Happy Monday, ladies and germs. We hope you had a nice weekend and enjoyed Easter Sunday. We also hope you caught some golf. It was phenomenal.
It wasn’t the crowded finish we expected, but the 2021 ANA Inspiration delivered some of the highest quality golf you’ll ever see. Stars like Jin Young Ko (T-7), Sei Young Kim (T-3), Nelly Korda (T-3), Inbee Park (T-7), and Shanshan Feng (T-3) put together excellent weeks, but they all paled in comparison to Patty Tavatanakit and Lydia Ko. Five shots ahead after 54 holes, Tavatanakit was poised to cruise to victory. Ko had other ideas, though. The two-time major champion fired a Sunday 62 to put pressure on the leader. But Tavatanakit stood tall, recording a bogey-free 68 to secure the two-shot victory. Results
Those who follow the LPGA Tour closely are not surprised to see Patty Tavatanakit—who hails from Thailand and turned pro after two years at UCLA—put on this kind of display. While she was outside the top 100 in the Rolex Rankings going into the week, she has turned heads on tour with her smooth, powerful swing. She averaged 323 yards off the tee at the ANA, an outrageous number in the women’s game. But Tavatanakit brought more than bombs this week: she capitalized on her distance advantage by hitting nearly 85% of her greens, and she was as cool as the other side of the pillow down the stretch. It was a dominant performance, and it took Lydia Ko turning into a fireball on Sunday to make the tournament even close.
This is Tavatanakit’s first victory on the LPGA Tour. In fact, it’s her first finish better than T-5. But she’s just 21 years old, so we’re sure to see much more from this young powerhouse. If Tavatanakit and other players of her generation can consistently parlay next-level speed into major victories, we could be seeing the dawn of a new era in women’s golf.
Many players in the Masters field head to Augusta National early to start their preparations. Others use actual tournament competition to get ready for the first major championship of the year. This week, Jordan Spieth went with the latter approach, and he ended up winning the damn thing. At the Valero Texas Open, Spieth shot a final-round 66 to notch his first victory in nearly four years. Results
It’s no secret that Spieth hasn’t been himself in recent years. Yes, he’s managed a few good finishes, but for the better part of three seasons he never really seemed like a threat to win. What changed? For one thing, his approach play. When he was on top of the golf world, he was elite with his irons, and that aspect of his game appears to have returned. It also bears mentioning that he says he’s fully healthy after a long (but non-publicized) struggle with a hand injury. In short, Jordan Spieth is Jordan Spieth again.
Before you accuse us of overreacting to one result, remember that this win didn’t come out of nowhere. Spieth contended at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and the Arnold Palmer Invitational before slamming the door shut at TPC San Antonio.
The last player to claim a green jacket after winning the week prior on the PGA Tour was Phil Mickelson in 2006. Jordan Spieth will attempt the same feat this coming weekend.
In tough conditions, just five players broke par on the final day of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. Leaders Rose Zhang and Ingrid Lindblad both shot 75 on Saturday, opening the door for the rest of the field. In the end, it was Tsubasa Kajitani who triumphed in a playoff over Emilia Migliaccio. One of the youngest players in the field, the 17-year-old from Japan shot 72 on Saturday before winning the playoff hole with a par. Results
Stephan Jaeger won his sixth career Korn Ferry Tour event in a playoff over David Lipsky at the Emerald Coast Classic this weekend. Jaeger moves up to No. 2 on the KFT points list and will return to the PGA Tour in 2022. Results
After undergoing surgery on his right knee last month, Brooks Koepka has arrived in Augusta and will participate in the Masters Tournament. It will be his first start since finishing runner-up at the WGC-Workday Championship at the Concession in late February. As always, he is well aware of the haters and the losers and their many stupid opinions.
Nick Hardy made 10 birdies en route to a final-round 60 and a T-17 at the Emerald Coast Classic.
He hasn’t hit a single golf shot, but Ryan Hogue has collected victories on both the PGA Tour and the LPGA Tour over the past six months. Hogue was on the bag for Martin Laird’s victory last fall at the Shriners Hospital for Children Open, and he jumped into Poppie’s Pond alongside Patty Tavatanakit at the ANA Inspiration.
World No. 3 Jon Rahm and his wife Kelley welcomed their son Kepa Rahm into the world on Saturday. Rahm is expected to play the Masters this weekend.
The Latest from The Fried Egg
Shotgun Start: Patty’s plunge into Poppie’s Pool, Golden Child returns, Drive-Chip-Putt apathy
This Monday episode begins with news of Andy’s arrival back to the Land of Matt Fitzpatrick after some time-zone struggles. Then Brendan and Andy get into the first major winner of 2021, Patty Tavatanakit and her two-shot win over Lydia Ko. Her no-leaderboard watching policy is debated, Ko’s charge is extolled, and the Poppie leap is graded. Then they’re onto to the national open at TPC San Antonio, where Jordan Spieth got his first win since the summer of 2017. Both talk about what they felt seeing him get it done again, the Texas Open otherwise stinking, and delight of that late crappy 8-iron down the stretch to keep us on our toes, per Spieth protocols. A clarification is issued on the Redneck Riviera before Stephan Jaeger’s continued credentials on the KFT are debated. The first of two digressions on the Drive, Chip, and Putt takes place, with apathy and confusion the conclusion. Saturday’s second ANWA is praised, even if the play was underwhelming—the Tour did have to take a backseat, after all. News hits on Brooksy and likely Rahm playing the Masters, the course looking dialed in after the weekend exposure, and Waffle House ignorance from two native midwesterners. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.
Jordan Spieth’s putter is in great shape as he prepares to take on one of the toughest sets of greens in the world. If you want to make sure your putter is always in good shape, keep it in a Fried Egg headcover. Get yours today!