The weeks may feel longer when a three-day weekend lies ahead, but we want you to know you’re doing great so far! Keep it up.
We made it! We’ve arrived at this year’s Cash Grab Cup finale. The winner of the Tour Championship, who will simultaneously be the winner of the FedEx Cup, will walk away with $15 million. And the last-place finisher? Don’t feel bad for him; he’ll pocket $395,000. Every member of the field will also earn spots in the 2021 major championships and the no-cut WGC events.
In case your memory blocked it out, the final event of the PGA Tour season is now a net tournament, not dissimilar to your local club championship. Just think of FedEx Cup No. 1 Dustin Johnson as a 10-handicap who starts at -10—except instead of a 10-handicap, he’s the hottest golfer in the world. Trailing DJ is last week’s winner Jon Rahm at -8, three-time 2019-20 winner Justin Thomas at -7, Webb “I’ll just go ahead and skip the second playoff event” Simpson at -6, and PGA Champion Collin Morikawa at -5. After those top five, players have been assigned to groups of five according to their FedEx Cup ranking all the way back to even par. Because, of course, everyone at the Tour Championship must #LiveUnderPar.
An undercard to the FedEx Cup bout—one that surely will be brought up at least 500 times on the telecast—is the race for Rookie of the Year. Traditionally, the honor has gone to the low finisher in the season-long points race. But this year there are two “rookies” at East Lake: Viktor Hovland and Scottie Scheffler. While Hovland notched a win at the Puerto Rico Open, he trails Scheffler in FedEx Cup points. At the Tour Championship, however, they are separated by a single shot, so the Rookie of the Year will essentially come down to four rounds of golf. A bit silly, if you ask us.
A revamped fall swing
As with almost everything in the world, the pandemic has now changed the PGA Tour’s fall schedule. Two of the typical Asian Swing events, the CJ Cup and the Zozo Championship, have new homes, while the WGC-HSBC Champions has been canceled. The CJ Cup will move from South Korea to Shadow Creek outside of Las Vegas, and the Japan-based Zozo Championship will do a one-year stint at Sherwood Country Club. Also, the Bermuda Championship and the Houston Open will take place before this year’s mid-November Masters.
The Asian Swing events tend to have stacked fields because *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*; this year, they will function as a lead-in to Augusta National. Primetime golf with big names making final preparations for the Masters—sounds kinda fun!
Programming note: since the Tour Championship is running Friday-Monday, your next Fried Egg newsletter will arrive on Tuesday morning.
After finishing its post-shutdown “UK Swing,” the European Tour heads south for the Andalucía Masters at heavily treed Real Club Valderrama. Headlining the field are precocious Rasmus Højgaard, resurgent Martin Kaymer, illustrious Lee Westwood, and hard-practicing Haotong Li. Tee Times
Yes, the 2020 Korn Ferry Tour Finals just concluded last week, but the Korn Ferry Tour stops for no man. The Lincoln Land Championship gets underway today at Panther Creek Country Club in Springfield, Illinois. Don’t look now, but Marty Dou and Vince India have been feeling it lately. Tee Times
The U.S. Open field is just about complete. Five players—Brandon Wu, Stephan Jäger, Curtis Luck, Greyson Sigg, and Dan McCarthy—earned spots via the Korn Ferry Tour Finals points list. The other 11 players added to the Winged Foot field were highly ranked players not yet exempt in the Official World Golf Ranking. Among them are Joaquín Niemann, Max Homa, Lanto Griffin, and Thomas Pieters. One player not making the trip to New York is Francesco Molinari, who explained on Twitter that he is taking time off for personal reasons.
SEC golf will make its fall debut in early October at the Blessings Golf Club in Arkansas. All 14 schools will send both the men’s and women’s teams to a three-day event at the site of the 2019 NCAA Championship. It will be televised on Golf Channel. The conference also plans to hold events at Vanderbilt and Alabama this fall. Press Release
Annika Sörenstam will captain the 2021 European Ping Junior Solheim Cup team. The event will take place the week prior to the 2021 Solheim Cup. Press Release
The LPGA Tour has an off week as players prepare for the ANA Inspiration in California. Early weather forecasts call for toasty conditions in Rancho Mirage.
The Staysure Tour, the European version of the PGA Tour Champions, is rebranding itself as the Legends Tour and undergoing a series of changes. Full Story from Sky Sports
GolfTV made a graphic featuring all 30 players in the Tour Championship. Let’s just say that some portraits are more flattering than others.
The Latest from The Fried Egg
Paulie’s Picks: 2020 Tour Championship – The format of the PGA Tour’s Net Championship will complicate your fantasy golf maneuvers this week. But Paulie’s got you. See how he plans to navigate his DraftKings and one-and-done picks this week.
The Fried Egg Podcast: Episode 189, Neil Regan – Winged Foot history
Neil Regan, Winged Foot Golf Club’s historian, sits down with Andy to discuss Winged Foot’s rich history, from Babe Ruth’s exploits at the club to Monty’s struggles on the 18th hole in 2006. Regan was extensively involved in Hanse Golf Course Design’s recent restoration of the course, and he tells Andy about the thinking behind the green expansions. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.
The Shotgun Start: The Low Net Cup, the Kaymer question, and POY drama
A hectic week at SGS and the odd Friday to Monday schedule resulted in this delayed Wednesday episode, which serves as a preview for the 2020 Tour Championship. That preview begins with a lengthy discussion on the Andalucía Masters, the event of the week. They discuss the life and career of Martin Kaymer—the fast times early on despite the narrative he was just like Bernhard, and whose career in the current Top 10 they’d take over Kaymer’s resume. The East Lake preview also features lengthy discussions on Valderrama, the Francesco Molinari disappearance, and a recap of the 2019 Masters. Then they get to the KFT event and the oppressive heat in central and southern Illinois. Finally, on the actual Tour Championship, they quip their way through the entire 30-man field, holler about the staggered start, and wonder if this presents a real curveball to the PR Open Curse. Lastly, they close it out with some thoughts on this being the deciding event for the POY, and whether that award in a season with just one major should have an asterisk. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.
This week’s Tour Championship features the loosest purse strings in all of golf. Is your old belt feeling a bit too loose as well? Treat yourself to a new Fried Egg belt. Grab yours today!