The Shotgun Start with Andy Johnson of The Fried Egg and Brendan Porath of SB Nation is a podcast waiting for you early in the morning that quickly blasts through a variety of topics (usually) related to golf and (ideally) relevant to the day. It covers news from the pro tours around the world, amusing and important topics from the amateur game the rest of us play, and some irreverent stuff in between. There will be short interviews, previews, reviews, and dives into the archives. It provides what you need to know on golf through a rapid and fun catch-up discussion.
A shortened Monday podcast begins with Brendan and Andy trying to record while also watching the Bears and Mitch Trubisky unraveling against the Saints. But there is some solace from Saturday, where Andy’s alma mater pulled off the second biggest upset in Big Ten history. Then in golf matters, the two react to Justin Thomas winning the CJ Cup for the second time in three years and what it might mean for the upcoming year. Nicolas Colsaerts’ win at the French Open is an occasion to dig up some delightful quotes from the “Belgian Bomber.” They recall how he up and left the PGA Tour while he still had his card, his thoughts on living in America and eating the same chicken caesar salad over and over, and his partying ways in Europe that make him a favorite in the Euro Tour locker room. In news, they discuss Matt Every’s 12-week suspension for cannabis, Brooksy’s WD in Korea, and Tiger’s return to Japan. The pre-Skins game recording means a discussion of that event will come on Wednesday's episode.
This Friday episode begins with a Happy Birthday wish to Ernie Els, Andy’s idol. There’s also a brief discussion of his Presidents Cup roster and one particular star that might be apathetic about team building. Then we get to the Brooks Koepka comments on the lack of a rivalry with Rory McIlroy, discussing both sides, dismissing both sides, and just walking away happy that these quotes exist. The new battlefield promotion on the PGA Tour’s international tours only angers and frustrates. Then the Ryder Cup ticketing fiasco is put in the crosshairs, as we recount the process that seemed to infuriate much of the American golf fan base. A “Penalty Box” segment reviews three odd and extreme penalty situations from the last week, including the 58-strokes assessed in the Senior LPGA event. Flashback Friday takes us down a Skins Game memory lane, throwing out some of the, uh, underwhelming names that made it into the event before it died off around 2008. Then an infamous Skins Game is given the blow-by-blow treatment, catching Tiger in a blatant self-contradiction.
This Wednesday episode begins with an Andy conspiracy theory that the NFL is fixing games for the Packers. After a needless digression on some daunting yardwork, the CJ Cup, or CJ Plaque, is previewed with a look at the field, the lucrative purse, and the course, which has received a dubiously high ranking thanks to some rumored quid-pro-quo schemes. There’s also a brief and amusing story on the unorthodox “Hammer Drill” that K.J. Choi has taught so many proteges. On the European Tour, they discuss the fall of the French Open and how past Ryder Cup venues move to the back of the line after the matches come through. In a new segment, Worst for the Wednesday, they ask for the worst possible sports slogan or marketing phrase after watching the MLB’s We Play Loud campaign this month. Then there’s a “cross-sport cacophony” segment, where they touch on issues from the four major North American sports that also confront golf, most notably the ongoing NBA x China controversy and the European Tour event in Saudi Arabia. In news, they discuss some positive developments as well as some outrages from the new Korn Ferry Tour schedule, the new mixed event, and the title of Tiger’s memoir.
A worse-for-the-wear episode begins with Andy recounting his weekend and the circumstances of his injury in South Carolina and Brendan calling for the firing of Freddie Crockpot. In golf matters, the two discuss Lanto Griffin’s win in Houston, Brandon Wu’s impressive debut, and the sparse attendance. On the Euro Tour, they crown Bernd Wiesberger the greatest Austrian golfer of all time and stumble into an amusing and surely outdated European Tour bio for Rory Sabbatini. On the Champions Tour, they play a clip of Lanny Wadkins openly calling for backboarding during the broadcast. A quick news roundup covers Rickie’s brand-free wedding, Michelle Wie’s comeback, and Kevin Na clearing up the confusion about fighting for his good name back in Korea. They wrap with the latest teases from the Rory and Carson show, which transitions to a discussion of the latest Skins Game promo, which transitions to the acting chops of the four participants, which somehow ends with Jason Day in a role on Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.
A delayed Friday podcast begins with an apology tour as Andy recounts the many logistical mishaps of getting to Aiken while Brendan plays a potentially age-inappropriate movie for his kids while trying to record. Eventually, they get to golf and discuss some early Houston Open scores, including Cole Hammer’s impressive 1st round and Rich Beem popping back at our frustration with his being in the field. The topic of Henrik Stenson parting with his (likely hot) 3-wood is also discussed. In Italy, the BfB is on the move, which somehow leads to a diversion into that time Jaco Van Zyl withdrew from two majors to prep for the Olympics and then was never heard from again. In news, they hit on a heavily American Hero World Challenge, a 5th straight South Korean winning LPGA ROY, and Tiger’s new putt putt venture, which prompts a call for a return to minimalism in putt putt design. Flashback Friday is a glorious journey into the world class golf, hard partying ways, and disappearance of Anthony Kim, who TRULY lived under par. Keeping with the theme of logistical mishaps, the last 10 minutes from Wednesday’s podcast that was chopped off is added to the end here -- so close out your week with some takes on the Tour’s new Players Championship coverage scheme.
With Andy on the road, this early edition coffee-recording starts off with some quick catharsis on the Browns MNF destruction. Then the field strength, or lack thereof, at the Houston Open is put in the crosshairs. Andy runs through some names in the field and quizzes Brendan on the last time they had a top 10 on the PGA Tour, illuminating an ongoing problem and proposing changes. He also explains how the Tour has “defecated” on Houston, a community and extremely large market that came together to save its event. On the Euro Tour, they discuss the Italian Open field as well as the release of some renderings of the Ryder Cup course in Rome for 2022, which now appears to be a go. In news, they hit on the announcement that the PGA Tour and NBC will set up streaming of every single shot at the 2020 Players Championship. They discuss whether there’s demand for this and how it’s a positive development for the core fan.
Brendan and Andy return from the weekend to discuss the playoff finish in Las Vegas. They run through some of the astounding stats from a weekend when it seemed like everyone was posting numbers in the low 60s. If ever there was a week for an adjusted par, this was it. They also wonder if Rory’s FedExCup title should have an asterisk based on the schedule changes and if Brooks potentially got married in Vegas after missing the cut. Then they swing across the pond to praise the dominant Jon Rahm, pondering whether there’s a better under-30 player in golf (not named Brooks). In news, they hit on some strong comments toward the PGA Tour from the Houston Open tournament director about the weak field down in Texas this week. Then they get to the latest chapter from the Bryson zone and attempt to translate his quotes on getting bigger and/or stronger in the coming months as well his monologue on living life on the third standard deviation. This prompts an excellent Andy monologue on the differences between an idiot and a moron.
This Friday episode begins with a brief check-in on the early leaderboard in Vegas. Brendan and Andy discuss Nick Taylor’s start and how it fits in with his elite Mariokart skills. Then they hit on Phil Mickelson chasing a Presidents Cup spot. Smylie Kaufman’s ugly opening round prompts empathy and also a discussion on professions where you might have to work through it in full view of the public. In news, they hit on Brooks Koepka roundly dismissing the POY vote and comparing it to LeBron not winning the MVP every year, Bio Kim not appealing his 3-year ban, and the new Euro Tour schedule heavy on TBD. Brendan then tackles a research assignment on Michael Hopper and Rod Pampling, revealing tidbits about a player who learned the game hitting 3-woods out of the sand in Vanuatu and another who won an event thanks to a clerical error at PGA Tour HQ. Flashback Friday takes us back to the debut of the ProV1 at this event in Vegas and some astonishing USGA quotes in response to the immediate distance gains.
The usual Wednesday segment running down the week’s schedule is promptly de-railed by discussion of the news that five players failed the new PGA Tour driver testing at the Safeway Open. Brendan and Andy react to the news being broken by a non-golf entity like Reuters and posit that it might be time for more outside voices to get involved in the regulation of this issue. They react to the player reaction that it’s a “non-story” and the Tour holding the line that this is simply a club issue and not a player problem. How did names leak already just three weeks into the new season? Will anything come of it as we get further into the season? Then they move to the schedule for the week, introduce the nickname “Tommy Tables,” crown an event of the week, and hand out a few random names to research for Friday. In news, they hit on the three-year suspension for the Korean Tour money leader flipping the bird to fans and ponder what kind of action it would take to get a 3-year ban on the PGA Tour. Physical harm to another player or a Jeff Gillooly style hit on a fellow competitor? They wrap with a discussion on the idea of a U.S. Open rota based off some Mike Davis comments to Golf Digest.
Victory Monday on the Shotgun Start is loaded with content goodies from the weekend. Brendan and Andy begin with a cursory review of the Bears and Browns success, as well as debate on if backup QB is the best role to have in the NFL. After those pressing non-golf matters, they jump immediately into Rory McIlroy’s comments on the European Tour setups being too easy. They hit on the hypocrisy of the Prince of Ponte Vedra voicing these concerns, the role equipment that he endorses has played in this problem he has, and some numbers that quickly rebut his contention. At the Safeway, they hit on the Cam Champ win and how it became one of the best finishing stories we’ll get all year and where he goes next. On less serious matters, they also excoriate the “maximum relief” given to Bryson DeChambeau after his failed backboarding attempt sailed into the hazard. Kristoffer Ventura’s alleged “spit” on Tony Romo’s ball is also quickly debunked and discarded. They wrap with a quick roundup of results from around the globe, including Andy reacquainting us with some old friends at the Panasonic in Asia.
A Friday episode of the Shotgun Start begins with Brendan’s Romo reckoning. The QB-turned-Skechers pitchman posted a 2-under 70 in the first round of the Safeway Open, which puts him safely inside the cut line. Andy and Brendan discuss his day watching Romo hang on with the possibility of $10,000 from a hasty and stupid bet hanging in the balance. Then they move to less stressful matters, like Lee Westwood’s ace, Justin Timberlake’s abominable pace of play, and hickories put in play at the Old Course. There’s an update from the other side on the controversial ending to the Mid-Am last week and a brief nod to the Methheads making an appearance in Napa this weekend. FVF Jr. research on Tom Hoge and Scott Brown yields some fascinating intel on their backgrounds and the amusing casino habits of one player when he makes a cut. Flashback Friday closes the episode with a winding road on the careers of Bryce Molder and the PGA Tour’s foremost P.F. Chang’s endorser.
