Just in time for the continuation of the 2020-21 PGA Tour season we have an online society up and running on PGA Tour2K21.
Are we serious gamers? No.
BUT it’s fun to hunt down actual, real-life courses to play and we’ll do our best to get the ones the pros are playing on each week for the tournament. We’ll also throw in some midweek events are user created courses.
Hand up! I could not find Kapalua, but I do have Waiʻalae Country Club lined for next week’s Sony Open.
Let’s hit the sticks and have some fun. Tournament action on the society gets underway on Thursday.
First tournament of the year. Star-studded field. Hawaii. Let’s do this.
We are going to try something a little different with the previews in 2021. Below are 10 things to know about 2021 Sentry Tournament of Champions.
1) The event is taking place at the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort. It’s a par 73 and it opened in 1991. The course features unreal ocean views, VERY wide fairways, and big-time elevation changes. Take a look at some of these pics. This place is a DREAM.
2) The field of this event is always a mixture of star power and unexpected winners from some of the lesser touted Tour events. Twenty-eight golfers qualified for the 2021 event via their TOUR victories last season. Seventeen golfers earned a spot in Hawaii via their appearance at the TOUR Championship. Eight of the top-10 players in the world will be teeing it up, including Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas (the top-three players in the Official World Golf Rankings). Some other notables in the field are Collin Morikawa, Webb Simpson, BRYSON, Daniel Berger, and Viktor Hovland.
3) Dustin Johnson has won this event twice and is coming off a pretty decent stretch of golf… You may have heard he won the Tour Championship and the Masters. He ended 2020 by finishing no worse than T6 in his final seven events, including three wins and three runners-up. Not bad.
4) Justin Thomas will look to defend his Tournament of Champions title after winning in a three-man playoff a year ago. He bested Patrick Reed and XANDER thanks to carding a birdie on the first and third playoff holes (the par-5 18th for all three).
5) Speaking of Xander he’s had some STRONG finishes here in Hawaii. He won in 2019, lost in a playoff last year and he’s also tied the 18-hole scoring record with a final round 62 in 2019 to best Gary Woodland by one stroke.
6) There are seven first-timers playing in the Sentry Tournament of Champions this year, highlighted by Viktor Hovland and 2020 Rookie of the Year Scottie Scheffler.
7) The last four winners of the Sentry Tournament of Champions went on to finish in the top-five of the FedExCup standings at season’s end. Good for their bank accounts.
8) Can JT go back-to-back? No golfer since Geoff Ogilvy (2009-10) has won the Sentry Tournament of Champions in back-to-back years.
9) Each of the last two years has seen a winner decided on the 18th hole or in a playoff! And what do the winners get… Take a look at the trophy below. What is that? Is that a whale coming out of whale shaped wave? Am I missing something?
10) Primetime golf is back! The event will air on Golf Channel Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 6:00 pm (ET) – 10:00 pm. On Sunday it’s on NBC from 4:00pm (ET) – 6:00pm then switches over to Golf Channel for the conclusion. Take a break from the NFL playoffs this weekend, tune in during halftime or channel surf.
It should be a fun weekend of golf. I know I’m pumped.
As we enter our first full calendar week of 2021, the PGA Tour is back in Hawaii with the Sentry Tournament of Champions. The event typically is a showcase of all the players who won last season on Tour plus some exemptions.
This year, the 42-man field is STACKED.
Before we get into the event and the upcoming/remainder of what should be a WILD 2021 (6 MAJORS! Two of which are already in the books). Let’s address the elephant in the room.
**Alexa play Since You’ve Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson**
A LOT has happened since late July.
Since we last came across your screens, DJ donned a green jack, Morikawa ran away from the field to capture the PGA Championship, and our sweet content prince Bryson DeChambeau blitzed the field at the US Open.
Our New Year’s resolution is to get our act together and flood your social channels with the best golf content on the internet.
This week, we’ll have our Sentry TOC preview (Tuesday), picks for the event (Wednesday) and recaps and coverage throughout the weekend.
My personal favorite moment of the 2020-21 PGA Tour season…
Hope you didn’t fade me last week because your boy was hot! At the 3M Open, we hit on Finau top-10, Wolff top-20 and Bubba Watson missing the cut. Nearly cashed on Finau outright to win and our darkhorse (Max Homa at +7000) finished T3.
This week, we have no cuts! It’s the WGC Fed-Ex St. Jude’s Classic. The field is absolutely loaded. In all, 45 of the top 50 players in the OWGR will tee it up at TPC Southwind – the most of any event during the 2019-20 TOUR season. WOW!
This week, the PGA Tour announced a new partnership with DraftKings. In the vein of that announcement, we are using their odds this week and moving forward.
Locked and loaded. Let’s go.
Finishing Position Rory McIlroy Top-10 (+150): Listen, Rory McIlroy has flat out stunk since the restart. As a fan of the Ulsterman, it’s been tough. Rory has finished outside the top-10 in four straight starts for the first time since 2018. His next start the last time that happened was a W at the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational. He was playing in the final group here last year and ended up finishing fourth. He also holds the course record (62 with Jon Rahm), which he shot in the third round last year. Cash it.
Daniel Berger Top-20 (+120): Daniel Berger. Haven’t heard from him in a couple weeks. Oh and in case you were wondering, Daniel Berger loves the course. Over the last 10 years with players that have played at least 10 rounds at TPC Southwind, Berger owns the best scoring average at 67.8. Too easy guys. He got a pair of top-three finishes in three starts after the break.
Max Homa Top-20 (+350): Max played great last week. Sure, his missed some putts down the stretch, but he put himself in position to make a move. After struggling with a string of missed cuts, he’s starting to figure it out again. Ball striking was great. Putting left a little to be desired, but I see another strong finish from him. Max shared an interesting tidbit on emotion on the golf course.
I will definitely say I’m going to implement this and then fail within three holes during my next round.
Viktor Hovland Top-20 (+120): Viktor! After a week off, the Norwegian is back. He’s been on a tear since the restart. He has racked up three top-12 finishes. He was primed for success before a tough 77-79 weekend at The Memorial. He’s playing in his first WGC. I don’t think he’ll have any jitters. Hey Viktor, what did the D.A.R.E. officers in Norway teach you…
Tommy Fleetwood Top-20 (+125): Tommy lad! Listen, hand up. I fudged up with my Fleetwood calls last week. That’s on me. I can admit that. The putter let us down last week. He put on a stripe show during the exhibition on Wednesday and I thought I was going to laugh all the way to the bank. I am a man of my word. I am doubling down (of sorts). No cut this weekend. Let’s get a backdoor T20, Tommy!
How I feel after every missed putt.
Those are my plays for this week. Who are your picks for the week?
I’ll write about some of the feature groups tomorrow. Come back!
P.S. It was very difficult not to mention the B word during this. On principal, I’m not backing him this week. He’s going to go viral and force my hand. I know it. Are B**so* and I the golf blogging equivalent of Ross and Rachel (They weren’t on a break BTW)? Time will tell.
After a one-week hiatus we are back. If you didn’t catch any of the golf this weekend you weren’t missing much. A lot of the big names took the week off with a big week two-week stretch ahead with the WGC St. Jude in Memphis and the PGA Championship at Harding Park in San Francisco.
Playing in the final group on both Saturday and Sunday Michael Thompson held on to score his second career PGA Tour win. His first came seven years ago! There were a ton of guys chasing him and he did just enough to card a one-stroke win!
Michael Thompson wasn’t the only winner this week. Let’s take a look at our Monday Morning Superlatives and all the oddities you might have missed last week in the golfing world.
Most Likely to Not Get a Slow Play Warning… Renato Paratore.
Renato won the Betfred British Masters hosted by Lee Westwood this week in England. It was the first official event on the European Tour in five months. He scored a three-stroke-victory with his decisive play. I mean this dude plays quick. Love it. I LOVE IT. Reminds of Brooks Koepka in how quick he gets it going. By the time your turn comes up, you know your lie and what you want to do. The only iffy thing about our boy is he spent this past week putting with his glove on.
Most Likely to Make an Absurd Par… Sangmoon Bae. During the first round of the 3M Open, Sangmoon made a mess of things (kind of) on the par-5 18th hole.
His 250-yard hole out (for par!) was the longest hole out for par in the shotlink era. The previous best was 176 yards by Steven Bowditch in 2013. I mean what a ride that hole was. Tee shot wet. Drop two. Third shot wet. Drop four. Par from 250 out into the bottom of the cup.
Most Likely to Have Me Worried… Dustin Johnson. After going 80-80 and missing the cut at The Memorial. DJ made a mess of things of early on during the first round of the 3M open. He carded a 78 in round one before withdrawing with a back injury. We are getting to a pivotal stretch in the PGA Tour season. I hope he’s healthy.
Most Likely to Come Up Clutch… Michael Thompson. He played some great golf on Sunday. He wasn’t overpowering the golf course, but he made some huge putts and some very clutch shots. In a tie for the lead with Aaron Long (who was already in the clubhouse), Thompson came up to the driveable par-4 16. He tugged his tee shot into a greenside bunker leaving himself a tough up-and-down. Thompson had 37 yards to the pin. He hit the following shot to tee feet for an easy and eventual tournament-winning birdie. Clutch.
Most Casual Celebration… Bo Van Pelt.
Listen, I know these guys are pros. But, you have to show more emotion than this. I know it was Thursday. But come on! It’s a hole-in-one. The odds of a professional golfer making a hole-in-one are 2,500-to-1. That’s pretty unlikely. I know they have the saying “Act live you’ve been there before” but you have to be better. BE BETTER!
Most likely to be a Weekend Warrior… Adam Long.
Adam Long went from making the cut on the number to solo second thanks to a casual 63-64 weekend. He was T-51 starting the weekend and he cashed a solid 714K! Not a bad 48 hours!
Best Dressed… Charl Schwartzel. The 2011 Master’s champ was an absolute mood on Sunday.
What a fit that is. Oh my goodness. I didn’t know that Michael Kors made golf clothes. Also, that hat is a 1100 out of 10. You bet your ass I was scouring Amazon looking for one just like it. Oh and he had a pretty solid Sunday. He carded a three-under 68 to finish T3 despite making a double bogey on his second hole of the day. I will say this though. WTF is going on with his putter.
Seriously. Is this thing legal? I feel like if your handicap is under 20 then you just can’t have a putter like that. Did he buy that thing while he was drunk off an infomercial on the Golf Channel at 3:30 in the morning? I need to know more about this.
Most likely to Make You Rich… Me! If you listened to my gambling picks column on Tuesday, you had a pretty solid weekend. I called Bubba missing the cut, Finau top-10 and Wollf top-20. I nearly cashed big time on Max Homa winning outright (+7000). Notes to know for you heading into next week in Memphis!
What did I miss?
Are you ready for a big two-week stretch on the PGA Tour?
Should have some monster featured groups in at the WGC. Let’s go.
Alright, we are back. In the first iteration of our weekly gambling picks we had a lackluster performance at The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide. We went 1-for-2 in making/missing the cut (Brooks made it on the number!). We went 0-for-2 on positional picks (freaking Kisner and Justin Rose). And our head-to-heads were 0-for-2. Tiger and DJ both missed the cut and Xander finished better than Rickie.
So in week 1 we went 1-for-6. Not great.
In the words of the immortal Jordan Belfort…
New week. New me. All these odds are from FanDuel.
Make/Miss The Cut Mackenzie Hughes to MAKE the cut (-142): Mackenzie has been playing like an absolute stud in the restart. He’s quickly becoming my favorite Canadian Golfer (although there isn’t much competition). He’s made four straight cuts. He’s finished in the top-6 in two of his last three starts. Put it on the board.
