The rest of the golf year might seem anticlimactic after Sunday’s burst of red, white and blue showered Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, but there indeed is golf after the Ryder Cup.
The 19-9 American victory and its wild aftermath (amount of alcohol consumed by the winners is still being calculated, using a protractor and rain gauge donated by Bryson DeChambeau) put on a lid on the major golf activity for the year, but there is still much money to win and several cool venues to visit.
The tour continues this weekend in Mississippi, where the Country Club of Jackson will host the Sanderson Farms Championship. Jackson drew the not necessarily excellent slot in the immediate aftermath of the rescheduled Ryder Cup, which, of course, was delayed from 2020 by Covid issues.
The Sanderson tournament should be competitive, but, in the wake of the Ryder Cup and decisions by many players to enjoy a week of rest, relaxation and/or continued celebration, Jackson won’t be welcoming a star-studded field.
The top gun will be the tournament’s defending champion and a stalwart of the European Ryder Cup team, Sergio Garcia. Garcia won last year’s Sanderson with a birdie on the final hole, beating Peter Malnati by one shot to win $1.1 million.
A similar jackpot this week could go a long way toward helping Garcia move past the Ryder Cup doldrums. He had a fine individual weekend in Wisconsin, moving his Ryder Cup match win total to a record 24 (past Nick Faldo’s 23), but the sting of the Europeans’ lop-sided loss will likely hurt for a while.
Garcia’s biggest challengers this weekend could be Sam Burns, Sung-jae Im, Will Zalatoris, Matthew Wolf and Keegan Bradley.
The landscape for the tournament will look quite different from last year, when spectators were not allowed because of the pandemic.
In the weeks following the Mississippi tournament, competition moves to Las Vegas and play at the TPC Summerlin and Summit Club courses. Then it’s on to Japan, Bermuda and Mexico before Memorial Park in Houston hosts the Houston Open Nov. 11-14.
Sea Island Resort in Georgia hosts the RSM Classic Nov. 18-21, and December play is scheduled in the Bahamas and Naples, Fla.
For those wondering about the majors in 2022, here’s the schedule: The Masters, April 7-10, Augusta, Ga.; PGA Championship, May 19-22, Tulsa, Okla.; U.S. Open, June 16-19, Brookline, Mass.; The Open, July 14-17, St. Andrews, Scotland.
Mike Hembree is a veteran journalist who has covered a variety of sports for numerous publications and websites, including USA Today, Fox Sports, TV Guide and The Greenville (S.C.) News. He has written 14 books and has won numerous writing awards at the national, regional and state levels. He is a seven-time winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year Award.
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