This Wednesday episode previews the weekend to come in golf and it’s a loaded one with discussion on the Safeway, Dunhill, LPGA inside the Brickyard racetrack, Asia Pacific Amateur, Crump Cup, and the Senior Tour event at Pebble. But first, Andy reckons with a Bears MNF win that may be more concerning than encouraging. For the Safeway, Brendan and Andy finalize their wager on Tony Romo making the cut and take a quick gander through some of the other exemptions, including John Daly and Fred Couples. Over on the Euro Tour, the two have a “high-level” discussion on the new brand slogan “Driving Golf Further” and all the ways you can spend money on inane fluff in this world listening to people with titles that sound important. The Dunhill and Pebble Pro-Am are then compared and the question of which has the better three-course rota is debated. Then Brendan quizzes Andy on some of the celebrity amateurs in the field in Scotland, exposing their American myopia. The unsportsmanlike finish to the Mid-Am is critiqued and then they wrap with some intel on Louis Oosthuizen’s wide offering of alcoholic beverages.
Brendan and Andy return from the weekend worse for the wear but ready to discuss a tremendous finish at the Peacock Championship. Sebastian Munoz’s win in Mississippi is hailed, as well as the Tour now delivering consecutive winners from South America. This prompts a quick monologue on the diversity that does exist at the top of the pro game and a call to promote and spotlight that more. Sungjae Im, who lost in the playoff, is compared to Cal Ripken and there’s also a review of just what he needs to accomplish in order to avoid military duty back home in Korea. There’s pondering over how Bryson would play under such circumstances. At the BMW PGA, Andy takes a victory lap for his prognostication that Danny Willett was coming back from the depths and would soon pass Jordan Spieth in the world rankings. Rory McIlroy’s backdoor top 10 and neutered Twitter account are also critiqued. The finish includes discussion of Rocco Mediate’s cigar smoking victory in Sioux Falls and what Monty drank on the course in a top 5 finish on the senior circuit.
It’s Friday! A delayed episode has Brendan and Andy full of enthusiasm to discuss early returns at the Sandersaon and Wentworth. A strong showing from internationals in Mississippi has them pondering the possibility of the Hitman Hearn making the Presidents Cup team. Across the pond, Rory’s quote on not trading his year with anyone else’s but Tiger’s season is critiqued. News of the Japan Skins Game becoming official is discussed and the best format (not Skins!) is debated. Fan vote friday junior goes into the backgrounds of Greg Sonnier and Chase Seiffert, which re-acquaints us with the PGA Tour writing bot and introduces us to the All-time Sun Belt conference golf team and the amazing accomplishment of winning the “Florida Triple Crown.” A wonderful Flashback Friday focuses on 2013 Sanderson winner Woody Austin, who may be the all-time irrationally confident pro golfer. Andy relays some truly jaw-dropping quotes from his 2007 PGA loss to Tiger Woods at Southern Hills, in addition to a full deep dive into the career of “The Aquaman.”
It’s a big week on the Shotgun Start as the PGA Tour swings down to Mississippi for the Sanderson Farms Championship, aka the Peacock Classic. Brendan and Andy review some of the, uh, well-traveled names in the field, which leads to a lengthy digression on the Stadler father-son duo and a scary inside detail about the state of Smylie Kaufman. Then they get to discussing Akshay Bhatia and if his debut is a sign of a teenage takeover or if this is a risky test case. Over on the Euro Tour, they highlight the new GPS system being put in use to track slow play at Wentworth. The U.S. Mid Am earns event of the week and also prompts Andy to portray the bracket as a clear case of good vs. evil, as well as lay out his official stance on who should and should not be eligible for reinstated amateur status. They wrap with some amusing if not frustrating quotes from Bubba Watson on the stressful and onerous driver testing now in effect on the PGA Tour.
This Monday episode reacts to a wild Sunday of golf from across the globe, most notably at the Solheim Cup. Brendan and Andy review the weekend at Gleneagles, offering up a few critiques of the mowing patterns, pace of play, and some lineup choices before heaping praise on what was arguably the greatest finish to a team match event we’ve seen. Suzann Pettersen’s play on the 18th, before the clinching putt, is given due praise and they contemplate whether this finish boosts the LPGA over the rest of the season. Joaquin Niemann is then hailed as our new overlord atop the courier service rankings, which Andy equates as the best player in the world. Sergio’s win is given a modicum of praise as well as the Champions Tour player now making Ron Burgundy sweat atop the Schwab Cup. The episode finishes with a wonderful Lee Westwood locker room story heard over the weekend.
It’s Friday! Brendan and Andy are back together holed up in an NYC hotel to reflect on opening day of the PGA Tour season. They begin by discussing all the rookies and KFT grads populating the top of the leaderboard and the return of living under par with low scores aplenty. Then they get to the back-and-forth of the Solheim Cup, where Danielle Kang and Suzann Pettersen provided sustenance for the aggregation station. Is the Solheim more heated than the Ryder Cup? A glorious Flashback Friday touches on some other match play tension and this week’s PGA Tour host venue. Included within are Seve’s debut and some stir-the-pot quotes, two Euro team members that sulked and sabotaged their own team, and a captain who tossed a note from Nick Faldo in the trash rather than read it to the team. They wrap with a breakdown of the Rory vs. Brooks Player of the Year debated that boiled over this week, highlighting some of the more amusing conspiracy theories on why we got these results.
This Wednesday episode begins with an argument and admission that it’s take two following a record button mishap. We begin with a juicy and alarming quote from the range at the Greenbrier on the new driver testing, which may not change any behaviors at all in the coming PGA Tour season. The new color-coded system for testing is given a full review. Then we get into the Slovak Open and the Shotgun Start audience taking over the comments section of the stream as the BFB won his national championship. The return of PGA Tour Live and Fan Vote Friday prompts a reveal of the Rickie Tour Live Audit, which has some damning numbers. In the last segment, we run through some lightning round answers on some the events and players we are most looking forward to and the ones we could do without over the next few months. Then we discuss a hypothetical blank canvas for Q4 of the year and how we’d approach it -- from events to markets to field sizes to formats -- if we were the PGA Tour.
Victory Monday this is not, as a new week begins with the Bears and Browns both 0-1. This non-golf matter gets full attention at the top as Brendan processes all that went wrong and the emotional tumble that occurred throughout the day. Andy is also quite amused with a cheeky nickname he comes up with for the Browns coach. Rafa Nadal’s slow play penalty is applauded and put in contrast with just how far golf is from such a move. Then it’s on to the Porsche European Open, where there’s praise for Paul Casey for his win and also contemplation of whether he’s underrated or just disliked. The primary news coming out of that event, however, was Matt Kuchar yet again taking some serious liberties within the gray area of the rules. Is he obtuse, entitled, unsportsmanlike, all of the above? This progresses into a separate topic of cheating and if that’s something that occurs much, if at all, at the Tour level. The episode concludes with a discussion on the Walker Cup, which was harder to comment on because no one saw it.
This delayed Shotgun Start ends with a host plagued by hiccups but comes out of the gate discussing the Bears debut on Thursday night football. Is the season over or is the door ajar for optimism? Then we get to news that the PGA Tour has will put new driver testing in place for this coming season. We discuss what we like and where the policy leaves us wanting. Also, we plea for real-time public release of the results on a giant video board with some dramatics around the new tests. Then we preview the Walker Cup and how the conditions of Hoylake will be a significant departure for so many of these highly acclaimed young American studs. We also offer to fly to Liverpool to periscope it in lieu of the lack of TV coverage. A delightful Flashback Friday goes deep on the origins of the Walker Cup, touching on a variety of amusing details like the GBI team getting worse for the wear in New York and writer Bernard Darwin having to step in and actually play matches for the team as a reserve player. Flashback also goes into a legendary stymie from the early Walker Cup days that has us yearning for the return and legalization of the practice.
Brendan and Andy return from the long weekend to tidy up the place, doubling back to some of the action from across multiple Tours. Andy is disgusted with the LPGA not giving exemptions the next week to high finishers at an event, as we’ll see with Yealimi Noh following her near-win in Portland. Then they react to the Korn Ferry Tour Championship and enthusiastically welcome the son of the Swing Surgeon back to the PGA Tour. They run through some of the players who got their cards, why this event worked so well, and if it can be replicated on any other Tour. Then they move to this week’s schedule, which is mostly an excuse to rant about the lack of events when there are so many bottlenecks other weeks during the summer. They also discuss the lack of TV coverage for the event of the week, the Walker Cup. In news, they get to Pat Reed’s special Masters Porsche, Bob Koepka’s tweets at Brandel and steamrolling of Little Boy Dru, and a fun Stevie Fountains story from a listener.
A truncated Friday episode will wet your whistle heading into the holiday weekend. We begin with some scores from Europe, where Westy is lurking and Rory continued living under par. We address some comments on the “fair” test of the Swiss course from Mike Lorenzo-Vera, and start to compile a list of similar euphemisms. Then we move to Rory’s comments on the new major schedule and if his point about spreading them out over 9 months, like in tennis, works for golf. We also discuss Ian Poulter’s extreme frustration with the pool cleaning service. Then in Flashback Friday, the occasion of the KFT Championship prompts a look back at a Web Tour Finals of yore that prominently featured golf’s most famous retiree, among others.
The PGA Tour may take a break this week but the Shotgun Start does not. This Wednesday episode runs through the schedule for the week, hitting on some premo events on the LPGA and Euro Tour before crowning the last tournament of the Korn Ferry Tour season as the event of the week. We cover which bubble boys we’re watching this week and also relay some data that shows just how extremely volatile it is this year in the positioning for the remaining PGA Tour cards. We also re-visit Stevie Fountains and discuss his prospects at Victoria National, a course which should create carnage under the most pressurized circumstances. A Champions Tour discussion leads the proposition that a PGA Tour event be held in Calgary and also confusion over who out there is actually in a Champions Tour fantasy league. The U.S. Senior Amateur events for both men and women are given their due as we run through some of the day jobs and backgrounds of the quarter finalists. A debate over how the best in the game should set their fall schedule provokes an Andy take on how we pronounce the word schedule. Then we wrap with the news of Tiger’s knee surgery and some questions about all the travel he has coming up in the final quarter of the year.
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.
It’s Friday! Brendan and Andy offer up some quick reactions to the first ever staggered start on the PGA Tour. There is a three-way tie already atop the leaderboard -- was the format a success or was this always how it was going to go? Rory McIlroy’s comments on the “legacy” impacts of a staggered start are reviewed, and Andy offers the take that the history of the Tour Championship is being killed off in the same way as the Western Open. Matt Kuchar gets confused about Brooksy’s nudes, and it cost Tiger. Then some Champions Tour intel is also relayed via a source, who is an Uber Driver. For the second half of the pod, Sean Martin of PGATour.com joins us to provide his early impressions from on the ground as well as some lightning round takes on who we are surprised to see in Atlanta and who we are surprised did not make it. Flashback Friday gets into what Andy terms the greatest FedExCup ever and the best FedExCup performer ever, with the beautiful mind memory of Sean weaving in all the random obscure facts stuck in his brain.
