Welcome to First Off, my recap and reaction feature for Golf News Net members. Catch up on everything happening in the golf world each morning in an easy-to-consume format with commentary -- and sometimes insight -- to get your day started.
In today's kick-off edition:
- Jon Rahm is pro-cut
- 2024 PGA Tour schedule is out (sort of)
- Deal of the Day
- Rose is a pro
- Shout Outs
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Jon Rahm is pro-cut
At first he wasn't, but Jon Rahm is now pro-cut. It took a few different events for him to come around to it, but he sees the value in cuts, including in the designated events that are thought to be no-cut affairs starting next year. Speaking ahead of the Memorial, Rahm explained why.
"You earn your way into the weekend and then you earn that win. It's a part I enjoy and I experienced recently at the PGA," Rahm said. "I mean, that Friday had a different feel when I was fighting to make the cut. It's a different type of pressure and you never know what playing good on a Friday to make the cut might ignite towards the weekend. So I think it's a part of it. It's a part of the history. If that went away, Tiger making 140-something cuts in a row wouldn't have the same significance because that would never be broken again. So like I said, I pushed for the no cut and then as time has gone by I actually, I think we should have a cut."
He explained how a top-10 finish at last year's BMW Championship made him feel like a bit of an impostor.
"I based a lot of my reason before in what I did last year in the playoffs," he said. "I think it was at the BMW where through basically a round and a little bit I was basically going to miss the cut. Played nine good holes and played an amazing weekend and finished in the top 10, right. But who says you always deserve a chance to make the cut and be on the weekend. I don't know. It was just a feeling I had."
2024 PGA Tour schedule is out (sort of)
We have a sense of the cadence of the 2024 PGA Tour schedule. Apparently the Tour has been presenting an advanced outline -- a skelton schedule, if you will -- of the docket to players and agents, according to Golf Channel. It looks like the Tour wants to keep its word of never having a full-field, non-designated event sandwiched between designated events.
Instead, the tour will largely run in two- and three-week blocks of either designated or non-designated events. This way, there are ways to play into the next designated event and have a cadence to the season where majors are paired with designated events to create a drafting effect on tournaments. It's a smart idea and concentrates when the top players play so that they have ample rest if they want.
What wasn't included in the skeleton schedule seems to be the opposite-field events. We have a new one in Myrtle Beach for next year, and it'll be played opposite a designated event. So how many designated events will be played with opposite-field events running concurrent to them? A few? All? Some in between? This will be pivotal in how the Tour tries to make up for lost playing opportunities in the four full-field events that are about to become limited-field affairs.
Deal of the Day
Our friends at Sqairz are offering a great deal leading into Father's Day. Save $25 on a pair of Sqairz, and they'll come with three pairs of their performance socks (which I wear quite freqently), as well as a Sqairz hat. I predominantly wear Sqairz when I play because I love the comfort, traction and stability that I get with them. You will, too.
Rose is a pro
Rose Zhang makes her professional debut this week outside of New York City at Liberty National Golf Club for the inaugural Mizuho Americas Open. The $3 million event comes on the heels of Zhang winning a second-consecutive NCAA individual title and ending an amateur career that saw her won 12 times in 20 collegiate starts.
The good news for Zhang is that she has ample time to play her way into the professional life. She has exemptions into four standard LPGA events (here, two Ohio events and the Canadian Open), as well as into the four remaining majors.
“Try to adjust as much as possible to tour life and figure out what it means to be a professional, what I want to do out here,” she said. “I feel like I have a lot of time to experiment what I want to do, so that's kind of the mindset that I have going throughout my career and even going forward.”
A shout out and best wishes to Jessica Korda, who has announced she is taking an indefinite leave of absence from the LPGA Tour while she recovers from a nagging back injury. Korda said in a social-media post that her doctors have recommended she doesn't play again until she is fully healed, and when that could be is anyone's guess.
"At the advice of my medical team, I have made the tough decision to stop playing until I can get my back fully healthy," she said. "At this point, we don't have a firm timeline for my return, but I'm working with the best of the best and am focused on coming back as soon as possible."
Hopefully it's sooner than later.