Bubba Watson to miss the MISS the cut (+215): Listen, I can’t just pick guys to make the cut every time. He’s missed three of the last four cuts. He shot 76 on Sunday at Muirfield Village. I’m not happy to be routing against someone. It is what is. Lock it in.
Finishing Position Matthew Wolf Top-20 (+125): The defending champ absolutely tore this place up last year. He’s defending a title for the first time this week. I think he’ll have a strong week on a course that suits his game. Shoot, I almost took him for top-10. He has a little scar tissue from his meltdown at the Rocket Mortgage Classic a couple weeks ago. I think the open set up this week will help the bombers.
Tony Finau Top-10 (+150): Speaking of bombers, Tony put on a clinic off the tee last week. We don’t need to speak about his final 18 holes. Let’s keep the first 54 in our memory. He has four top-10s this season. He also ranks 11th this season on Tour in shots gained tee-to-green.
Tommy Fleetwood Top-10 (+165): I know he hasn’t played a competitive round since The Player’s Championship first round in early March, but here me out. He is one of the best ball strikers on the planet. He shot 64 at Shinnecock Hills last weekend to get himself ready. I know his putting has been an issue at times. He’s playing the nine-hole exhibition on Wednesday so we’ll see where his game is. If you don’t believe me listen to the lads below…
*Remember bars. Remember the Ryder Cup. Simpler times.
Outright Winner Tony Finau (+1400):Let’s get weird. I can’t believe he’s never won on the PGA Tour. He had three great rounds and a terrible Sunday last week. Let’s have some short term memory and hope Tony does too.
Dark Horse Pick Max Homa (+7000): Max Homa is coming off a MC at The Memorial. He’s playing in the featured groups, so you’ll get to see him plenty on Thursdayand Friday. Listen, he’s been struggling. He has missed the cut in four of his last five tournaments. He opened with a two-under 70 last week and he’s been under par in three of his missed cuts. He’s not playing bad. Just needs more birdies. There will be plenty of opportunities this week. Throw 10 bucks on Homa and when you’re 700 dollars richer just remember who to thank!
I didn’t think I’d be writing about a guy that ended his round 21 shots off the pace after carding a six-over-par 78, but here we are.
Sunday was peak Phil Mickelson. Before we dive into his shenanigans on the links, let’s catch everyone up to speed. During the final round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide (how annoying is that), he did the following.
Positioned his coffee tumbler on the green with the sticker facing the camera
Putted from 80 yards out
Laid up on a par 3
What a character. So starting on the second hole, Mickelson started to place his coffee tumbler on the green directly in line with the camera. Ambush marketing. Nobody and I mean nobody is a better marketer than Phil.
Sitting at eight-over-par after a perfect 364-yard drive right down the middle on 13, Phil decided to pull his putter. Seriously. If I saw someone do this at a muni I’d laugh. This guy did it on Sunday of the biggest PGA Tour event this season. Phil DGAF.
After leaving the putt short of the green he told his brother and caddie “I saw that playing out differently in my mind.” What the hell did you think was going to happen, bud! It get’s better! His next shot was unreal flop. Full swing. Full send.
I love when Phil flops it. Best in the game. I would have bladed that thing three holes over with a swing like that. Ho hum par.
He saved his best for the difficult par-3 16. The hole has been the toughest all week and is playing nearly a whole stroke over par. He laid up. On a 173-yard hole over water. HE LAID UP!
He left himself 43 yards to get up and down for par. He ended up missing his 14-foot par attempt. So not sure the strategy paid off. Have I unintentionally laid up on par 3. Yes. Yes, I have. Should Mickelson have laid up. No. No, he shouldn’t.
All in all it was a wild ride for Mickelson. He had four bogeys. One double bogey and zero birdies. Tough sledding in some brutal conditions on a very firm course.
If Phil Mickelson shot 78 what would you have carded?
From the tips, I probably would card a 150. No joke.