It’s finally here: the season-ending Tour Championship with its net and gross leaderboards at East Lake. Andy, fresh off a maddening day at Mid Am qualifying (which he describes as well), feistily lays out his issues with the staggered start. Brendan attempts to make the case for why this new change is a curiosity worth lauding and watching, at least at the start. We lay out some dream and nightmare scenarios for how this could go for Jay Monahan and the PGA Tour. Then we move to the European Tour taking on slow play, running through its four-point attack and the parts we think are best for improving the problem. The PGA Tour’s response and comments on it coming out of Atlanta are also discussed. In news, we hit on a troop deployment to the Military Tribute as well as the incredible Steph Curry announcement at Howard. We close with some picks for Atlanta for both the low gross and net portions of the proceedings.
Andy and Brendan return from the weekend with much to discuss and begin with results -- from JT’s win on the dartboard in Chicago, to Pieters’ return to the winner’s circle, to some cards secured at the first KFT finals event, and finally to Doug Barron, the longshot monday qualifier who won on the Champions Tour. In the not-playing-for-cash department, they review the finals of the U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst, comparing the conditions and style of that championship to the FedExCup event at Medinah. Is the core golf fan tuning out the FEC in favor of something like the two amateurs the last two weeks and if so, does that even matter? The comments from Adam Scott and Tiger Woods on distance and the one club that’s become most important while also easier to hit than ever are given full review. A painful “dump in the cup” segment does not play favorites, but on the KFT, they reconnect with an old friend and prepare for a full year of #ToddWatch. They wrap by discussing the auto-qualifiers for the Presidents Cup teams and the USA Walker Cup roster.
We head into the weekend with a lively discussion on some of the early action from Chicago, Prague, Columbus, and Pinehurst. At the BMW, we lament the modern game overpowering what is a beast of a course in Medinah. We also discuss BMW’s stunning decision to reverse course and stay on as title sponsor. At the Czech Masters, we praise leader Gavin Green’s pre-tournament prep of “eating and sleeping a lot.” With the U.S. Amateur down to the quarterfinals, we go over some of the match play results and the junior presence in the final eight. The decision to also hold the finals on two courses -- Pinehurst No. 4 and No. 2 -- is given critical review. Flashback Friday is a gripping journey from the last days of the “dick sponsored” Western Open to some of its earliest blue-blood origins and eventually to a Chicago event that had the irate loser in an Allenby-esque fit of rage wandering aimlessly around the Chicagoland area.
This recording was done with Andy somewhere in the middle of the woods of the Upper Peninsula, so apologies for the choppy wifi. We run through the schedule for the week, which leads to a critique over the trimmed-down KFT Finals. Three weeks seems like a small snapshot for 25 cards when the first 25 cards were awarded after 7-plus months of play. The U.S. Amateur earns event of the week and we relay some early details from on the ground at Pinehurst, where conditions sound crispy. Then we move to the BMW Championship and make the argument that this week features the most compelling stakes of any of the three postseason events. We spotlight some names on the top 30 bubble that we’d like to see crash the party in Atlanta and also earn all the perks that come with it. We wrap with some Bryson follow-up with Andy providing the results of his speedwalking/sauntering research.
The content gods smiled down on us all again in the golf world. Before we get to the slow play drama, we begin with some reflections on the final round of The Northern Trust and how different, inorganic, and frankly, boring it felt compared to the drama of other pros playing for their jobs at the Korn Ferry event in Portland. Is this a reaction you had as well? In addition to the FedExCup and Korn Ferry shuffle, we also cover the wild fluctuation in weather at the Women’s Scottish Open that had one player questioning the integrity of the event. The amazing Gabi Ruffels and the U.S. Women’s Amateur is also given just due. Then we move to the main event -- the viral video of Bryson DeChambeau’s slow play, his reaction, others’ reactions, and the putting green confrontation with Brooks Koepka. We review and give the many statements around it a “bunk rating,” from Bryson saying he was attacked and that “carts would be nice,” to Brooksy calling for more confrontations, to Brandel saying the fastest players are the rude ones, and the PGA Tour frantically tweeting they’re addressing it.
We begin this Friday episode with a discussion on what Andy calls a glimpse into the future: golf tournaments with no fans. The Northern Trust went fan-less to start the first round but the lack of distractions outside the ropes did Tiger’s game no favors. We get into Tiger’s decision to play this week and the statement “Tiger should retire” is even uttered at one point. Flashback Friday re-acquaints us with a former winner of this Playoffs event that has fallen off a cliff. Then we get to a delightful interview with Harry Higgs, who earned his PGA Tour card this season on the Korn Ferry Tour after a recent win in Missouri. Higgs is a great personality worth rooting for in the KFT Finals the next month and on the PGA Tour next year. He is candid about self-doubts coming up through college and the self-belief to eventually get to the Tour. We go into the wild nights on the Latinoamerica Tour, where he was order of merit winner last year, his college teammate Bryson DeChambeau’s chocolate milk habit, and money games with Jordan Spieth. Harry was incredibly forthright and entertaining and we appreciate him taking the time.
At long last, the postseason arrives and we begin this Wednesday episode trying to talk ourselves into being excited for it. Does the new format work? What are the things, or single thing, we’re looking forward to watching throughout the FedExCup? Andy proffers a take that the Wyndham Rewards might have ruined the FedExCup. Brendan uses the occasion of the entire field auto-tweeting graphics of their tee times to rant a little bit on the inauthentic nature of players taking ownership of their own platforms, including the latest subjects of conversation from the Rory-Carson podcast. We give a quick preview of the KFT event, which gets some primetime love this week with players battling for Tour cards and Finals status. On that front, it will be a nervous week for the Methheads. Then Brendan quizzes Andy with some basic FedExCup trivia to re-orient ourselves with the PGA Tour postseason as it starts its 13th edition. In news, we have praise for the USGA listening and implementing the new Hovland Rule, although it leaves us with a few new questions. We wrap a fun Bryson story and some of his quotes on the schedule squeeze and his push for a Presidents Cup spot.
As a disclaimer, this podcast was recorded with only one of our mics turned on, a problem that went unnoticed until minute 55 or so. We’ll let you guess whose mic was off and we offer our deepest apologies, although if you’re along for the ride at this point, you should expect it and embrace it. This episode dives into the incredible story of Hinako Shinbuno, who won the Women’s British Open and did it with an absolutely exemplary pace and smile the entire time. After raving about the Shibuno story, we shout out the Western Am winner and Zac Blair’s big win on the KFT, which opens the door for a rant or two about the lack of a broadcast for primetime golf. We then move to J.T. Poston’s big win and all the FedExCup bubbles that burst on Sunday. The Viktor Hovland injustice, as you’d expect, is given a full review. Jordan Spieth’s slappy ways are dissected, which yields maybe the hottest take of the year. A stunner of a quote from Patton Kizzire has to have those who missed out on a card, as well as Big Shipping, furious that he snuck in the top 125. We then end with some discussion on the Browns Super Bowl chances.
The Friday episode begins with a check-in on the leaderboards from across the golf world. We lament PGA Tour Live’s decision not to cover The BfB’s run at 59 when they gave Cam Champ that treatment in Detroit. A special Flashback Friday begins with a spotlight on the Monday qualifier and Tiger Woods confidant that once won in Greensboro, and ends with a deep dive on a former U.S. Amateur champ who missed the top 125 by a spot that same year. Then we’re joined by media reporter John Ourand of Sports Business Journal. John recently reported on the PGA Tour accelerating their pursuit to come to terms on new rights deals with TV and media partners. He’s an authority on these rights deals and plugged in on the subject, laying out the Tour’s reasons for aggressively doing this now and who the players are vying to broadcast it to you. Could CBS and NBC be out? Could Amazon join the fray? Is a second dedicated golf channel coming? Ourand provides a primer and some educated guesses based on his early reporting. We end with some quick news on the ThunderBear’s ugly flight home to Europe.
This Wednesday episode begins with a digression on highly ranked Champions Tour players using “cost” as a reason for not going to the Senior British Open. Then we get to the Women’s British Open at Woburn, which is argued as a wasted opportunity. At the Wyndham, Andy crunches some numbers and we spotlight some of the bubble boys -- the Asswagon, the Martin Zone, et al -- that have given this historic event an identity in recent years. We also go into Sedgefield and its “adjusted par” for the modern power game. We review some of the featured groupings as well as the lesser-known qualifiers, such as one player who should be playing free and easy now that he’s escaped the Mueller investigation. In news, we go into Callaway’s official statement on the failed driver test at The Open and some of the issues and inconsistencies with it. We also cover Lexi’s lost passport delaying almost 40 players from playing a practice round at a major championship and the idea of a possible suspension for Sergio.
Brendan and Andy return from the weekend to discuss Brooks Koepka bagging the WGC Memphis, Wyndham Rewards and AON Risk-Reward Challenge in one fell swoop. We get into why Sunday seemed to fall flat, Rory’s no-show, and Brooksy’s motivations to earn elite status at Wyndham hotels. We also holler about why his Sunday arrival time was a non-story. In the interest of equal time, we also present a counter argument against all the WGC Memphis critiques. Is it a Southwinds problem or just a WGC problem or both? Wyndham’s investment in the season-long rewards chase only to have no one show up for the finale in Greensboro is discussed and adjudged as a five-alarm fire for the Tour. Then we move to Collin Morikawa’s big win in Reno and the raging Rookie of the Year debate now. Andy breaks some news with a leak of the new schedule for next year and how the Tour will work around the Olympics again. Jin Young Ko’s second major win of the year is given praise and Lexi Thompson’s shot at the course conditioning on her way out is not given praise. Sergio’s continued course destruction and petulant antics are panned. Andy then wraps with a rant on the complexities of the playoff system.
This Friday episode is recorded with Brendan on a beach house porch with beer in hand and Andy stowed away in a remote location working through some red wine. It’s a predictably winding road that begins with a late declaration for Event of the Week. They discuss early scores from across the world of golf, beginning in Memphis. News that this WGC Swampass event may be scheduled opposite the Irish Open is given a review. Andy provides some amusing intel on Westy’s whereabouts in lieu of playing the WGC Swampass. They get to Brooksy’s troubling quotes that he might play the Wyndham, and then discuss the viability of this entire side pot of cash really drawing the top players to that historic Greensboro stop. Then they take a closer look at the Senior British Open, where a handful of Americans at the top of the Schwab Cup Standings did not show up, which they find disgusting. Flashback Friday gets into the origin story of the WGCs coming into existence, featuring an anecdote with Greg Norman cussing out Tim Finchem. They wrap with news of a new Ryder Cup venue, the Walker Cup roster, and Andy’s soft spot for Tony Romo, who got another PGA Tour exemption.
