After a wild week at the U.S. Open, you’d think that the world of golf would slow down for a second. Guess again.
I am a TREE HUGGA!
In case you missed it, there was live golf yesterday. Well, more like a four-hour advertisement disguised as live golf, but it was kinda fun!
For the Payne’s Valley Cup, Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas faced off against Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose on Tuesday to commemorate the opening of Payne’s Valley, Tiger’s new course at Big Cedar Lodge. The foursome played six holes of best ball and six of alternate shot, then went to singles down the stretch. Oh, and they finished on the ultra-contrived—yet impressive—19th hole. The team of Tiger and JT won.
Spectacles like the Payne’s Valley Cup, no matter how goofy, have their place in golf. Getting tour players or high-ranking amateurs together for a match on a weekday afternoon, even if it’s just nine holes, can attract viewers and advertisers alike. Was the event yesterday basically a big promo for Big Cedar Lodge, with regular commercials on top? For sure! But it also offered a few fun moments between some of the world’s best players and a glimpse of a major new golf course. Plus, Gary Player delivered an all-time rant about water and war and personal sacrifice and trees.
Moving on to another Faz
On Tuesday afternoon, to just about everyone’s surprise, the USGA announced that Mike Davis will be stepping down as USGA CEO by the end of 2021. He is off to “pursue a lifelong passion for golf course design and construction,” according to the press release. “Davis, 55, will team with accomplished golf course designer Tom Fazio II in a new business venture.” Fazio II is the nephew of well-known golf architect Tom Fazio.
After spending many years setting up courses, Davis has decided to try his hand at designing them. We’ve grown used to seeing Davis spar with players over his difficult setups at the U.S. Open, so this move certainly raises some intriguing possibilities. We’re curious to see what he and Fazio II have in store.
No really, it’s not an opposite-field event
Normally played opposite the WGC Match Play in March, the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship is a full-field event this year. Given that it’s one week after the U.S. Open, the field is weak. In fact, it’s the weakest non-opposite field event in more than three years.
While it doesn’t have marquee names, this tournament does have Will Zalatoris, the Korn Ferry Tour points leader. Zalatoris was set to play this week on a sponsor exemption but ended up using his top-10 finish at the U.S. Open to get in on his own merits. In spite of being No. 76 in the Official Golf Ranking, Zalatoris will be relegated to the KFT until next fall unless he earns enough FedEx Cup points in PGA Tour events. After a T-6 at the U.S. Open last week, a high finish this week could very well do the trick. Tee Times
Coffee golf! Just days after the U.S. Open, the European Tour is getting ready for the Irish Open. The venue isn’t as tantalizing as Lahinch and the field isn’t as strong as usual, but there are still plenty of interesting names—Shane Lowry, Jazz Janewattananond, Min Woo Lee, and Sean Crocker—to track this weekend. Tee Times
Just because Will Zalatoris is in the Dominican Republic doesn’t mean the Korn Ferry Tour will grind to a halt this week. Davis Riley, Brandon Wu, and Mito Pereira are on tap for the earnestly but clumsily named Wichita Open Supporting Wichita Youth. Reportedly it will take place in Wichita.
The Latest from The Fried Egg
Paulie’s Picks: Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship – The PGA Tour doesn’t sleep and neither does Paulie. Get his input on your DraftKings and one-and-done lineups!
Embrace the Unpredictable – Everyone used to think that long rough would allow short, accurate hitters to compete with the bombers. Bryson debunked that notion at Winged Foot. Andy argues that it’s time for a new approach to U.S. Open setup.
Major Change – Bryson DeChambeau completely overhauled his physique and his golf game in recent months. Brendan Porath recaps the U.S. Open champion’s wild year and identifies the true origin and motive for his transformation.
Shotgun Start: The Johnny Morris Infomercial, Mike Davis gets into design, and Puntacana problems
The seriousness of U.S. Open week is out the window for this Wednesday episode as Brendan and Andy weave their way through the cornucopia of oddities from the Payne’s Valley Cup, Mike Davis getting into the design game, and the Puntacana Championship efforting to fill a field that is inexplicably sized for 144 players. Their reactions to the two-on-two match in the Ozarks are varied, from the interminable time it took to complete, to the lionizing of Johnny Morris, to Paul Azinger’s amazement at the waterfalls, to the crowded galleries, to the format that left us unclear on who won. There’s also ample time set aside for Gary Player’s rant on trees, farming, city slickers, and his brother going to war. In news, they discuss Mike Davis’ decision to resign from the USGA and start his own design firm. They discuss his record at the USGA and ponder the challenges and advantages of his new career, while also trying to sort out the Fazio family tree. Toward the end, they run through the schedule for the week and take a look at the Puntacana field, which is grasping for headliners and names you’ve heard of before. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.
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