If you had to suffer through an embarrassing round but could withdraw and collect around $40,000, how quickly would you notify the rules committee of your withdrawal? Just a hypothetical question for your Friday morning.

Big Cat

Little substantive information has come out about Tiger Woods’s condition since the official statement from his camp on Tuesday night. We know he is awake and alert, but obviously he has a long road ahead of him. Golf Digest’s Joel Beall talked about Tiger’s surgeries with Dr. Ara Suppiah, a renowned expert in sports medicine. “People come back from these injuries, yes,” Dr. Suppiah said. “Will he be able to hit a golf ball again? No doubt. But if you’re asking who on tour has come back from this specific trauma, the answer is there are none.”

Late Thursday evening, Tiger Woods was transferred to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. According to Golf Channel, it will be at least a week before he flies home to Florida.

A little bit of everything

Take a deep breath. Ready? The World Golf Championships-Workday Championship at the Concession (phew) is off and running. A difficult test by any measure, the Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin-designed Concession Golf Club showed its teeth on Thursday. Matthew Fitzpatrick and Webb Simpson managed 66s, about six shots better than the field average. Leaderboard

Fitzpatrick and Simpson are famously not bombers, but they rode strong approach play to the top of the leaderboard, where they’re joined by fellow driving-distance mortals Kevin Kisner (67) and Patrick Reed (68). Brooks Koepka (67), Sergio García (67), Cameron Smith (68), Jon Rahm (68), and Tony Finau (68) are also in the top 10. So we have a mixture: great drivers, great iron players, and short-game specialists. The Concession would seem to demand all three skills, so we’ll see what wins out by the end of Sunday.

It wasn’t all under-par scores in the first round, however. Dustin Johnson (77), Bryson DeChambeau (77), Bubba Watson (77), and Matthew Wolff (83-WD) had a tough time. Normally elite ball-strikers, all four lost multiple shots tee to green. The big number is always lurking at the Concession—one reason it will be worth following the action this weekend.

Bunches of fun

The LPGA Tour’s first full field of 2021 delivered the goods on Thursday. Nelly Korda and Nanna Koerstz Madsen both shot 67 while a pack of big names—world No. 1 Jin Young Ko, Nelly Korda, Jennifer Kupcho, Gaby López, and Megan Khang—turned in 68s in the Gainbridge LPGA. But Lydia Ko surpassed them all with a nearly flawless round of 65. A Lake Nona member, Ko opened the tournament with a hole-out eagle. Other notables in the mix include Sophia Popov (70), Jeongeun Lee6 (70), Jessica Korda (71), and Brooke Henderson (71). In total, 49 players shot between 72 and 68 on Thursday, so it should be a tight race. Leaderboard

Quick Hooks

Tommy Gainey leads the Puerto Rico Open after shooting 65 on Thursday. A trio of Korn Ferry Tour members—Taylor Pendrith, Lee Hodges, and Brandon Wu—are at T-2. This is just one round, though; the climax of the event is yet to come. Leaderboard

The Baylor Women’s golf team is a force to be reckoned with. The Bears won their fifth straight event at the Icon Invitational this week and are currently No. 1 in the GolfStat and Golfweek team rankings. Full Story from Julie Williams

Playing in her first LPGA Tour event since 2008, Annika Sörenstam shot 75 on Thursday. Five-time major champion Yani Tseng struggled to an 81 in her first LPGA start since 2018.

Even though he withdrew from the WGC, Matthew Wolff will still receive a last-place paycheck. That figure will be around $40,000.

The Latest from The Fried Egg

ICYMI… WGC Slopes: The Concession Golf Club – The Concession Golf Club, co-designed by Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin, will host its first PGA Tour this weekend. In a new video, Andy Johnson and Garrett Morrison identify some holes to watch for and assess the course’s design.

The Fried Egg Podcast: A Way Forward for Municipal Golf

Today we wrap up our deep dive into Andy Johnson’s visit to North and South Carolina with a hybrid episode. The first half is devoted to a conversation that Andy had with Troy Miller at Charleston Municipal Golf Course. Troy recently completed a Seth Raynor-inspired renovation of Charleston Muni. After that interview, Andy and Garrett Morrison return to finish their chat about the courses Andy saw in the Carolinas. They talk not only about courses like Charleston Muni and Asheville Muni, but more generally about municipal golf in America and how it might find a way forward in the 21st century. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Shotgun Start: Coco Beach delights, Wolff’s Concession, and a “Scandinavian Hit Man”

Andy and Brendan close out the week with this Friday episode reacting to early action from across the “swamp swing,” where water is now in play on almost every hole across every tour. They marvel at the Solicitor General running out in front early at the PR Open, while also wondering if Bob Allenby’s island PTSD led to his DFL spot. There’s also a fun Smylie story about being put on the clock. Then they get back into The Concession crowbarring its name into the title of this WGC. Matthew Wolff’s WD is also addressed and lamented as a blow to the WGC spread watch. They laugh at the dramatic and constant framing about the challenge of these pros having to figure out a course they’ve never seen before this year. This week’s Precision Pro Flashback Friday is on a past winner at Doral, who clipped Fred Couples and Mark Calcavecchia, among others, before an outrageous run of health misfortunes. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Pro Shop

Just because the guys at the Concession are sweating on the tee doesn’t mean you have to do the same. Grab a Fried Egg Sport Polo or Shotgun Start Sport Polo and say goodbye to sweaty days on the course!