Here’s a fun weekend hack! When someone asks how you’re doing, you can say “Zozo” instead of “so-so.” (Not every intro can be Shakespeare, folks.)

An English summer

When the European Tour returned from its pandemic hiatus in July, Laurie Canter was No. 579 in the Official World Golf Ranking. The 30-year-old Englishman had spent exactly one week inside the top 500 in the past decade. Flash forward to today: Canter has risen more than 300 spots in the OWGR and leads the Italian Open by four strokes after a first-round 60 (-12). Italian Open Leaderboard

It’s been a hell of a summer for Laurie Canter. He has had two top fives and five top 15s in his past eight events—by far the best stretch of golf in his career. While he has never won a professional event, a triumph at the Italian Open would position him to qualify for many of the top tournaments in the world. If you’re looking for that kind of career-changing win, a four-shot lead after 18 holes is a good place to start.

Hey, he looks familiar…

Danielle Kang and Jennifer Song are tied for the lead at the LPGA Drive On Championship at Reynolds Lake Oconee after the first round, but the story of the day didn’t have to do with the players. During the telecast, LPGA Tour Commissioner Mike Whan strapped on a headset and made his on-course reporter debut. He followed players around Reynolds Lake Oconee, a course he knows well, and his opening line—“I apologized to the three players and caddies before we got started, as being quiet and whispering isn’t my strong suit”—neatly summed up the enthusiasm and sense of humor he brought to the gig.

Under Mike Whan’s leadership, the LPGA Tour has shown a willingness to experiment with its product. The commish’s stunt yesterday was yet another enjoyable twist. Leaderboard

Notes from Nottinghamshire

Bassy sighting! The King of the Sanderson, Sebastián Muñoz, tops the Zozo Championship leaderboard through one round at Sherwood Country Club. Leaderboard

Defending Zozo champion Tiger Woods struggled on Thursday, beating exactly one player (s/o Adam Long) en route to a 4-over 76. The Big Cat hasn’t finished better than T-37 in any of his five appearances since the PGA Tour returned, and this week isn’t looking too promising. He did, however, make an 87-footer!

Rory McIlroy got off to a sluggish start at Sherwood as well (73, +1), and after one particularly poor approach, he took out his frustration on one of his irons. Not ideal, obviously, but a little bit of fire has historically been a good thing for Rory.

Adam Scott withdrew from the Zozo Championship after testing positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday. He is the third top-15 player to test positive for the virus on the PGA Tour in the past three weeks.

Quick Hooks

Phil Mickelson may skip the Houston Open after the news that the event will allow fans on the premises. Given the recent positive coronavirus tests on the PGA Tour, Phil says he wants to limit risk and prioritize his health ahead of the Masters. (Sidenote: he opened with an even-par 72 at the Zozo after winning on the Champions Tour last week.) Full Story from Rex Hoggard

We’ve all been there. A purely struck iron shot hits some crossing power lines, and we have to drop and rehit. Usually, though, this type of scene unfolds at a local muni, not at a damn European Tour venue.

Beth Ann Nichols has a lovely piece for Golfweek on the late Mickey Wright’s possessions, which the legendary golfer willed to the USGA Golf Museum. Full Article

In case you missed them, Bryson DeChambeau has put out two strikingly bizarre Instagram videos this week. Please check them out and join the golf world in its befuddlement.

The Latest from The Fried Egg

Shotgun Start: A potpourri on rotisserie chicken, power lines, metal spikes, Tiger Tracker, and Seve

It’s Brendan’s wedding anniversary so this Friday episode quickly zips through a potpourri of topics with no real plan or direction. They begin with an unexpected but heated debate over rotisserie chicken and whether it’s any good. More intel from the ground on the Power Lines Open in Italy is relayed and there’s great amusement at Matt Wallace’s ball getting knocked out of the air into a hazard. The Zozo discussion begins with crowning Bassy Muñoz the new Mr. October and there’s an update on the origins of the name Sherwood. Phil’s 2-wood and 47.5-inch driver bag setup are critiqued, as are metal spikes, generally, after a video of Andrew Landry tumbling on a cart path is discovered. Both Brendan and Andy also address the popular GC Tiger Tracker account going silent this week, with a serious lament on the loss of jobs behind the scenes. Another odd video from Bryson and the Kings of Leon is giggled over before a Flashback Friday segment takes on Seve Ballesteros and his outrageous record before the age of 21 and at national opens. News hits on Sergio playing a pro tennis event, Phil maybe skipping Houston because they’ll have fans, and a crazy longshot exemption that will be there. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

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