This Wednesday episode dives headlong into issues Brendan and Andy have with the WGC Swampass Invitational presented by Initech. News of Shane Lowry’s withdrawal and a smaller field of just 63 players is used as a jumping off point to illustrate all the ways in which they think it’s a bad idea. They give great praise and deference to the people of and town of Memphis, despite some sensitivities about the criticisms of this event, which have nothing to do with the actual city. Are the WGCS still viable as a competition or does the competition not matter? Then they move to the opposite field event in Reno, where it feels like the field took just one charter flight together from the Barbasol in Kentucky last week. They discuss how opposite field events build their rosters and the changes coming next year. Andy then gets into some FedExCup bubble boys with this now being the moment in the calendar when it truly matters. Andy tells a Brandel story on the occasion of his making the Senior Open and critique why the LPGA and Champions tours are having majors in the same week. We wrap with some more thoughts on illegal hot drivers and feedback we’re getting about the scant testing that exists.
We react to the final round of the men’s major season, celebrating Shane Lowry’s triumph at Royal Portrush. We relay a fun story about Lowry coming up in Irish junior golf in the shadow of superstar Rory McIlroy and then review his work from the weekend to win The Open. We also consider the hot take that this was actually a bad year for major Sundays. Then we get to Lee Westwood’s day of yippy putts and leaderboard watching as he positioned himself for a spot at his happy hunting ground in Augusta. We review who was “most disappointing” from the group of potential chasers, hitting on Tommy Fleetwood’s underwhelming day, Brooksy stuck in neutral, and, uh, J.B. Holmes’ implosion. The Holmes-Koepka pace of play dynamic is given a full account. We hand out a final grade for this Open and then discuss the one thing from the week that we think may change pro golf for generations.
This special Saturday edition of the Shotgun Start delivers some instant reactions to the third round of The Open. We begin lamenting the fall of Westy, who put it in neutral for much of the afternoon following a rousing tease in the first five holes. Does he have any hope playing from behind and is there a different game within the game to watch for on Sunday? We review the 54-hole leaderboard and marvel at Shane Lowry’s 63 that has him four shots clear. We nominate some contenders for a chasedown and discuss Brooks’ contentions that no one is hitting it better than him. The second half of the pod is largely devoted to the failed driver test scandal and Xander Schauffele outing other failed manufacturers while also describing why he’s “pissed off” at the R&A. Is this just the tip of the iceberg of a conspiracy that runs deep? Should PGA Tour be testing drivers before every single round? We go at length on the issue before wrapping with our picks to hoist the Claret Jug on Sunday.
This special Friday afternoon edition runs through some instant reactions to the first 36 holes at The Open. Andy cannot contain his Lee Westwood excitement with the hard-luck Englishman rising near the top of the leaderboard again. We run down Westy’s chances, as well as the entire top 10, and look for some names outside that group to make a longshot, given the history, run at the Claret Jug. We review the contrast in Brooksy’s and Spieth’s rounds, and who should be the favorite at the midpoint. With the Pace Car in the lead, Flashback Friday goes down the rabbit hole of that one time the R&A handed out a slow play penalty, which Andy attempts to argue greatly helped Phil Mickelson’s career. We spend a segment reviewing Rory’s push to make the cut and his emotional post-round interviews. Tiger’s decision to skip the WGC Swampass is praised but the grading of his week at Portrush is not kind. We wrap with some late breaking news on Xander Schaueffele failing a driver test and Bobby MacIntyre getting into it with Kyle Stanley over his failure to yell “Fore!” We conclude with some quick hitters on the Meth-head uprising in the heartland, Dru Love’s admirable work in Canada, and Carson Daly returning to our golf lives.
Brendan and Andy hop on the horn for some instant reactions to the first day at Royal Portrush, but not without first relaying some information exposing the junk science behind the fraudulent physicist’s golf ball ad. Andy also reveals some amusing intel about the physicist hitting seven tee shots into one hole during an Open practice round before finally proclaiming it “impossible.” Then they move to the real action of the day and debate the internal out-of-bounds that ejected Rory McIlroy. They also review Tiger’s day and put forth some compelling evidence of why he SHOULD play the rest of the season, especially at next week’s WGC Swampass Invitational. Lee Westwood’s round is celebrated and given its just due as they examine whether he has the staying power for the weekend. They also consider the nightmare scenario of the Pace Car ruining the Open and playing in the final group on Sunday debating shots in the wind. Would Marty Sleeps ding him with a slow play penalty? They wrap with some “contender or pretender” before Andy attempts to argue that David Duval, of the 20-over 91 first round, played better than Tiger Woods.
It’s Open eve and we begin this Wednesday episode full of gratitude and anticipation and a few reasons why each of us have come to hold this major as our favorite on the men’s schedule. We drive off the cliff and discuss the Barbasol field for longer than we should before getting back on track, reviewing some fun quotes coming out of the pre-championship press conferences. First we go to Brooks Koepka’s quip that he doesn’t practice for non-majors and that the only time you see him on TV is when he’s playing golf. Then we get into a lengthy discussion on Justin Rose’s comments that the new schedule has failed to “protect” the major championships, choosing, instead, to prioritize the FedExCup. We then move to some of our favorite tee times for the first couple days at Royal Portrush, from the stars to the hotheads to some of the tough draws. Before we wrap with our one-and-done picks, we discuss Royal Portrush, it’s stout traits, the weather that may not come, the concept of internal out-of-bounds.
This Monday episode begins, apropos of nothing, with a story about Monty. Then we move to the heartland and weekend at the John Deere Classic. We discuss Dylan Frittelli’s career arc and the last player to win on Tour while wearing glasses. We also get into the JDC’s spot on the schedule and if it has been unfairly squeezed. We then move over the Scottish Open and the absolute pillowfight of a playoff, as well as one participant’s odd hat design. Beef Johnston’s last-minute qualification for The Open, as well as his recent disclosure that he’s been battling depression is discussed at length. The no-cut Senior Players meant there were going to be some big numbers at the bottom of the leaderboard, so we go fishing down there for some interesting stories and catch a few. To begin Open week, we go over some vocal critics of Tiger’s scheduling approach, Phil’s “reset” and consistently odd wardrobe, some early course intel at Portrush, and Brooksy perhaps feeling slighted by not being the betting favorite.
This Friday episode begins with a review of the early action at the John Deere, where almost everyone (but not Cameron Champ) is living under par. We discuss Bobby Diaz separating himself slightly at the top, Hosung’s miraculously leading in a strokes gained category, and Robert Allenby’s activities around the Quad Cities region. We also discuss some low early scores at the Scottish Open, the yardage hype of the Colorado KFC event, and the revelation that the senior major this week is a limited field no-cut event, which has Andy staggered. We also pass along notes from a listener’s pro-am round with “The Assassin.” Two tweets -- one from Bryson and one from PXG -- get a close reading and critique. In Fan Vote Friday, Jr., we give you some quick notes on DJ Trahan, whose Dad is definitely editing his own Wikipedia page, Chad Campbell, a Hooters Tour legend, and Bronson Burgoon. A glorious Flashback Friday on the Quad Cities Classic focuses on “The Grip,” “The Pool Boy,” and “The Tiger Killer,” who are, oddly enough, all the same person. We wrap with news of Rory Sabbatini getting into The Open.
A rollicking Wednesday episode begins by immediately taking a hard left turn off the planned route to discuss the Senior Players Championship, specifically the major getting away from some recent excellent venue choices and intel on Monty’s prep at a local suburban Ohio retail store. We then get into the KFC Tour’s event in Colorado, which gives Andy an occasion to disabuse the notion from overhyped headline writers and tweeters about an event at elevation being on a “monster” course. We then whip overseas to the Scottish Open to discuss the background behind the Renaissance Club, the loaded field, and how they’ve made this proper prep for The Open. The John Deere field gets a full review, which provokes many questions and some harebrained theories on PGA Tour status and building fields and JJ Henry. Fan Vote Friday remains the province of Cam Champ, while Fan Vote Friday Junior is decidedly not. In news, we hit on the odd sequence of events with John Daly ending up at the Barbasol and read an absolutely BRILLIANT theory from an SgS listener on how Brooks Koepka builds his schedule. We wrap with Paulie’s Picks for the Deere, diving in the dumpster to find some lesser-known options and maybe even a four-fingered fisherman from Korea.
After a long holiday weekend, we return with a loaded Monday episode following a thrilling finish to the Sticky Note Open. We discuss Matthew Wolff’s immediate success on the PGA Tour, winning in just his third start as a pro. Where does he go from here? Andy gets to the heart of all our concerns: Does he have FedExCup status or is he still in the no-man’s points land? We also review Collin Morikawa’s amazing weekend in Minnesota and his push to earn a card in his first summer as a pro. We critique CBS’ hustling of Wolff off the stage moments after the putt to win. Bryson’s big weekend gets a full dissection, from his comments on the science of sticky notes, slow play, his new “secret” to putting, his amazing golf, and how he brings a flavor to the Tour that it needs. A new segment “Who took a dump in the cup” debuts, giving us a chance to wax on Brooksy’s refusal to take the top spot in the FEC Standings. We also have some disturbing reporting on a potential Sung Kang-esque bad drop in the Twin Cities last week. After the fireworks in Minnesota get their due, we address Jon Rahm’s big weekend at the Irish Open and the contrast it provided to the TPC setup. We wrap with a discussion and some sketchy handicap index background info on the sponsor’s exemption that was 55-over par through two rounds at the LPGA’s event last week.
It’s July which means it is now the European Tour’s time to shine so this holiday week episode begins with a discussion of the Irish Open at Lahinch, the classic links layout on the west coast of Ireland. We lament its weak field strength but contrast it with the dartboard tour’s venue in the upper midwest. Andy also worries that the new compacted schedule is eroding interest in some of these events. We have some early intel from the Sticky Note Classic with alarming reports that this “former sod farm” will be pillow soft with at least one disturbing backboard setup. We also discuss Rory Sabbatini choosing to pass on this week’s Challenge Tour event in Slovakia, where there’s a 783-yard par-6 that momentarily leaves Andy speechless. In news, we hit on Brooks Koepka’s new logo, a sneaky great tip for U.S. Amateur qualifying, and a study on the king of golf’s national opens. We wrap with some @FriedEggPaulie picks for the 3M Open, some insight on what this new venue compares to on the old schedule (hint: another Palmer course), and a few tips for the Irish Open as well.
