What went down:
(2:15) Soly is in great spirits as he’s joined by KVV, Neil and Cody to digest the season finale. BDV is back for the second week in a row as in claiming the PGA Tour season finale. Viktor Hovland won the Tour Championship by five shots over Xander Schauffele at East Lake and took home a nice chunk of change ($18M, to be exact).
(4:20) That said, it’s hard to shake off the LIV vibe of this event. Probably the only place in the world where $18M is super anticlimactic. Now that the money talk isn’t so taboo, nothing about it is all that sexy! Neil suggests a live update of the money on the line. Why can’t we make this match play again…? This format needs to figure itself out.
(9:30) Shouts to the broadcast for going commercial-free on the back nine and letting the good golf between the final pairing take the stage. It’s been a refreshing playoffs presentation from CBS, with some great chemistry between Immelman and Nantz. The real hero of the Tour Championship, however, is the cameraman that ran with Hovland after the rain delay. Neil learns the difference between a hard and a soft camera.
(13:00) Let’s recap the final round a little bit more – Viktor Hovland gets a processional on the first tee? They both went 4-under in their first six holes, with Xander birdied 8 to cut the lead to 5. Both missed short birdie on 10 and are subsequently put on the clock? We’re talking big bucks here, no one is scared!
Xander birdied the next two holes to cut the lead to three, but Hovland stays afloat, continuing to par his way through the back nine before birdies on the last three holes. Xander birdied the last and shot an impressive 62.
(14:00) Time to play the O/U majors game starring Hovland. Setting the line at 2.5, the guys prognosticate the “cutie pie”’s chances.
(17:00) KVV raises a question—when is the last time we saw someone take an abysmal part of their golf game and turn it around in a matter of one year? Cody offers some background on the team Viktor’s has built around him, which includes a huge indulgence of stats.
(23:30) Let’s unpack 2023 for some of these big hitters who didn’t quite hit big. Why isn’t Xander better? Soly contests with Xander’s strokes gained, and Xander’s made an unreal amount of money at East Lake, but what exactly can we make of his career? He’s got all the goods – but seemingly lacks a killer instinct.
Has the world no. 1 figured out his putting woes? There were so many almosts this year with Scottie Scheffler this year. Is it time to worry about his putting re: Ryder Cup? Yeah, it is.
(41:50) The gamblers are furious – when is the Tour going to implement injury reports? We didn’t find out until Thursday that Rory hadn’t played a single hole of golf all week due to his injury. Not exactly fair to accept gambling money if there’s a lack of transparency on a player’s health.
(49:30) Monahan is booed in Atlanta! Is a match play season-ending event a tough sell for sponsors? The guys devise what a made-for-TV spectacle could be…without being “The Match.” Isolating the field to a handful of players might not be the answer, but how else can a bracket operate?
(58:50) Let’s start our Ryder Cup segment with a brief DP World Tour moment. Todd Clements won the Czech Masters by a shot over Matt Wallace. Some big finishes from Nicolai Hojgaard, Bob MacIntyre, Ludvig Aberg and Yannick Paul. Team Europe captain Luke Donald will make his captain’s picks on September 4th.
Time to dive in! Does Keegan deserve it? Even if he isn’t in the “cool kids” club? What do we make of his play + chemistry? Keegan’s team matchplay record is nothing to sniff at: 6-2-1. Cody argues Keegan is on the rebound – and that he’s deserving! Rickie, Cam Young, Spieth?
Which pairings are the right ones? Maybe the Europeans have the edge, but it seems like it’s marginal. Who will be the dark horse star of this Ryder Cup?
(1:33:00) The guys digested Jin Young Ko vs. Megan Khang in real-time, but Megan Khang prevails after one playoff hole for her first LPGA victory. Khang lost her final-round lead and Jin Young Ko rose to the challenge and nearly won it all before Khang birdied the final hole to send them into a playoff. The Solheim Cup solidifies.
(1:37:30) Other items, including the Walker Cup, the Korn Ferry Tour and the Alejandro Tosti tea! Putting a bow on the end of the PGA Tour season.
Shoutout to Soly for magnificently leading the live show charge all season long.
Best take: (41:50) The lack of injury reports was a weird thing for me to get into when I first started consuming golf on TV. Like, I really have to find out through a WD most of the time? I’m all for thickening the plot – and talking about injuries does that! We could have all had a collective sob fest leading up to the Tour Championship re: Rory. Also, the gambling community is not the best bunch to rile up. Everyone vouched for this, so everyone wins best take.
Worst take: (23:30) KVV, Neil: Not everyone has to be a major winning king. It’s ok if people like Xander are simply just mid in legacy? In sports, we have to detach technical greatness from win capability – and in a sad, strange way, that’s kind of beautiful. And memorable! Ask Dan Marino. Or Charles Barkley.
Mea culpas: (1:35:00) Cody issues an apology to Lexi Thompson for casting doubt on her Solheim Cup status.
(00:45) “You know I love the Tour Championship format where players of lesser skill get some strokes.” -KVV
“Players of more skill get extra strokes.” -Soly
“Oh sorry, I screwed up the whole thing!” -KVV
(12:15) “It looks pretty hard to me! I wouldn’t call it a flaccid camera.” -Neil
(1:18:30) “Do we feel good about Spieth?” -Neil
Referenced works: (1:40:00) Ryan French/Monday Q Info’s Alejandro Tosti article
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(59:00) Thanks as always to BMW for supporting our Ryder Cup segment, a worldwide partner of the 2023 Ryder Cup. BMW will be electrifying the Ryder Cup with a fully electric fleet of vehicles for players and officials.