Welcome to the busiest second week of December that golf has seen in quite some time.

Houston, we have a major

After a near-seven-month delay, the U.S. Women’s Open has arrived. The world’s best have descended on Champions Golf Club outside of Houston for the final major championship of the year. NBC and Golf Channel have 25 hours of coverage lined up for the weekend. U.S. Women’s Open Tee Times

Founded by Jackie Burke and Jimmy Demaret, Champions Golf Club has hosted many tournaments over the past 60 years, including the 1967 Ryder Cup and the 1969 U.S. Open. Because of the scant amount of daylight, the first two rounds will be played on both courses at Champions, Cypress Creek and Jackrabbit. The final 36 will take place on Cypress Creek only.


The greens – When you watch the telecasts this weekend, the greens at Cypress Creek, which average over 10,000 square feet, will jump off the screen. Jackrabbit’s greens, by comparison, are in the 6,500 square-foot range. Watching players navigate these different styles of green design should be fun.

A year of major entertainment – The three other women’s majors in 2020 have delivered great stories, from Sophia Popov’s underdog victory at Royal Troon to Mirim Lee’s chip-ins at the ANA and Sei Young Kim’s breakthrough at Aronimink. Let’s hope that trend continues at Champions.

Nine and counting – Sei Young Kim’s win at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship made it nine majors since an American held a major championship trophy. Last week’s LPGA Tour winner Angela Stanford was the last American to win one, back in 2018 at the Evian Championship. Nelly Korda, Danielle Kang, and Lexi Thompson seem like the best bets to end the drought, but Jessica Korda and Jennifer Kupcho have been showing good form as well.

Root for chaos

While the U.S. Women’s Open will rightly get most of our attention, we will also be keeping an eye on the European Tour’s DP World Tour Championship, which gets underway Thursday morning. A winner of the Race to Dubai, the Euro Tour’s season-long contest, will be crowned on Sunday. Tee Times

This year’s DP World Tour Championship is especially intriguing because two of the top three contenders for the Race to Dubai are not what you would call European Tour regulars. Patrick Reed, who went out of his way only for the Saudi International and the BMW PGA Championship this year, is currently No. 1 in the standings; Collin Morikawa, who has accumulated all of his Race to Dubai points in majors and WGCs, is No. 3. Combined, Reed and Morikawa have played exactly one event on the European continent in 2020.

One reason for this odd situation is that many Euro Tour events were canceled this season, so majors and WGCs carried more weight than usual. Morikawa’s PGA Championship victory and Reed’s WGC-Mexico title catapulted them up the standings, and now, along with No. 2 Tommy Fleetwood, they are the favorites to win the Harry Vardon Trophy.

This has been an unprecedented (and unlikely-to-be-replicated) season, but the absentee dominance of Reed and Morikawa points to some problems with the Race to Dubai’s points formula. Why should a player be able to contend for the European Tour’s season-long title without playing more than a couple of tournaments solely sanctioned by the European Tour? Why not bump up the importance of the Rolex Series and the BMW PGA Championship?

If Reed or Morikawa actually win the Race to Dubai this weekend, we would be… well, delighted. We love chaos! But in all seriousness, the European Tour’s brass should probably take a close look at how such an outcome became possible.

Quick Hooks

The R&A announced that Royal Liverpool and Royal Troon will host the Open Championship in 2023 and 2024, respectively. After canceling the event in 2020 over Covid-19 concerns, the Open will return in 2021 at Royal St. George’s, and the 150th edition will be held at St. Andrews in ’22.

Lexi Thompson will have Tim Tucker, caddie for reigning U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau, on the bag this weekend at Champions Golf Club. Full Story from Beth Ann Nichols

After the Korn Ferry Tour’s Simmons Bank Open was canceled this summer, Simmons Bank looked for other ways to support the event’s charity, the Snedeker Foundation. By pledging money for birdies made by ambassadors Will Zalatoris, Braden Thornberry, Kevin Dougherty, and Dawson Armstrong, Simmons raised $75,000 this summer. Full Story from Brentley Romine

Brooks Koepka seems to be recovering just fine from his missed cut at Mayakoba.

The Latest from The Fried Egg

Superintendent Series, Episode 13: Preparing for the 2020 U.S. Women’s Open

Chris Ortmeier, Director of Agronomy at Champions Golf Club, and Darin Bevard, Director of Championship Agronomy for the USGA, join Andy to discuss this week’s U.S. Women’s Open. Chris and Darin detail the unique challenges associated with the December date of this year’s tournament. They also describe the two 18-hole courses at host venue Champions Golf Club and talk about what viewers can expect. The Superintendent Series is brought to you by the Toro Company. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Andy and Brendan have two new Shotgun Start episodes ready for you! The first is a Shotgun Start Spotlight episode on Juli Inkster’s career and her 2002 U.S. Women’s Open victory. The second is their normal Wednesday show, featuring a breakdown of Champions Golf Club, news from the world of golf, and assorted nonsense and giggling. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Pro Shop

As we saw at the LPGA event last weekend, December golf can get a little dicey. Make sure you’re prepared with a Fried Egg beanie! Get yours today!