Let There Be Golf

June 16, 2022

By: Carlos Alvarez

Good Morning,

It’s a packed Thursday edition with no space to waste. We’re teeing off from Brookline after an OT thriller in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals and another no-hitter broken by a 9th-inning swing. The Warriors can close out the NBA Finals tonight in Boston (9:00 pm ET). Plus, The Underdog is back to celebrate a 39-year-old’s comeback season (bottom of today’s edition).

Letter Rip!



The U.S. Open Primer


Golf’s Toughest Major Returns Despite LIV Theater (By Marissa Kasch)


The stage is set for the U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline. Can Jon Rahm defend his title? Will Justin Thomas go back-to-back? Will Scottie Scheffler show us why he’s the number 1 ranked men’s golfer? Only one thing is for sure; the toughest major is back, and you won’t want to miss it.


The U.S. Open Primer

This weekend will be a testament to the tradition of golf if it is able to withstand LIV background noise. The focus will be on the here-and-now at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, but the LIV Tour conversations will be lurking in the background through interviews and event coverage. Rory McIlroy, a favorite to win this weekend, has already voiced his opinions on the LIV Tour (though I’d classify them as criticisms instead). He expressed his disappointment in players defecting to the LIV Tour in a recent press conference, where he said they are “taking the easy way out”. Brooks Koepka has also spoken up with clear frustration, saying that the LIV chatter is putting a dark cloud over the U.S. Open. In contrast to McIlroy and Koepka, Phil Mickelson has joined the LIV Tour with full-support after bashing the PGA for their “obnoxious greed”. Mickelson is set to play this weekend and is one of the big-name PGA players to defect to the LIV Tour. So, it goes without saying that his interviews will be focused more on this decision than it will be his performance this weekend. However, Lefty isn’t expected to light the world on fire at the U.S. Open, so the LIV chatter may be his only appeal for interviewers.


Weather, Predictions, Tee Times & Payouts

Expert predictions have rolled in based on research, statistics, and playing styles. However, these predictions might be blown away, quite literally, by the 15-20 mph winds expected to arrive on Thursday. According to the weather forecast in Brookline, this wind will start on Thursday and hold steady at around 15 mph through Sunday. Will this be a PGA repeat? That’s up to Mother Nature. And with the LIV Tour’s eye-popping payouts, the USGA has bumped up the U.S. Open purse to a record-setting $17.5 million — $3.5 million to the winner.


Tee Times (Featured Groups)

7:18 AM: C. Morikawa, J. Piot, J. Rahm
7:29 AM: 
J. Spieth, A. Scott, M. Homa
7:40 AM: 
R. McIlroy, H. Matsuyama, X. Schauffele
1:14 PM: 
J. Thomas, V. Hovland, T. Finau
1:25 PM: 
B. Koepka, C. Smith, S. Scheffler
1:36 PM: 
M. Fitzpatrick, W. Simpson, D. Johnson
1:47 PM: 
P. Mickelson, S. Lowry, L. Oosthuizen

All Round 1 Tee Times

*All Times ET


Betting Odds: R. McIlroy (+1100), J. Thomas (+1200), J. Rahm (+1300), S. Scheffler (+1300), C. Smith (+2000), J. Spieth (+2200), X. Schauffele (+2200), P. Cantlay (+2500) | Full Betting Odds


The 1913 U.S. Open Nod

You’ll also hear the 1913 U.S. Open referenced about a thousand times this week, and for good reason. An amateur golfer walked across the street to Brookline and did the unthinkable, altering golf history and showing that in golf, anything is possible. If you want to learn more about what will surely be a huge topic this weekend, you can read about it here.


Additional Storylines

SI: USGA Says It Could Shut Out LIV Golf Players in Future Events

Golf Digest: USGA Sets U.S. Open Purse at Record High for Men’s Majors

CBS Sports: Swirling Winds May Create Difficult, Uneven Conditions at U.S. Open

Golf.com: What NBC Will — And Won’t — Cover in Phil Mickelson’s U.S. Open Return



Avalanche Take Game 1


Avalanche Blow 2-Goal Lead But Win Game 1 (4-3, OT) on Burakovsky’s OT Winner


Game 1 belongs to Colorado! The Avalanche took an early 3-1 advantage of the first period of the Stanley Cup Finals opener, but the Lightning clawed back with two goals in the third to force overtime. Enter Andre Burakovsky with a one-timer just 1:23 into the extra frame. Colorado outshot Tampa Bay 38-23, which might be a necessary recipe to defeat Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy in the series. The win marked the Avs’ sixth straight postseason victory (13-2 overall), and it kickstarts a Finals series with gritty performance.


Watch: Avs Take Game 1 on Burakovsky’s One-Timer (4-3, OT)


Stanley Cup Finals Schedule

Gm 2: Lightning at Avalanche (Sat. 8:00 pm ET)


Additional Storylines

NHL: Burakovsky Plays Hero for Avalanche in Game 1 of Stanley Cup Final

ESPN: The 9 Critical Decisions That Made the Avalanche a Juggernaut



Another No-No Breaker


Dodgers Pitcher Tyler Anderson Tosses 8.1 No-Hit Innings Before Shohei Ohtani Triple


One night after Miles Mikolas lost a no-hitter with two outs in the 9th inning for the Cardinals, another 9th-inning blunder occurred in the battle for Los Angeles. The Dodgers rode the arm of Tyler Anderson through 25 outs (8.1 innings) before Shohei Ohtani smacked a triple to the right-field wall. That’s back-to-back nights on no-hitter watch before a heartbreaking finish. The Dodgers went on to beat the Angels (4-1). Anderson still remains unbeaten in eight starts this season (8-0), but the next no-no of 2022 will have to wait for another day.


Watch: Tyler Anderson Tosses No-Hitter Through 8.1 Innings


MLB Quick-Hitters


1 Game, 2 Immaculate Innings

The Astros duo of Luis Garcia (2nd) and Martin Maldonado (7th) combined to throw two immaculate innings — striking out the side in nine straight pitches — in the same game for the first time in MLB history. The Astros beat the Rangers (9-2).


Braves Extend Streak to 14

Make it 14 straight wins for Atlanta with an 8-2 beatdown against the Nationals on Wednesday night to complete the sweep. The Braves got 11 Ks from pitcher Spencer Strider and two home runs from Austin Riley.


Vlad Jr. Walks It Off

Have a night, Vlad Guerrero Jr.! The Blue Jays superstar packaged a four-hit night that included a home run and a walk-off single to plate Bo Bichette for the win over the Orioles (7-6, 10 innings).



\"⚾️\" Shohei Ohtani’s Future With the Angels

Even after the Los Angeles Angels wasted nearly a decade\’s worth of Mike Trout\’s prime, he wasn\’t any less willing to sign a mega-extension. Will Shohei Ohtani extend the same courtesy before the end of his club control in 2023? (Bleacher Report)


\"🏈\" Commanders Under Fire

Nothing has gone well for the Commanders this month. Team owner Daniel Snyder declined to testify in court over allegations of toxic work environment and sexual harassment after assistant Jack Del Rio’s controversial tweet about the Jan. 6 insurrection. (Yahoo! Sports)


\"🏀\" Celtics Missed Their Best Shot

Boston can still be NBA champions after squandering Games 4 and 5, but it’s going to have to show us something. The Celtics are reeling as it appears the moment may be too much, and the Warriors have the control. (CBS Sports)