Pictured above: the course that hosted the Byron Nelson last time
Sometimes we’re feeling uninspired and use an old Verizon slogan as a headline the week of an AT&T tournament week just to trap people into sending a lame email.
A final tuneup
While it’s just a four-hour drive from Quail Hollow to Kiawah Island, the PGA Tour is making a pit stop in Dallas this week for the AT&T Byron Nelson. Played at a few different venues over the years, most recently the Coore & Crenshaw-designed Trinity Forest Golf Club, the tournament has a new host in TPC Craig Ranch. Tee Times
One week ahead of a major championship and many states out of the way, this event wouldn’t typically have much juice. But there are actually a few players in the field we’re keen to watch in their tune-up for the Ocean Course.
Brooks Koepka – The only time we’ve seen Koepka over the last two months was when he attempted to play the Masters less than a month after knee surgery. While he missed the cut at Augusta National, we haven’t forgotten that he played some excellent golf earlier this year. He came from behind to win at TPC Scottsdale and gave Collin Moriakwa a run at the WGC at the Concession. We’re curious what kind of form he’s in now that he’s actually had some time to heal and prepare.
Jordan Spieth – With six top 10s in eight starts, Spieth was unquestionably on fire this spring. Yet we haven’t seen him for a month at this point. Shortly after the Masters, Spieth contracted Covid-19 and was out of commission for a while. On Tuesday, he said he is back to full strength.
Hideki Matsuyama – Another player we haven’t seen since Augusta National, 2021 Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama returns to the PGA Tour after making the rounds in his native Japan. It’s unlikely that Hideki will play his absolute best this week, but the most recent major champion is always deserving of some attention leading into the PGA.
The Ultimate Prep: The U.S. Open Victory Club
Much like Hideki, Brooks, and Jordan, Paula Creamer is deep in prep for a major championship. Her special exemption into next month’s U.S. Women’s Open at Olympic Club will mark her first major since 2019.
Back in 2010, Creamer arrived at Oakmont Country Club for the U.S. Women’s Open looking to remove herself from the list of best players never to win a major. She ended up breaking through, and now, a decade later, Creamer described the emotion of that moment, the inspiring words from her father that motivated her, and why she kept smiling throughout the final round.
For more content on the U.S. Women’s Open and the U.S. Open, join the U.S. Open Victory Club for free!
The Korn Ferry Tour is visiting a fantastic course this week. Holston Hills, a 1927 Donald Ross design, will play host to the Visit Knoxville Open. Tee Times
Just days after doing a backflip off a yacht, Dustin Johnson withdrew from the AT&T Bryon Nelson, citing “knee discomfort.” Our guess is that he had something closer to “Why-would-I-go-to-Dallas-when-I-could-relax-the-week-before-a-major-championship-itis.”
The current plan is for the R&A to host a large number of fans at the Open Championship later this summer. After being canceled last year because of the pandemic, the Open makes its return at Royal St. George’s July 15-18. Full Story from Ryan Lavner
The Latest from The Fried Egg
A Lowcountry Landscape: The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island – Host of the 2021 PGA Championship, Pete Dye’s Ocean Course at Kiawah Island is routed through the dunes, live oaks, and saltwater marshes of the South Carolina Lowcountry. Andy Johnson, Garrett Morrison, and Charleston-based golf architect Troy Miller give a thorough preview of the major championship venue.
Paulie’s Picks: AT&T Byron Nelson – New venue, what to do in your fantasy leagues? Well, you might start by looking at the player who’s a member at TPC Craig Ranch. Pretty good tip, yeah? That’s what you get when you roll with Paulie.
The Fried Egg Podcast: What’s New About the Ocean Course for the 2021 PGA Championship
Golf architect Scot Sherman joins Andy Johnson to discuss recent renovation work at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island for the 2021 PGA Championship. Scot talks about how being at the Ocean Course has brought his career full circle, and he explains some of the magic behind Pete Dye’s design. He and Andy then dig into another recent project: along with Davis Love III and Mark Love, Scot completed an ambitious renovation of the municipal Belmont Golf Course in Richmond, Virginia. The work included a restoration of 12 of A.W. Tillinghast’s original holes and a new six-hole short course and driving range for the First Tee of Richmond. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.
Shotgun Start: Famous people named Craig, DJ’s WD statement, and Eye on Olympic for Mel Reid
This Wednesday episode goes in a bunch of stupid directions, starting with some details that may or may not be true on real estate around TPC Craig Ranch. This then devolves into a discussion on people named Craig, the most famous Craigs, the haughtiness of Craig T. Nelson using his middle initial, and a couple other unrelated topics. The shhhedule for the week continues with the Champions Tour posting up at another TPC venue and questions about Mitsubishi’s love of the senior circuit, the European Tour maybe having a “frontboard” at the Belfry, and the KFT dropping in on a gem of a venue in Tennessee. News hits on DJ’s amusing and verbose statement on his withdrawal, some data about the absolute absurdity and game-able-ness of the FedExCup points system, and the purchase of TaylorMade. Then they get to their second installment of “Eye on Olympic,” focusing this time on Mel Reid. Her ascendance as a junior, partying ways, family tragedy, and easy-to-root-for personality are all highlighted in this segment that gives you another name to monitor for the U.S. Women’s Open. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.