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What went down: Designated survivor KVV is back and this time joined by Golf Digest’s Joel Beall.
I DON’T GIVE A PISS BOUT NOTHIN' BUT THE TIDE: Nick Dunlap wins the American Express, becomes the first amateur to win a PGA Tour event in 33 years
(2:30) Someone call Roll Tide Willie – for the first time in 33 years, an amateur has won a PGA Tour event!
Alabama sophomore Nick Dunlap entered the final round of the American Express with a three-shot lead after a 12-under 60 had him surpassing the likes of Justin Thomas, Sam Burns, and Christian Bezuidenhout. Dunlap would eventually lose his lead but regain it after Sam Burn’s costly tee shot at the par 3 17th gave him a double and Dunlap a two-shot cushion.
KVV brings up a great question: Does it make sense for us to project enormous amounts of expectation on Nick Dunlap yet, even if he decides to turn professional?
This is the kind of feel-good stuff we seldom see from golf these days — and it’s worth taking a moment to bask in its greatness. Another rare part of golf? A visible sequence of amateur excellence in a short amount of time in Dunlap at the U.S. Amateur > Walker Cup > American Express.
And Phil and Tiger aren’t the only pro comparisons Dunlap gets…a certain Keegan Bradley in aesthetic sneaks in there. KVV and Joel also dig into the week that Burns, Thomas and Bezuidenhout had. Of course, Scottie Scheffler’s putting is a topic of conversation – but Joel alleviates any and all further concerns.
(39:40) If you win four times at the Desert Dubai Classic, does that equal one major? Don’t get your hopes up, Rory fans – I’m not sure this is how that works. Rory emerged in the early misfortune of Cameron Young and led by three shots at the turn. Even though he had a little deja vu moment on the 18th – leading by one – Rory managed to fend off Adrian Meronk and earn his 35th career win.
Joel raises the point that we’re numb to the usual excellence that is Rory McIlroy in recent years – especially since he’s not been able to update his major championship record.
KVV and Joel also get into Ryder Cup culture, Joaquin Niemann’s ranking comments and Haotong Li.
Lydia Ko wins at the Tournament of Champions
(1:04:00) Hand up – I thought it was over for Lydia, but we all know what happens when she gets an early season dub…it’s not quite over! She’s broken the winless streak and is just a point away from earning the last point (25) needed to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. She became just the seventh woman to reach 20 LPGA wins before the age of 27.
Joel says Lydia’s career hasn’t fully received its proper due – and KVV shares a few personal anecdotes about Lydia through his reporting career.
Alexa Pano’s runner-up finish has the guys covering her ascendance.
Other headline stories: Jay Monahan visits Saudi Arabia, Bernhard Langer, Sports Illustrated
(1:17:00) Everyone’s favorite new HBO drama, “The Framework Agreement,” continues. Discussing the development of the accusations against Yasir regarding the attempted kidnapping. Can anyone make the case anymore that the PIF is going to use golf as a force for good? Yeah, that seems to be going well.
(1:25:00) Talking Bernhard Langer’s last Masters. Fun fact: Langer was the last major winner to win with a persimmon driver!
(1:29:30) The passing of half of famer Jack Burke Jr., who won the Masters and PGA Championship in 1956.
(1:32:30) Angel Cabrera’s pursuit of returning to the United States, Tiger filing a trademark for a new logo.
(1:34:30) The mass layoffs at Sports Illustrated, and how it reflects a deeply troubled industry.
(1:44:00) What golfers would KVV or Joel open a bar with? Both reveal their top five picks to close the podcast segment.
(1:55:25) To close out the show, KVV reads his latest column, “Lost in the Sauce of Golf Training Aids,” a hilarious yet vulnerable peek at his reluctance to seek human assistance for his golf swing.
Best take: Slowing our roll on the Dunlap expectations! Yes, Dunlap just did something generational and deserves all of the hype. But we’re also allowed to bask in how incredible that is, instead of thinking about the next thing.
Worst take: I think there’s some truth to the nonchalance that is Rory McIlroy winning an event that’s not a major – and some of that might have to do with what the week in golf looked like. However, why do we want Rory to win a major so badly? Because we know how good he is.
Quotables: (12:30) “What Alabama boosters who are throwing all kinds of money right now are panicking about the current state of their athletic program with football – why wouldn’t they throw a bunch of money my way and I could try to win an NCAA Championship.” -KVV, on Nick Dunlap
(17:40) “Imagine if they replaced the sponsor’s interview with a parent cam? It never fails. There are moments of levity, but it really underscores the human being and says this is not just a performer. There can be really big stakes. I think my mom loves me to death, but I don’t think she loves me as much as Nick Dunlap’s mom.” -Joel
(1:49:00) “He just looks like a guy that should be in a pub at all times.” -Joel, on Shane Lowry
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