8/7/19

I just hope we can win a game!

Playoffs begin, KFT regular season ends, and the USGA throws a bone to all future Viktor Hovlands

by

Have you ever seen the New York City skyline? Well, you will this week! The PGA Tour heads to Liberty National Golf Club for the first leg of the truncated FedEx Cup Playoffs. Meanwhile, the Korn Ferry Tour wraps up its regular season in Portland, and the LPGA takes on the Renaissance Club.

Give me skyline panoramas or give me death

The 2019 FedEx Cup Playoffs will be the first to feature just three events: the Northern Trust, the BMW Championship, and the Tour Championship. Previously, the top 100 in the season-long standings advanced after the Northern Trust, but to facilitate the shortened schedule, only 70 will be moving on to Medinah next week. Northern Trust Tee Times

Previously on…

We last saw Liberty National during the United States’ thrashing of the International squad during the 2017 Presidents Cup, but there have also been two previous FedEx Cup Playoff events held at the club. Adam Scott won the most recent one in 2013, while Heath Slocum took home the other in 2009. In both cases, Tiger Woods finished T-2, though he literally limped to the clubhouse in 2013

Storylines

70 – First and foremost, players are focused on getting inside the top 70 this week. Matthew Wolff currently sits at 70th, while names like Bubba Watson (71), Joaquín Niemann (74), Tyrrell Hatton (77), and Cameron Smith (79) lurk just outside. Henrik Stenson (85) chose not to participate this week, opting instead for the Scandanavian Invitational. The Iceman doesn’t care for your courier points, apparently.

Presidents Cup – Automatic qualifying for the Presidents Cup ends after the Tour Championship at East Lake. Patrick Cantlay currently holds the final automatic qualifying place for the Americans, with Tony Finau, Gary Woodland, Rickie Fowler, and Captain Tiger right behind. C.T. Pan, Abraham Ancer, and Sungjae Im are among the borderline players looking to secure spots for the Internationals.

Paulie’s Picks

Liberty National’s greens will put a premium on approach play, so Paulie is looking at elite iron players this week. See his fantasy picks HERE.

Summer in the Sand Sweepstakes

Enter our Summer in the Sand Sweepstakes for a chance at a day to remember at Sand Valley Resort in Wisconsin. If you win, you will receive a package that includes transportation, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and—most importantly—35 holes of golf at Mammoth Dunes and the Sandbox. The two winners will get to bring two friends apiece and play with Fried Egg founder Andy Johnson. SEE ALL THE DETAILS AND SEND IN YOUR ENTRY HERE!

Portlandia

It’s officially anxiety season on the Korn Ferry Tour as the final regular season event gets underway at Pumpkin Ridge this weekend. The WinCo Foods Portland Open will determine both the 25 players who earn their PGA Tour cards as well as the other 50 who retain their KFT cards. Brett Coletta is currently the bubble boy at No. 25, with Marty Dou, Josh Creel, Brian Campbell, Dan McCarthy, and Joey Bramlett close behind. Tee Times

The Hovland Rule

One day after Viktor Hovland narrowly missed his PGA Tour card, the USGA announced that reigning U.S. Amateur champions no longer have to retain their amateur status in order to play in the U.S. Open. Hovland placed T-12 at the Pebble Beach this summer, but since he was an amateur, his finish did not count towards his FedEx Cup point total. His T-12 would not have scored him enough FedEx Cup points to earn his card, but under the new rule, Hovland would likely have approached his sponsors exemptions differently so that he would have had a better shot of accumulating enough points.

The USGA’s change will be welcome, but it does have one complexity. The U.S. Amateur champion needs to retain his amateur status to play in the Masters. If the player is on a high-profile collegiate team, as Hovland was this past season, he would now have to decide whether to stay in school after the Masters to make a run at the NCAA title, or to turn professional the second week of April.

All in all, this is the best move for future U.S. Amateur winners. It gives them more time to earn their card and should allow for easier decisions in scheduling their summers. Bravo, USGA.

Quick Hooks

The LPGA heads to the Renaissance Club for the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open. Tee Times

The U.S. Women’s Amateur is through the stroke-play portion of the event with match play set to begin on Wednesday. Scoring

Rory McIlroy threw a nice verbal jab at Matt Kuchar during the Wyndham Rewards Top 10 ceremony. Probably the only thing that could have made that ceremony newsworthy! Video (via Chris Chaney)

Tiger posted a photo from a gathering of prospective members of the U.S. Presidents Cup team. Lots of folks noted the conspicuous absence of Jordan Spieth (currently No. 29 in the standings) and the decidedly non-casual dress of Patrick Reed.

The Latest

Eclectic 18: UK – Hole 4, St. Enodoc – Our Eclectic 18 series heads to southwest England and the Church Course at St. Enodoc. Clyde Johnson outlines what makes the quirky short par-4 4th a strategic masterpiece.

Championship restoration: Southern Hills – Gil Hanse had a unique challenge when he was hired at Southern Hills: infuse the original Perry Maxwell style into the golf course and prepare for a modern major championship. In this breakdown, Garrett Morrison dives into how Hanse tackled this double task while providing some color on the history of championship golf at this Oklahoma masterpiece.

Shotgun Start: Playoff laments, FedExCup trivia, and the new Hovland Rule

At long last, the postseason arrives and we begin this Wednesday episode trying to talk ourselves into being excited for it. Does the new format work? What are the things, or single thing, we’re looking forward to watching throughout the FedEx Cup? Andy proffers a take that the Wyndham Rewards might have ruined the FedEx Cup. Brendan uses the occasion of the entire field auto-tweeting graphics of their tee times to rant a little bit on the inauthentic nature of players taking ownership of their own platforms, including the latest subjects of conversation from the Rory-Carson podcast. We give a quick preview of the KFT event, which gets some primetime love this week with players battling for Tour cards and Finals status. On that front, it will be a nervous week for the Methheads. Then Brendan quizzes Andy with some basic FedEx Cup trivia to reorient ourselves with the PGA Tour postseason as it starts its 13th edition. In news, we have praise for the USGA listening and implementing the new Hovland Rule, though it leaves us with a few new questions. We wrap a fun Bryson story and some of his quotes on the schedule squeeze and his push for a Presidents Cup spot. Listen on iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher.

Yolk with Doak: The consulting business, the growing distance gap, and architects’ biases

In the third installment of our recent recording session with Tom Doak, we dive into some of his work at Stonewall Golf Club in Philadelphia. Then the conversation moves to Tom’s future in the consulting business and what interests him for the final stage of his career. Tom brings up a good point about the distance gap between pros and amateurs by comparing his experiences playing with Ben Crenshaw and Brooks Koepka. Listen on iTunes, Spotify or Stitcher.

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