After a full weekend of golf we begin in the obvious starting point: Zach Johnson’s tumble out of the top 100 in the world rankings and if his Kaboom Baby! equipment is to blame. Rory Sabbatini’s top five finish in Detroit then leads to a serious take about how his switch in nationality has screwed the International team at the Presidents Cup. Then we get to Nate Lashley winning the Rocket Mortgage Classic, an event that was an unqualified success in a market that deserved a tournament. Lashley’s win and his incredible story also provokes a take about the Tour’s forced and overdone marketing being borne out of insecurity about its product. Then we get to someone who’s been the beneficiary of that forced marketing: Cam Champ. We discuss his backboarding attempt on Saturday, the Tiger-esque coverage treatment, and how it’s all a bit unfair to him. Doc Redman’s big week is reviewed, but not without a rant on how FedExCup points are mis-allocated. We finish by ripping through Steve Stricker’s dominant major win, the Andalucia Masters, the LPGA’s Arkansas party, and a glimmer of hope for the “Methheads” in Utah.
This Friday episode begins with a discussion of the Pace of Play report that Andy published to strong reviews after a couple weeks of hype on the podcast. We discuss a few key findings and some recent comments from Bryson. Then we get into early reactions from Detroit, where the ball is flying, the dartboard is receptive, and the scores are low. We bring up the new addition to the contrived three-hole stretch canon (Bear Trap, Snake Pit etc) on Tour, and the preposterous set of circumstances that have to occur to trigger a charitable donation from it. At the U.S. Senior Open, we discuss the soft conditions that led to some record low scores, the pesky birdhouse that cost Darren Clarke two penalty shots, and Colin Montgomerie’s grocery shopping at 7-11. Flashback Friday focuses on a past Buick Open winner in Michigan who said he was going to use his massive winner’s check to buy some new pots and pans. We wrap with a dissection of Slugger White’s extremely troubling comments on a refusal to hand out penalty strokes for slow play.
This Wednesday episode bobs and weaves and meanders through the schedule for the week, with many relevant and irrelevant digressions. We begin with a hot tip on Justine Reed’s latest efforts to get Pat Reed back on track up in Detroit. Then we discuss BMW leaving as title sponsor of an FEC Playoffs event and the amount of money required to land such a sponsorship. Then we get into the Tour’s return to Michigan with some course conditioning intel from a member on the ground, how it might play, some disconcerting grandstand setups, and a notable FEC omission from the field. We also lament the failure to keep an event in DC alive. We argue Valderrama for the Andalucia Masters is the kind of course that is so bad it’s good. At the U.S. Senior Open, we review the Notre Dame course and a potential Stevie Fountains of the Senior circuit to back this week. We question the Web Tour’s bizarre cross-country schedule. And we wrap with the big reveal for the Tour’s fan vote Friday options leaving Andy apoplectic.
After 11 long years, Chez rule returns to the PGA Tour. We celebrate Reavie’s win at the Travelers, marveling at his consistency and where he could go from here. Should he be on the Presidents Cup team to mix it up in Melbourne? Also from Travelers, we discuss Brooksy’s ambivalence, Keegan’s ugly finish, and Jason Day now taking orders from Stevie Williams. On the LPGA, we get to Hannah Green’s first win and first major and what it means for Aussie golf. The Euro Tour’s event in Munich gets a quick review and we update the curious Race to Dubai standings. The Senior event in Madison and the turnout (with highly questionable attendance figures) for the celebrity sideshow prompts a discussion for more varied and smaller markets on Tour.
As they say around the office, “It’s Friday!” and 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.
Andy and Brendan are back with a slightly delayed Wednesday episode turning our attention away from the week that was at Pebble Beach to a new full week of golf around the world. We begin with the next major, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Hazeltine, which gives Andy an opportunity to lament the uninspired venue choice. Then we get to the Travelers Championship and a discussion of that loaded field and how they hustle to be one of the best events on the entire schedule. We also hit on the pro debuts of Matt Wolff and Viktor Hovland in Hartford as well as the double-wide cart paths at TPC River Highlands. News of the re-branding of the Web Tour to the Korn Ferry Tour, which we discussed a month ago, is dissected in great detail and we wonder what it means for the historical references to this tour. The Champions Tour is in Wisconsin this week, giving us an opportunity to review the divided loyalties of Steve Stricker and also provokes a two-minute uninhibited laughing fit about a ridiculous ringtone of a certain media member that kept going off in the media center last week. Lastly, we make some picks for Travelers and Andy delivers a take about proceeding with caution when we watch the four young studs, including Wolff and Hovland, this week.
We are live from Monterey at the Bixby House for one final podcast at the U.S. Open. We begin with Chez Reavie’s day at Pebble Beach and Andy’s attempts to convince broadcaster Jim Gray to board the Reavie bandwagon up until the very end of the championship. We then get into Gary Woodland’s career-defining moment and if it means more could be on the horizon. We relay some on-the-ground scenery of the mania that was Brooksy’s fast start through the first five holes. A blimp rant takes up a solid portion of the middle section of the pod. Rory’s “tanimal” look gets a review and Urban Meyer’s inside-the-ropes etiquette is also critiqued. We conclude with a final assessment of the Pebble setup and an overall grade for this U.S. Open.
We are live in the Pebble Beach media center with our Bixby steeped coffee for some instant reactions to the third round and setting the scene for Sunday. We get into some of the conditions of the course now that we’ve hit the weekend and things appear to be firming up, especially around the greens. We discuss the notion that the pins were too easy and how that outcry quickly dissipated as the round wore on at Pebble. USGA chief setup man John Bodenhamer checks in with a comment on how the course is playing before Geoff Shackleford joins for a segment on the setup, what could be better, and some crackpot scenarios that could play out to make the final round fun. We finish with another round of contender or pretender on Rory, Gary, Chez, and others before making some final picks to win on Sunday.
Brendan and Andy check in at the midpoint of the national championship and discuss the work of the day, specifically Andy’s timing exercise of Bryson DeChambeau’s group late in the second round. We also review the leaderboard and play a little “pretender or contender” with some of the star names and not-so-popular names on the board. We then go over disappointing MCs and some unsurprising MCs. Andy rails against the par 71 setup at Pebble and we ponder just how much the number will move over the weekend, or if the current 9-under mark may come back over the final 36 holes. What kind of conditions can we expect and how far down the board do you go for realistic chasing options? Rickie’s big mitts, Reed’s club snap, and Phil and DJ’s course management also get reviews.
We are live Thursday night at the Bixby House for immediate thoughts following the opening round at Pebble Beach. We begin celebrating a certain ace at the 12th hole. Then we react to some early low scores, including Justin Rose’s pace-setting 65 late in the day. Did the USGA go too soft? Will they overreact? Or was it just right? Then we get to Jordan Spieth dressing down his caddie, Michael Greller, and ponder whether it was the usual back-and-forth in that relationship or outside the boundary. Then we’re blessed with a visitor at the Bixby House as No Laying Up’s D.J. Piehowski joins to discuss his early impressions from the first day. We get into conditions, low round predictions for Friday, and who from the top of the leaderboard is most likely to eject. Then Andy reveals the findings of his investigation into the PXG Heroes program which had ads running all day.
Four horsemen ride in this special bonus Thursday episode at the B. Draddy house in Monterey. Andy and Brendan are joined by Billy Draddy for his usual pre-major championship visit and Josh Lewis, Golf Course Superintendent at Sharon Heights G&CC and formerly of Bandon Dunes, Chambers Bay, and Pasatiempo. Josh was the super for a past U.S. Open venue but also on the grounds at Pebble Beach the last two days and provides fabulous insight into how the course is looking as the championship begins. The potential for syringing this week also gets a thorough breakdown from an expert. Josh speaks to the advantages and possible trouble spots of conditioning a course in this region, working with the USGA, how Pebble might play, and if there’s any chance it could get away from them and how that might happen (it won’t). Billy Draddy joins to discuss layering in the micro-climates of Pebble Beach, some scripting mishaps, and if Pebble is the quintessential U.S. Open venue. The panel also covers their favorite holes at Pebble, the USGA press conference from Wednesday, some winning score predictions based on the course conditioning intel, and the tee times they’re watching early in the championship.
It’s U.S. Open eve and we are live again from the Bixby House for a full week of daily pods. This Wednesday episode focuses on the course conditioning after walking Pebble the last couple days and the test that it will present for the best in the world. Can the USGA screw this course up and if so, how? The test, however it goes, may not sit well with one player, who is concerned setups have become a “physics issue” and that the “friction values” on the greens are just not what they need to be. Then we get into another tour de force Brooks Koepka press conference on FOX slights, whiny players, and how no one in the field can beat him. We have some intel about the FOX promo he’s so mad about and how it all may be a made up motivational tactic. We also address Tiger’s chances this week, Brandel getting aboard Andy’s hot take train on Phil Mickelson, and if Jason Day might drive up to the Bay Area to offer Kevin Durant a balloon to heal his injury.
We are live from the Bixby House in Monterey for a special Tuesday picks edition with Paulie. We break off from our normal weekly segment on fantasy and one-and-done picks with @FriedEggPaulie for a separate, shorter pod on what to expect this week from a fantasy perspective. We cover certain daily fantasy options as well as the usual one-and-done selections. The pod begins by discussing some of the skill sets that Pebble might accentuate and who it might eliminate. Then we get into some of the favorites, including Tiger, Brooksy, Rory, and Jordan Spieth, who is a hot commodity yet again. We also cover low amateur options and a few head-to-heads. There’s also a digression on the necessity of golf shoes, a serious assessment of Mike Weir’s chances, and an rant on Phil Mickelson to close it out.
This major championship week begins worse for the wear with Andy’s flight cancelled and Brendan posted up waiting anxiously at the Bixby House in Monterey. We review the weekend results, starting with Rory McIlroy torching the Canadian Open with a 64-61 weekend to win by seven shots. Does it mean anything for Pebble Beach and the U.S. Open? We also discuss Graeme McDowell’s big moment getting into his home Open with his Sunday play in Ontario, Brooksy getting out from under Joey D, and low Canadians. Then we get to the Champions Tour, where Scott McCarron won again despite more pictures floating around Twitter alleging anchoring. We also get into Web Tour minutiae with Rhein Gibson’s win and the scheduling injustice of having an event opposite the U.S. Open, where many of its members are playing. Lexi Thompson’s dramatic win gets the award for “finish of the week.” News hits on an outstanding trophy from the women’s game, some early US Open rumblings, and Jason Day bringing in old Stevie Williams for the week.
This Friday episode meanders about the world of golf, beginning with live Assasin updates from the Senior event in Japan. Keegan Bradley’s early lead in Canada prompts another discussion about the proliferation of personal logos. Then we get into all the quirks and curveballs at this week’s Euro Tour event and if it could spark a WWF “Attitude Era” type response from the PGA Tour. Then we have a Friday quotes segment, reviewing Phil’s harsh words and Tiger’s suggestions on the U.S. Open, Brooksy’s ambivalence and potential Joey D betrayal, and Bryson’s self-parody with his motivation for going to the Sticky Note Classic. In news, we hit on some college studs going pro, player videos already ramping up the hysteria about the Pebble rough, a 16-year-old cruelly DQ’d at sectionals, and some early U.S. Open tee times to watch. Fan Vote Friday takes us down the path of some Canadian players’ odd wine labels, one pro’s claim that he’s the best MarioKart player in all of Canada, and the one unexpected moment that Mike Weir said might be bigger than his Masters win. Flashback Friday is a deep dive starting with the 2004 Canadian Open battle between Weir and Vijay Singh, takes a left turn with a crude Jason Whitlock article on Vijay, and concludes with some damning numbers about how equipment in this era prevented Tiger from holding the majors record already.
