We love it when April Fool’s Day doesn’t fall on a newsletter day because it means we don’t have to do something funny or clever. Take this introduction. It hasn’t been funny or clever. And now it’s over.
Ready for takeoff
To say that the 2021 ANA Inspiration got off to a hot start on Thursday would be an understatement, and we aren’t talking about the weather. Patty Tavatanakit (66) leads the way, and Shanshan Feng (67), Ariya Jutanugarn (68), Megan Khang (68), Jin Young Ko (69), Jessica Korda (69), Michelle Wie West (70), Lydia Ko (70), Lexi Thompson (70), Inbee Park (70), Sophia Popov (70), and Nelly Korda (71) are within reach. Leaderboard
Given the depth of the women’s professional game right now, it’s not surprising to see this loaded of a leaderboard at a major. The storylines are already taking shape. Tavatanakit is a rising star; Feng or Wie West are coming back from extended layoffs; Khang, Thompson, and the Korda sisters are hoping to be the first American to win a women’s major since Angela Stanford in 2018; and Jin Young Ko is looking to continue an impressive run of dominance.
It’s early, but could the ANA Inspiration be the tournament of the year in women’s golf?
A rare opportunity
After two rounds at Champions Retreat, the Augusta National Women’s Amateur heads to *checks notes* Augusta National for the final round on Saturday. All players in the field will get to play a practice round at ANGC on Friday. Through two rounds, Ingrid Lindblad and reigning U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Rose Zhang are tied for the lead. ANWA Leaderboard
While the first 36 holes of this event are exciting, the real show is on Saturday. Whether you’re a diehard golfer, a casual fan, or just a general sports fan, you tune in when there’s golf at Augusta National. It’s what you do.
During their battle at the 2019 ANWA, Jennifer Kupcho and María Fassi achieved genuine fame. That rarely happens for amateur golfers. So there’s a lot at stake for these young players tomorrow. NBC has live coverage from 12-3 p.m. ET.
One week ahead of his 2021 Masters victory, Jordan Spieth looked great at the Valero Texas Open on the PGA Tour. Spieth made seven birdies on his way to a first-round 67, which puts him three shots behind leader Camilo Villegas. (In all seriousness, though, no one’s not rooting for Villegas.) Leaderboard
On a tough day of scoring at the Korn Ferry Tour’s Emerald Coast Classic, Andrew Novak recorded eight birdies and an eagle en route to a blistering 62 and a four-shot lead. Stephan Jaeger and Rico Hoey are among those chasing. Leaderboard
Detectives have determined the cause of Tiger Woods’s crash from February, but California privacy laws are keeping a lid on the information. Full Story from Bob Harig
Brooks Koepka proposed to girlfriend Jena Sims… on March 3. The couple announced the engagement on Thursday.
Following a series of complaints from players and agents, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan sent a letter to players explaining that the Tour will monitor any microphones that might be considered too close to tee boxes or greens. “We understand your conversations with caddies are privileged and [we] will do our best to ensure your privacy is protected,” he said in the letter. The player-run organization strikes again! Geoff Shackelford with the big scoop on April 1.
Dustin Johnson released his Champions Dinner menu. It includes pigs in a blanket as an appetizer, because of course it does.
The Latest from The Fried Egg
The Fried Egg Podcast: The Lost Masters with Curt Sampson
When the world is in disarray, what, if anything, is the role of professional sports? Specifically, what’s the role of the Masters, a tournament that has always felt like an escape from everyday life? To explore those questions, Garrett Morrison talks with Curt Sampson, the author of several books on golf history. Garrett and Curt focus on the 1968 Masters, which took place at a time—like 2020—when society seemed to be unraveling. Ultimately, that edition of the tournament failed to provide the comfort many fans sought. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.
Shotgun Start: If a scorecard is put in a scorecard holder, is it then a scorebook?
This wandering Friday episode features fantastic intel on the procurement of Patrick Reed’s apparel but begins with a quick announcement on some Masters week community gathering at a virtual Bixby House. Then Brendan and Andy catch up on Masters facts of the day, which include the alleged real pimento cheese recipe ANGC uses as well as old stories about caddies shagging balls on the range. Then they get to the tournaments at hand, reacting to the cut at ANWA and the tough scoring conditions. The ANA reactions focus on Shanshan Feng coming off the bench after a year away to post 67, the LPGA moving the tee up with the wall down at 18, and Michelle Wie’s impressive opener. Texas Open thoughts hit on Spieth’s early work, Phil’s implosion and level of care, and some low Cameron odds. News covers a hefty slow play fine for one LPGA rookie, DJ’s champions dinner menu, Brooksy’s engagement announcement, and the weird police procedure around disclosing the cause of Tiger’s accident. Precision Pro Flashback Friday serves up a smorgasbord of facts and stories on the earliest days of the ANA, then the Colgate Dinah Shore Winners Circle—from the toothpaste executive that made this a lavish one-week party in the desert to an over-crowded Easter Sunday service on the 18th green to how it quickly became an event without peer on the schedule. Lastly, Andy chimes in with some facts and alarming history on Poppie’s Pond. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.
Jordan Spieth made buckets of birdies on Thursday at TPC San Antonio. Speaking of which, we have some new bucket hats in the pro shop! Whether you want the standard TFE bucket or the new “Big Bucket” TFE hat, we’ve got you covered. Get yours today!