There are only 12 letters in the Hawiian alphabet. Crazy, right?
PGA Tour press conferences tend to be a bit bland. A few players, however, routinely provide quality sound bites, and Kevin Kisner is one of them. On Wednesday, Kisner—who finished 160th on tour in driving distance last season—was asked whether he thinks he can win anywhere. “Probably not,” he replied. “I’m not going to win at Bethpage Black or Torrey Pines.” Bethpage and Torrey are both known as courses that require substantial length off the tee. When asked why he even shows up for events at those venues, Kisner quipped, “Because they give away a lot of money for 20th.” The internet enjoyed Kisner’s candor, but his answer highlights a tough reality for short hitters on the PGA Tour. “I don’t think I can make up enough ground in the areas that I’m great on certain courses,” Kisner added in his interview. Granted, length is and always has been an advantage at every venue, but at many PGA Tour stops, it’s starting to seem more like an absolute prerequisite. No matter how well Kiz putts—and he putts well a lot—he’s just not going to have a chance at some courses.
Luckily for guys like him, Waialae Country Club still exists. Many players who finished outside the top 100 in driving distance last year—including Peter Malnati, Jim Herman, Vaughn Taylor, Patton Kizzire, J.T. Poston, and C.T. Pan—are in the top 20 after one round of the Sony Open. Leaderboard
Joaquín and rollin’
After losing in a playoff to Harris English last weekend at Kapalua, Joaquín Niemann fired a first-round 62 at the Sony Open and sits tied for the lead heading into Friday. Niemann has quietly played excellent golf going back to last August. He has had three top-six finishes and seven top 25s in his past nine starts. Last year, he finished T-57 in his Sony Open debut; we’ll see if the young Chilean can improve on that result by 56 places this weekend.
As first reported by Argentine newspaper Clarín, Ángel Cabrera has been arrested in Brazil by Interpol. He was wanted on allegations of gender violence. Via Golf Channel, here is the Associated Press’s writeup of the incident.
The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am will be the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro this year. The tournament will forgo its amateur portion as a precaution for Covid-19. In addition, the event will be limited to just two courses, Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill. Our thoughts are with those who were looking forward to their yearly Ray Romano content, but we’re hopeful to see more coverage of the world’s best players on two of the world’s prettiest courses. Press Release
The Waste Management Phoenix Open decreased the amount of daily fans it will allow at TPC Scottsdale from 8,000 to 5,000. Full Story from Tyler Drake
Just before play began at the Sony Open, internal out of bounds was added left of the 18th fairway at Waialae to prevent players from taking the shortcut down the 10th hole. Grandstands typically line the left side of the No. 18, eliminating that option altogether.
Andy Johnson took a spin around the redesigned Charleston Municipal Golf Course this week. Architect Troy Miller took inspiration from Seth Raynor designs to create a unique public experience at a local rate of $25. See some photos!
Tom Watson has no idea how to wear headphones.
The Latest at The Fried Egg
Shotgun Start: The “Death Zone,” Pebble sans Cable Guy, and Flashback to an Aussie legend
It’s Friday! And more importantly, it’s sumo citrus season. Andy and Brendan begin this episode with a good old fashioned fruit chat extolling again the virtues of their favorite orange, which Andy unexpectedly ran into on Thursday. Then they get to the delectable controversy over the PGA Tour’s 11th hour installation of internal out-of-bounds at Waialae’s 18th hole. They cover this in depth, including the BfB being the only one to find what one article termed the “death zone, Billy Ho being available for comment on it, and Cam Smith also adding that the lack of grandstands have made these firmer greens tougher to play without backboards. News hits on the Pebble Beach Pro-Am playing as a pro-only event and if that will do anything to change or toughen the setup. This leads to a lengthy and moderately unhinged proposal about one event a year where you get a quota of internal OB you can set up on a course, e.g. a patch in front of the 6th green at Pebble. They close with a Flashback on an Aussie character, past Hawaiian Open champ and yips sufferer. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.
Many players at the Sony Open are looking for a fresh start in 2021. Speaking of fresh, check out the new white Fried Egg polo that just hit our pro shop. Improve your wardrobe with the TFE Liam Polo today!