What a tease. The second round of the Zozo Championship was postponed last night as a typhoon ripped through Japan. When play resumes, an exciting jungle cat player will be tied atop the leaderboard. Outside of Japan, the golf world is filled with justice, sweat, and just a drop of Portuguese wine.
Well, well, well
Tiger Woods and Gary Woodland are tied for the lead as we await the start of the second round of the Zozo Championship. Both players shot 64 on Thursday in Japan, but the way they scored could not have been more different. Woodland marched himself to a bogey-free day, while Tiger took a more creative approach. The 15-time major winner bogeyed his opening three holes before storming back with nine birdies over his final 14. Zozo Championship Leaderboard
We’ll focus on Tiger, because duh. The big cat has not played since missing the cut at the BMW Championship. He underwent knee surgery during the Tour Championship and didn’t look great during the skins game. After bogeying his first three holes on Thursday, he could have easily quit on the round. Instead he made more birdies than anyone else in the field. After all of the “Chasing 82” nonsense, it would be very fitting if Tiger won a rain-shortened event in the middle of the night.
Tied with Tiger is reigning U.S. Open champion (and Presidents Cup hopeful) Gary Woodland. He cruised to a stress-free 64 on Thursday, putting himself in a prime position to earn a captain’s pick. Woodland finished two spots outside of earning an automatic berth to Royal Melbourne, but a win this week could seal the deal. He has never represented the United States in a team competition and noted in interviews that he would relish the opportunity.
- One back of the leaders is Japan’s own Hideki Matsuyama, who fired a first-round 65 on Thursday. Playing in front of a home crowd, Hideki made seven birdies around Narashino Country Club. Can he win, though?
- Fellow Japanese player Ryo Ishikawa sits tied for seventh after an opening 68. Ishikawa is on a heater on the Japan Tour right now, notching seven top-10 finishes in his past nine starts.
- Other notables in the top 10 include Daniel Berger (T-4), Xander Schauffele (T-7), Joaquín Niemann (T-7), and Billy Horschel (T-7).
Across the pond
Louis de Jager, Justin Walters, Oliver Fisher, and Jake McLeod. You may not have heard of any of them, yet all four shot 65 or better at the Portugal Masters on Thursday. All of them are ranked 260th or worse in the Official World Golf Rankings, further proving that professional golf is unfathomably deep. Louis de Jager led the pack with a bogey-free 63, while the other three players shot 65. De Jager has never won on the European Tour, but he does have two wins on the African Tour over the past two seasons. Eddie Pepperell and Matt Wallace both shot 66 on Thursday and sit T-12. Leaderboard
I don’t think the heavy stuff will come down for quite a while
The typhoon that cancelled the second round of the Zozo rolled through the BMW Ladies Championship on Thursday, but that didn’t stop the ladies! Minjee Lee led after the first round, but second-round action will be complete by the time Americans wake up on Thursday. Lee shot a bogey-free 66 on Thursday, topping Danielle Kang, Jeongeun Lee6, Jin Young Ko, and Seung Yeon Lee by one shot. Sei Young Kim (T-6), Lydia Ko (T-13), Nelly Korda (T-13), and Marina Alex (T-13) are also in the hunt. Leaderboard
The Korean PGA reduced Bio Kim’s three-year suspension to just one season. Kim, who was suspended for flipping off a fan last month, still has to pay a fine and perform 120 hours of community service. Full Story from Ryan Lavner
Bryson DeChambeau would like us to know he is working out. He claims he has gained 25 pounds since beginning his new regimen, and he wants to add a few more. The timeline of this weight gain is murky, and some of us are more skeptical than others.
We are excited to announce our new partnership with Toro! We share a mutual admiration of golf course superintendents, and with Toro’s support, we will be hosting a monthly superintendent podcast series. Each month, we will feature thought leaders in the turfgrass industry from all over the world. Superintendents are among the most important and influential people in golf, and thanks to Toro’s support, we will be able to deliver informative, thought-provoking podcasts that highlight a variety of voices in the industry. Next week, look for our first episode with Blue Mound Golf and Country Club’s Alex Beson-Crone.
The Fried Egg Podcast, Episode 159: Roaring Gap, Aiken, and Palmetto
Continuing their debriefing of their early-October Southern swing, Andy and Garrett review their visit to Roaring Gap Club in the Blue Ridge Mountains near the North Carolina-Virginia border. A 1925 Donald Ross design, Roaring Gap is charming and faithfully restored—an old-fashioned hideaway. Andy and Garrett talk routing, topography, mowing lines, and whether Ross courses can be compared to Bruce Springsteen albums. They wrap up the conversation with a tribute to maybe the best golf town in America: Aiken, SC, home to the public Aiken Golf Club as well as the private Palmetto Golf Club. They touch on not only the outstanding architecture of these two courses but also the laid-back, welcoming atmosphere that defines them and the town in general. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify.
Shotgun Start: Tiger takes Japan, Spinal fusion over-under, and a review of The Woods Jupiter
This Friday episode begins with a chat on Tiger Woods’s season-opening round in Japan and if he’s now a comp to Jon Rahm. After running through some updated results, Brendan and Andy hit on news, discussing the reduced Bio Kim suspension, a 15-year-old winning an OWGR event, and Bryson’s big beef-up. This leads to a hypothetical of Bryson doing the pommel horse at the Olympics and not golf, as well as the sport that he might be worst at in competition. Then they return to their over-unders for 2020, running through Rory, Tiger, Hovland, a spinal-fusion duo, and J.J. Henry. A failed attempt to sign off for the weekend ends with Andy, who is down in Jupiter for the weekend, reviewing The Woods and also contemplating a trip to The Big Easy restaurant. Listen on iTunes, Spotify, and Stitcher.
Listen, we all could use a trip to the gym with Bryson. A little extra pump never hurt anyone, you know? After all those trips to the gym with that science guy, your arms will be bursting out of these B. Draddy short-sleeve shirts. In a good way. Grab one today!