*EVENT ALERT* Make sure to check out our event section below for some big news on The Thoroughbred! Two amazing speakers have joined the roster, and the prizes keep getting hotter…*
An absolute deluge hit East Lake this weekend as checks rained down on the world’s best golfers. Fortunately, the top 30 players on the PGA Tour seem to have made out of the FedEx Cup dry and with plenty of deposit slips. A Northern Irishman won the season-ending cash grab, more PGA Tour cards were handed out in Boise, and Jin Young Ko decided she will no longer make bogeys on the LPGA Tour.
Saturday weather meant that Sunday was a marathon at the Tour Championship. Justin Thomas started the 31-hole race with the lead but fell out of the picture with a triple bogey on his 52nd hole of the tournament. Brooks Koepka grabbed the 54-hole lead, but he too struggled to seal the deal. In the end, it was Rory McIlroy who walked away $15 million richer. Rory shot a final-round 66 to win by four shots and capture his second FedEx Cup title. Leaderboard
Rory McIlroy has been nothing short of remarkable this season. His three victories came at the Players Championship, the Canadian Open, and the Tour Championship, but was a factor in many other events as well. He finished the year with 14 top-10 finishes in 19 starts and led the Tour in scoring average. Rory will undoubtedly be disappointed not to have won a major, but 2019 was a year to remember for the Northern Irishman. He has jumped to second in the world rankings and first in the hearts of the Ponte Vedra C-suite.
“Gimme one of them big ones, I don’t care”
Xander Schauffele – For the third time in the last three years, Xander Schauffele earned a top-seven finish at East Lake. The 2017 Tour Championship winner struggled to a final-round 70, four shots back of Mr. McIlroy and in second place. X will receive a mere $5 million for his efforts.
Brooks Koepka – While the Tour Championship isn’t a major, Brooks Koepka decided this event was big enough to try to win. He held the lead heading into the final round, but a 72 on Sunday afternoon left him tied for third. Brooks will end the year with three victories, one major championship, and (probably… maybe?… hopefully) his second-straight Player of the Year honor.
Justin Thomas – The PGA Tour spotted JT ten birdies to start the week, but he was unable to gain any momentum over the final 36 holes. Still, despite an injury-plagued season, he will walk away satisfied with his performance this year. Five top threes, 14 top 25s, and a cool $3.5 million as a FedEx Cup bonus.
EVENT: Let’s get this Thoroughbred
Big news! Kevin Moore (math professor at the University of Georgia and founder of Squares 2 Circles) and Kye Goalby (a talented architect who’s worked with Tom Doak and Gil Hanse, and also led his own restoration work on West Bend CC and the Saratoga Golf and Polo Club) will headline The Thoroughbred for a roundtable discussion with Andy on course management, strategy, and architecture as well as an interactive Q & A.
Can’t make it to the event? Get yourself a hat anyway! Imperial is giving all Fried Egg fans 20% off. Just use code TFE2019! at checkout. Shop
Check out our event page for more information and to register! Get me to Aiken
It was another life-changing week for many players on the Korn Ferry Tour. Matthew NeSmith captured the Albertsons Boise Open on Sunday, the second leg of the KFT Finals. Tied for seventh entering the final round, NeSmith shot a 64 and walked away with a PGA Tour card. A 2016 graduate of the University of South Carolina, NeSmith is just getting his footing in professional golf, and he will now have a shot on the big stage. Leaderboard
Viktor Hovland (T-2), Brandon Hagy (T-2), and Anirban Lahiri (T-5) all locked up their PGA Tour cards with solid finishes in Boise. While Hagy and Lahiri both have plenty of experience in the big show, this will be Hovland’s first full season. The 2018 U.S. Amateur champion has shown plenty of ability this summer, and he will now get to compete with the world’s best week in and week out.
World No. 1 Jin Young Ko dominated the CP Women’s Open. Ko did not make a single bogey this week, shooting 66-67-65-64 on her way to a four-shot victory. In fact, she has not made a bogey in her last 106 holes! That seems very difficult! Leaderboard
Erik van Rooyen made the most of his invitation. With a birdie on the 72nd hole, the 29-year-old South African edged Matthew Fitzpatrick to win the Scandinavian Invitation in Gothenburg, Sweden. This is Van Rooyen’s first European Tour title. Leaderboard
Routing Series: Mammoth Dunes
In case you missed it, check out our video on the routing of Mammoth Dunes, narrated by the architect himself, David McLay Kidd.
How to survive a flood: Soule Park – Soule Park, a Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner-redesigned municipal course in Ojai, California, has had multiple brushes with death over the past 15 years. Garrett Morrison recounts how this beautiful golf course has survived.
The Fried Egg Podcast, Episode 152: Craig Moore, Superintendent at Marquette Golf Club
Golf course superintendent Craig Moore joins the podcast to discuss maintaining turf on the northern border of the United States. Craig and Andy talk about the brilliant and varied architecture behind the 36 holes at Craig’s facility, the Marquette Golf Club. Craig also touches on what it was like to build a course in the Upper Peninsula and some of the maintenance struggles he faces. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify.
Shotgun Start: The Irish Prince of Ponte Vedra, a new Brooks-Rory rivalry, and an LPGA scandal
A full weekend of golf is reviewed on this Monday episode, starting with the low gross AND net winner at East Lake, Rory McIlroy. Andy and Brendan review Sunday’s finale to the PGA Tour season and if the new format was validated by the leaderboard and Rory winning both ways. The Tour championship is graded, the constant money chatter is critiqued, one final Dump in the Cup is awarded, and a wild proposal is made for how the winner should be given his money. The subjects of Player of the Year and a new Brooks-Rory rivalry are addressed. There’s also a discussion about which Tour player would be most likely to do an Andrew Luck style surprise retirement. They close with some news of a fascinating scandal bubbling up on the LPGA tour. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify.