Easy as Piot

Piot and Greaser fight it out at the U.S. Amateur, and the Wyndham Championship ends in a six-man playoff


Header photo by Chris Keane of the USGA

If you happen to have attended the Green Day, Fall Out Boy, and Weezer concert at Wrigley Field this weekend, please let us know. V. interested in the vibes those guys are putting out in 2021.

It’s a Sparty, it’s a Sparty, it’s a Spartayyy

After two rounds of stroke play and three full days of matches at the U.S. Amateur, James Piot and Austin Greaser faced off yesterday at Oakmont Country Club in a 36-hole final match. The famed Pennsylvania club played tough and yielded few birdies, but the match was still a back-and-forth affair. Out of the 35 holes Piot and Greaser played, 20 of them were won by one player or the other. James Piot was 2 up through 11 holes but found himself 3 down with nine to play. He went on to win five of the next six and make a clutch up-and-down on the 35th hole. Austin Greaser had a chance to extend the match with a short birdie attempt, but his putt lipped out. Results

No. 86 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings before the U.S. Amateur, James Piot wasn’t on many short lists of favorites, but given his recent form he probably should have been. Over the past month, the Michigan State Spartan finished in the top 10 at the Southern Amateur, made match play at the Western Amateur, and won the Golf Association of Michigan Championship. Piot’s consistency makes him a tough out in match play, and on Sunday he overcame Greaser’s power advantage by simply outlasting him.

Both players now have spots in the field at the 2022 Masters and 2022 U.S. Open—just one of the perks of emerging from a field of 300 players to reach the final of the U.S. Amateur.

Oakmont Country Club once again proved a first-rate championship venue. It wasn’t at its firmest or fastest, but the canted, undulating greens—along with the USGA’s demanding pin positions—were more than enough to test the world’s best amateurs. Always a treat to watch golf on one of America’s best courses (although we sometimes had to work hard to do so).

Hit and giggle

It has been a year of head-scratching finishes on the PGA Tour, and the regular season ended with another on Sunday. Holding a three-shot lead after 54 holes, Russell Henley stumbled to a final-round 71, letting a lot of chasers back into contention at the Wyndham Championship. Six players—Adam Scott, Roger Sloan, Si Woo Kim, Kevin Kisner, Kevin Na, and Branden Grace—qualified for the playoff at Sedgefield Country Club. On the first extra hole, Scott missed a potential winning putt from inside five feet. Kisner took advantage, birdieing the second playoff hole to claim victory. The easygoing South Carolinian said the sixsome made him feel like “we were at home playing a hit-and-giggle.” That’s not a bad mindset when you’re trying to win on tour. Results

Kisner wasn’t the only player to leave Sedgefield in better shape than when he arrived. Roger Sloan and Adam Scott both secured berths in the FedEx Cup Playoffs with their T-2 finishes, but Chesson Hadley had an even more joyful day. Hadley made his first ever hole-in-one on his way to a Sunday 62 and a T-15, which moved him to No. 125 in the 2020-21 FedEx Cup standings and earned him a PGA Tour card. In an emotional post-round interview with Amanda Balionis, Hadley conveyed just how much it all meant to him.

On to the playoffs!

The Must-Sees of Public Golf Architecture in America

Our series on America’s most architecturally interesting public golf courses continues! As a reminder, we’ll be unveiling one course per week in this newsletter for the foreseeable future. Check out the full list (so far) HERE.

Belvedere Golf Club (Charlevoix, Michigan)


Belvedere is a private club that allows public play seven days a week. Set on a tract of Northern Michigan farmland in idyllic Charlevoix, this William Watson design would be the perfect home course: laid-back, fun, and skillfully designed. The front nine plays off a ridge into a flat area before climbing back up the ridge on the 6th and 7th holes. The back nine, on the other side of Marion Center Road, features the most varied topography on the property as well as many of the best holes, including an excellent trio of par 4s—11, 12, and 16—and the long par-3 17th. Watson’s wavy, potato-chip-like greens, combined with a strong routing on good land, make Belvedere one of the finest open-to-the-public golf courses in the Midwest.

Insider tip: Spend some time poking around the golf house, as there are some really neat old drawings and photos of the course. -Andy Johnson

Photo: Andy Johnson

Quick Hooks

David Skinns shot a final-round 67 to win the Pinnacle Bank Championship and earn his PGA Tour card. Some are saying his shot into 18 was bailed out by the grandstands, but hey, rub of the green, etc. Results, Top 25 Korn Ferry Tour Standings

Ryann O’Toole fired a Sunday 64 to win the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open by three shots. It was the first LPGA Tour victory of O’Toole’s career and her first professional title in more than a decade. Results

Four rounds of 70 or better helped Calum Hill capture his first European Tour victory at the Cazoo Classic this weekend. A graduate of Western New Mexico University, Hill won three times on the Challenge Tour before moving to the European Tour in 2020. He’s now in the top 100 of the Official World Golf Ranking and quickly climbing the Race to Dubai standings. Results

Doug Barron shot three rounds of 64 to win the Shaw Charity Classic on the PGA Tour Champions. Results

Justin Rose three-putted the 72nd hole of the Wyndham Championship to drop just a few points behind Chesson Hadley and fall to No. 126 in the FedEx Cup standings. This is the first time in Rose’s PGA Tour career that he has missed the playoffs.

Will Zalatoris earned enough FedEx Cup points to be No. 26 in the standings, but he won’t appear in the playoffs because he’s not an official PGA Tour member.

The FedEx Cup Playoffs and Korn Ferry Tour Finals both begin on Thursday. Twenty-five more PGA Tour cards will be given out in KFT Finals, while $15 million is up for grabs at the end of the FEC Playoffs.

The Latest from The Fried Egg

Shotgun Start: Alternate lines at Oakmont, over-dramatizing the Top 125, and KFT card watch 

This Monday episode reacts to a full and diverse weekend of golf offerings, starting with the U.S. Amateur. Andy and Brendan review the revolving door of tv channels that the final visited, the Greaser-Piot match, the limited coverage earlier in the week, and yes, the alternate lines down different venerable Oakmont fairways that got plenty of action on Twitter. At the Wyndham, there’s a rant on the overselling of what it now means to *not* make the top 125, as well as some thoughts on the six-man playoff format, Chesson Hadley’s push, and Roger Sloan getting family time. In Europe, there are two segments dedicated to Ryann O’Toole facts and Calum Hill facts, which devolves into research on the Western New Mexico University mascot. They close with what turned into arguably the most compelling conclusion of the day, the regular season finish on the KFT, where David Skinns burst through for a win and a Tour card, Austin Smotherman held on for dear life, and Taylor Montgomery got screwed thanks to a well-worn old scheduling gripe. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

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