Happy Wednesday, everyone. May you go through your day with all the irrational confidence of Ben Simmons.
Land down under
Two of golf’s favorite Aussies have a new initiative. On Tuesday, Geoff Ogilvy and Mike Clayton announced the Sandbelt Invitational, a tournament played across Royal Melbourne, Kingston Heath, Peninsula Kingswood, and Yarra Yarra in the Melbourne Sandbelt. The field will be composed of both men and women as well as a mixture of amateurs and professionals. The first edition of the event will take place in December of this year.
The Sandbelt Invitational is the latest example of Australia’s willingness to experiment with mixed-gender concepts in golf tournaments. In 2019, the ISPS Handa Vic Open altered its format to include both men and women, who competed on the same course for equal prize money. But the Sandbelt Invitational will be even more inclusive, bringing in amateurs to compete against the professionals. It’s a phenomenal format, allowing fans to see players with very different skill sets attack the same (absolutely fantastic) courses.
After the Australian Open and Women’s Australian Open were canceled in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic, the launch of the Sandbelt Invitational is a welcome bit of good news from down under.
For the first time since 2019, both the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour are hosting events in Asia this week. The Zozo Championship will return to Japan, while the BMW Ladies Championship will take place in South Korea. Typically part of multi-week swings, these will be the only events taking place in Asia on either tour this fall. Back in early 2020, the cancellation of the LPGA Tour’s Asian Swing was the first indication that the pandemic would seriously disrupt professional golf. So while a one-tournament swing is not exactly ideal, it will be good to see the tours back in the golf-rich countries of Japan and South Korea.
Collin Morikawa, Hideki Matsuyama, and Xander Schauffele headline the Zozo Championship field.
Jin Young Ko looks to continue her hot streak at the BMW Ladies Championship but will have to fight off Inbee Park, Sei Young Kim, Lydia Ko, and Minjee Lee.
We’re convinced that at least some players maintain European Tour membership solely to enter this week’s Mallorca Golf Open. It’s on a freaking island off the coast of Spain!
Nelly Korda and her father Petr will compete in this year’s PNC Championship.
Led by Cameron Sisk, Arizona State won the loaded Isleworth Collegiate this weekend. Illinois’s Piercen Hunt won the individual title.
The Latest from The Fried Egg
Andy Johnson and Garrett Morrison took a spin around Somerset Hills yesterday. They’re still trying to decide which green is their favorite.
Paulie’s Picks: Zozo Championship – Will the Masters champion reign supreme in his home country? Paulie has some thoughts.
The Fried Egg Podcast – Vince India, who first appeared on The Fried Egg Podcast way back in episode 5, returns to chat about his adventures on the Korn Ferry Tour and his feats of excellence in Q-School. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.
The Shotgun Start – Andy and Brendan talk about the uninspired no-cut format of the Zozo Championship and the significantly more intriguing format of the Sandbelt Invitational. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.
Thanksgiving is just over one month away. You might as well buy a TFE belt in a larger size right now, just to be prepared.