Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone! We hope every work email you receive today starts with a hearty “Top o’ the Mornin’!”

Something new

In a sport full of stroke-play events, the PGA Tour Champions is giving a new format a try. Starting this November, the tour will host the World Champions Cup, a three-day event featuring nine-hole matches among three teams. In the inaugural edition, the teams—Team USA, Team Europe, and Team World—will be captained by Jim Furyk, Darren Clarke, and Ernie Els. Each team will have six players, points will be awarded for holes won, and every match will go the full nine holes. The venue will be announced at a later date, but it will be in the United States. Press Release

Call us crazy, but this sounds freaking awesome. In a normal year, November is a dead period for pro golf, so the World Champions Cup may well find a niche. Imagine Phil talking up his latest snake oil as Captain Darren Clark rips a cigarette and Vijay Singh scowls at them both. Miguel Ángel Jiménez will surely have a wine caddy in tow, while Colin Montgomerie will be sipping Mountain Dew and muttering grumpy one-liners.

The World Champions Cup is not going to revolutionize the game, but it’s different and it could be fun. Sometimes that’s all a fall golf event needs to be.

It’s just too much

Formerly a home game that the top PGA Tour players reliably attended, the Honda Classic is looking a bit less robust this year. We’re talking a Mayakoba-level strength-of-field rating. Just six of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Ranking will be at PGA National, Daniel Berger and defending champion Sungjae Im among them. Wedged between the Players Championship and a WGC, the Honda didn’t stand much of a chance.

But here’s one reason to watch: potentially hellish conditions! Last year, just 16 players finished under par, with Sungjae topping everyone at -6. So you can count on narrow fairways and thick rough at this Jack Nicklaus design, and if the forecast is right, you might get a little wind, too. If that’s your kind of thing, tune in. Honda Classic Tee Times

Quick Hooks

The Korn Ferry Tour is back in action at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open. Taylor Pendrith, Davis Riley, Paul Barjon, and Hayden Buckley headline the field. Tee Times

Augusta National announced that the Par 3 Contest will not be held in 2021 in accordance with social-distancing protocols. This is the second year in a row that the Masters will take place without a Par 3 Contest.

The Madison City Council unanimously approved Michael and Jocelyn Keiser’s donation to help renovate Glenway Golf Course. Once finished, Glenway could be a model for municipal golf facilities moving forward.

Tiger Woods will once again be featured on a video game after signing a long-term partnership with PGA Tour 2K. In addition, 2K also acquired HB Studios Multimedia Ltd, creators of the Golf Club franchise. Press Release

Speaking of Tiger, he has returned home to Florida after spending a few weeks in California recovering from his car crash last month.

Three players—Scott Piercy, Gary Woodland, and Doc Redman—tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday and had to withdraw from the Honda Classic. All three players played at TPC Sawgrass last week, with only Piercy making the cut.

The Latest from The Fried Egg

Paulie’s Picks: 2021 Honda Classic – This is the kind of week in a fantasy golf season when the contenders separate themselves from the also-rans. Let Paulie help you find the gems in the Honda field.

Upcoming event sign-ups! – Registration for two of our summer events, the Stalemate at Meadowbrook and the Cheesesteak at Rolling Green, opens on Friday, along with a lottery for the Coup de Grâce at the Dunes Club. Set your clocks! The events will go live in our pro shop at 12:00 p.m. ET.

Fried Egg Podcast: An Insider’s View of Golf Course Rankings

For many people, golf course rankings published by major magazines provide an introduction to golf course architecture. They communicate the basic notion that some courses might (or should) be considered “greater” than others. Since 1996, Jonathan Cummings has served on one of the panels responsible for those rankings. Last year, he gathered up his tremendous knowledge about the rating process and published it in the form of a book, The Rating Game. He and Garrett Morrison discuss the book, the different approaches taken by the magazines to the rankings, and whether the entire course rating industry has done more harm than good. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Shotgun Start: It will be a midday release tomorrow because… reasons. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Pro Shop

Just because very few top players are at the Honda Classic doesn’t mean you need to flip your lid. But if you do, we just got a spring shipment of Fried Egg hats! Shop our fully stocked selection including our new navy meshback hat.