It almost feels like we should be sending you two newsletters today. Quite a bit going on in the golf world.
WOWgr, Vol. 2022.7
Is this your first WOWgr experience? Here are the basics.
Note: Typically WOWgr is listed in numerical order. Given that the biggest story in golf right now is a Saudi-backed Super Golf League, we’re going bottom to top today.
Unrankable – Super Golf League (No change) – Rumor has it that the SGL will use Players Championship week to make a big announcement, and No Laying Up suggested that the upstart league is aiming to start as early as June. On the bright side, top players such as Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa, Rory McIlroy, and Justin Thomas have, to use Rahm’s phrase, pledged fealty to the PGA Tour. But plenty of their colleagues seem positively eager to get into bed with the Saudis. Speaking of which…
DFLish – The defectors (Down varying degrees) – Reports vary, but we’re hearing that somewhere in the range of 20 players are ready to sign with the SGL. Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Jason Kokrak, Dustin Johnson, Ian Poulter, and Lee Westwood are long-rumored candidates, and Adam Scott hinted this week that he’s interested, too. Mickelson continues to be the biggest blabbermouth of the crew. “[The Saudis are] scary motherf***ers to get involved with,” he is quoted as saying in an excerpt from Alan Shipnuck’s upcoming Phil biography. “We know they killed [Washington Post reporter Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates.” Hell of a price to pay for a little leverage. Reprehensible stuff.
No. 28 – Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Up 131) – The Frenchman put out an Instagram video on Wednesday discussing his thoughts on the Super Golf League, and it was refreshing. MLV discussed Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses and suggested that SGL players donate some of their winnings to children in Yemen. “I’ve played in Saudi twice, and the more time passes, the more uncomfortable I am with it,” he said.
No. 9 – People who watch the Masters (Up 321) – Augusta National released its official yardages for the 2022 Masters. Notable changes include the lengthening of Nos. 11 and 15 and the removal of trees down the right side of the 11th hole. We’re not exactly proponents of using length to combat distance gains, but in this specific case, the additional yardage should result in more long irons into 11 and more woods into 15. Could be cool.
No. 1 – Jordan Spieth at major championship venues (Up 12) – His play in the late fall and early winter wasn’t great, but Spieth’s recent run at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am and first-round 66 at the Genesis Invitational have been bright spots. He’s currently T-2 at Riviera. If you’re a fan of the golden boy, your spirits should be high. Time to get Mr. Greller a second green jacket.
The Latest from The Fried Egg
TPC Sawgrass: The Invention of Stadium Golf – Our latest video covers the history and design of TPC Sawgrass, and discusses how the Stadium Course set a new standard for tournament golf design.
Why No. 10 at Riviera Is So Fun to Watch – The drivable par-4 10th at Riviera is always entertaining. Joseph LaMagna discusses why.
The Fried Egg Podcast: What to Know About George Thomas – We released this pod last November, but with George Thomas’s Riviera on TV this week, we figured you might want to revisit it. Listen on iTunes and Spotify.
Joaquín Niemann blitzed the field at the Genesis Invitational with a 63 on Thursday.
Thomas Walsh, Zack Fischer, and Marty Dou (we’re SURE he’ll get it done this time) top the LECOM Suncoast Classic leaderboard through one round.
A devastating fire engulfed the famous Oakland Hills Country Club clubhouse on Thursday. Video from the ground showed a horrific scene. Everyone in the building was able to exit safely, but reportedly a lot of memorabilia stored on the second floor was lost. It was a beautiful structure that stood for 100 years. We put together a short video about it with commentary from Gil Hanse.
Annika Sörenstam has committed to play this summer’s U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles, the course where she won the 1996 USWO. It will be her first start at a major championship since 2008.