I didn’t include him in WOWgr this week but please know that we are monitoring the Elly De La Cruz situation. I’ll just say that it’s very unfortunate that he’s in the NL Central.

Need a refresher on WOWgr rules?

Vol. 2023.23

No. 1 – Rose Zhang (no change from last week) – She put her No. 1 WOWgr ranking up for grabs when she turned professional and she went out and won the damn tournament. That’s a serious risk to take and yet she showed some serious gumption to hold the top spot.

Rose’s consistency was unmatched in amateur golf and it seems like she’s on her way to the elite tier of the professional ranks as well. Now, do I think that means Rose will win 10 majors and have the best career in the history of the LPGA Tour? Of course not. But it does mean that I was right, and that’s what’s important.

No. 2 – Shock and awe (Up 941) – I do not think there could have been a piece of golf news on Tuesday morning that surprised me more than what was dropped in our laps by Jay Monahan and Yasir Al-Rummayan. It’s a baffling move as a fan who was truly hoping the PGA Tour could find a way to avoid funding from the Saudis. Similar to the sentiment that Rory McIlroy laid out, I’ve come to a resigned acceptance that this was going to happen at some point, but it is still a really hard pill to swallow.

Perhaps what’s even more frustrating is that we truly have no idea of what the new structure of professional men’s golf will look like. Jimmy Dunne spoke with Sports Illustrated and laid out the details, but we’ve also heard very different reporting and speculation. What we know for sure is that the golf landscape as we know it will be turned upside down moving forward. In five years time, maybe the golf fan really is better for the unification of the sport and the PGA Tour really does have as much control as they are saying they do. But the money is coming from one big source now.

No. 3 – This LPGA Tour post about Ryann O’Toole and Georgia Hall (N/A) – A nice reprieve.

No. 4 – Bad interviews (Up 232) – There were a few people who spoke eloquently this week, but good God were there some hilarious moments and cringe-worthy quotes thrown around. Take your pick: Jay Monahan on Golf Channel; Bryson DeChambeau on CNN; Chesson Hadley at the RBC Canadian Open.

No. 8 – Emergency podcasts (Up 1,541) – The downloads were off the charts this week. Shoutout Randy.

No. 14 – Club pros (Up 111) – Not only is Michael Block back in action this week, but Omar Uresti got the call up to the RBC Canadian Open because Webb Simpson WD’d and old Omar got to play in a featured group with Rory McIlory. What a boon for him!

No. 16 – Punishment workouts (Up 81) – One of the best stories I’ve ever heard.

No. 20 – Hating on golf media (Up 45) – One of the first things that happened after the news dropped this week is that people started calling out Brandel Chamblee and Eamon Lynch for their anti-LIV Golf stance due to the Saudi involvement. From Brooks Koepka to dozens of Twitter trolls to likely someone in your own life, there was incessant mocking of Brandel and Eamon.

I say this without hyperbole: the treatment of Brandel and Eamon was insane. Mocking someone because of their position towards a regime that murdered a Washington Post journalist and who has a horrific record with human rights is insane. Surprise surprise, Brandel and Eamon don’t like that the PGA Tour is now involved with Saudi Arabia either. “Oh, Brandel is going to hate this, haha!” Of course he is, that’s his stance on the issue. Why would you expect anything else?

You can mock people for silly things they say that are objectively funny, but not for things they are rightly upset about. And for what it’s worth, Brandel blocked me on Twitter a while back despite the fact that we hadn’t interacted on the platform in years so I can promise you we are not best friends. 

No. 25 – Swedish Ryder Cup aspirations (Up 764) – Not only does it appear that Henrik Stenson may be back in line for a future Ryder Cup captaincy, but Ludvig Aberg has officially arrived in professional golf. Congrats to Ludvig. Congrats to Tron. Congrats to everyone, really.

No. 1,332 – Attention Rose Zhang received this week (N/A) – This really should have been a week-long celebration of one of the best stories in golf in some time. Alas.