Major(s) News & Notes, December 1, 2022
Are the Five Families meeting soon in Tampa? Plus, Open qualifying news from South Africa and Australia, the Masters Par 3 Course is completed, and a bunch of Tweets and Reads.
Days to the 2023 Masters first tee shot: 126
Days to the 2023 PGA Championship 168
Days to the 2023 U.S. Open first tee shot: 190
Days to the 2023 Open Championship first tee shot: 232
Days to the 2023 Ryder Cup first tee shot: 302
We’ve got a hodge-podge of items to chew on as the year winds down and leaves us way above average golf to watch.
Most of the world’s top male golfers will be padding their rankings at the Hero World Challenge just a good tee shot away where crypto went to die and the little schlubby thief is still yapping away to ABC and Dealbook. Even better Down Under, a bold refresh of the ISPS Handa Australian Open brings the men and women together to settle national championships on a pair of Sandbelt masterworks.
Earlier this week 2023 U.S. Open tickets went on sale this week and despite record-high prices, several readers reported running into a weekend round sellout just five minutes after the start time. Practice rounds at $125, $150 and $200 were a tougher sell. Those are still available, as are $475 Trophy Club tickets for Thursday. Also, all days for the Pacific Club starting at the not-very-low price of $1300 are still there. They make Lakers courtside seats almost look like a bargain.
Perhaps some of the profits can help the USGA intercede on behalf of Boston’s working class and Brookline Golf Course (a.k.a. Putterham), the public facility next to The Country Club which is now apparently under threat from a potential community land grab.
Just when we thought the world appreciated busy golf courses as important green spaces. Meanwhile, in First World news…
Golf Five Families Gathering In Tampa?!
The Telegraph’s James Corrigan says that a real life clandestine gathering of the Five Families will accompany December’s The Match. His report suggests Jay Monahan, Keith Pelley, Mike Whan, Seth Waugh and Martin Slumbers are likely participants at Pelican Golf Club along with Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.
The BBC’s Iain Carter reported this as well, but included a PGA Tour denial that Commissioner Jay Monahan would be flying in via the Steamboat Springs Express.
And what about Masters chairman Fred Ridley? The Tampa resident and member of Pelican? Corrigan writes:
It is as yet unclear if Fred Ridley, the chairman of Augusta National, will also be at the upscale course near Clearwater, but with the other three majors all sending their top brass, the Masters may not want to miss out.
Call me crazy, but a meeting of the Stracci’s and Corleone’s seems highly doubtful since it would go against the advice of most upright, non-comatose council in a world where LIV’s lawyers are hunting for any evidence of collusion. But if the meeting happens, I hope they can present Tiger with a deck explaining how the new OWGR works.
Honestly, I’d rather see this meeting televised than The Match. Even if it made Sir Charles Barkley doze off and everyone ignored Amanda Balionis’ interview requests.
Don’t you think Capital One’s Five Families Meeting At Pelican Golf Club has a ring to it?
Bradbury’s Into The 151st; Aussie Open Up Next
Joburg Open winner Dan Bradbury will be joined by Sami Välimäki and Christiaan Bezuidenhout at Royal Liverpool next year after the trio claimed the initial 2023 Open Qualifying Series spots.
Bradbury’s 21-under, wire-to-wire win put the Englishman three clear of runner-up Välimäki. Going into the tournament Bradbury ranked 1384th in the world and was making just his sixth pro start.
Bezuidenhout’s higher position in the Official World Golf Ranking gave him the final spot over Daniel Van Tonder.
The Qualifying Series continues this week with three spots available via the ISPS HANDA Australian Open, contested for the first time in conjunction with the Australian Women’s Open at two world class courses: Victoria and Kingston Heath Golf Clubs.
The field sizes were recently altered, with the men jumping to 156 players and the women reduced to 108. However, equal purses remain.
Hannah Green headlines the women’s field while 2022 Open Champion Cameron Smith, fresh off an Australian PGA win, leads the men’s side.
You can view tee times and scores here.
For American viewers, Golf Channel offers coverage from 8 p.m. ET to 1 a.m. ET Wednesday and Thursday, 10 p.m. ET to 3 a.m. Friday, and 8 p.m. to 1. a.m. Saturday.
ANGC Par 3 Course Update: It’s Alive!
Thanks to Eureka Earth’s images and John Boyette’s reporting, we know Augusta National’s famous par-3 course has undergone a significant overhaul this year. The first four holes have been re-routed or tweaked and multiple buildings created on the outskirts. Notably, water appears to be in play on all but one hole.
