Welcome to another installment of The Grind where we pondered our mortality last week, thanks to the USGA, who announced the tournament pages 30 years in advance, and almost faced our mortality this week thanks to the swirling winds at Liberty National. I was nearly hit by a tee four times in about an hour during the first round of the Northern Trust, and not exactly four choppers at Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama, and Cam Smith. OK, after seeing Smith’s playoff tee four days later, this one makes a little more sense. In any case, I survived and got through, that’s all you’re really looking for in the playoffs. Here’s what (luckily still) got us talking.
Tony Finau: It took 1,975 days, including a Monday finish, but Finau is finally PGA Tour winner again after a playoff-playoff win at the Northern Trust. What a finish, with a back nine 30 to overtake world number 1 and Mullet Man. Hit it!
At the top of the leaderboard! And now that he’s got another win since the 2016 Puerto Rico Open (the curse of Coco Beach is dead, by the way), hopefully one of the most mystifying résumés in golf will even out. Seriously, take a look at these impressive stats:
And this graphic doesn’t mention the roughly 378,000 questions he (graciously) had to answer about his winless drought in between. Congratulations to Tony even though he is constantly faced with another question: “Why haven’t you won a major yet?”
Anna Nordqvist: Speaking of majors: The Swede won the third of her career at the AIG Women’s Open. And she took home the biggest check of her career ($ 870,000) for her efforts.
Nice job AIG raising all the prize money. It’s still not what the men do, but we’re getting there.
Bryson DeChambeau’s Next Experiment: The eight-time PGA Tour winner will compete in the 2021 World Long Drive Championship, which begins Monday September 27th. Odds makers list him at -10000 which he won’t win) and it will surely work wonders for the sport. Of course, he also comes up against serious criticism if he doesn’t play well at the Ryder Cup during the week and the day before. Grab your popcorn and tune into Golf Twitter folks!
Golf Enthusiastic Judges: Hank Haney dismissed his lawsuit against the PGA Tour for losing his job at SiriusXM Radio, but I’m not weighing that decision. I weigh how the weighing of this decision turned out. This is what the US District Court judge Rodolfo Ruiz wrote in his judgment on golf:
“As the court noted at the beginning of this matter, the allegations in this case – like a well-hit drive on the golf course – [have] avoids pleading dangers. . . remained within limits, leaving plaintiffs the opportunity to take their next shot. Plaintiffs’ next shot, however, did not go as well as their opening move. In an effort to reach the green and bring this matter to justice, the plaintiffs’ approach has found the water. And the federal code of civil procedure does not provide for mulligans. … The round of plaintiffs is over. “
Okay, there are some, um, crowds there, but we love the effort. Speaking of shafts. . .
Nanna Koerstz Madsen’s shaft: That’s right, I said it. Shaft. It’s amazing how many people use this word (and “yips”), but I’m not scared. Shaft. That was a SHANK:
Probably the worst sound in the world. And what a brutal time to do it when you are tied in the lead on the 72nd hole at a major championship. To be honest, it was a tricky descent in the bunker, but golf is not fair. Sorry, Nanna, it’s a cruel game. But not recognizing what it was won’t help. And hey, that’s still two top five placements in the majors this year. Look on the bright side! And does any hole in the world cause as much carnage as Carnoustie’s 18th? What a place to end a golf tournament. At least Nanna didn’t have to take off her shoes and climb into the fire.
54 Hole Leader: Tony Finau’s win continued a streak of 54 hole leaders / co-leaders who didn’t win. As pointed out by Club 15’s Justin Ray, it’s been an amazing 14 straight weeks that after three days (or four days in this case) the person in the lead doesn’t close the deal that dates back to Phil Mickelson’s PGA Championship win could. In other words, these guides got roughly the same results as those who tried their hand at this ridiculous milk crate challenge:
Anyway, just something for those in the lead late Saturday this week to think about. . .
The Scorecard Rule: I know I’ve mentioned this before, but the fact that you’re still responsible for signing a perfect scorecard – especially at a PGA Tour event in 2021 where an army of Volunteers laser your every step – is absurd. And last week, at the age of 50, the second most famous victim of this rule died after Roberto De Vicenzo. That would be Jaxon Brigman, who missed his PGA Tour card at the 1999 Q-School Finals with a stroke – because he signed for a shot higher than what he was shooting.
The PGA Tour takes place for the first time at the Caves Valley Golf Club in Baltimore for the BMW Championship, also known as the Pre-Tour Championship. This is your last chance to get into the top 30 of the FedEx Cup standings and advance to Atlanta next week. In other words, that’s what sets millionaires apart from multimillionaires. Many thanks to Tiger Woods. And as we celebrate the 25th (!) Anniversary of the Tiger film maker, our latest local knowledge explores what a world without forests would look like. Thank goodness we don’t live in a world without forests.
Random Tournament Facts: The record for the biggest win margin in this event is eight from Tiger Woods. That was in 2009 when he was on his way to winning the FedEx Cup for the second time in the first three years.
RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK
– A PGA Tour pro will try the Milk Crate Challenge: Equal Chances (Harry Higgs is likely favorite after jumping on the Dreams Challenge last year)
—A PGA Tour Pro will attempt the Milk Crate Challenge before entering the Tour Championship: 15 MILLION-to-1 odds
—I won’t try the milk crate challenge: LOCK
SHAFT! Man, that’s terrifying. But still better than hearing that sound.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK (SHIRTLESS DIVISION)
If you didn’t know, Stefan Schauffele is a legend. He would probably crush the milk crate without any problems. At the second thought, let’s not say we did it, Stefan.
VIRAL VIDEO (S) OF THE WEEK
Here’s how Ian Poulter kept his short game sharp in his hotel room during Hurricane Henri:
We could have called it “These guys are good this week” because well, these guys are good.
VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK (CELEBRITY DIVISION)
Some of these celebrity golfers are pretty darn good too. Check out Cody Bellinger winning a contest that is closest to the pin. From the home record.
Props to Cody. And even more props for the Dodgers who are holding a next needle contest at their ballpark to determine who gets first choice in their fantasy football design. Your top management deserves a raise for this team building.
“If you’d seen me play yesterday, you’d have said it was impossible.” – Cam Smith after hitting a 60 on Saturday.
THIS WEEK IN PUBLIC ADVERTISEMENTS OF SATISFACTION
Try not to smile as you watch this young Justin Thomas fan get a pair of Justin Thomas golf shoes from Justin Thomas:
Congratulations to Greyson Sigg on winning the Albertsons Boise Open on the Korn Ferry Tour. Looks like he used that trophy well:
Every hot dog consumed cuts life expectancy by 36 minutes, according to a new study. But according to another study, playing golf extends life expectancy. Let’s call it a push. . . . Celebrity Greens partners with Folds of Honor to create backyard golf courses for members of the military and their families. Well, that is an appropriate way to thank someone for their service. . . . We send good vibes to Patrick Reed, who suffers from bilateral pneumonia. Get well soon, Captain America, your country may need you for the Ryder Cup next month. . . . And finally, when Costco starts selling Halloween costumes in August:
Thank you, Costco. Between all the extra things I had to buy and the hot dog, I probably took a whole day off.
RANDOM QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT
How many costumes do I have to buy this year?
How many hot dogs have I eaten in my life?
Should golf fans wear helmets?