My love affair with Bryson DeChambeau is over. No more cute nicknames. No more getting jazzed up over his ridiculous lines off the tee. He showed his true colors today. He is a spoiled brat on the golf course and no matter how cool he tries to be his child-like behavior always comes back.
Heading to the scoreable par-5 15th hole, Bryson was +1 for the tourney. He then proceeded to record a 10! A quintuple bogey. Sad to say this is relatable, but how he handled everything during the hole and after was not. Here’s the shotcast for him.
To recap: He drove it into the hazards (shout out). Dropped 2. Hit his third Oscar Bravo. Dropped 4. Hit his fifth Oscar Bravo in the same spot. Dropped six. Hit his seventh 259 yards to the right rough (short side) 44 yards from the hole. He then had a 10-minute debate with a rules official on whether his first ball was actually OB (it was). His eighth shot was to 29 feet. He then two-putted for a 10.
I HATE how relatable that video is. The number of greens I walk off going like that en route to my double bogey is HIGH.
Look at this tweet from the guys at No Laying Up about his 15th hole.
26 minutes! What a joke. That messes with your playing partners rhythm, the guys behind you and the flow of the round. Such a shitty move by our former boy.
Let’s take a deeper look at his antics.
Here is Bryson maybe, but definitely fluffing down the rough before his drop. Listen, I do this ALL THE TIME and it’s fine in my book if you’re playing in a scramble or with the boys at the local muni. BUT, you can’t do this on the PGA Tour. Is this legal? Get me a rules official stat!
Here is Bryson not believing the rules official and calling for another ruling. While this was going on during the broadcast, Sir Nick Faldo explained the rule pretty darn clear and that Bryson was indeed out of bounds.
On the next hole, Bryson’s caddie pulled one of the most outrageous moves I’ve ever seen. I’m not being hyperbolic here. His caddie literally ran in front of a camera to block them from showing Bryson walking after a poor tee shot into a par three.
That was outrageous!
Live look at Brooks scrolling twitter…
I cannot wait to hear how Bryson spins this in his post round interview. Let’s be honest.
Next week, I’ll be back on Bryson’s jock. I’m addicted to his CONTENT.
Tiger’s Caddie, Joe LaCava, had a quick and interesting chat with the guys over at Caddie World earlier today leading up to the start of tomorrow’s The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide. After a five-month layoff, Tiger and LaCava are back at it this week in Ohio.
Here’s a quick history on LaCava. He’s been on Tiger’s bag since 2011. Tiger and Joe linked up after TW split with longtime caddie Stevie Williams. LaCava came up on the bag of Fred Couples, who is Tiger’s boy, in the 1990s. Joey and Tiger share a special bond. If you don’t know anything about him, the brief interview below should let you know how awesome he is.
What an absolute gem this guy is. Would LOVE to throw a few back with him. He probably has some awesome stories. Just crushing Netflix and playing golf. Now he’s back on the bag for the GOAT. Fuck all. What a statement. Joe LaCava DGAF.
I might have to mess around power rank some of the caddies on Tour. Spoiler Alert: Joey’s in the top spot!
After a little research, I found that not only is there a Caddie Hall of Fame, but Joe is in it. He’s caddied for Fred Couples, Dustin Johnson, Davis Love III, Tiger and Justin Leonard. What an eclectic group of personalities that is.
The PGA Tour is still at Muirfield Village in Columbus, Ohio for the second week in a row! This week, the course is primed for the 2020 Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide.
The field is stacked, the rough has been grown out over the last two weeks (thanks rain!), the greens have been sped up and the course is going to be tipped out. Despite all that, I hope they consider moving up the tee box on 14 again like they did last week. It made for some great drama, especially on Sunday.
Can Collin Morikawa run it back and win two weeks in a row? Can Tiger win in his first start since February? Who will emerge from these SUPER groups we have on Thursday and Friday. Lots of questions heading into the week.