Here are the latest images of a finished product that gets a public unveiling and national ESPN audience on April 5, 2023:
This & That
🅁&🄰 The R&A announced that Grant Moir will become its Executive Director of Governance, effective January 1, 2023, leading the organization on matters related to the Rules of Golf, Amateur Status and handicapping. He succeeds David Rickman, who will remain as Chief Referee for The Open and AIG Women’s Open, along with a Chief of Staff role overseeing development of new headquarters in St Andrews.
🇪🇺 The player commitments for January’s inaugural Hero Cup—a.k.a. Ryder Cup auditions(ish)—has been announced. Playing captain Tommy Fleetwood’s British and Irish team includes Shane Lowry, Tyrrell Hatton, Ewen Ferguson, Robert MacIntyre, Callum Shinkwin, Jordan Smith, Matt Wallace and Seamus Power. The Continental European team captained by Francesco Molinari also includes Alex Noren, Thomas Pieters, Sepp Straka, Rasmus Højgaard, Victor Perez, Adrian Meronk, Thomas Detry and Guido Migliozzi.
🐅 Brentley Romine reviews the history between Greg Norman and Tiger Woods after this week’s addition to their oeuvre of mini-manspats.
🔢 Joseph LaMagna explains why the current world golf ranking is an improvement over the previous system.
🆗 Ken MacLeod reports that LIV is nearing a deal to bring a May event to Broken Arrow’s Cedar Ridge Country Club. Former PGA Tour player Charles Howell has been part of the venue securing process. 🧐
😭 ESPN lost 2 million subscribers in the fiscal year as more viewers migrate to streaming, Bloomberg’s Christopher Palmieri reports.
💍 Two-time major champion Collin Morikawa and longtime girlfriend Katherine Zhu were married last weekend.
📜 James Day on why he’s still drawn to persimmon drivers and the parallels with “retro” trends in surfing, cars and music.
🚘 Jeanette Settembre on how it’s never been a better time to pick up an overpriced, over-compensating luxury car as the crypto crowd rethinks their carbon footprint.
🕵️♂️ Jack Ma, the only person more elusive than Anthony Kim, was found by the Financial Times in Tokyo where he’s doing a lot of painting and warm springs work.
🛋 Leanne Italie on the unusual history of “gaslighting”, Merriam-Webster’s word of the year.
Enjoy what should be a fantastic golf reunion with the Sandbelt,
Rumor has it that his hair was once seen moving
Geoff, the hits just keep on comin', don't they? Great drop for 12/1/22... SBF, schlubby... MBS, scummy... and the 5 Families keep that thing of theirs rollin' on. I'm thinking the USGA must have put Martin Shkreli in charge of 2023 US Open pricing. Not a bad call as the Pharma Bro's model will appeal to all the other "bro's" out their who dig Barstool, Paige Spiranac's compelling world views, Bad Birdie wear, Buck Club gear sold through EBay, and anything from Tyson Lamb or Swag Golf. (Urppp.... yiffff....) Sorry, I just burped a bit of coffee-gooof back up. Ufff da.
But I wanted to thank you, specifically, for the direction from a couple of Quads back where you offered in Reads a NYT Guest Essay by Anand Giriharadas. I've been a fan of his for some time. My hope is that some of our Quadrilaterian Family took some time to read that piece. For those of us a bit long in tooth, we know what we have seen as we moved into this time and space: To call it horrific would be to short-shrift it. But then again, I'm a white Boomer and I'm pretty well despised and dismissed by much of today's world, so who gives a f*** about my opinion. So be it. I imagine, Geoff, you may be familiar with Tristan Harris. For those who aren't, take a few "bucks" out of your Attention Economy wallet and check out what the social media blitzkrieg is truly about, and why. However you can stay more present, do it.
I came to the Quadrilateral for the golf writing. I own a number of Geoff's books, had read the free Quad snippets I could, and then subscribed. It's been terrific. But it's the adjunct details that have surprised me, happily: Suggestions of what else might be interesting to read, comments from fellow subscribers, sharing all of the above with a few friends who not only love the game, but love the fact that the game has influenced our lives in ways we could have never foreseen when we began to play, at whatever age that may be. That's THE juice.
Geoff, I look forward to what 2023 will bring us, and how you'll help marshal some of that information that I find important enough to impact my Attention Wallet, gladly.