No time to dilly-dally. Lots to discuss.


With nearly 0.75 inches of rain falling on Champions Golf Club yesterday, the finish of the U.S. Women’s Open was postponed to today. Many players started their final rounds on Sunday, but as storms rolled through Houston in the morning, the USGA first suspended then canceled play for the day. The last four groups—including the final pairing of Hinako Shibuno, Amy Olson, and Moriya Jutanugarn—have not yet teed off. Golf Channel will have final-round coverage starting at 9 a.m. EST on Monday. U.S. Women’s Open Leaderboard

The contenders

Hinako Shibuno (-4) – The 2019 Women’s British Open champion is competing in just her fifth major championship and her first U.S. Women’s Open. Shibuno jumped out to a comfortable lead through 36 holes but came back to the field with a third-round 74. After that disappointing performance, she grinded well past sunset on the driving range, reminding Beth Ann Nichols of U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau hitting balls at Winged Foot well after his third round. We’ll find out if the Smiling Cinderella can follow in Bryson’s footsteps today.

Amy Olson (-3) – After setting the pace with a first-round 67, Olson followed with rounds of 72 and 71. She didn’t arrive in Houston in the best of form and has little experience at the U.S. Women’s Open, but Olson has played steady golf this week. Depending on course conditions and Shibuno’s play on Monday, steady may be enough.

Moriya Jutanugarn, Ji Yeong2 Kim (-1) – Moriya Jutanugarn will be in the final group with Olson and Shibuno on Monday, but Ji Yeong2 Kim has played better golf than anyone over the past two rounds. In tough third-round conditions she fired a bogey-free 67, the only score below 70 on Saturday.

Ariya Jutanugarn, Yealimi Noh, Lydia Ko, Kaitlyn Papp (a), Megan Khang (E) – All of these players would need to go low to win, but stranger things have happened. Ariya Jutanugarn, the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open champion, is already -1 through one hole of her final round. Two-time major winner Lydia Ko, 19-year-old Yealimi Noh, and amateur Kaitlyn Papp are all great stories waiting to happen.

Practice smarter

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They’re worth watching, so they’re worth televising properly

This week, the USGA and Golf Channel have been busy on social media promoting the hashtag #womenworthwatching, highlighting the accomplishments of women in golf, and pointing out gender disparities in sports coverage. There has been a lot to like about this campaign. But Golf Channel/NBC’s broadcast schedule has sent a different message.

All week, TV coverage has hopped unpredictably between NBC, Golf Channel, and the streaming service Peacock. On Friday, the confusion intensified when the USGA pushed tee times earlier because of weather. The morning coverage was on Peacock for two hours before moving to the Golf Channel website. Viewers reported that about an hour of the live stream was devoted to a static shot of a pond. Meanwhile, Golf Channel proper was covering the QBE Shootout, an unofficial team event on the PGA Tour. That’s right: a men’s hit-and-giggle had been given priority over a women’s major championship. On Twitter, LPGA pro Marina Alex and seven-time major champion Karrie Webb spoke out against the scheduling decision.

Of course, we have to keep in mind that NBC took on USGA events earlier this year when Fox Sports backed out its deal, and the network probably had a preexisting agreement to air the QBE Shootout. But the fact remains that Golf Channel/NBC’s coverage of the U.S. Women’s Open has been far less robust than its coverage of the U.S. Open in September. For instance, there have not been streams of featured groups at Champions Golf Club, whereas there were at Winged Foot. This is not a good look, especially given all the corporate enthusiasm for the #womenworthwatching campaign.

Perhaps this will just be a one-year hiccup and NBC will have it all figured out in 2021. We’ll see.

On the plus side, the coverage itself has been very good. Announcers Dan Hicks, Paige Mackenzie, and Judy Rankin have done strong work in the booth, and the on-course reporters have been on point. We’re looking forward to today’s finale.

Westy Vol. 3

Twenty years after his first, Lee Westwood collected his third season-long European Tour title this weekend. The 47-year-old veteran finished solo second at the DP World Tour Championship on Sunday, enough to leapfrog Patrick Reed and win the Race to Dubai. DP World Tour Championship Results

Lee Westwood has been through a lot in his 27-year career. He won six European Tour events in 2000, dropped out of the top 250 in the Official World Golf Ranking in 2003, reached world No. 1 in 2009, and has continued competing at an elite level into his late 40s. He’s up to No. 36 in the OWGR, has secured himself another appearance in the Masters, and seems to have this late-career surge thing figured out. Also, his routine Instagram posts about wine, travel, and exercise have been a fun addition to his brand.

It’s hard not to cheer for Westy, even from the press room. He has relied on ball-striking and veteran craftiness to keep up with today’s young talent, and now he has joined Colin Montgomerie (8), Seve Ballesteros (6), Sandy Lyle (3), and Rory McIlroy (3) as the only players to win the season-long European Tour race three times. Much like his drink of choice, Lee Westwood gets better with age.

Quick Hooks

He came up short in the Race to Dubai, but Matt Fitzpatrick did win the DP World Tour Championship. It’s his first victory since 2018 and moves him to No. 16 in the OWGR, the highest rank of his career.

After a second-round 64, Patrick Reed appeared to be in the driver’s seat to win the Harry Vardon Trophy. He played well on the weekend but came up two shots short of Fitzpatrick and one back of Westwood. Fresh off his victory at the Mayakoba Golf Classic, Viktor Hovland joined Reed at T-3.

Harris English and Matt Kuchar broke their own scoring record to win the QBE Shootout for the third time. Results

The Latest from The Fried Egg

Shotgun Start: Boom Times on Westy Island, Women’s Open coverage and mudball drama

It’s one of the sweetest Victory Mondays in this podcast’s history as Lee Westwood, in a show of longevity only the true sporting icons possess, wins the Race to Dubai some 20 years after his first Euro Tour season-long title. Andy celebrates this and Mitch Trubisky’s outclassing of the Texans. He also now defends the Race to Dubai system labeled as a farce as recently as last week. A winding discussion on the Strategic Alliance leads to Brendan offering a solution for making the FedExCupdates actually meaningful and compelling, while Andy offers a truly radical proposal. On the U.S. Women’s Open, the two discuss the coverage confusion and QBE Shootout preempting from the end of the week as well as the mudball moaning and dilemma during a soggy Saturday round. They will be back with a full accounting of the Monday conclusion with a supplemental episode when the championships finishes. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.