It’s a big week for the Shotgun Start with a national open and sectional qualifying. We begin with the schedule for the week, going first with the Canadian Open’s big move away from Andy’s nightmare, Glen Abbey. What does this Harry Colt design have in store for this year and in this new spot on the schedule? Will it be enough to earn Andy’s “Event of the Week” honors? We do wonder if there’s a title sponsor conspiracy afoot with some of the featured groups and Brendan has some questions about the Champions Tour sprinkling in a random Japan event between two tournaments in the Big Ten footprint. Then we run through some U.S. Open sectional qualifying results, focusing on a few notable pros, upstart amateurs, and fascinating stories that have made it to the big show next week. In news, we FINALLY give the people what they want and address the abominable Matt Kuchar ruling argument last week at Memorial. Should some sort of system be put in place for failed longshot rules asks? Also in news, we hit on Hank Haney not really understanding how Twitter, or the world, really works. We wrap with a spirited Paulie’s picks segment, focusing on some low Canadian options and some player skills that might be preferable for this Hamilton venue.
A packed Monday episode begins with a wide-ranging discussion on several topics from the U.S. Women’s Open. We discuss Jeongeun Lee6’s two-shot win and the relatability of some of the emotion she showed. We also discuss how the Country Club of Charleston held up and how the women promote the best and most relatable rendering of golf as it should be and how there were no player complaints about setup like we hear at the men’s Open. The pace of play problems at Charleston are reviewed, which prompts story time from Andy about how they have checked his time in the past in competition. For the Memorial, we give Patrick Cantlay his due, as well as Tiger, who appears back in form, before taking a sharp left turn off a cliff to review the career of Kevin Streelman. We also have a story about a potentially intoxicated tour pro stealing one of those famously controversial bunker rakes from the 2006 Memorial. We wrap with some stories that will build the legend of “The Assassin,” who should be your new favorite golfer.
A rousing Friday episode begins with Bryson DeChambeau’s nonsensical excuses for his pace of play after he was hit with bad times on Friday at the Memorial. We discuss Bryson moving the goalposts and neglecting the fact that playing in a reasonable time is a skill. Then we move to more pleasing matters, namely the U.S. Women’s Open and how Charleston has provided a great test for the best in the world so far. In a less pleasing segment, we address Hank Haney’s awful comments on the Women’s Open. A Flashback Friday centers on the 2006 Memorial, taking us down the path of the famed Henry Picard, that time Jack Nicklaus angered the field using different bunker rakes that made sand shots more challenging, and the 2006 winner Carl Pettersson, whose life and times before and after the anchor ban get a review. Finally, we are joined by ESPN Senior Writer Kevin Van Valkenburg to discuss the fiery comments in Golf Digest from a gaggle of anonymous PGA Tour pros, coaches, and caddies lambasting the USGA. We discuss some of the larger themes from the piece, who looks worse from it -- the players or the USGA, KVV’s three favorite quotes from the lengthy collection, course setup philosophies, the concept of par, and if the fractious relationship is reconcilable at all. Lastly, we finish with a rapid fire reading of a handful of quotes from the piece and adjudge them “Silly,” “Salient,” or “Gotta Hear Both Sides.”
There’s too much golf to discuss! This Wednesday episode begins with the schedule for the week, focusing on some of the notables at Memorial and questioning how we frame a person becoming a “notable.” Then we discuss the funky Belgian Knockout format on the Euro Tour this week getting OWGR points but the Tour Championship needing a secondary low gross leaderboard to satiate the OWGR board. The U.S. Women’s Open gets event of the week and deservedly so as we highlight the best women’s players in the world taking on a truly unique venue for major golf. Oklahoma State’s heartbreaking NCAA loss to Texas then gets a full dissection. We ask if it was too dark to keep playing and if that impacted the outcome, which gives Andy an opening to rant on pace of play. We also again revisit whether match play was the best format to decide it. Some main themes from the Golf Digest survey of anonymous players and coaches lambasting the USGA and their U.S. Open follies is discussed before we go into a further examination on Friday. In news, we enjoy Jack Nicklaus saying he does not care at all about the “chase for 82” and how that ambiguous number may be built on a bed of lies. We wrap with our weekly fantasy and one-and-done intel for Memorial from the expert Fried Egg Paulie.
We are back for a delayed Memorial Day edition recapping the weekend that was in golf, muscle cars, kitchen appliances, and stock Crate & Barrel silverware as trophies. We begin with Kevin Na’s win in Fort Worth and his comments that he knew he had “zero chance” to win at Bethpage but felt renewed confidence at a place like Colonial. We discuss this variety of courses on the PGA Tour and how to protect it. Then we move to the Senior major at Oak Hill and the possibility that a cellphone ringing cost one participant the title. On the Web Tour, Scottie Scheffler continued his torrid run and that has Andy lamenting the current structure that prevents him from taking that form to the big leagues. On the LPGA, Bronte Law gets her first win and then drives overnight to Charleston for this week’s major, which prompts us to debate how worse for the wear we’d be in contrast to that. With Oklahoma State up by some 25 shots, we debate whether there should even be a match play portion of the NCAA title this week in Arkansas. For a special Monday scaries, we discuss the one senior tour player that flew home on Friday only to land and discover he’d actually made the cut in Rochester.
It’s Friday going into a holiday weekend so this episode meanders through some far flung corners of the golf world. We begin with a story time segment that piggyback’s off our discussion on Brooks Koepka’s equipment proclivities from Wednesday. Our next story comes from a tipster on the amateur days of Dru Love, who had himself a rough first round out at Colonial. We get into some of the different exemptions this week, how they’re performing, and how Colonial builds its field in a quirky way. We ask if there are any pro golfers out there that would start turning down exemptions if they were in Dru’s shoes and struggle to come up with an answer. In Fan Vote Friday Jr, we get into the story of Ben Silverman and how it’s a stark contrast from his two playing partners, Love and Tucker Wadkins. Our third and final story from this Friday storytime episode relays a fun anecdote about the elder Wadkins putting in an angry call to Arizona during Tucker’s playing days. In news, we hit on Tiger’s commitment to Memorial and a potentially mattress-related WD in Fort Worth. Flashback Friday focuses on 2003 Colonial champ Kenny Perry, who has an odd agreement to donate a percentage of his career earnings to a small college that helped fund him when he was broke and trying to make it as a pro.
The Cat’s in the Cradle at Colonial this week and we will be watching the sons of some former pros closely at one of the PGA Tour’s classic stops. We get into the schedule for the week, which prompts discussion on: Lee Westwood’s activities at the resort and spa hosting in Denmark, the great Kinsgmill setup on the LPGA, why there are stand-up mixer appliances in the middle of the course for a senior major, and the importance of the Evans Scholar program. In the Event of the Week segment, we discuss some of the results so far from the women’s NCAAs and whether it’s fair for the title to be played on a school’s home course. In a Brooks segment, we bat around the official over-under major total and also get back into his choice to go without an equipment sponsor. It leads us to propose a few other nominees that should shun equipment deals in favor of freedom. In an all-USGA segment, we discuss some early results from the first sectional qualifying site and when it’s OK to withdraw before the second 18, media day at Pebble Beach and Andy’s fear of horrible photos from the day, and the USGA contracting Iron Man to grow the game. We finish with the resolution of our PGA head-to-heads that might have Andy worse for the wear.
Andy and Brendan review a more dramatic-than-expected final day at the PGA Championship. They discuss Brooks Koepka losing his cushion and if they ever thought it was in doubt on Sunday. They assess Brooks’ future and the over-under for his career major total now that he’s won four of his last eight major starts. They also get into the tough Sunday conditions and how the course setup dramatically favored one very specific skill while eliminating others. Then they pass out grades and discuss the performances of DJ, Spieth, Rickie, HVII, the CBS production, and the New York fans. We also look forward to Pebble Beach and how that might set up for Koepka and others. In our Sunday Scaries segment, Andy wonders if they’re sweating at the PGA Tour given how the game’s best player only seems to be illuminating the superfluous nature of everything that’s not a major.
Brooks Koepka, as you might expect, stays atop the leaderboard and by a significant margin at the PGA Championship. We review how he got it around in even-par on Saturday and our disappointment at the chasers’ inability to close the gap. Then we rant on CBS not being prepared to pronounce Jazz Janewattananond’s name even though he started the day in the top 10. We assess the likelihood of Brooks not winning on Sunday, the numbers it might take, who could shoot them, and why Bethpage won’t exactly promote it. We wrap with Andy going off again about the career earnings list and its misrepresentations to the general public, as well as some of the painful stakes some listeners sent in for our Kraft v. Kang head-to-head wager.
Andy and Brendan are set up in their home base and return for this lively Friday night review of the 2019 PGA Championship at its midpoint. They begin with Brooks Koepka’s dominating performance, even though Koepka thinks he didn’t “hit it good” in the second round. They discuss how and why Koepka’s style works so well at this setup, using some illuminating quotes from Tiger Woods, who watched Broosky carve up Bethpage over 36 holes for a new major scoring record. The playing style and bombers’ success chat also ties into some quotes from Bryson DeChambeau, who seems less than thrilled with the setup both at Bethpage and at majors in general. Then they get into Rory citing how he showed “character” getting back on the right side of the cut line after an abominable first 27 holes. They also hit on an odd penalty for one player not showing up on time and CBS deciding to call the final four holes this week “The Power Hour.”
Andy has returned home to Chicago but not without relaying one final misadventure from his immersion in New York life. We get into the opening round from the PGA, leading with the obvious news of Bruce/Brooks Koepka rocketing to the top of another major leaderboard with a course record round. How far down the board do you go to find names still in it? Then we get to the anomaly of Danny Lee’s 64 as well as Rory’s day on the putting greens. A “contender or pretender” segment covers some of the, well, less publicized names on the first or second page of the leaderboard. In news, we hit on the PGA board’s big day out at National Golf Links of America in the middle of their biggest week of the year as well as the cheap ticket prices this week and if it means the NYC area has been oversaturated with majors. We also briefly discuss John Daly’s day rolling around a major on cart. Flashback Friday wraps up with a past PGA from the NYC area that left Tommy Tolles on the outside of the Ryder Cup roster.
