the 2021 Euro Tour schedule and some of the new events that pique their interest. Then, the final 10 minutes or so kicks off the annual SGS Year In Review series, teasing it with a look back at the 2020 Tournament of Champions. They recall the “gusted” controversy, infamous tweets from Chris DiMarco and PXG, heckles of “Cheater!,” and the hot mic “pampered fucks” commentary. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.
If you blow a lid over the amount of click bait this weekend, get yourself a new one in our pro shop! Shop Fried Egg beanies, performance hats, and more!