Find a job you love, and you’ll never Workday in your life. Or something like that. Collin Morikawa is still really good at golf, but he has some Canadians hot on his trail.
Those who test together, play together
The PGA Tour has made another update to its much-discussed Covid-19 testing policy. As of this week, players who receive positive tests may still be eligible to compete. As long as a player has not had a fever in the past 72 hours, and 10 days have passed since he first experienced symptoms, he can play. Golf Channel reporter Rex Hoggard talked with Dr. Tom Hospel, the Tour’s medical advisor, who said, “[The players] are not presumed to be contagious at that point.”
Once in the field, players in this category must either be paired with others in the same situation or go it alone. Three competitors in the Workday Charity Open—Nick Watney, Denny McCarthy, and Dylan Frittelli—fit that description. The trio is playing together for the first two rounds.
While it’s tough to see how this policy jibes with Commissioner Monahan’s professed ethic of “an abundance of caution,” the CDC and the PGA Tour’s medical advisors appear to be on board. It’s also reassuring that these players will not have access to indoor facilities at events. Let’s hope it all works out.
(Lack of) hazard pay
As the LPGA prepares to restart its season in a couple of weeks, the tour is nailing down its protocols. One policy calls for $5,000 per week in compensation for any player who tests positive for Covid-19 while following all guidelines. Compared to the PGA Tour’s $75,000 per week in hazard pay, this figure is shockingly low. Now, five thousand dollars is nothing to turn your nose up at, but the pay gap is disturbing and sadly representative of gender disparities in pro golf.
Collin Morikawa has decided the whole “missed cut” thing isn’t for him. The 23-year-old went around Muirfield Village Golf Club in 65 shots on Thursday and leads by one at the Workday Charity Open. Leaderboard
After starting his professional career with 21 straight made cuts, Morikawa failed to make the weekend two weeks ago at the Travelers Championship. This was just days after his heartbreak at the Charles Schwab Challenge, where he missed a three-footer to lose a playoff to Daniel Berger. It appears that the week off has done the young guy some good. He led the field in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, gaining more than 5.2 strokes on his competitors.
Workday odds and ends
Canadians Adam Hadwin (second) and Nick Taylor (T-3) had themselves a day. Taylor, winner at Pebble Beach in February, is in particularly promising form; he putted terribly and still shot 67. If the putts start dropping, look out.
Justin Thomas shot an easy 68 and sits three off the pace through one round. JT appears to drop 68s with ease these days, and a top 15 feels like an average week for him. Don’t be surprised if he reels off a pair of 64s and ends up in the lead going into Sunday.
Aaron Wise, who won the 2018 Byron Nelson at the age of 21, hasn’t had a top-10 finish in a non-opposite-field event since the 2018 Mayakoba Classic. But a Thursday 67 has the former Rookie of the Year in position to end that drought.
Brooks Koepka continues to slash his way through social media. He took to Instagram to blast Golf Channel’s Paige Mackenzie for her comments about him and followed up his steroid shot at Bryson with a lighthearted jab at Pat Perez and his hair. Koepka’s golf wasn’t as sharp. He shot a first-round 74 at Muirfield Village.
UNLV product John Oda leads on the Korn Ferry Tour following his first-round 64 in Texas. TPC San Antonio Challenge Leaderboard
Joost Luiten sits atop the Austrian Open leaderboard after his 65 on Thursday. Thursday marked the first action for the European Tour since the pandemic shutdown.
The R&A canceled the 2020 Asian Pacific Amateur and the 2020 Women’s Asian Amateur Pacific on Wednesday over Covid-19 concerns. Winners of the men’s event historically receive invites to the Masters and the Open Championship, while female champions get berths at the Evian Championship, AIG Women’s British Open, and Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
The Ivy League announced that there will be no sports in the fall semester. If played at all, men’s and women’s golf would take place only in the spring.
Tiger Woods will make his first start since February at the Memorial Tournament next weekend. Obviously.
The WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational will be a fan-less event, officials announced Thursday. That means there won’t be fans on the PGA Tour until at least the Wyndham Championship, but let’s be honest. It would be a shock if we saw fans at all in 2020.
The Latest from The Fried Egg
The Fried Egg Podcast, Episode 184: Curtis Strange
Hall of Famer Curtis Strange joins Andy Johnson to discuss his storied career as well as recent events on the PGA Tour. Curtis tells Andy about his closing eagle to win the NCAA Championship, his back-to-back U.S. Open wins, and his near-miss at the 1985 Masters. The conversation also touches on the rise of a beefed-up Bryson DeChambeau and the recent split between Fox Sports, where Curtis was an analyst, and the USGA. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.
Shotgun Start: Breaks of the green, Brooksy’s GIF usage, and Flashback to David Gossett
This Friday episode begins with a ramble on whether the PGA Tour is doing enough to capture the wider sports fan’s attention as it appears other sports, like college football, are in peril. A Canadian amateur legend is shouted out before the early play from the Workday Charity Open is reviewed. Andy praises the slower green speeds permitting some pin placements that provide real break at a degree rarely seen on the PGA Tour. Collin Morikawa’s play is praised, a meaningless stat about Phil is panned, and the concept of a Covid positive Scarlet Letter pairing is questioned. In news, the Ryder Cup move is discussed in the context of a quote from Trevor Immelman about golf being a big, happy family working together to re-arrange schedules. But would a Presidents Cup this fall bump a planned Ryder Cup next year if it were the other way around? Brooksy’s steroids GIF is discussed in the context of a Tour that does its players no favors when it comes to clarity and uniformity on testing in various forms, from equipment to drugs. Flashback Friday hits on the 2001 winner at the Deere, David Gossett, a phenom who famously flamed out but sounds like an all-around great human. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.
In honor of the Canadians at the top of the Workday leaderboard, we created our own Fried Egg poutine recipe! Just kidding. We do have some cool key rings, though. Get yours today!