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Saturday, November 2, 2013
Updated: November 4, 2:35 PM ET
Dustin Johnson ups the ante

ESPN.com

What will WGC-HSBC Champions winner Dustin Johnson do for an encore after the biggest win in his PGA Tour career? And might we see a little PGA Tour expansion into Asia in the near future?

Our scribes tackle those topics and more in this week's edition of Monday Four-Ball.


1. Dustin Johnson (8) and Rory McIlroy (6) have the most PGA Tour wins of players under 30. Who wins their next/first major first?

Michael Collins, ESPN.com senior golf analyst: Of the three guys with multiple wins under 30, DJ is the only one not to have a major (Rory and Webb Simpson are the other two). I think DJ gets a major before Rory.

Farrell Evans, ESPN.com senior golf writer: McIlroy owns two majors. While Johnson has had some nice finishes in these events, he still hasn't won yet on this stage. McIlroy's game is coming back into form after struggling for most of the year. He will win another major before Johnson has his breakthrough in one of the big four.

Bob Harig, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Rory. That was an impressive win for Johnson, the biggest of his career, but McIlroy seems more geared for taking on major venues and it appears he is turning his game around. No doubt, that'll be the big question facing Johnson now.

Kevin Maguire, ESPN.com senior golf editor: It could be a while before either accomplishes the feat, but I'm going with McIlroy mainly because he's been there before (twice) and knows what it takes to win one. Johnson clearly possesses the game to claim a major, but his decision-making and focus in tough situations proved to be his downfall earlier in his career (see: U.S. Open, 2010).


2. Should the PGA Tour be playing more or less official tournaments in Asia?

Collins: If any tour should play more worldwide, it's the Web.com Tour since that's the main avenue to the PGA Tour. It's cute the PGA Tour played in China, but if they're going to have more events worldwide, then they need to change the access to players worldwide.

Evans: The tour should play wherever there is corporate support, particularly if it's going to help grow the game in emerging markets like China.

Harig: The number is about right, but if you're going to expand internationally, why not go to Australia and co-sanction one or two of the events about to be played Down Under? The Australian events are struggling, and the PGA Tour's backing would not only strengthen them but give more reason for top Aussie players to compete in their summer events back home. Why not two events in Asia and two events in Australia as part of the tour's fall schedule?

Maguire: More, but I'm not advocating a big increase here. Maybe 2-4 total events in this part of the world at this time of year would work better and entice more PGA Tour players to make the journey. It's hard to justify the travel for elite players if it's a 1-2 event swing. Make it three or four weeks and some will bring the family for a side trip to Japan or something along those lines. The result might be better fields this time of year.


3. Tiger plays this week in Turkey on the European Tour. What might we glean from watching his game after a month off from competitive golf?

Collins: Nothing. Even if Tiger beats the field by 10 shots, we all know the only talk is going to come down to if he wins a major in 2014. Regardless of what he does great, it's November and we're six months away from Augusta.

Evans: We are going to see a player who's excited and fresh about the upcoming season. But don't expect his game to have the sharpness that we will see from him a couple weeks prior to the Masters in April. More and more, he's made the majors the focus of his life as the years go. And November is too early for him to peak.

Harig: For perhaps the first time since he returned from injury in 2011, Tiger is playing in an official event that means virtually nothing. If he wins, it's great, but if he plays poorly, what is the fallout? He's got his own charity event in a month and then won't play again until late January. There's not much to be gained or lost here.

Maguire: Admittedly not much, but any time the world No. 1 tees it up, it bears watching. Sure, there might be a little rust to scratch off, but with little on the line for Tiger, here's to hoping we see at least a few flashes of brilliance to add to his 2013 highlight reel.


4. With Graeme McDowell's third-place finish in Shanghai, the European Tour's Race to Dubai is up for grabs. Who claims the money title at season's end?

Collins: I love Ian Poulter's position with two events remaining. He's playing solid and looks to be on the brink of a victory, which I think might come in Dubai.

Evans: Despite his wrist issues, Henrik Stenson still has to be the man to beat in the Race to Dubai. He's been the best player in the world for most of the past four months.

Harig: Henrik Stenson's lead has been cut to less than 150,000 points, but the fact he is playing in Turkey this week -- and McDowell is not -- will make things much easier on him. This is a no-cut event so he will pad his lead -- unless Justin Rose wins and then things get more interesting. The pick here is Stenson to win the Race to Dubai.

Maguire: Stenson's the favorite of course with a moderate lead, but considering he's been hampered in recent weeks with a wrist injury, I'll go with McDowell. GMac needs a big week in the season finale in Dubai, but the Northern Irishman will be up to the task.