In the words of the great Garfield, “At least Monday only happens once a week.” And at least we have some golf to talk about.
It was more dramatic than it should have been, but Dustin Johnson closed out his 21st PGA Tour victory at the Travelers Championship on Sunday. DJ hit a ball out of bounds on the 13th hole and came within a foot of going in the lake left of the 15th green, but in the end he edged Kevin Streelman by one. This makes 13 consecutive seasons with a win for DJ. Travelers Championship Results
He is who we thought he was. Dustin Johnson has been one of the two best players on the PGA Tour over the past decade, has notched at least six top 10s every year since 2010, and has been a fixture in the top 10 of the Official World Golf Ranking. That’s all well and good. But DJ is doomed to be underrated by future generations unless he collects another major trophy or two. Twenty PGA Tour wins and one major is fantastic, but 25 Tour wins and three majors feels more representative of his ability.
USGA championships on the move
Late-breaking news on Sunday night: USGA championship telecasts are heading back to NBC and Golf Channel, according to Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press. Fox Sports asked to end its 12-year contract with the USGA, and AP sources say that the remaining seven years will go to NBC, which will reportedly pay just under half of the rights fee. Ferguson’s report focuses almost entirely on the U.S. Open, but the U.S. Women’s Open as well as the amateur, senior, and junior championships were part of the USGA-Fox deal as well. Full Story from AP and some additional perspective from Jay Rigdon of Awful Announcing
It’s not going away
The Covid-19 train rolls on for the PGA Tour. Two more players—Denny McCarthy and Dylan Frittelli—tested positive for the coronavirus. In better news, Cameron Champ got three negative tests after testing positive last Tuesday. Instead of having to quarantine in Connecticut, Champ was allowed to leave. Ricky Elliott, Brooks Koepka’s caddie, also tested negative after a previous positive result.
Three weeks in, the safety of the PGA Tour’s operation remains a question mark. Did Champ and Elliott receive false-positive results? We may never be certain. For now, though, the PGA Tour says it is strengthening its policies. More to come on this story—obviously.
Where there’s a Will…
It was a banner weekend at the Travelers Championship for Vanderbilt grad Will Gordon. The former All-American shot rounds of 66-62-71-64 to finish T-3 and secure temporary membership on the PGA Tour.
Gordon was the forgotten man coming out of the college ranks last season. Sponsor invites went to the likes of Collin Morikawa, Matthew Wolff, Viktor Hovland, and Justin Suh, leaving Gordon to grind out finishes on the MacKenzie Tour. Last fall he got a few big-show exemptions and made the most of them. This week’s T-3 couldn’t have come at a better time, as Gordon had only two sponsor invites remaining. Yes, he will have to continue playing extremely well; unless he qualifies for the FedEx Cup Playoffs, his temporary membership will end in August. But Will Gordon has proven that he deserves to be called one of the top 25 players under 25 years old.
Kyle Jones defeated Paul Haley II and Daniel Summerhays in a playoff at the Utah Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour. Summerhays had announced his retirement from professional golf at the start of the week, and the Utah native nearly won with a final-round 62. A winner on the PGA Tour, Summerhays came less than an inch from staying in the playoff. For Jones, the win is his first on the Korn Ferry Tour and vaults him to eighth on the points list. Utah Championship Results
Bryson DeChambeau continued his hot streak with a T-6 at the Travelers. He now has six straight top 10s. Perhaps more impressively, Bryson did not rely 100% on his hulk-itude this week; he gained the majority of his shots on the greens. Given how long and consistent he has been off the tee, Bryson looks like a top-25 lock going forward.
Mackenzie Hughes made 92 feet of putts on his final two holes to tie for third and earn an estimated $200K in additional prize money at the Travelers.
After holding the 36-hole lead, Phil Mickelson fell to T-24 at TPC River Highlands.
Golf Digest’s Tod Leonard spoke with Nick Watney, the first PGA Tour player to test positive for Covid-19. Full Story
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Shotgun Start: DJ ends #ToddWatch, NBC takes over U.S. Open, Phil’s trademarking
This Monday episode begins with some initial reactions to DJ’s win at the Travelers, but is promptly interrupted by some breaking news about the broadcast partner for the U.S. Open. Andy and Brendan offer some initial thoughts on that shocking change that it seems almost no one knew was coming. Then they discuss DJ outclassing Brendon Todd in the final round in Connecticut, his “lucky” break at the 15th hole hazard, and his overall legacy as a dominant player of this era. Will Gordon’s work on a sponsor’s exemption is discussed as is Bryson’s consistency in an attempt to become “the house.” Phil’s weekend fade and his trademark maneuverings are panned, mostly. News offers a Ryder Cup mini-scoop, some discussion on the evolving Tour Covid protocols, and the U.S. Open’s exemptions plan with qualifying canceled. They wrap with a debrief on the Korn Ferry Tour finish in Utah, celebrating Kyle Jones and pondering whether Daniel Summerhays will truly call it quits now. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.
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