While we sincerely hope you all had a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend, we will rat you out to the fashion police if you even think about wearing those white pants again.
It was a FedEx Cup Playoffs to remember… well, for Dustin Johnson at least. And let’s be honest, he may not even remember it. Anyway, after winning the Northern Trust and losing in a playoff at the BMW, DJ started the Tour Championship with a two-stroke advantage. He built that lead to five shots on Saturday and shot a 68 on Sunday to claim the 2020 FedEx Cup. Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele finished three shots behind (net, of course). Tour Championship Results
DJ deserves all the kudos he gets. The 36-year-old has reasserted himself as one of the best players of his generation. After a sluggish 2019 (by his standards) and a bout of bad form in the spring, Johnson won the Travelers Championship, the Northern Trust, and now the FedEX Cup. Last weekend, it took a miracle putt by Rahm to beat him, and oh yeah, he was T-2 at the PGA Championship! It has been a dominant stretch for DJ, one that has restored him to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking. He’ll head to Winged Foot as the unanimous favorite.
Dustin Johnson was also credited with an official PGA Tour win at East Lake, the 23rd of his career. But Xander Schauffele (265) and Scottie Scheffler (268) both beat him (269) this week, and Justin Thomas tied him. DJ started the week seven shots ahead of Xander and eight in front of Smokin’ Scottie.
Now, does Johnson deserve the FedEx Cup? Absolutely. He went 1-2-3 in the three playoff events, and he had a great season overall. But to award him an official PGA Tour win is laughable. The OWGR, at least, has its own system and gave due credit to Schauffele, who has moved to No. 7 in the world.
Show me the money
So far we haven’t mentioned prize money. That’s fitting; if you were a casual fan watching the Tour Championship for the first time, you would have had no idea that Dustin Johnson won $15 million this week. The telecast was effectively mute about the FedEx Cup purse, which was odd, given the barrage of messaging about the prize fund over the past decade. Perhaps the Tour and NBC realized that fans were tired of hearing about it.
Or perhaps the pandemic has made money a touchy subject in Ponte Vedra. Charities supported by the PGA Tour have taken a hit this year, and the Tour itself made job cuts. Tournament purses, however, have remained the same, and next year’s purse at the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship has actually gone up by $1 million. So it’s possible that the Tour had some unspoken motives for asking (ordering?) NBC to downplay DJ’s paycheck. Whether you interpret such a move as sensitive or disingenuous is up to you.
If things go back to normal next fall, expect to hear a lot more about the $15 million.
It was fast, firm, and narrrrrrrrow at Valderrama this weekend, and the scores reflected the tough conditions. Players at T-10 were eight over par for the week and John Catlin (+2) outlasted Martin Kaymer (+3) to win. Great coffee golf. Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters Results
Aussie Brett Drewitt overcame a two-shot deficit on Sunday to win the Korn Ferry Tour’s Lincoln Land Championship. Harry Hall, Dawson Armstrong, Ben Kohles, Austen Truslow, and Anders Albertson rounded out the top five. Lincoln Land Championship Results
The ANA Inspiration, the second women’s major championship of the year, kicks off on Thursday. Caddies will be allowed to use carts if they so choose, as temperatures are expected to be in the 110s. The ANA is typically played in April. Full Story
This week’s PGA Tour Champions event will allow fans on the grounds. You read that correctly. The Sanford International will be played at Minnehaha Country Club in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with up to 10,000 people in attendance. Sanford Health serves as the official mobile Covid-19 testing partner of the PGA Tour. Full Story from Adam Schupak
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Shotgun Start: The Gaslighting Cup, a big day for Low Gross, and where’s the bonus money?
Brendan and Andy return from the holiday weekend break to react to the season-ending FedEx Club Championship. But first, they discuss John Catlin’s win at the “oppressively tight” Valderrama and Brett Drewitt’s win on stop one of the “Fitzy Swing” on the KFT Tour. On the season-ender at East Lake, Brendan proclaims the final round one of the great golf gaslightings of our time, as stats about 54-hole leads and win totals were thrown at the audience against a backdrop of complete silence on the potential money changing hands on every shot. This is separate and apart from the actual golf, which went out with a snoozer in what they both are adamant to clarify has been a great and successful Return to Golf (capitalized). Is a venue change the easiest solution for the boring Tour Champ golf? Yet another format change? Or was this just a bad year? They also discuss potential POY and ROY awards which will be given out now as opposed to the end of the year after two more majors are played. They close with some early reports from the grounds at the next major, the ANA Inspiration, on the outrageous heat and backboard situation. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.
It was the question on every player’s mind at East Lake: play to win, or play to protect the points? Get your Shotgun Start Courier Dilemma t-shirt today!