First things first, the Chicago Bulls did not screw up the 2019 draft! We know this isn’t golf news, but it’s a huge deal for some of us at The Fried Egg, and we need to share our joy with you all. Anyway, let’s get to the bunched leaderboards in the golf world.
Umbrella, ella, ella
There is a six-way tie for the lead at the Travelers Championship. Six-way! Ryan Amour, Bronson Burgoon, K.H. Lee, Abe Ancer, Mackenzie Hughes, and Zach Sucher all shot rounds of 64 on Thursday at TPC River Highlands. That group combined for just two bogeys over the first round. Travelers Championship Leaderboard
What’s that? You’d like a couple quick-hit notes on each of the leaders? Sure!
Ryan Armour – At 43, Amour is by far the oldest player tied for the lead. He won the 2017 Sanderson Farms and has been playing solid golf in the 18 months since the victory. Armour already has six top-25 finishes on the season.
Bronson Burgoon – Burgoon has had a rough go after nearly winning his second start of the season. He has made only four cuts on the year and just two since last October. He is a journeyman playing in just his third PGA Tour season, but does have two career runner-up finishes.
H. Lee – Mr. Lee has been a busy man this season. Playing in his 24th event of the year, he is having a very strong rookie season. He has two top 10s with four top 25s, and currently sits comfortably within the top 125.
Abraham Ancer – Outside of his unfortunate appearance in that awkward running video, Abe Ancer has had a great run of golf over the last two seasons. He has two top-five finishes on the year but has yet to win on the PGA Tour. Last season, he missed the cut at the Travelers after opening with 67, so he will surely be motivated to put up another solid round on Friday.
Mackenzie Hughes – 2018 was tough for Mackenzie Hughes, but he has bounced back nicely this season. He has finished in the top 15 in his last two events, a T-8 at Colonial and a T-14 at the Canadian Open.
Zack Sucher – Pronounced “Soo-ker,” Sucher is the least recognizable name on this list. He has bounced between the Web.com—sorry, Korn Ferry Tour and the PGA Tour for the better part of the last five years but has found good form lately. Two weeks ago, he finished T-2 at the REX Hospital Open on the KF Tour.
Other Leaderboard Notes
- Keegan Bradley opened with a 65 on Thursday and sits one shot off the lead. Keegs three first rounds of 65 or better over the last three months, but has not finished better than 36th in the previous two. Chez Reavie and Paul Casey are among the players tied with Bradley.
- Young guns Collin Morikawa (66), Viktor Hovland (67), Matthew Wolff (70), and Justin Suh (73) got off to solid starts in the first round. Hovland and Wolff are making their professional debuts this week.
- Tommy Fleetwood, Marc Leishman, and Adam Long are tied with Morikawa. Long has missed nine of the last fourteen cuts since winning in California early this year.
- Brooks Koepka shot 71 because this is not a major so who cares?
The first round of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship was a long, tough, soggy affair. All players eventually finished their rounds at Hazeltine National Golf Club with scores ranging from 68 to 88. Hannah Green sits atop the leaderboard after firing a bogey-free 68. Green hails from Australia and is in the midst of her second year as a professional. Mel Reid and Hyo Joo Kim are one shot back, and Ariya Jutanugarn and Annie Park are among the others in the top 10. Leaderboard
The other big story out of Hazeltine on Thursday was Michelle Wie’s condition. Wie is playing her first rounds back from injury this week, but after an opening 84, she broke down in tears. She was seen icing her wrist on Thursday and made some very honest post-round comments to the media. No one knows what lies ahead for Wie, but we wish her the best as she figures it out.
Flashback Friday: Bubba Edition
Based on Andy’s Shotgun Start notes, Garrett explores the 2010 Travelers, which pitted a long-hitting Bubba Watson against a… somewhat less long-hitting Corey Pavin. The article goes on to consider Bubba’s strange and remarkable career as a whole. Full Story Here
The Mackenzie Tour almost saw its second 59 in as many weeks. Will Gordon, a former Vanderbilt standout, shot a first-round 60 at the Lethbridge Paradise Canyon Open. Leaderboard
Andrea Pavan leads through one round of the European Tour’s BMW International Open. Pavan has one shot on Martin Kaymer and Oliver Wilson. Leaderboard
A group of four players lead the Wichita Open on the Korn Ferry Tour. Leaderboard
Clément Berardo, a Challenge Tour player, was DQ’d for running out of golf balls on Thursday. Full Story by Ryan Lavner
Phil Mickelson casually mentioned that he doesn’t think he’ll ever win the U.S. Open. Full Story by Nick Menta
The Shotgun Start
Michelle Wie’s struggle, return of the Dartboard Tour, and a Bubba flashback Friday
As they say around the office, “It’s Friday!” We lead off with Louis Oosthuizen’s big crossover night at the NBA Draft. We then head to the weekend with a quick check-in on some of the early action, including the setup for the Women’s PGA at Hazeltine. We discuss Michelle Wie’s tough opening round, her comments about maybe not having much golf left, and her career as a whole. Then we get to the “Dartboard Tour” action in Connecticut, where 41 players are within three shots of the lead. We review some of the scores from the quartet of newly turned pros and hyped college prospects, as well as Brooksy taking a “major” mentality and promptly tumbling to the bottom of the leaderboard. Andy reveals some hard data from his day out timing the group of Bryson DeChambeau at the U.S. Open, and the numbers are NOT kind for one so-called physicist. In news, we discuss the Challenge Tour player that ran out of balls, prompting a flashback about the time Tiger almost ran out of balls during his epic 2000 U.S. Open win. In the prepared flashback Friday segment, Andy brings the goods with a reminiscence on a Bubba Travelers win and how a certain diminutive Tour pro was hitting 3-wood into the green in the playoff while his two competitors had lob wedge. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify.