Maybe the Dolphins and Jaguars didn’t quite do it for you last night. So how about talking some golf for a little pick-me-up? We don’t have a lot to work with today, but we’ll make the most of it.

Lemonade out of lemons

Now that we have the Gary Player rants and Ozarks ads out of the way, it’s a fairly calm week in the golf world. The LPGA is off, but there’s the typical slate of PGA Tour, Korn Ferry Tour, and European Tour events. Honestly, none of these tournaments seems likely to capture the attention of the average fan. Most of the top players in the world are taking the week off, and we’re all probably watching football anyway.

That said, this could be a life-changing week for someone on the PGA Tour. Many people, ourselves included, would normally scoff at the lack of star power at the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship. But while the field is undoubtedly weak, it’s still a full-fledged PGA Tour event. The winner will earn a boatload of FedEx Cup points, a two-year exemption that extends into 2022, and an invite to the Masters next spring.

A glance at the first-round leaderboard reveals a ton of names—Sepp Straka, Scott Harrington, Tyler McCumber, Joseph Bramlett, and Justin Suh among them—for whom a victory would be life-changing. Perhaps that’s a good enough reason to flip away from the NFL for a few minutes on Sunday afternoon.

Quick Hooks

Marty Dou, Jared Wolfe, and Billy Tom Sargent lead the Korn Ferry Tour’s Wichita Open after first-round 63s at Crestview Country Club. Dou. Boy. Fresh. Wichita Open Leaderboard

Aaron Rai, Jordan Smith, and Dean Burmester lead the Irish Open after the opening round. James Sugrue, the British Amateur champion who received a last-minute exemption into this tournament, is just two shots back. Irish Open Leaderboard

Haskins Award and ANNIKA Award preseason watch lists were released on Thursday. See which players you should look out for in what’s sure to be an atypical collegiate golf season.

2020 has been unusual in many respects, but the European Tour’s Race to Dubai standings are particularly odd right now. Full-time PGA Tour players Patrick Reed and Collin Morikawa are currently the top two point earners, and just seven events remain before the DP World Tour Championship. It’s virtually impossible for one of them to win the year-long race over all of the Euro Tour regulars, but a Masters victory by either player could make things interesting.

ESPN’s Bob Harig caught up with Mark Calcavecchia to discuss Calc’s bout with Covid-19 this month. The 1989 Masters champ was hit hard by the disease, but he’s ready to get back to work on the PGA Tour Champions. Full article

The Latest from The Fried Egg

The Fried Egg Podcast, Episode 192: Geoff Ogilvy – 2020 U.S. Open Recap

Geoff Ogilvy joins Andy to break down the 2020 U.S. Open. The pair focus on the setup of Winged Foot and how it amplified DeChambeau’s talents while also discussing the future of golf given Bryson’s style of play. Geoff also talks about Sandy Links, the municipal course he grew up playing, and its recent renovation. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Shotgun Start: The Shirtless Shaper, The Bad Boys of Golf, and the arm lock argument

There’s little to talk about so this Friday episode is a slalom run of stupidity as Brendan and Andy swerve back and forth from topic to topic. They begin with some follow-up intel on Tommy II, Mike Davis’s new partner in crime, and his preferred attire while out on the job. Then they relay an origin story for the Murder Rock course name, which has something to do with a criminal named Alf. There’s also more details on the insanity of that layout, a range that was essentially a grass wall, and a few more thoughts on the bunkers at Payne’s Valley. They also address Rory’s comments on Bryson arm-locking and the impact that Davis’s departure will have on equipment regulation. After a discussion on making their own wine, they transition to the actual golf this week, which is more a reason to talk about the Sepptic tank’s life moving from Vienna to Valdosta, Tyler McCumber’s life hitchhiking, and Xinjun Zhang being known as the Bad Boy of Chinese golf. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Pro Shop

The Shotgun Start boys have new merchandise in the shop today! Quarter-zip sweatshirts from B. Draddy and wool hats from Imperial will be live at 1 p.m. ET. You can find those items, along with other SGS merch, under the Shotgun Start tab of our pro shop!