HOW TO WATCH Thursday (All times Eastern) PGA Tour Live: 7:15 AM – 6:30 PM Golf Channel: 2:30 – 6:00 PM Friday PGA Tour Live: 7:15 AM – 6:30 PM Golf Channel: 2:30 – 6:00 PM Saturday PGA Tour Live Featured Groups: 8:40 AM – 3:30 PM PGA Tour Live Features Holes: 3:30 – 6:00 PM Golf Channel: 12:30 – 3:00 PM CBS: 3:00 – 7:00 PM Sunday PGA Tour Live Featured Groups: 8:40 AM – 3:30 PM PGA Tour Live Features Holes: 3:30 – 7:00 PM Golf Channel: 12:30 – 3:00 PM CBS: 3:00 – 7:00 PM
STORYLINES & SUPER GROUPS The field this week is absolutely loaded. Nine of the top-10 players in the world are in the field and 22 of the top-25. Lots of OWGR points on the line. Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson and Webb Simpson all have a chance to become the No. 1 player in the world with a win.
Tiger is back and playing with Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy during the first two rounds. Just take a minute to let that sink in. They go off Thursday afternoon and first thing Friday. Tiger is back. His swing has looked great in all the viral videos that have popped up during the past few months. Can he put it together and compete with the younger players for four days? A win gives him the all-time record (83). Every time he plays until he wins they are going to talk about this. Brooks is hungry after a missed cut and has some shit talking to Bryson to back up. He hasn’t won since last July. He always plays well in bigger events. Expecting good stuff from him. Rory is going to Rory. Hopefully he can cut down on the mistakes and string some birdies together. This group will be fun to watch. Like really fun.
Is the course going to hold up for two weeks in a row? Um, yes. The PGA Tour posted the picture below and oh my god does Muirfield still look pure. The grounds crew has been working around the clock over the last two weeks. They’ve grown the rough out. The greens have been sped up. I’m interested to see the divot situation between last week and the practice rounds this week. For those guys playing both weeks it will be different for sure. Different tee boxes and angles off the tee. Faster and less receptive greens. Should play firmer and faster and the hot temps in Ohio will help with that.
Another one of the super groups is Bryson DeSLAMbeau (god I missed typing that, but I enjoyed our week apart), Collin Morikawa and Patrick Cantlay. These are the last three winners at Muirfield. Bryson is back and obviously he’s been posting a TON on social media. How many times will we see the Kraken during the first round. What a name for your diver by the way. Can Morikawa go back-to-back? His ball-striking on Sunday was unreal. Kid plays with confidence and he’s care free, although I still think his putter under pressure is questionable. He nearly missed a two-footer to force the playoff last week. Cantlay takes two days standing over every shot. He annoys the crap out of me, but he gets results. Can’t knock it (I will continue to knock it). Below is the hype video Bryson posted this week. There is no way he can keep that swing speed up consistently without hurting himself, right?
WHO DO WE HAVE WINNING IT ALL Steve: This is the week, guys. This is it. Rory is back after a two-week vacation. That means I’m going with the No. 1 player in the world. But Steve, he hasn’t performed well in the restart. Hmm. Interesting take. Let’s do some research… Rory has finished outside the top-ten in three straight starts. His finishes in his next event the last three times he did that: Win, T2 & T4. LFG! Rory McIlroy and -14 winning score.
CWalks: Let’s look at the power rankings this week heading back into Muirfield. We have Bryson, Collin Morikawa, and Justin Thomas in the top-three. I really want to give Justin Thomas the nod on this one and go with what the rankings are telling me, but I’ve really been into Viktor Hovland lately. This kid has finished in the top-25 in every tournament since the restart after COVID. He’s super young and I’m not sure if he is yet ready to deal with the Sunday pressure especially with a lot of big names in the field this week. However, I can’t help but think that he has to break through and pull out a win very soon. So why not, I’m pulling for Hovland this week to take home the Memorial.
Foster: This week I’m keeping it simple. I know everyone’s going to pick Tiger. And in case you didn’t know – I’m everyone. Why? Never bet against a legend. 18-under wins it for the Big Cat.