Could someone just send us a spreadsheet with all college football coaching changes? We can’t keep up.
“Again!” -Herb Brooks
This will shock you, but we have a star-studded leaderboard at the 20-player Hero World Challenge. Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, and Bryson DeChambeau are all in the mix after the first round, and tied for the lead are Abraham Ancer, Daniel Berger, and Rory McIlroy.
Rory has been on a tear since his emotional turn at the Ryder Cup. Coming into this week, he has had four four straight top-15 finishes—a first for him since early 2020. It seems like a long time ago now, but McIlroy was firing on all cylinders before the pandemic. He won twice in late 2019 and early 2020, and rattled off 10 top 10s in 11 starts. So maybe we’re seeing the beginning of another era of greatness from Rory… but we’re not buying stock in him until he carries over his current form into real events.
Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining
On Wednesday, world No. 2 Collin Morikawa became the latest player to talk about growing Saudi influence in global professional golf: “Look, I think at the end of the day all we’re trying to do is grow the game, so what’s going to be the best for us professional golfers to grow the game? How do we create this outlet that is not just for a U.S. market, but is global?” Morikawa added, “How do you grow it in different parts of the world? That’s what’s been cool is that we’re able to travel, we’re able to come to places like these, even though it’s gorgeous, how do you just make that impact?…. So, look, when it comes to Saudi, when it comes to the PGA Tour, I think the underlying message that everyone needs to realize is we’re here to grow the game.”
Now, Collin Morikawa has earned a lot of good will in his young career, and this answer doesn’t squander that. But it’s still pretty cringy. Our guess is that he’s had millions waved in his face by the Saudi-backed Asian Tour and has come up with this word salad in order to keep his options open.
But this isn’t just about Collin Morikawa. It’s about all pro golfers who are weighing their options with Golf Saudi. Many of them (and their PR teams) are currently racking their brains for ways to convince fans that money isn’t the driving force of their actions. So let’s make this easy. PGA Tour guys: if you jump to the Asian Tour, everyone will know it’s because you were paid handsomely to do so. You may as well come out and say it, because this “growing the game” bit stinks.
The LPGA Q-Series is underway in Alabama. The top 45 players after the eight rounds will earn LPGA Tour status.
NEW TIGER WOODS SWING VIDEO. NOBODY PANIC. All seriousness, great to see Tiger make a full swing with a long club.
Remember when Golf Twitter made a four-course meal out of Rory McIlroy ripping his shirt in Dubai? He is (understandably) tired of the questions.
Speaking of Rory, the PGA Tour’s Player Advisory Council chairman thinks the PGA Tour should grant releases to players for the Saudi International: “It’s an Asian Tour event; it’s an event that has OWGR rankings,” McIroy said. “I do see reasons why they wouldn’t grant releases, but I think if they’re trying to do what’s best for their members, and their members are going to a place other than the PGA Tour and being able to earn that money.”
Golfers tend to get creative in quarantine. University of Minnesota alum Angus Flanagan turned his hotel room into a driving range complete with a launch monitor, while rising Aussie Min Woo Lee has been conducting multi-hour Instagram Lives to pass the time.
The Latest from The Fried Egg
Next Thursday is the last day to order a Fried Egg print for delivery before Christmas!
Fried Egg Stories: The Hickory Open – When Garrett Morrison went to the U.S. Hickory Open at Gearhart Golf Links earlier this year, he took his mic with him. The latest episode of Fried Egg Stories, our audio documentary series, relays what he found. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.
We know you’re already procrastinating on getting a gift for someone. Maybe multiple someones. Here’s an easy place to start: a classic Fried Egg Tee or Fried Egg Hoodie! Soft, comfortable, and perfect for winter days.