One last Tokyo

At the Olympics, the women’s golf medals go to an American phenom, a hometown heroine, and a former prodigy who’s all grown up now


Anyone have a new show that we should watch? Some of us have become too reliant on the Olympics for nighttime entertainment and could use a detox.

Podium views

Mother Nature did her best to intervene, but the women’s golf competition at the Tokyo Olympics finished up on Saturday. With a dozen players in the mix, the final round was a delight to watch. World No. 1 Nelly Korda squeaked out the victory, while Mone Inami and Lydia Ko vied for the other two podium spots in a playoff. Results


On the 18th tee in her second round, Nelly Korda had a five-shot lead and a chance at a 59. At that point, a gold medal seemed like a foregone conclusion. But she ended up with a 62, and two rounds later, her lead had slipped away. On the 72nd hole, she found herself tied with Japan’s Mone Inami. While Korda hadn’t played poorly, her seeming invincibility had faded. After Inami bogeyed the final hole, however, the American two-putted for par and the gold medal.

When golf returned to the Olympics in 2016, Nelly Korda was 18 years old and had yet to win a professional event. Two weeks after the Rio games, she won on the Symetra Tour, and now, five years later, she’s the clear No. 1 player in the world. Korda has four wins on the year, including her first major title and an Olympic victory. With the AIG Women’s Open Championship, Solheim Cup, and CME Group Tour Championship still ahead, the 23-year-old has a chance to make 2021 a truly dominant season.


Mone Inami completed a memorable year for Japanese golf by capturing the silver medal at Kasumigaseki Country Club. After a 30-minute rain delay, Inami birdied 17 to pull even with Korda, but her approach on 18 buried in a bunker, leading to a bogey. Inami went on to win the first playoff hole with a par.

Earlier in 2021, Tsubasa Kajitani’s victory at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and Hideki Matsuyama’s win at the Masters generated a lot of buzz in golf-crazed Japan. Mone Inami’s silver performance will no doubt do the same. Golf has long been popular in the country, but perhaps this year has inspired even more Japanese kids to take up the game.


There have been two Olympic golf competitions in the past 100 years, and the only player, man or woman, to earn two medals is Lydia Ko. Playing in the final group with Nelly Korda, Ko birdied four of her first five holes to charge up the leaderboard. When Korda double-bogeyed No. 7, Ko was tied for the lead. Ultimately, though, she wound up one shot behind the champion and fell to Inami in the playoff.

In future years, we may look at Lydia Ko’s two Olympic medals and forget how much she struggled between 2016 and 2021. From coach, swing, and caddie changes to the occasional bout with burnout, the New Zealander grew up a lot between Olympic appearances. But the player we see in 2021 is confident, gracious, and (seemingly) comfortable with her status as one of the game’s best.

The other winner

She came up a shot short of the playoff for silver, but India’s Aditi Ashok made a big impression in Tokyo. Averaging only about 230 yards off the tee and often approaching greens from 40 to 50 yards back of final-round playing partner Nelly Korda, Ashok chipped and putted her way into contention. She gained more than 13 shots on the field with her putter, something that happens on the PGA Tour maybe once or twice a season. Ashok received shoutouts from Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and India’s most successful PGA Tour player Anirban Lahiri, and while she didn’t come away with a medal, she won a lot of respect this week.

Quick Hooks

In a wild final round that ended in a three-man playoff, Abraham Ancer earned his first PGA Tour victory at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. Ancer and a few other contenders got some help from Harris English and Bryson DeChambeau, who both laid eggs on the back nine. After Ancer, Hideki Matsuyama, and Sam Burns tied the first playoff hole with pars, Ancer birdied the second to take the title. Results

Jensen Castle survived a 12-for-2 playoff to get into match play at the U.S. Women’s Amateur, and she made the most of it. The 63-seed reached the finals after NCAA champion Rachel Heck missed a critical short putt in the semifinal match, and Castle went on to defeat Vivian Hou 2&1 in the 36-hole final match. Scoring

Grant Forrest saw through the trees to shoot 62-66 on the weekend and win the European Tour’s Hero Open. Results

Riding an eagle and six birdies in his final round, Erik van Rooyen won the Barracuda Championship. It was his first victory on the PGA Tour. Results

Josh Creel fired a bogey-free 64 to come from behind at the Utah Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour. Hayden Buckley closed in 61 to jump to T-2. Results

PGA Tour Rules Official Ken Tackett gave a rather head-scratching answer when asked why Bryson DeChambeau received relief for a ball that was under an out-of-bounds fence on Sunday. It seems as though Tackett went out of his way to get DeChambeau the most relief possible.

Speaking of Bryson, Shane Ryan walked with DeChambeau and Harris English for the final nine holes of the event and came away disheartened with how the gallery treated Bryson. No doubt DeChambeau has said and done things that warrant criticism, but there’s no need for fans to be obnoxious jerks to him.

Si Woo Kim made four birdies in his final nine holes at the WGC and still managed to shoot 43 on that side. The lesson, kids, is that it’s tough to bounce back from 13s on par 3s.

The Must-Sees of Public Golf Architecture in America

Our series on America’s most architecturally interesting public golf courses is back! We’ll be dropping one of these write-ups per week until we either run out of courses to talk about or get tired. Check out our full list HERE.

Warren Golf Course (South Bend, Indiana)


How many Coore & Crenshaw-designed golf courses can you play for under $60 every day? As far as I know, there’s only one: the Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame. This is a relatively early entry in the Coore & Crenshaw canon, built in 1999, and it has aged beautifully. The course navigates mostly flat land, but its eccentric greens provide plenty of excitement. Nos. 7, 10, 16, 17, and 18 occupy the property’s best terrain and are all standout holes. Also excellent is the 4th, a reachable par 5 with a lion’s mouth green that can derail long hitters’ eagle and birdie hopes. Overall, Warren offers an opportunity to see how one of today’s greatest architecture firms took a less-than-desirable site and created something fun and memorable.

Insider tip: In the fall, Warren is a zoo the day before and the morning of game days. But if you don’t care about Notre Dame football, the course is virtually empty during games. (Bonus fun fact: when it opened, Warren didn’t include par numbers on its scorecard. H/t Carr for the course.) -Andy Johnson

Photo credit: Andy Johnson

The Latest from The Fried Egg

Shotgun Start: Nelly’s gold, Prancing in Memphis, Hurried Harris and Befuddled Bryson

This Monday episode begins with feelings of vindication and delight over some high-profile confusion on the Home of Golf during the final round telecast at TPC Initech. Then Andy and Brendan get into the resolution of the event of the week, the women’s golf at the Olympics. They discuss Nelly’s gold, Inami’s charge, and Ko’s comportment as maybe the model professional golfer. They also have some final big-picture thoughts on golf in the Olympics. Then it’s on to the WGC Memphis, with a big shoutout to Honest Abraham Prancer for his first win. They discuss their unexpected enthusiasm and anticipation for this WGC, and the absolute circus that ensued in the final group implosion between Thicc Boi and Harris English. They discuss the absurd boundary fence ruling and why the Tour is setting up “bumpers” to keep balls in play. There’s also reaction to the pace of play, shouting fore backlash, and refusals to talk to the press. At the Women’s Amateur, they ponder if the winner might be a Frugalite while praising the Westchester setup. The winners at the Home of Golf, in Reno, and in Utah, also get their due. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Pro Shop

With all the walking golfers do in the summer sun, we wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve lost an inch or two off your waist line. No? Well, you should still get a TFE ribbon belt!