If you had to choose between renouncing wine and renouncing whining, which would you choose? We have Napa on the brain but also love to complain… and rhyme.

Statistics 101

For years, women’s pro golf has lacked decent statistics. It looks like that’s finally about to change. On Tuesday, the LPGA Tour announced KPMG Performance Insights, an initiative to expand statistical tracking at LPGA events. Strokes Gained data is the highlight of the program.

Prize money is not the only concerning disparity between the PGA and LPGA Tours. Anyone who has visited the stats section of the LPGA Tour website knows just how paltry the data is. One of the more prominent stats on there is number of holes-in-one! I mean, who cares?

While KPMG Performance Insights won’t have the full capabilities of the PGA Tour’s ShotLink program, it’s a step in the right direction. Soon, hopefully, we’ll be able to use data to tell a story about Inbee Park’s brilliance with the putter, or about Nelly Korda’s all-around dominance. The LPGA Tour still has a lot of catch-up to do, but we’re encouraged by this development.

Ballot box

Ponte Vedra has a new king. FedEx Cup champion Patrick Cantlay was named PGA Tour Player of the Year on Tuesday, much to the confusion of those who thought Jon Rahm was the best golfer in the world this season. The case for Cantlay over Rahm is relatively thin—Rahm led the tour in most statistical categories and bested Cantlay in all six majors contested—but Cantlay’s FEC title and four* total victories seem to have carried the day.

(*One of those wins was the net Tour Championship, where Rahm and Kevin Na tied for low gross score, and another came at the Memorial, where Rahm led by six after three rounds but had to withdraw because of a positive Covid test.)

This marks the third consecutive year that the PGA of America Player of the Year (Rahm) and the PGA Tour Player of the Year have diverged. Before 2019, that hadn’t happened since 1991. Also, each of the past three PGA Tour POYs were the FedEx Cup champions. Hm.

Of course, it’s just an award. Major titles, like the one Rahm won three months ago, matter more. But it’s interesting how much weight the voting players apparently give to the Tour’s manufactured “playoff” system, even as more and more of them admit to hating the format.

Quick Hooks

A new PGA Tour season begins on Thursday with the Fortinet Championship in Napa. World No. 1 Jon Rahm and his lack of trophies enter as the heavy favorite. Tee Times

After an exciting Solheim Cup, the LPGA Tour is back in action at the Cambia Portland Classic.  Tee Times

The European Tour visits the Netherlands for the Dutch Open this weekend. Sam Horsfield and Andrew Johnston headline the field. Tee Times

The 2022 Korn Ferry Tour schedule came out on Tuesday. Barring another pandemic interruption, this season will not last into 2023. Keep your fingers crossed.

Brooks Koepka did an interview with Golf Digest’s Matthew Rudy and offered up more than a few eye-popping quotes. Read his thoughts on catching Jack’s major total, why Ryder Cup preparation is so different from major prep, and more.

Koepka’s Ryder Cup teammate Bryson DeChambeau has been doing so much speed training and hitting so many balls that his hands “are wrecked.” Full article by Jonathan Wall

Arkansas’s Brooke Matthews shot an NCAA record 25 under par at the Cougar Classic this week. Matthews beat the runner-up by 13 shots!

Friend of the program Andrew Von Lossow won the U.S. Hickory Open at Gearhart Golf Links on Tuesday. Congrats, Andrew!

The Latest from The Fried Egg

Paulie’s Picks: Fortinet Championship – A new PGA Tour season is upon us and Paulie has some names to consider for the weekend in wine country!

The Fried Egg Podcast: Mapmaking with Don Placek

In this wide-ranging conversation, Don Placek, Partner at Renaissance Golf Design, and Andy Johnson cover the complexity and challenges of the golf architecture consulting business, compare finding new golf courses to discovering new music, and discuss Don’s passion for drawing, maps, and art in general. Don shares how his passions and talents outside of golf improve Renaissance Golf Design’s work and how his routing maps help visualize the 3D world for their clients. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

The Shotgun Start: Awards angst, Fortnite Tent Championship, and Bryson’s ‘wrecked hands’

This Wednesday episode begins with some trepidation about transportation for next week as the Shotgun Start goes on the road for the Ryder Cup. Then they get to the farcical PGA Tour season-ending awards, where four “win” Patrick Cantlay took home the honors and non-member Will Zalatoris won Rookie of the Year. Does it actually matter? Should we be worked up about it? Has the entire process been corrupted and shrouded in mystery? Then it’s on to the Fortnite Championship in Napa, where Jon Rahm can avenge his POY snub. There are multiple “things to watch” for this season-opener in wine country. They continue through the schedule for the week before closing with reaction to news of Bryson’s extreme speed training and wrecked hands as he gets ready for the Ryder Cup and World Long Drive simultaneously, and Brooksy’s candid comments on why the team matches are a tough adjustment. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Pro Shop

Fall doesn’t give you a free pass to wear sweatpants all the time. Get yourself a TFE belt and rep the egg out on the town!