We return for this Wednesday edition with a special live recording with an audience at B. Draddy’s Manhattan headquarters. We start by running through the schedule for the week, which leads us into a discussion of whether the governing bodies need to get on the same page together and whether that will ever be possible. Our PGA preview begins by addressing two of the favorites this week, Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka. We get into Tiger’s choice to take the last month off and how it might pay off at Bethpage. Then we get to Brooksy’s comments that the majors are actually the easiest to win, and his calculus for eliminating most of the field before it even starts. We then move to this week’s host course, discussing our favorite and least favorite aspects of Bethpage and whether it’s more of a USGA or PGA venue. Then we are joined by Billy Draddy to make some PGA picks, discuss New York golf, players getting their own logos, and Bethpage’s Warning Sign brand. We wrap with a discussion on some fun tee times to watch the first couple rounds at the PGA, including the fascinating “Cart Boy” and Beemer duo.
Brendan and Andy return from the weekend ready for the second men’s major championship of the year. But before looking ahead, first they review Sung Kang’s big win at the Byron Nelson, giving Andy a chance to play his walk-up music one more time. They also get into Matt Every’s comments on Kang’s pace of play and the sudden death of #ToddWatch. The subject of Trinity Forest being “easy” simply because of scores relative to par is addressed with vigor. On the Euro Tour, they rejoice at the confirmation of Westy hosting the British Masters again as well as his trip to the States for the PGA. Now comes the question of whether he’ll play or just do appearances at parties. Andy also gets off a rant about a soccer game impeding the Sunday morning coverage on Golf Channel. They sprinkle in some thoughts on a few early PGA topics before diving headlong into the major later this week. We wrap going over a listener submitted document purporting to list every single FedExCup No. 1, ever.
We begin with an edict from Andy about complaints over next week’s PGA Championship coverage. This leads to Brendan reading some of the amusing and terrifying show descriptions for TNT programming during the season’s second major. Then we get into Danny Chops’ big moment, and ponder if a pro has ever gone from announcing PGA Tour Live to a featured group on PGA Tour Live within a month. Then we review Tony Romo’s day, which was not great, but still came in below the over-under line set for his first round score. The results of Fan Vote Friday Jr. have us discussing the derivation of Kris Blanks’ name, a past tweet about coitus that had him apologizing, Beau Hossler’s shoulder injury, and the little mountain town where Jimmy Knous hails from in Colorado and if he should be rightful PGA Tour scientist, not the “fraudulent physicist.” In news, we hit on the footage of John Peterson doing Happy Gilmore swings on the range of just his second event in his comeback as well as a backboarding scandal erupting at a major championship. We wrap with a Flashback Friday that takes us down memory lane to the Brendon Todd era.
This Wednesday episode goes long on this week’s event, the Byron Nelson. We get into the unique (for the PGA Tour) course, Trinity Forest, in Dallas. We discuss some of its key features and why it makes for such a different watch and test on the PGA Tour. We also chat about the British Masters, its quality venue, and whether Chicagoan Matt Fitzpatrick will ever be able to host this event. Then we get to Tony Romo’s exemption at the Nelson, his hockey style putting stroke, his intense practice habits, his sizable over-under number for round one, and his big plans to play more tour golf. In news, we hit on John Daly getting approval to use a cart at next week’s PGA Championship. How will this work, especially on what could be a rain-soaked Bethpage? Is the 90-degree rule in effect? Cart path only? Will you get relief from a tire mark? So many questions before we wrap with Paulie’s Picks and an abominable and astonishing Nelson one-and-done selection from one participant.
We return from the weekend with a double worse-for-the wear feature, which means you may want to just set this episode to 1.5 or 2x speed at the start. We run through the results and commend Max Homa’s work to get to the point of winning on the PGA Tour. We also use that as a jump off to contrast it with some players who may be the beneficiary of repeated exemptions. Then there’s a wild divergence on the Minneapolis business community as well as this Quail Hollow event getting eaten by some of the elevated status titles and WGCs that line the schedule. After the Kentucky Derby controversy, we put out a few golf hypotheticals that might come close to comparing to that overturn and ruling at the sport’s biggest event. In news, we hit on the joy of the Brooks Koepka and Brandel Chamblee beef that reignited with Brooksy’s weekend photoshop work. We sign off with the weird story of Steve Sticker being used for a charity outing scam and ponder who you would choose for such a scam to make it both believable enough and also draw interest for your outing.
We get a little loose on this Friday episode. We begin with a quick leaderboard check-in, discussing Rory and Joel Dahmen in Charlotte and Anne van Dam (and the Dutch population at large) leading on the LPGA. This also leads to Andy proposing a dramatic overhaul to Olympic golf, where regions, and not nations, are represented. We also discuss The Pace Car blowing a tire and withdrawing after an opening round 80, as well as the telepathic Team Reed maybe sorting out their swing. In Flashback Friday, Andy takes us down a memory lane occupied by Rory McIlroy, Billy Mayfair, and Wells Fargo Ironman J.J. Henry. We wrap with news we either care or don’t care about from the past couple days, hitting on teetotaler Bubba endorsing CBD, some extreeeemely crooked exemptions at Colonial that will leave you choking on nepotism, Keith Pelley’s tone deaf comments on the Euro Tour’s role in Saudi Arabia’s evolution, Lydia Ko parting ways with another coach, Tiger’s big boat sailing to Long Island, Jason Day’s dream of being in the military and the idea of him blowing into balloons in the trenches or on the Black Hawk, and lastly, Victor Dubuisson giving up wine, getting in shape, and dreaming of a return to the Ryder Cup.
This Wednesday episode begins, as you’d expect, with a lengthy divergence on J.J. Henry after Andy comes with the little fact that he’s one of two players that have made a start in every iteration of the Wells Fargo Championship. We discuss the odd and arbitrary “300 career made cuts” category that allowed him to keep his card this year. Then we get into the full schedule for the week, comparing the purses of some LPGA events to Champions Tour events and then discussing the leaderboard at the PGA Professional Championship. The event of the week has us reviewing the career earnings of the all-time wins leader on the Minor League Golf Tour. In news, we discuss some comments from PGA Championship setup man Kerry Haigh on the weather and conditioning they’re hoping for over the next two weeks to fill out Bethpage Black. We also rant on the absurdity of Carson Daly’s latest interjections about the “Spirit of Earl Woods” in his podcast with Rory McIlroy. We wrap with some Quail Hollow picks and intel from Fried Egg Paulie.
We return from the weekend to run through a full slate of tournaments across the world of golf. We get to Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer’s runaway win at the Zurich Classic, and Andy offers some misgivings about the fallout and impacts that a win or a successful finish has on some of the weaker links in these two-man teams. Then we get to Jorge Campillo winning the dagger in Morocco and revisit our claim that more young American players should go see the world and come up through the European Tour. We review Minjee Lee’s cruise to an LA Open title at Wilshire and also hit on the Champions Tour event at Big Cedar, which Andy argues “does not need to exist.” The start of the PGA Professional Championship is also addressed, and we posit that the new schedule puts the pros from the Northern U.S. at a severe disadvantage. In news, we discuss Eduardo Molinari’s bold move to tweet out all the slow play times on the European Tour and what more can be done to affect real change. We also get back to Tiger’s announcement that he’s skipping the Wells Fargo and why it doesn’t matter. Before we get to Andy’s weekend wearing mittens and Brendan’s long afternoon coaching youth soccer, we wrap with the news that one LPGA pro uses lemon wedges to focus and wonder if this is a real aid we should put in the bag or if it’s more quackery.
“Hey, how you doing? It’s Friday!” We head to the weekend with a quick check in around the world of golf, from Morocco to Los Angeles. We debate whether the Zurich Classic, two-man format or not, stinks. We also get into whether upstart pros should go to Europe to work their way up the world rankings. Then, by popular demand and from the mind of Andy Johnson, we play another round of the guessing game for a few more walk-up music selections most appropriate for some Shotgun Start favorites. In news, we get to Tiger committing to the first ever PGA Tour event in Japan, his scheduling choices, and the overreaction to his gait from a social media video on Thursday. Then we hit on the news of John Peterson’s fifth or sixth or seventh un-retirement of the past year, and some of the absurd quotes he delivered about why he made the choice to come back. Ernie Els’ special exemption into the U.S. Open has Andy bursting with joy, but we also provide some intel about some International players maybe not thrilled about being told who to play with this week. The disastrous deal a Euro women’s pro announced with Golf Saudi, as well as the awful caption for it, get a review. We conclude with a Flashback Friday on a 1980s (sorta) legend.
This Wednesday episode begins by running through the full schedule for the week, with commentary on the Champions Tour pilgrimage to the Ozarks, the Web Tour playing again with no TV coverage, and the utility of the European Tour handing out a trophy that can also be used to prepare dinner. Then Andy crowns his Event of the Week, which goes to a classic Los Angeles design that has, rightly, ripped its name from PGA Tour. The Zurich Classic format comes into the crosshairs as we examine the end-around of players who have little-to-no status using another player’s (who does have status) shots during a competition that could land them a two-year exemption. We also dabble with a walk-up music game, as Andy comes up with some song options for a few Shotgun Start favorites that Brendan has to guess. In news, we hit on the Hero World Challenge still going up against the Aussie Open, John Peterson coming out of retirement again, and a call to action to help a PGA Tour pro design his new logo. We wrap with some one-and-done picks after getting blown off by Paulie.
After a brief diversion on Easter candy, Andy and Brendan return from the weekend to run through the results from the golf world. They get into C.T. Pan’s big win at the Heritage, DJ’s staggering implosion on the back nine, and Rory Sabbatini’s Sunday fade. The Sabbatini contention brings us to a possible scandal revealed on the coverage over the weekend and has us questioning whether his decision to become Slovakian came from pure intentions. On the Champions Tour, we discuss the two MLB pitchers that made starts at TPC Sugarloaf with limited success. Then we get to the matter of Tiger rolling out to The Woods in mesh shorts and his dri-fit gear. We wrap with a Sunday Scaries segment that suddenly dives down a rabbit hole on the life and times of Larry Nelson, war hero and three-time major champion.
We begin this Friday episode with the news that the PGA Tour’s grand finale and the crowning FedExCup test will now feature two leaderboards, one hidden and one for public consumption. We revel in the OWGR sanction board holding this over the Tour’s head and making them work for it, and also the fact that a move made for simplicity has resulted in this weird and convoluted two-leaderboard system. Then we get to the matter of Mike Weir playing in Alabama and wonder how many players have gone from the Masters one week to RTJ Trail the next. We also address the news of some big names committing to the new Detroit event and, combined with some star commits to the new Minneapolis event, question whether something untoward is happening on the money side with these events. Some two-man teams for next week’s Zurich Classic are out, including one father-son duo that will certainly raise eyebrows and maybe even tempers in the locker rooms. We wrap with a Flashback Friday on two-time Heritage winner Payne Stewart and some of his early career achievements and under-achievements, including that stretch when he played Top Flite cavity back irons.
