If the men golfers had decided to for a seven-way share of the bronze medal last weekend like the two high jumpers who shared gold this week, do you think the IOC would have had enough bronze at the ready? Were the golfers given that option? These are important questions that we do not want real answers to. Much better left to the imagination.

Heating up (literally)

In spite of very hot and humid weather, the women’s Olympic golf competition has made it through three rounds. The finish is scheduled for Saturday (Friday night in the U.S.), but since a tropical storm is bearing down on Japan and may hit Tokyo, the fourth round remains in doubt. If the golfers can’t play on Saturday, the 54-hole results will likely become final, as Sunday’s forecast doesn’t look good and Monday isn’t an option. Let’s hope Tokyo dodges the storm, though, because a dramatic battle for the podium is brewing at Kasumigaseki Country Club. Leaderboard

The leader

The No. 1 player in the world is looking more and more golden. In her second round, Team USA’s Nelly Korda shot a blistering 62 despite a double bogey on her final hole, and she backed it up yesterday with a 69. Korda missed her final two greens in regulation in her third round, but a pair of up-and-downs kept her three-shot lead intact.

Winner of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and the Meijer LPGA Classic over the past two months, Korda has been the best player in the world in 2021. While she has often overpowered Kasumigaseki CC this week, her short game was plenty sharp when she got out of position yesterday. If the final round is rained out, she’ll be a deserving Olympic champion. But we’d rather see her make a statement on Saturday.

The chasers

About a dozen players have at least an outside shot at capturing bronze or silver. We won’t discuss them all below, but we’d guess that anyone at -7 or better is in serious contention for hardware.

India’s Aditi Ashok (-12), the closest player to Nelly through 54 holes, has been a pleasant surprise this week. Her form coming into the Olympics was rough, to say the least. In 11 starts this year, she has four missed cuts and finished better than T-39 only once. On Friday, Ashok leaned on her trusty hybrids to post a 68.

The Japanese pair of Mone Inami (-10) and Nasa Hataoka (-8) could feasibly claim two of the three available medals at their home Olympics.

Lydia Ko (-10), the silver medalist from 2016, shot 67-66 in rounds two and three to enter the medal race. The Kiwi put on a bogey-free clinic yesterday to move to T-3. Both Ko and 2016 bronze medalist Shanshan Feng (-7) are looking to make return trips to the podium.

Quick Hooks

Harris English leads the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational after a first-round 62. English opened with 28 on the front nine before selfishly making two bogeys and ruining everyone’s 59 watch. Still pretty good. Leaderboard

Defending champion and top-ranked amateur Rose Zhang was upset in the round of 64 of the U.S. Women’s Amateur, and NCAA Champion Rachel Heck (who won the final two holes in regulation and an extra one to get out of the round of 16) headlines the group in the quarterfinals. Scoring

The European Tour’s Hero Open got off to a wild start on Thursday: the afternoon wave played nearly five shots easier than the morning round. Calum Hill, Ross Fisher, and Chase Hanna are in the mix. Leaderboard

Surprised to see +16 leading at a PGA Tour event? That’s because the Barracuda Championship uses Stableford scoring. Joel Dahmen leads with 16 points. Leaderboard

It’s go low or go home at the Korn Ferry Tour’s Utah Championship. More than two dozen players shot 67 or better. 63s from Mark Blakefield and Joshua Creel lead the pack. Leaderboard

Bryson DeChambeau continues to open his mouth and nonsense continues to spill out. Speaking with reporters about his recent withdrawal from the Olympics because of a positive Covid test, DeChambeau made multiple scientifically inaccurate remarks that culminated in this declaration about the vaccine: “I’m young enough, I’d rather give it to people that need it. I don’t need it.”

The Latest from The Fried Egg

White Bear Yacht Club, host of an upcoming Fried Egg event, has many first-rate holes on property. Among the highlights is the uphill par-4 5th hole. Come see it and the rest of WBYC at the Regatta on September 13!

Shotgun Start will be a mid-morning release as Andy and Brendan wait to see what is going on with the Olympics. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Pro Shop

There’s a reason the Shotgun Start boys nicknamed Bryson DeChambeau the “Fraudulent Physicist” and created a chocolate milk-themed logo for him. “Thicc Boi” t-shirts are up for sale in the pro shop!