Anyone else feeling a bit foggy after that weekend of golf?
Oh, c’mon. You knew we had to work in at least one pun in the marine-layer genre. Might as well get it out of the way early.
A family affair
After a dramatic day of golf at Bandon Dunes, the championship match of the 2020 U.S. Amateur came down to the 36th hole, with Ollie Osborne and Tyler Strafaci both finding the fairway on the par-5 18th. From 246 yards out, Strafaci pounded—and we mean POUNDED—a 4-iron to 15 feet. A few minutes later, he secured the 1-up victory. U.S. Amateur Scoring
A 22-year-old who plans to return to Georgia Tech for a fifth year, Strafaci has had quite a summer. In July, he won the North and South Amateur and the Palmetto Amateur on back-to-back weeks. During the U.S. Amateur telecast, much was made of his grandfather’s illustrious amateur career, but in just the past couple of months, Ty Strafaci has built a formidable legacy of his own. He is now the second straight Yellow Jacket to win the U.S. Amateur; his Georgia Tech teammate Andy Ogletree won last year’s edition at Pinehurst. For more background on Strafaci, check out Will Bardwell’s interview with him from a few weeks back.
Rogue caddies, silly games, and Hardhome vibes
Strafaci’s path to victory at Bandon Dunes wasn’t exactly smooth. In fact, it was downright strange at times. He won his Round of 16 match against Segundo Oliva Pinto when, on the 18th hole, Pinto’s caddie touched the sand in a green-side bunker, triggering a loss-of-hole penalty. In the semifinals, Strafaci faced Oklahoma State’s Aman Gupta, who appeared to engage in some gamesmanship as he closed a 4-down deficit on the back nine. Gupta’s comeback ultimately came to grief in a fairway bunker on the 18th hole.
The 36-hole finale on Sunday was plenty eventful as well. After 12 holes of the morning 18, Strafaci was 5 down to a sizzling Ollie Osborne. But Strafaci managed to pull within one by the end of the round, setting up an afternoon battle. During the second 18, neither player was able to gain more than a 1-up edge until the 15th hole. By then, a heavy coastal fog had rolled in, limiting visibility to 150 yards and prompting Colt Knost, among others, to call for a postponement. But Strafaci and Osborne kept piling up birdies—the pair combined for 25 over 36 holes—and Strafaci capped off the championship with that astounding 4-iron. Good thing they didn’t stop.
We don’t know about you, but we’re starting to suspect that when you put great golfers on a great course in a match-play format, the results tend to be entertaining. Something to think about!
Herman of mystery
Among a group of contenders that included Webb Simpson, Sungjae Im, Kevin Kisner, Billy Horschel, Si Woo Kim, Doc Redman, and Patrick Reed, it was 42-year-old Jim Herman who emerged victorious at the Wyndham Championship on Sunday. Results
On Friday afternoon, Herman’s prospects hardly looked promising. But three birdies over his final four holes got him inside the cut line, and he rewrote the record books over the final two rounds. Herman shot 61-63 for a weekend total of 124, which ties the PGA Tour record for lowest final 36 holes by a tournament winner.
While Herman’s weekend performance was remarkable, his ability to make the most of his opportunities is even more so. After breaking through for his first PGA Tour win in 2016 at the age of 38, he has played mostly uninspired golf. He has just two top-25 finishes since July 2017—but they’re both victories.
Stacy Lewis won her 12th LPGA Tour event at the Ladies Scottish Open on Sunday, but this was a weekend of firsts for the LPGA veteran. It was her first playoff victory on the ladies circuit (she was 0-3 before). More importantly, though, it was Lewis’s first win since she became a mother in the fall of 2018. “I have been trying to get a trophy from the day she was born,” she said. “I just called them, got to FaceTime with them. My husband said she was hitting the TV screen with her plastic golf clubs when I made that putt.” Results
For the fourth consecutive season, Webb Simpson finished inside the top three at the Wyndham Championship but didn’t win. He did claim the title in 2011 and has a daughter named Wyndham blah blah blah. You already know all of this.
After the worst season of his PGA Tour career last year, Zach Johnson appeared likely to miss the FedEx Cup Playoffs once again. But he rounded into form just in time at Sedgefield, finishing T-7 and climbing to No. 107 on the FedEx Cup points list.
Stephan Jäger closed out his fifth career Korn Ferry Tour title at the Albertsons Boise Open this weekend. The 31-year-old dropped back to the KFT this year after spending two years playing primarily on the PGA Tour. Results
Sam Horsfield apparently decided that he liked the feeling of winning two weeks ago more than the feeling of missing the cut last week. The 23-year-old Englishman won for the second time in three weeks on the European Tour at the Celtic Classic. Thomas Detry (second), Thomas Pieters (T-3), and Beef Johnston (T-3) all finished in the top five. Results
Jerry Kelly made a double-bogey six on the final hole of the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship this weekend and still won. The six-time Champions Tour winner offset the double with a hole-in-one six holes earlier, and he was one of only four players to finish under par in what was evidently a bloodbath at Firestone Country Club. Results
Speaking of holes-in-one, check out this one on the 16th hole at the Sheep Ranch. Anything to keep it under the wind!
Si Woo Kim also made an ace this weekend, though you’d never know it from his reaction.
The Latest from The Fried Egg
Shotgun Start: Buying your own hot air balloon, Strafaci family heritage, and Bandon love
Our golf cup runneth over in this lengthy Monday episode. Brendan and Andy begin with the U.S. Amateur, which served as a backdrop for the telling of the Strafaci family history. The tortoise-like pace of play is discussed as are the foggy playing conditions, which had some pros on Twitter hollering should have caused a stoppage. There’s also an attempt to explain why watching this at this venue was so captivating, even against a major championship last week. The caddie sand antics from the end of last week are also discussed in detail, as both Brendan and Andy re-live some of their worst caddie mistakes and also have a few questions for how this looper got on a bag in the U.S. Am. Some Ladies Scottish Open discussion leads to Andy going deep down a rabbit hole on the cost of buying your own hot air balloon, the profession of hot air balloon “pilot,” and other hot air balloon topics. The Wyndham review focuses on the amazing career arc of Jim Herman, the Spieth microscope, a nailbiter at the Parsons house, Si Woo’s odd course management, and the failure of the Wyndham Rewards. The Senior Players chat is mostly cause to tell another Monty weight loss story and also how brutal that course looks for the senior pros. On the KFT, they ask if Stephan Jaeger is the greatest player of all time on that Tour after another win. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.
The dog at Bandon Dunes was tough to play through for the U.S. Amateur finalists. Sorry, meant to say “fog.” Anyway, have you seen our Fried Egg dog collars? Get your pooch in one today!