Napa Valley and the Valley of Sin: a match made in heaven. The PGA Tour frolics in wine country this weekend, the Euros return to the Home of Golf, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway puts away the cars in favor of the clubs.
The wrap-around schedule did not begin at the Safeway Open this year, but as it turns out, change was good for the event. This will be the strongest field in Napa since 2015, and it includes Phil Mickelson, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Francesco Molinari, and a host of Korn Ferry graduates. Safeway Open Tee Times
A year ago
Last year marked the first PGA Tour win for Kevin Tway. Seemingly without hope of a win heading to the back nine, Tway birdied his final two holes to pass a stumbling Brandt Snedeker. He went on to birdie all three playoff holes, dispatching Ryan Moore and Snedeker.
California Boiz – The most intriguing pairing of the first two days is a trio of Californians: Phil Mickelson, Patrick Cantlay, and Collin Morikawa. Each is at a different stage of his career, yet all three are at the forefront of the golf world.
Newbs – As with many wrap-around events, the Safeway Open provides a great opportunity for Korn Ferry Tour grads to earn more starts. Scottie Scheffler and Robby Shelton are head of the freshman class so far, and the rest will need to get a move on in Napa.
Presidents Cup – With just a few events remaining before the Presidents Cup, players looking to earn picks are running out of time to impress their captains. Sungjae Im and Joaquín Niemann have stood out among the Internationals, but the American spots are still very much up for grabs.
Tony Romo – He’ll be there and stuff.
At the Johnny Miller-redesigned Silverado, Paulie has his eye on elite ball-strikers. Check out his DraftKings picks here.
New video on Southern Hills Country Club! In this one, Andy Johnsons’s striking drone work is accompanied by commentary from Andy and Garrett Morrison about Southern Hills’ unique property and Perry Maxwell’s ingenious use of its landforms.
Someone say SALE? The start of fall brings the perfect time to toss on a t-shirt and toss around the pigskin. Use the code FALL25 for 25% off B. Draddy, “Width and Angles,” “Tree Management,” and Fried Egg logo t-shirts in the store!
Most underrated event in golf?
It’s a strong statement, but the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship may be the most underrated event in golf. I mean, it’s all the way down here on this newsletter. Hosted at the Old Course, Carnoustie, and Kingsbarns, the Dunhill gives a look at three of the best courses in the UK. Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose, Jon Rahm, Tony Finau, Shane Lowry, Matt Fitzpatrick, and Matt Wallace are all in attendance. Coffee golf continues! Dunhill Links Championship Tee Times
On Monday, the European Tour unveiled a rebranding and a new slogan: “Driving Golf Further.” Imagine, someone—even multiple someones—got paid to come up with that! Full Story (which includes a photo of Euro Tour chief Keith Pelley going for “Silicon Valley disruptor” and landing on “Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Boomer Esiason had a baby and dressed him up in statement glasses”).
The LPGA is back in Indiana after a couple weeks off for the Solheim Cup. Players will take on Pete Dye’s Brickyard Crossing Golf Club for the Indy Women in Tech Championship. Tee Times
A Maxwellian Short 4: The 17th at Southern Hills – Andy goes deep on the 17th hole at Southern Hills, which has many of the traits of the ideal short par 4.
Eclectic 18 UK – Hole No. 10, St. George’s Hill – Our Eclectic 18 UK series makes the turn with a trip to Harry Colt’s St. George’s Hill. Discover what makes this par 4.5 one of the most strategically complex two-shotters anywhere.
The Fried Egg Podcast, Episode 151: Lukas Michel, 2019 U.S. Mid-Am Champion
Last week Lukas Michel became the first-ever international winner of the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship at Colorado Golf Club. He joins Andy to talk about his week in Colorado and his golf career. The pair discuss amateur golf, how Lukas got prepared for his Mid-Am run at Sand Hills, the awkward moment on the final hole of the championship match, and his plans for the future. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify.
Shotgun Start: Romo’s return, the Euro Tour’s new slogan, and a Dunhill celebrity quiz
This Wednesday episode previews the weekend to come in golf, and it’s a loaded one, with discussion on the Safeway, the Dunhill, the LPGA inside the Brickyard racetrack, the Asia Pacific Amateur, the Crump Cup, and the Senior Tour event at Pebble. But first, Andy reckons with a Bears MNF win that may be more concerning than encouraging. For the Safeway, Brendan and Andy finalize their wager on Tony Romo making the cut and take a quick gander through some of the other exemptions, including John Daly and Fred Couples. Over on the Euro Tour, the two have a “high-level” discussion on the new brand slogan “Driving Golf Further” and all the ways you can spend money on inane fluff in this world listening to people with titles that sound important. The Dunhill and Pebble Pro-Am are then compared and the question of which has the better three-course rota is debated. Then Brendan quizzes Andy on some of the celebrity amateurs in the field in Scotland, exposing their American myopia. The unsportsmanlike finish to the Mid-Am is critiqued, and then they wrap with some intel on Louis Oosthuizen’s wide offering of alcoholic beverages. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify.