Good morning to everyone, especially Devonta Smith. Holy **** is that kid good at football.

Small ball

The back half of the PGA Tour’s Hawaiian swing gets underway on Thursday with the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club. One of the shortest courses on the PGA Tour, Waialae offers everyone in the field a chance to win. Since 2000, more players ranked outside the top 100 in driving distance (10) have won the Sony Open than players ranked inside the top 50 (8). Get ’em on, get ’em over, get ’em in. Sony Open Tee Times

The variety of styles on display at the Sony is just part of what makes the event so fun to watch. It’s also the first full field of the year, with a bunch of up-and-comers mixed in with the usual veterans, and something squirrelly always seems to happen. Whether you’re keen to see Takumi Kanaya, Will Gordon, and Robby Shelton tee it up against old-timers, or you’re hoping for another 45-minute delay as Ryan Palmer puzzles out a drop, the Sony Open is a sneaky must-watch. Plus, it’s another week of primetime golf in Hawaii. No complaints there.

So you’re saying there’s a chance

Augusta National announced on Tuesday that the club intends to welcome a limited number of patrons fans on the grounds for the 2021 Masters, assuming everything can be done safely. “We will implement practices and policies that will protect the health and safety of everyone in attendance,” said ANGC Chairman Fred Ridley. “Nothing is, or will be, more important than the well-being of all involved.” In addition, the club plans to hold the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Drive, Chip, and Putt National Finals as scheduled. Press Release

We’re looking forward to the day when we can once again see a crowd surrounding the 18th green for the ANWA and the Masters, but a limited number of fans, admitted and organized in a responsible manner, is a start.

One good read

The internet is a dark place right now, but Jamieson Cox is a bright spot. Jamieson writes a newsletter called “One Good Song,” a regular email that breaks down a new song that has caught his attention. He also happens to be a golf nut.

On Monday, in lieu of his normal newsletter, Jamieson sent out a moving reflection on Justin Thomas’s hot-mic homophobic slur at Kapalua. This piece offers an important and all-too-rare perspective on the incident: that of an LGBTQ+ golf fan. So if you read one (other) thing today, make it Jamieson’s essay. Oh, and while you’re at it, subscribe to his newsletter.

Quick Hooks

The R&A announced on Monday that, for the foreseeable future, it does not intend to take any of its championships to Turnberry, a club now owned by the Trump Organization. “We will not return until we are convinced that the focus will be on the championship, the players, and the course itself and we do not believe that is achievable in the current circumstances,” explained Chief Executive Martin Slumbers. The statement came one day after the PGA of America canceled its contract with Trump Bedminster for the 2022 PGA Championship.

Having defeated breast cancer twice already, Arizona State’s Women’s Golf Coach Missy Far-Kaye is fighting once again. She was diagnosed with colon cancer in November and began chemotherapy on Tuesday. In spite of ongoing treatments, Far-Kaye plans to coach her team this semester. Full Story from Ryan Herrington

Geoff Shackelford wrote a sharp response to a certain Golf Channel analyst’s idea that the solution to golf’s distance problems is longer grass.

Current Korn Ferry Tour member Nick Hardy qualified for the Sony Open on Monday. This anecdote about Nick via Monday Q Info is just delightful.

The Latest from The Fried Egg

Starting with the Sony Open, we are going to run a weekly Fried Egg pool! Enter for a chance to win prizes from the Fried Egg Pro Shop. Events will include PGA Tour, European Tour, and LPGA Tour stops throughout the season. Enter today!

Paulie’s Picks: Sony Open – A week of sipping mai tais and pretending he’s vacationing in the Pacific hasn’t slowed Paulie down one bit. See who he likes for DraftKings and one-and-done leagues!

Shotgun Start: New enlistments, kitchen appliances, and boosting Bethpage

This Wednesday episode is here to celebrate the Sony Open as the event of the week. But first there’s an important uninformed discussion on RV operation and licensing. Andy’s three things to watch for at Waialae focus on a potential backboard-less 18th hole that will hopefully make it play as Tom Doak intended, and then two young up-and-comers also in the field. There’s of course a shout out to Robert Allenby and the night he took that pummeling from a sentient sidewalk. Featured groups are back, but not PGA Tour Live despite the subscription charge for the month of January. There are some tasty groups this week and this prompts a fun head-to-head wager on who will lose more strokes on the green this week. News hits on the Masters announcement for limited patrons and the return of ANWA and then also the late Sunday announcement that the 2022 PGA would be relocated. This leads to an unexpected discussion on the Stand-up Mixer Championship as well as Brendan somehow talking himself into accepting Bethpage as the replacement. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Pro Shop

Just because it’s all sunshine and rainbows in Hawaii doesn’t mean you aren’t freezing your tail off in your neck of the woods. Keep your noggin warm with a Fried Egg beanie!