Caballero perfecto

Reed wins the Duel of the Gentlemen in Mexico, Hovland joins a distinguished lineage, and the PGL does some press


Strap in, folks. The Florida swing is coming up, the Premier Golf League is bucking its head, and controversial players are in form. Winter technically lasts for another month, but it’s already spring for content creators!

In today’s newsletter…

  • Patrick Reed edges new best friend Bryson DeChambeau at the WGC-Mexico Championship.
  • With his win at the Puerto Rico Open, Viktor Hovland sends the nation of Norway into a frenzy.
  • Premier Golf League CEO Andrew Gardiner does damage control after Rory’s comments grants a couple of interviews!

The Storylines


Half a dozen players had a chance heading into the back nine on Sunday at the WGC-Mexico Championship, but it was content #gawds Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed who separated themselves. Reed closed with birdies on Nos. 15, 16, and 17 at Club de Golf Chapultepec to clip DeChambeau by a shot. Results

Two big takeaways from Reed’s performance:

  1. For whatever reason, Patrick Reed seems to play his best when people are rooting against him the most. He has notched four top 10s on the 2019-20 PGA Tour and all but locked up a Ryder Cup spot. If nothing else, Reed’s ability to view himself as a victim and use that feeling as fuel is quite impressive.
  2. The PGA Tour’s whitewashing of Pat Reed has gotten out of hand. Comments by Brooks Koepka and Peter Kostis made Reed’s record as a cheater part of the story this week, but when he got pressed on the subject during a press conference, a Tour official stepped in and ended the interview. And the networks aren’t helping; they seem bent on framing the damage Reed did to his own reputation an unfair struggle he’s had to overcome. Come on—if this guy is going to continue to be in the spotlight, he doesn’t need to be protected from valid criticism.

“I just suck at chipping” 

Viktor Hovland rolled in a 30-footer on the 72nd hole of the Puerto Rico Open to become the first Norwegian to win on the PGA Tour. The 22 year-old nearly gave away the tournament with stubbed-chip-induced triple bogey on the 11th hole, but he recovered with an eagle on the 15th and a birdie on the last. Results

Success is coming earlier for golfers these days, so after Hovland’s stellar career at Oklahoma State, his U.S. Amateur title, and his low-amateur turns at the 2019 Masters and U.S. Open, a quick PGA Tour victory seemed inevitable. He joins Matthew Wolff, Collin Morikawa, Scottie Scheffler, Joaquín Niemann, and Min Woo Lee as the cream of today’s 23-and-under crop.

The Roundup

WGC-Mexico Championship—other notes

  • Bryson DeChambeau three-putted three times on Sunday, but it was the three-putt bogey on No. 17 that will probably stick in his memory. Still, things are looking up for Bryson. After struggling to start the season, he has had back-to-back top fives at Riviera and Chapultepec.
  • Reed and DeChambeau shared a smiley post-tournament bro-hug. Afterwards, Bryson told the press, “Sometimes maybe we understand each other’s pain.”
  • It was an odd Sunday for 54-hole leader Justin Thomas, as he struggled to get the ball in play off the tee and carded four bogeys and a double. Bummer, Geronimo.
  • Jon Rahm had the hot hand after shooting 61 on Saturday and birdieing four of his first five holes on Sunday. The rest of the way, however, he managed only even-par golf and ended up T-3. Rahm has been Rory-like in his consistency lately, not finishing worse than T-17 in a PGA Tour event since last May.

Puerto Rico Open—other notes

  • Hovland’s final-hole heroics (which, as Jay Rigdon reported for Awful Announcing, summoned some delightful histrionics from the Norwegian broadcasters) left 40-year-old journeyman Josh Teater one shot short. Teater, who has never won on the PGA Tour, spoke movingly after his round about what this week meant to him.
  • Will Hovland be the one to break the Puerto Rico Open curse? No PR Open champion has gone on to win another PGA Tour event. That list includes Tony Finau, Scott Brown, and D.A. Points.

Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Justin Thomas are all skipping next week’s Honda Classic even though they all live about 20 minutes from PGA National. The PGA Tour’s schedule contraction continues to seem like a raw deal for its middle-tier events.

Premier Golf League CEO Andrew Gardiner has started speaking in public about the proposed world tour this weekend. His Q&A with Geoff Shackelford was revealing, and he also went on the (very friendly!) Rick Shiels Golf Show Podcast.

The Must-Sees of Public Golf Architecture in America

We’re back! For an introduction to this ongoing list, check out its home on our website.

Pinehurst No. 2 (Pinehurst, North Carolina)


One of the crown jewels of Donald Ross’s résumé, Pinehurst No. 2 is among the finest public golf experiences in the world. Famed for its championship difficulty, No. 2 is actually one of the rare U.S. Open venues that can bring handicap golfers and elite players closer together. It defends itself with aggressive greens contours that repel slightly missed approaches—frustrating for the pro but manageable for the average joe. No. 2’s topography is often overlooked and sometimes even dismissed, but its gentle movement is ideal for golf. The stretch from 2 to 5 makes an early impression, and none of the other 14 holes is notably weak. Pinehurst No. 2 is one of the few without-a-doubt masterpieces in American golf, and every architecture fan should see it at least once.

Insider tip: A winter visit gets you reduced rates and dormant bermuda. This surface plays faster and opens up more shots around the greens. -Andy Johnson

Photo credit: Andy Johnson

The Latest from The Fried Egg

The Public Restoration Project: An evolution of 2017’s Logo Madness, the Public Restoration Project is our joint effort with Zac Blair to support excellent, affordable public golf courses by refreshing their logos, selling merchandise, and donating 100% of the proceeds to improvement projects. Read More

The Shotgun Start: Reed’s revenge, Geronimo’s lament, and PGL comes out of the shadows

We get back to our roots in this episode with an opening admission of some significant Sunday night worse-for-the-wear status. An SGS host may not be the only one down on Monday, as we express empathy for our new friend Geronimo after a tough Sunday for Justin Thomas. We also consider the truth of the statement that they have a “great relationship,” as well as another one from the broadcast that Paul Casey is popular in Mexico City. In more relevant matters, we praise the beauty of watching Patrick Reed actually hit golf shots while scoffing at all the other attendant BS. Andy makes the point that Reed’s game will always position him as an overachiever of sorts. Is Reed good for the PGA Tour and should they just embrace having a villain? Is he truly setting an example for the kids, as he noted in his press conference? We also put a pin in the Bryson science narrative balloon, which was fully inflated all weekend. In Puerto Rico, we praise Viktor Hovland’s work but worry that his career may now be over given the curse. News focuses on Tiger and several other stars skipping Honda as well as the PGL CEO coming out of the shadows. Was this WGC just a tease of how much better the product could be on this proposed PGL? Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Pro Shop

The straight-jacket feel of Club de Golf Chapultepec had us dreaming of wider pastures. Our photography collection includes prints of Mammoth Dunes, Ballyneal, and Lawsonia Links, all places where you can spread your wings. Shop the collection!

Photo credit: Andy Johnson