Veterans Padraig Harrington and Matt Kuchar each shot a 4-under 68 on Thursday to share the early lead with MJ Daffue and Roberto Diaz in the weather-delayed first round of the Valero Texas Open.
Major champs fly economy, JT gets chirped, the Koepkas hit the town | Rogers Report
Hello friends, especially those of you who are mourning the end of men’s major season! The Open Championship delivered in a big way, and it was extremely fun to watch golfers take their social media accounts across the pond. Players, caddies and fans always bring it to the next level during majors, and this week was no exception. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bummed about Rory McIlroy coming up just short, but between Max Homa getting to play with Tiger, Shane Lowry’s back-to-back eagles on Saturday and Cam Smith’s insane back nine on Sunday, there were plenty of memorable moments from this year’s Open.
I also find it pretty interesting that this year’s oldest men’s major winner is Justin Thomas! Twenty-five is the new 35 on Tour and I’m looking forward to a 15-year-old winning a major in the next decade or so.
Let’s take it from the top.
Spieth’s ice cream, Tiger’s glizzy
To know me is to know that I love ice cream. I keep a running list in my Notes app of every ice cream spot I’ve ever been (well, since 2016) along with a ranking and general observations of the scoop. So I was excited to see that Jordan Spieth enjoyed a cone at the Home of Golf last week!
A few things to note here. First, that man is absolutely going IN on that ice cream. Perhaps a cup would’ve been more appropriate for this situation just because he was playing golf, after all. Luckily for Spieth, his agent, Jay Danzi, was there to serve as a cone caddie.
Must be nice! The closest I get to this level of luxury is when I have my sister hold my ice cream while I drive home. Other than that, I carry around my own cones.
Next up we have Tiger doing Something Normal, which for some reason is always fun to see.
Mr. Eldrick Tont Woods, grabbing a hot dog at the turn! Just like any old guy at any old course, except for the fact he’s a 15-time major winner and this was taken at one of the wildest places in golf (Adare Manor at last week’s JP McManus Pro-Am).
JT gets chirped
Justin Thomas hit the kind of top you’d see at your local driving range on Thursday at The Open. The kind you only hit when you’re playing through a group so you’ve got a crowd.
He explained it on Twitter after his round, but I didn’t see video evidence of it until a few hours ago.
View with caution:
So it was only fitting that his playing parter, Shane Lowry, poked fun at Thomas on Friday when he hit a much better tee shot on the 18th at St. Andrews. I would like to take a moment to personally thank Bryan Scutt for sharing this marvelous clip on Twitter. Content warning: swears included.
Lowry said “Much improved anyways!” to which Thomas replied, “shut the f— up.” I love some good, friendly banter, and I really love it during a major championship. I also love knowing that not even a three-time major winner is immune to being made fun of on the golf course.
Lowry shared the following clip of his back-to-back eagles (!) on Saturday, and JT returned the favor with a spot-on reply of his own:
Then Smylie Kaufman got in on it, and now I’m extremely curious to know what happened at PGA National!
Winners on planes!
The following photos of Cameron Smith were shared as he took on the airport after winning The Open, and it got me thinking: are players traveling like the rest of us after winning an event the best genre of golf photos?
No big deal, just storing the Claret Jug in the overhead bin! We also can’t forget about past winners who have made similar moves.
Golfers doing normal things with Claret Jugs and green jackets in tow will never not be funny to me. While the rest of us are trying to navigate getting our laptops and iPads through security, these guys are carrying around pieces of history with them. I also can’t help but wonder how many people each winner was recognized by. Either way, I hope to see more content of pros flying commercial in the future.
Cameron Smith breaks a LONG streak
History is always made at the majors, but some serious history was made on Sunday at The Open. Not only did Cameron Smith win his first major, he broke the barrier for Camerons all over the world as he became the first-ever Cam to win a major. The first Open Championship was played in 1860, so this streak stood for 162 long years before Smith came around. Huge news for the Camerons out there!
Hopefully this now opens the floodgates. With Cameron Young hanging around and several other Camerons lurking (see Tringale, Davis, Champ), it might not be too long before we see another Cameron with a big win.
Brooks hits the town
Missing the cut is never fun, but at least missing the cut at The Old Course means you’ve got some extra time to hang out in St. Andrews. And that’s exactly what Brooks Koepka and Jena Sims did over the weekend before heading to their honeymoon. It’s not rare to see the pros out and about in St. Andrews, but it’s safe to say people were excited to see the four-time major champion.
The two are now off on their honeymoon, so even with a missed cut, it’ll be a good couple of weeks for Koepka.
Moving on from The Open (which I will miss dearly). I spent a few days in Tahoe for the American Century Championship the week before the Open, and it was a reminder that even people who can spend their time doing anything choose to play golf. It’s always fun to see celebrities and athletes take their talents to the course and to learn which ones are golf nuts just like the rest of us. When I got to chat with THE Nick Jonas, it’s safe to say my middle school self was freaking out. To be honest, mid-20s me was freaking out, too. I couldn’t think of anything to ask Jonas while standing next to him so I blurted out the first thing that came to mind: “How do you like your clubs?” Super cool. Anyway, here’s our chat about things other than his irons.
I also got to tour the Travis Mathew activations while exploring the course, which meant I checked off two goals: I got to practice my left-handed layups and buy a new t-shirt.
The most surreal (and my favorite) part of the American Century Championship by far was chatting with different athletes and celebrities about their own golf experiences. More on that to come this week!
And finally, I got to see Miles Teller A.K.A. “Rooster” hit a drive. I see a little Matthew Wolff in that move…
Before we go — speaking of Rooster — I’d be remiss not to share this Top Gun-inspired video from TaylorMade: