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‘Dawgs On Tour: “Super Season” Starts at Safeway

TOUR Championship - Round One Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Keep reading to hear more about the ‘Super Season”. A quick revisit to the season that ended this Monday:

We’re fresh off the season ending Tour Championship with a field that was 10% former Bulldogs (3 of 30). Yet no Yellow Jackets were playing in Atlanta. Dustin Johnson led wire to wire on the leaderboard, but placed 3rd in tournament strokes, and somehow took the $15 million dollar first prize (it’s complicated, check the primer here for how he started with a 2 stroke lead).

Harris English tied for 12th in the Tour Championship (good for $682,500). Making 18 of 20 cuts and 6 top 10s gave English $3,299,366 in official earnings for the season.

Brendon Todd tied for 20th, good for $497,500. 18 of 25 cuts made, 11 of those top 25 finishes, and 2 wins results in $3,390,258 in season winnings.

Kevin Kisner ended up 23rd last week. Heck, they still wrote a check for $466,000. He made the cut in 15 of 21 events. 4 of those were top 10 places. His season earnings were $2,266,752.

Bubba Watson missed the cut in 7 of his 20 events, but also had 7 top 25 finishes, 3 in the top 10. Totals for the year were $1,565,263 which puts him over $45 million in career earnings (3 times more than Greg Norman made in his PGA Tour career).

Brian Harman made 17 of 22 cuts, but his sole top 10 was an early season 3rd place. Still, that consistency netted him $1,482,583.

Russell Henley, like Bubba, missed 7 of 20 cuts. Also like Bubba, he had 6 top 25 results. He was really warming up at the end of the year, and his season ends with $1,195,378 in earnings.

Keith Mitchell only made 11 of 21 cuts and a lone top 10 finish. This was in stark contrast to his previous season. But he did make the playoffs, and $886,979 for struggling. And lives on Sea Island. Poor kid.

Chris Kirk made 6 of 11 cuts, playing on a major medical exemption. Due to that status, and a mid-season shutdown due to the pandemic, he didn’t have tons of opportunities and didn’t necessarily capitalize on them (I’ve linked before, but he’s totally fine with that). He did end up with $162,468, his lowest total in the 10 years on Tour.

Sepp Straka had a pretty successful sophomore year on Tour, improving in most every area. Though he only made 10 of 25 cuts, he did have 3 top 10 finishes, and totaled $1,140,441.

So with that in the books behind us, we have a grand total of 3 full days between seasons. Yep, the 2020-21 season starts today, and it’s a season unlike any other. Thanks to rescheduling and postponing and other mayhem due to the pandemic, there will be 50 tournaments, of which 6 will be majors (a US Open next week, Masters in November and again in April, a PGA Championship in May, another US Open in June, and a British Open in July), a Players Championship in March, and 3 World Golf Championship events. Oh, and something called the 2021 Olympics. Not a bad slate if you like golf.

And it all starts in Napa Valley. Here’s the usual ‘Dawgs on Tour rundown.

Tournament: Safeway Open, September 10-13, 2020

Course: Silverado Resort and Spa North Course, 7,166 yards, par 72. Literally in Napa, California, about half an hour north of San Pablo Bay.

Purse: $6,600,000. That’s a little less than 2nd and 3rd place together were worth last week.

Defending Champ: Champ. Yep, Champ is the champ. Cameron Champ won his 2nd PGA Tour event at the Safeway last year, shooting a final round 69, just enough to eke out a win over a packed leaderboard.

Fun Fact: A tournament held at a world-class resort, in Napa Valley no less, somehow recently won a Most Fan First” award by providing patrons the best wine, food, and nightly concerts. A shame, as no fans are present for this or any other golf tournament in the foreseeable future due to COVID-19 based restrictions on public gatherings.

TV Times: All four days on Golf Channel. Partly because this tournament will be missing many of the big names who played last week and are resting up before the US Open. And partly because a little eyeball-magnet called the NFL starts this weekend. Thursday-Friday, 4 p.m.-7 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 6 p.m.-9 p.m. (Golf Channel)

Dawgs in the Field: 2. Sepp Straka and Hudson Swafford hope to start their seasons off sound footing. There are 3 other ‘Dawgs in the Korn Ferry Tour Evans Scholars Invitational: Joey Garber, Greyson Sigg, and Erik Compton.

There’s a lot to unpack with all of that, so feel free to inquire in the comments below. And as always...