Let's play a game of 2019-'20 PGA Tour Jeopardy!
After two excruciating, interminable weeks, the PGA Tour is officially back, and with it meaning, purpose and a reason to go on. You know the faces and remember the names (it hasn't been that long), but there's still a lot to cover, so fire up the DVR, thaw that TV dinner and settle in for the inaugural edition of PGA Tour Jeopardy! While the winnings are totally imaginary, keep that buzzer at the ready, because Jeopardy! has never been about the money—it's about how much smarter you are than everyone.
America, you're in control of the board
We'll take "Take Me Home Country Roads for $800, Alex...
What is West Virginia?
This weekend the heart of Appalachia plays host to A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier, which, despite sounding like every Bob Hope Christmas special ever, is actually the first official stop on the 2019-'20 PGA Tour calendar. There have been a few grumbles about it falling just two weeks after the FedEx Cup finale (cough Max Homa cough), but the field still boasts some names you might actually recognize, including Viktor Hovland, Harold Varner III, Bryson DeChambeau and defending champ Kevin Na. Expect rounds to last eight hours, give or take.
Let's try "The Tortoise" for $1600...
What is barometric pressure?
Bryson DeChambeau's exhaustive pre-shot routine went from the best thing ever to the No. 1 thing wrong with golf over the course of 2019. That's as much a reflection of internet reactivism as it is Bryson, but slow play is certainly the hot button issue entering a new PGA Tour season, and DeChambeau, thanks in large part to his Molasses-flowing-uphill-in-January performance at the Northern Trust, is its serial offender. So far the PGA Tour has declined to institute any new policies (changes are in the works, officials say), choosing instead to enforce those already in place. Expect then more of the same fireworks—including but by no means limited to Brooks Koepka's head exploding—this fall.
We'll go with "Anatomy" for $400...
Who is Brooks Koepka?
Speaking of Brooks "Just the hit freakin' ball" Koepka, the PGA Tour's mad king spent the majority of his two-week offseason in Bristol, Conn., stripping down for ESPN's "Body Issue" and starring in a pair of SportsCenter commercials just like Arnold Palmer, Tiger Woods and, um, Rickie Fowler before him. We don't yet know when Koepka will make his season debut, but don't expect too much until the major roll around. That's when Koepka, who is only here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, finally runs out of bubblegum.
"Anatomy" for $600, Alex...
What is the knee?
DJ and TW both ended 2019 in a bit of a funk, looking banged up at best and completely disinterested at worst. Thus it was no surprise when both underwent arthroscopic knee surgery as soon as their respective seasons wrapped up. Whether or not some fresh cartilage and R&R will be enough to reinvigorate these PGA Tour pillars remains to be seen, but we shouldn't have to wait long for the answer. Tiger Woods already committed to the PGA Tour's Zozo Championship in October, and Dustin Johnson will surely look to get a few competitive rounds under his white belt before the Presidents Cup in December.
How about "Country Roads" for $2000?
[DING DING DING] WE HAVE OUR FIRST DAILY DOUBLE!
In the spirit of James Holzhauer, let's make it a true Daily Double, Alex.
What is "leaf peeping?"
Meaning "red leaf hunting" in Japanese, "momijigari"—the act of viewing fall foliage—first originated in the Heian period (794-1195 AD) and has been passed down through countless tranquility-seeking generations ever since. Although the vibrant reds don't normally peak in the Tokyo area until later in the fall, there should still be pops of color starting to show when the PGA Tour heads to the far east for the very first Zozo Championship on Oct. 24. Stateside viewing is going to make The Open seem positively sane by comparison—noon tee times will go off around 1 a.m. ET—but with a nearly $10 million purse and a stacked field featuring the likes of Tiger and newly minted FedEx Cup champ Rory McIlroy, it's going to be must-see TV, colorful canopy or no.
"Mooch" for $1200 please...
What is "Kuch?"
Poor Matt Kuchar. At this point we feel for the guy. Really we do. If you don't, however, we can't blame you, as the former PGA Tour everyman has stepped in it at every available opportunity since his caddie-tipping controversy turned him into the tour's Joker seemingly overnight. And just when we thought the golf world was beginning to forgive him—he can laugh at his own expense! he's a hilarious dancer!—Kuch went ahead and started pulling up loose impediments from his zen rock garden during the middle of a round at the Porsche European Open last weekend. The act, while strictly legal, is, just like the tipping thing, an ethical no-no, and it now looks like Kuchar will begin this season as he spent the last: At the top of Golf Twitter's sh*tlist.
"Former Presidents" for $800, Alex
What is the Presidents Cup?
No matter how hard you have tried to forget, the Ryder Cup happened last year, which means, of course, that 2019 will play host to yet another Presidents Cup (think the Ryder Cup, only with the rest of the world replacing the Europeans.) This year's iteration takes place at Royal Melbourne, mate, poses similar viewing challenges to the Zozo Champ, and features a U.S. team consisting of Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, Webb Simpson, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau and four captain's picks. Who U.S. captain Tiger Woods ultimately selects is anybody's guess, but here's hoping Phil makes the flight come Dec. 9.
Let's try "The Hare" for $1600...
What is 15 weeks?
With the Presidents Cup and the 2020 Olympics—plus the newly condensed majors season that begins with the Masters on Thursday, April 9—the meat of the PGA Tour's competitive calendar is set to play out over the course of just 15 weeks next spring/summer. If the PGA Tour season used to be a marathon, it's now a nitrous-fueled drag race that also wedges a once-every-four-year international spectacle between the Open Championship at Royal St. George's and the FedEx Cup playoffs. Needless to say, if your career or marriage need some pruning, now's the time to do it, otherwise neither will survive until September.
And now, contestants, it's time for...
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