It’s Solheim Cup week! Unfortunately, the action doesn’t start until Saturday, so this newsletter will focus on previewing the final events of the PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour seasons. Also, there are just 30 days until we have to wake up, Green Day. Don’t forget.
The last stand
After two full years, the final event of the 2020-21 Korn Ferry Tour mega-season is upon us! The Korn Ferry Tour Championship at Victoria National gets underway on Thursday and, as the cliché goes, these guys will be playing for their jobs. Tee Times
Handing out PGA Tour cards sounds simple enough. As with most things PGA Tour-related, though, the process turns out to be quite complicated.
The remaining cards – Eight players—Bronson Burgoon, Aaron Rai, J.J. Spaun, Vincent Whaley, Callum Tarren, Lucas Herbert, Matthias Schwab, and Steve Gutschewski—accumulated enough points in the first two Korn Ferry Tour Finals events to secure their cards. Alex Smalley and Sahith Theegala haven’t fully locked up their spots, but both probably will this week. That leaves 15 PGA Tour memberships up for grabs at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship. Among those vying for the final berths are Hayden Buckley, Peter Uihlein, Curtis Luck, and Kelly Kraft. At the moment, Patrick Rodgers, Kurt Kitayama, and Max Greyserman appear to be on the outside looking in.
The race for No. 1 – Twenty-five players secured their PGA Tour cards through the regular-season points race, but the top spot on that list has yet to be determined. Whoever earns that distinction will be guaranteed full PGA Tour status for all of the 2021-22 season, will be exempted from the dreaded reshuffle, and will play in next year’s Players Championship. Right now, Stephan Jaeger, the winningest player in Korn Ferry Tour history, seems to have a stranglehold on No. 1. But both Greyson Sigg and Adam Svensson could overtake the German this week with high finishes at Victoria National.
A proper refreshment
With autumn fast approaching, we’re looking forward to brisk nights accompanied by a beverage that keeps us warm. For that kind of refreshment, Journeyman Distillery is always our go-to!
Located in Three Oaks, Michigan, Journeyman Distillery teams up with local farmers to create high-quality, certified-organic spirits. Journeyman’s award-winning lineup includes bourbon, rye, whiskey, rum, and even brandy! Plus, they’re golf nuts. Founder Bill Welter even went as far as to build a public putting green, Welter’s Folly, behind their distillery!
Journeyman spirits can be found in 25 states right now, and within the next year they will be in 41 states. Visit Journeyman’s Find Your Spirit page to locate the distributor closest to you, and if you’re in Michigan, swing by Three Oaks and check out the facility for yourself. The distillery is hosting two upcoming events: the “World’s Best Putter” Competition on October 9 and the Barrel Aged Brew Fest on October 16.
Where we net out
The Tour Championship’s staggered start appears to be here to stay, and we’re accepting it. Is it the best way to determine a year-long FedEx Cup champion? Probably not. But come Sunday, no one remembers the starting scores anyway. The Official World Golf Ranking will reflect the actual 72-hole winner, the PGA Tour will grant the net champion an “official” win, and whatever, we’ll go on with our lives.
Patrick Cantlay (-10), Tony Finau (-8), Bryson DeChambeau (-7), and Jon Rahm (-6) all have realistic shots at the $15 million, and if the finish is half as exciting as last week’s at the BMW, the 2021 playoffs will have been a success.
On your best behavior
At his season-ending press conference on Tuesday, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan spoke on a number of topics, but one tidbit went viral: the Tour is officially cracking down on the “Broosky” taunts that have followed Bryson DeChambeau on course all summer. Under an updated fan conduct policy, mocking shouts of DeChambeau’s rival’s nickname will be considered harassing behavior and could result in expulsion from tournaments.
On the one hand, yes, the incessant cries of “Brooksy” are annoying and lame, and they have clearly tested Bryson’s temper. On the other hand, it’s hard to imagine that a revised code of conduct, handed down by Principal Commissioner Monahan, is going to silence the hecklers. If anything, it may rile them up further.
Davide Buchi, Francesco Laporta, Stefano Mazzoli, Filippo Celli, Gregorio De Leo, Guido Migliozzi, and Giovanni Manzoni star in the DS Automobiles Italian Open on the European Tour. Salute! Tee Times
ICYMI, 1982 Masters champion Craig Stadler made a hole-in-one from 169 yards with a driver at a charity outing last week.
The Latest from The Fried Egg
Rukket Bucket: Tour Championship – The final leg of the Shotgun Start’s Rukket Bucket challenge is open! Enter (for free!) for a chance to win SGS merchandise and prizes from our friends at Rukket Sports. You do not need to have participated in either of the first two weeks of the Rukket Bucket to win prizes for the Tour Championship.
Paulie’s Picks: Tour Championship – It’s East Lake time. Paulie has you covered for DraftKings and one-and-done leagues.
The Fried Egg Podcast: Jordan Caplan on Belvedere and Golf in Michigan
Belvedere Golf Club superintendent Jordan Caplan joins the podcast to talk about the Willie Watson course and his role as the club’s fourth superintendent in its almost 100-year history. Jordan and Andy Johnson discuss the challenges of course maintenance in harsh Northern Lower Michigan winters and the differences between the Belvedere job and Jordan’s past work at Philadelphia Cricket Club. They also chat about trends in golf architecture vs. building architecture, the abundance of quality golf in Michigan, and how to get your kids interested in the game. The Superintendent Series is brought to you by the Toro Company. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.
Shotgun Start: The Brooksy Bylaw, Net Tour Championship, and Burly Boy Journeyman
This Wednesday episode gloriously falls on the first of the month, so you can imagine Andy’s giddiness. Brendan’s mood is also lifted by the fact that he’s not calling in from a space cave and the audio should return to acceptable enough. They begin by jumping right into the news from Jay Monahan’s press conference that the Brooksy shouts are considered “harassing behavior” and will now not be tolerated. They discuss how this is even enforceable, the slippery slope, and the Tour courting this exact creature that they’re now aghast about. Then it’s on to the Tour Championship and its staggered start format. They react to some JT and Rahm comments on the format, try to remember much about East Lake, and ponder a format that Andy thinks would hit a sweet spot for the new gambling craze. Pat Reed’s return, apparently by bus tour and showing off his hibiscus refresher, is also discussed within a larger Ryder Cup roster debate as the final week before that’s finalized on the U.S. side. The Journeyman of the Week is a burly boy in the Web Tour finals who just clinched his card and has some interesting thoughts about peanut butter. Friday will bring a full Solheim Cup preview and discussion sponsored by our good friends at Zero Restriction. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.