There are only two ways to injure your neck

The Tour heads to Bay Hill for this year's Arnold Palmer Invitational


The Wednesday newsletter is usually one that preps you for the week ahead, but that is usually because the content gods do not provide much before Thursday. Not this week. We have Tiger withdrawing, back-and-forth between JT and the USGA, and some heavy-handed wording from the commish. Oh, and Bay Hill is on the slate for the weekend.

A Bay Bay

We’ll still start with the PGA Tour weekend preview. The Florida swing continues with a trip to Orlando this weekend for the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Tiger had to withdraw with neck pain, but the rest of the field is still incredibly stacked. Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, and Rickie Fowler will all be attending. Tee Times

Tiger Like

Rory returns to defend his title this week after a furious finish last year. The Northern Irishman made five birdies over his final six holes to win by three. He birdied 13, 14, 15 and 16 and then sealed the deal with an emphatic celebration similar to many Tiger performances we’ve seen in the past.


The defending champ hasn’t won since his triumph last year but is riding some serious momentum right now. He has four straight top-5 finishes and seems to be playing some of the most consistent golf of his life.

The AP Invitational always uses its sponsor exemptions well, and this year is no different. U.S. Amateur champion Viktor Hovland, USC star Justin Suh, and former NCAA champ Braden Thornberry were all awarded spots in this year’s field.

Tiger announced on Monday that he is skipping this week due to neck stiffness. He assured everyone that this has nothing to do with his back, and he is prepping to play at TPC Sawgrass next weekend. We aren’t too worked up over this, yet.

Paulie’s Picks

Long to mid iron play will be a major factor at this week’s Arnold Palmer. Here’s who Paulie likes for your Draftkings and one-and-done leagues. Read here

Keeping Up with the USGA

The news cycle started this week with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan sending a statement to all PGA Tour players. The release assures them that they have been a part of the rules decisions and that they want to work with the USGA, not against them.

This release is the complete opposite approach that Justin Thomas took last week and subtly denounces his actions. Monahan’s statement doesn’t really lay down the law, but it encourages cooperation with the USGA and urges players not to fight with them.

Following the release, the USGA tweeted on Tuesday that their first tweet to Justin Thomas was incorrect. They said he never canceled meetings or avoided discussions with them. This whole thing is starting to feel like reality tv and none of it really matters. The sooner they all come to a conclusion, the better for everyone.


While most of the big name Euros are in the states getting ready for self-proclaimed “Gold Standard” at TPC Sawgrass, the rest are taking on the Qatar Masters this week. Thomas Pieters, Andy Sullivan, Australian Min Woo Lee, and Jorge Campillo headline the field this week. Kurt Kitayama, already a two-time winner on the Euro Tour this year, is also in action this week. Tee Times

Campus Roundup with Will Knights

It has been an absolute doozy of a weekend for college golf.

The Oklahoma State Cowboys continued their domination with an eight-shot victory at the Querencia Cabo Collegiate. Playing without Viktor Hovland, OSU was lead by Austin Eckroat, who shot -14 and captured his second career victory. Matthew Wolff continued his impressive year with a second-place finish, two shots back of Eckroat. Arizona State finished second behind a strong performance from All-American Kevin Yu.

We also had a playoff for a PGA Tour exemption out in Nevada as UNLV’s Jack Trent defeated Cole Hammer in a 3-hole playoff at the Southern Highlands Collegiate. Trent earned an exemption into the Shriners this fall. Oklahoma won the event as a team by one shot over Texas while Brandon Wu (Stanford), Collin Morikawa (Cal), and Parker Coody (Texas) rounded out the top 5 individually.

The Steam Shovel

The event is filling up fast and we’re getting excited to see everyone at Lawsonia in May. There will be four Shapland golf bags up for keeps, and everyone will be going home a winner with tee gifts from B. Draddy and more. No partner? Don’t worry. We will pair you up with a fellow golf tragic for the day, and it could even be Andy… Register here.

Quick Hooks

Do not mess with Mike on or off the golf course…even if you think he cheated. Video

Bryson might be a wizard. Video

The Latest Podcasts, Articles and Merch

Shotgun Start: Decoding Tiger’s WD, Détente in the USGA v. PGA Tour, and Bay Hill picks

Andy and Brendan begin this Wednesday episode with a preview of the schedule of the week and the event of the week. This leads to a diversion on the use of Champions Tour sponsor’s exemptions. Then they get to the biggest news of the week — Tiger Woods’ withdrawal from the Arnold Palmer Invitational. They attempt to piece together a timeline for what happened and why he played Mexico at all, while dodging the press the last two days there. Then we update the Justin Thomas vs. USGA contretemps with the latest statements from both the PGA Tour and USGA. It would appear there is a momentary hold on the conflict but that doesn’t stop us from reviewing some of the truly idiotic player statements positing for a separate set of PGA Tour rules. Then we narrow the ballot for Fan Vote Friday Jr. nominees before wrapping with some Masters facts of the day and Paulie’s picks for API. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify

Keep that coffee hot (or cold)