If you’re looking for a nice calm wind-down after a major championship, this newsletter is not for you.
The hot streak to end all hot streaks
She isn’t on a professional tour, but Rachel Heck is arguably playing the best golf of anyone in the sport right now.
A freshman at Stanford University, Heck shot 70 (-2) in the third round of the NCAA Championship on Sunday, and it was the first time since March that she failed to shoot in the 60s in a competitive round. Heck won each of her final five events this spring, totaling six wins on the semester. Those wins included the Pac-12 Championships, the NCAA Stanford regional, and the individual portion of the NCAA Championships. With her six victories in nine starts and the lowest scoring average in NCAA history (69.72), Heck received the ANNIKA Award for the most outstanding female collegiate golfer of the year. Not exactly a surprise.
Heck’s incredible season came to an end on Tuesday when Stanford was upset by eighth-seeded Arizona in match play at the NCAA Championships. But while she won’t play any more collegiate golf this season, we’ll see a lot of Rachel Heck over the summer. She will appear at Olympic Club for the U.S. Women’s Open after co-medaling at her qualifier, and because she won the ANNIKA Award, she’ll also get a start at the Evian Championship. Heck is the amateur to watch this summer—and who knows, maybe she won’t be an amateur much longer.
U.S. Open Victory Club
After a difficult year in 2020, the USGA was excited to bring back qualifying events for 2021. More than 9,000 players signed up for U.S. Open qualifiers and nearly 2,000 signed up for U.S. Women’s Open qualifiers.
To hear some stories from these local and regional tournaments and track the qualifiers’ progress through the national opens, join the U.S. Open Victory Club for free! The Victory Club provides virtual fan experiences, access to limited-edition merchandise, and content not found anywhere else.
Roughly 24 hours after Phil Mickelson took the sports world by storm, his name was abruptly bounced from the headlines by a pair of hotheads who hate each other.
On Monday evening, an anonymous hero leaked an outtake of an interview by Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis of Brooks Koepka at the PGA Championship. As Koepka is answering the first question, Bryson DeChambeau’s metal cleats crunch by on a cart path behind him. Brooks stops mid-phrase, closes his eyes, and sighs. “I lost my train of thought hearing that bulls***,” he says to an awkwardly smiling Lewis. Koepka drops a few additional curse words, Lewis assures them that the tape won’t air, Koepka says he doesn’t really care, and they start the interview over.
Predictably, the video sent social media into a tailspin on Monday night. Public conflicts between players are rare in golf, but this Brooks/Bryson tension has simmered for a couple of years now, much to the delight of diehard fans. Unfortunately, the footage was scrubbed from the internet on Tuesday afternoon, just as any halfway-scandalous video involving PGA Tour players usually is. So it goes. At least we’ll have those 20 hours of bliss to remember, and the screengrabs will live on forever.
On Tuesday, the LPGA Tour announced that Princeton University Athletic Director Mollie Marcoux Samaan will be the tour’s new commissioner. She will replace Mike Whan after he becomes the new USGA CEO this summer. Marcoux Samaan has served as the AD at Princeton since 2014. Press Release
The second senior major of the year (in fact, the second senior major in three weeks!) gets underway on Thursday at Southern Hills Country Club. Host of the 2022 PGA Championship, Southern Hills gets a practice run this year with the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. Watch our profile on Southern Hills on YouTube to prepare for this weekend’s action! Tee Times
One year after an eerie Charles Schwab Challenge brought PGA Tour golf back into our lives, the event returns to Colonial Country Club with fans, Phil Mickelson, and Jordan Spieth in tow. Tee Times
Match play returns to the LPGA Tour this weekend! The top women in the world will tackle Shadow Creek Golf Course in the Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play ahead of next week’s U.S. Women’s Open. Tee Times
Davis Riley, Taylor Pendrith, Nick Hardy, Hayden Buckley, and Paul Barjon headline the Korn Ferry Tour field at the Evans Scholars Invitational outside of Chicago. Tee Times
UCLA’s Emma Spitz made a valiant charge at Rachel Heck during the stroke-play portion of the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships but ultimately fell one shot short. Angelina Ye, Rachel Heck’s teammate at Stanford, finished in third place. Stroke Play Results
Oklahoma State and Ole Miss will meet in the championship match of the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships on Wednesday. Match Play Bracket
The Latest from The Fried Egg
All the Shots – Pete Dye’s Ocean Course asked a lot from players at the PGA Championship last weekend. Phil Mickelson seemed to be the only one who was able to answer the questions. Andy Johnson writes about the shot-making ability of the 2021 PGA champion.
ICYMI: A championship on tilt – In a special edition newsletter, we previewed all things U.S. Women’s Open! Will Knights gave us some thoughts on the Olympic Club, the top players in the field, and a few qualifying stories.
Paulie’s Picks: 2021 Charles Schwab Challenge – The PGA Tour is headed to a smaller-scale venue in Colonial Country Club. Check out which players our fantasy guy Paulie thinks will do well there.
Shotgun Start: The beef video seen round the world, and corrupted by kitchen appliances
This Wednesday episode wanders around for an hour. It begins with a retroactive thirstbucket of the week award, discusses some airport fare, Gary Player designs, and the most pointless warm-up routine witnessed at Kiawah. There’s also angst about why Monday’s episode was slow-played by Apple, with a conspiracy theory emerging related to the CEO’s surname. Finally, it’s to the news of the week, month, year—the unsanctioned release of the Brooks v. Bryson interview video. They come at it from all angles, giving Todd Lewis a supporting actor nomination, indulging some pre-Bryson arguments, some pre-Brooks arguments, going through the beef timeline, and pleading with the PGA Tour to lean the hell into it, given the millions of views illustrating an appetite. Then it’s on to the schedule for the week, leading off with the Stand-Up Mixer Senior PGA. It’s the event of the week, but some troubling news out of Tulsa, where Andy was recording from, reveals the honor may be tainted by an appliance bribe. They close with another Eye on Olympic, which focuses on the player in the field at the U.S. Women’s Open regarded as the most humorous on tour. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.