We’re back recording remotely after a week in Augusta and this Wednesday episode quickly devolves into covering all absurd corners of the golf world since Tiger won the Masters. We run through the schedule of the week and Andy delivers some intel on the great Pasatiempo when crowning his event of the week. We also ponder why Mitsubishi is putting all their marketing money into sponsoring senior events as well as some background on the sketchy circumstances that brought the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail into existence in Alabama, site of this week’s Web Tour event. Then we get to the news that a physicist has disproven Bryson DeChambeau’s crackpot science of putting with the flagstick still in the hole. We discuss the news of Hosung Choi’s exemption to the John Deere Classic and what he might do exploring the Quad Cities region in the heartland of America. Also in news, we hit on the PGA Tour releasing a new mobile video game, which gives Andy an opening to provide some field research he did on if the Fortnite tents have brought kids out to the PGA Tour events. We wrap with some quick picks for the Heritage.
Tiger Woods is a Masters champion again. Andy and Brendan react to an unforgettable, legendary day at Augusta National. But not without first discussing results from the Haikou Championship on the PGA Tour China series. Then we get into Tiger’s win, our favorite moments of the day, and his future prospects. Andy changed up his worst-case scenario fears and explains a moment of panic when he thought it might come to fruition on Sunday. We discuss The Pace Car’s smooth round of 80 and also hit on Matt Kuchar’s continued FedExCup stranglehold. We are joined in the Bixby House by the PGA Tour’s Sean Martin and CBS Sports’ Kyle Porter for some lightning round questions on Sunday at the Masters. After a solid two months of dispensing facts, we wrap with some final Masters Facts of the Day.
It’s Saturday night in Augusta and Andy and Brendan have come down from the high of Friday night’s off-the-rails episode. They have some intel from a doctor on the efficacy or quackery of Jason Day’s balloon treatments. They bring you a quick recap of the third round as well as some picks for Sunday’s early start. They react to Tiger’s 67 and charge into the final Sunday tee time at the Masters, as well as the machine Frankie Molinari refusing to give up an inch at the top of the leaderboard. They also address Adam Scott messing around with a table top putting stance just minutes before teeing off in the final group of a weekend round at the biggest event of the year. They get to the news of Rory saying Augusta’s rough is having a negative impact on the competition. Updated odds and picks for Sunday’s final round wrap up this truncated edition as they prep for an early start of the last 18 holes.
An off-the-rails Friday night edition comes to you from the Bixby House recapping a wild day at the 2019 Masters. We begin with a story of Andy chasing a UPS truck down the streets in Augusta in the hopes of finding Lee Westwood. Then we get to the matter of Jason Day blowing up balloons as a medical remedy. We also hit on the Zach Johnson’s five-yard drive at the 13th tee and how one might play the hole if he’d been forced to from that spot. Then we get to the security slide tackle of Tiger Woods, which opens the door for Andy to reheat his take that there should be no fans on the golf course. We wrap with the sad news of Woosie’s retirement and hold out hope that it might be a Brett Favre situation.
Brendan and Andy come to you live from the Bixby House with a raw and unedited episode reviewing the first day of the 2019 Masters. We get in to the flurry of late activity on Friday Jr. afternoon with Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, and Phil Mickelson going low in the last two groups on the tee sheet. We address Brooksy popping off at the haters on his weight loss and call out the SMU Physics Department after Bryson completely misused “terminal velocity” to explain why his ball didn’t go in the hole on the 18th. Then we get to the matter of Jason Day and if the simple fact of “being a good father” has cost him a shot at the Masters this year. We discuss Tiger’s 2-under round of 70 and what it might mean heading into the weekend. Then Kyle Porter appears to offer some hot takes on the “lost” Jordan Spieth. We do a lightning round of predictions on a few players who might miss/make the cut before wrapping with a Flashback Friday on the year of Woosie and a Masters Fact of the Day on a defunct opposite field event.
It’s Masters eve and appropriately, we roll out a preview podcast recorded with a live audience from the B. Draddy house in Augusta. We start by reacting to some of our favorite tee times for the first two rounds and what to expect from some of these featured groupings. Then we move to the course and assess how the weather and conditions have changed this 2019 edition and who benefits the most. Pat Reed’s dinner menu gets a quick review. Then we welcome in Billy Draddy, a golf fashion icon, to discuss Masters scripting, mock necks, and some legendary Masters fashion looks and catastrophes. In a quotables segment, we run through some highlights from Masters week so far, including comments from Bryson that he’s figuring out how the club shaft works and comments from Brooks about how this is a “recovery” week following a puzzling diet change. We wrap with some dream scenarios we’d like to see come Sunday afternoon and our picks to win the green jacket.
It’s the most heavily wagered and biggest fantasy week of the year in golf. So we broke off a special Paulie’s Picks episode to discuss some Masters pool strategies, one-and-done options, and daily fantasy plays. We also run through a lightning round, throwing names, including that of a diminutive Welshman, at Paulie for intel and fade-or-play judgments. Some interesting props are discussed, such as the over-under for highest round, another occasion to discuss the diminutive Welshman.
Greetings from Augusta! After 95 episodes, Brendan and Andy meet again to record their first ever in-person Shotgun Start. They begin with a review of the season’s first major championship, the ANA Inspiration. Then they get to the final round of the ANWA, appreciating what we got to watch over the weekend from the women at Augusta. Corey Conners’ big win in Texas is hailed after a season of banging the drum for improved status for our fine Canadian friend. We get into the machinations of how a guy with such lofty FedExCup status needed to Monday qualify to win. The Jordan Mixed Open, of course, is not lost in the shuffle as we examine that fascinating experiment. After a thorough review of the weekend, we begin our look forward with a few things we’re looking for early in the week at Augusta National. Finally, we wrap with a bucket of Masters facts, including the one about the time an amateur had a guest up to the crow’s nest.
It’s Friday! We begin with some thoughts on the first two days of the first ever Augusta National Women’s Amateur. We offer some critiques on the odd sequence of a practice round wedged in middle, the need for an 11-for-10 playoff, and if this is the right week on the schedule for it. Then we move to a discussion on the early action at the ANA Inspiration and the Texas Open, which provokes a Flashback Friday on how the ProV1 left Justin Leonard, and a potential legendary career, behind. In news, we hit on the revelation that Tiger Woods will be doing a series of matches with GolfTV and discuss what that might mean for the future of golf networks in the States. Then Jeff Sherman, expert handicapper and oddsmakers of the SuperBook and GolfOdds.com, joins for a quick segment on what the market looks like for next week’s Masters. We wrap with multiple juicy and enlightening Masters facts of the day, including one on the amateur who was thrown out of the Tournament for potentially salacious reasons and a body of water named after a famous 16th century explorer who allegedly crossed the grounds.
It’s a Friday Jr. miracle! With the Masters bearing down, we bring you this special edition to help you get dialed for the first men’s major of the season. Joe Peta, famed author with a prior focus on advanced baseball analytics and betting, shifted to golf and published a 2019 Masters Preview. It’s out on Amazon now and we wanted to pick Joe’s brain about next week’s Masters and what went into his work. He brings it as we talk Tiger, Spieth, Rory, DJ being more like Matt Kuchar, and course changes to Augusta. We finish with a mind-blowing segment on the man known as Sir Nick. Thanks to Joe for the time. You can buy his Masters preview, a fast and fascinating read before the tournament, on Amazon.
This Wednesday episode begins with a rundown of the schedule and a surprise contender from abroad for Andy’s event of the week. We get in to the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, reviewing the format, and offering a different venue we’d prefer to see for the first two rounds. Then we hit on the ANA Inspiration and how it might be a model for The Players to wedge its way into the first major of the year. We ponder schedule difficulty and whether some amateurs should have to choose between Augusta and the first major championship. Then we get to the Texas Open, discussing the telecom-branded golf course and the field before proffering some absolutely fantastic Fan Vote Friday Jr. choices. Some bizarre language in a Masters scripting press release is panned. We close with Paulie’s picks for the Texas Open and a Masters fact of the day that unearths an amazing personality who could be considered a forerunner to the hands-on imposing style of Justine Reed.
We return from the weekend with a smorgasbord of golf news to assess. We go long on the WGC Match Play, which delivered the best day of golf so far this year. We start with a dramatic reading of an essay that appeared on TV on the unthinkable upset of Lucas Bjerregaard beating Tiger Woods. After having some fun with that, we get to Tiger’s actual play and Rory booting it against him. Then we get into Lee Westwood’s taunt of the American Ryder Cup operation, as well as the Tour attempting to cage the highlight of his ace because he endorses the wrong courier service. Then we give the Sergio-Kuchar concession drama a full reading. We examine how both are wrong and the reactions to the mess. We also discuss Brandel’s position that this Match Play event was not advancing the players who played the best golf, as well as the notion that success here means you should be on the team for the Cup events. We also quickly hit on Nick Faldo’s work, a source sending a nugget on some more Bryson match play antics at the Ryder Cup, and the “browning out” of Louis Oosthuizen’s shirt logo. We wrap with a Masters fact of the day and some Sunday scaries.
We begin this Friday edition with a personal story about the hazards of Los Angeles sidewalks. Then we get to the golf and Andy is not happy at all with how convoluted the PGA Tour has made such a simple, beautiful format of the game. We check in on some of the early match play results, lament Bryson’s actions from each of his first two matches, and critique the response to Tiger’s incredible shot from the bushes. Then we head to Puntacana to hail the Bitcoin Boy, aka Charlie Beljan, who returned to the PGA Tour living under par and inside the top 25. Also from Puntacana, we ponder the true amateur status of Tony Romo. In Flashback Friday, we celebrate a tournament that’s now extinct but is highly relevant for our modern moment. Our Masters fact of the day gets into some trademarking practices from the grounds at Augusta National.
The Shotgun Start content cup runneth over for this Wednesday edition. We begin with Tiger Woods’ perfect take on how equipment, not talent, has made fields more competitive compared to 10 years ago. We ponder who he might be referring to and who it has hurt most among the elite players. Then we get to the Indian Open at DLF Golf and Country Club, appreciating all the “ambient light,” rock outcroppings, waterfalls, and foam bunker faces that it has to offer. We also run through the tee sheet at the Corales DR event, which takes a lot longer than expected as we marvel at the field make-up of yet another opposite field championship. Eventually, we get to the WGC Match Play, where we make some picks, argue about the current format stinking, and review some of the features of the Austin course. In news, we update on the Reeds, both of them, enlisting David Leadbetter and the nugget that Justine’s swing analysis lined up with the famed instructor. We wrap with a Masters Fact of the Day on a forgotten champion who vehemently argued Augusta National conspired against him in an attempt to prevent him from winning over a favorite son.