What's next for Matt Kuchar?
And will anchor ban issues create chaos for golf?
We had snow delays at the WGC-Match Play, a possible rift between the PGA Tour, the USGA and the R&A about the proposed anchor ban and the No. 1 player in the world has teed it up in three competitive rounds as we inch toward March.
It's just another day in the neighborhood for professional golf. Not to worry, though, as our experts go head first into all these topics and more in this week's edition of Monday Four-Ball.
1. Matt Kuchar exudes consistency. So what does he have to improve upon to contend for, and possibly win, a major?
Michael Collins, ESPN.com senior golf analyst: The only way Kuchar wins a major is if the course plays hard and fast because unfortunately Kuchar doesn't hit it far enough off the tee. And if you're long and miss a fairway that's easier to deal with compared to if you're short and miss a fairway in a major.
Farrell Evans, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Kuchar just needs to keep putting himself into position on the weekends in these events. It's only been since 2009 that he's been able to play all four majors every year.
Bob Harig, ESPN.com senior golf writer: He simply needs to put himself there more. Until 2010, Kuchar had never finished among the top 10, and even since then, he's not been a big contender, although he tied for third a year ago at the Masters. His style of game should get him into the mix more often.
Kevin Maguire, ESPN.com senior golf editor: In his past 12 major starts, Kuchar has four top-10s, so clearly he knows what it feels like to be in the hunt at a major. But he's simply got to find more fairways off the tee. Kuchar's not the longest hitter of the golf ball (and that's being nice), and usually the shorter hitters make up for it with accuracy. Not Kuchar. He's putting great so far this year (hovering around the top 20 in strokes-gained putting) but he just has to give himself more chances to pull out that putter for birdie instead of trying to save par.
2. True or false: The PGA Tour will split with the USGA/R&A in terms of banning anchoring of clubs.
SportsNation: Are belly putters unfair?
The PGA Tour says it opposes the proposed ban on anchoring clubs. Do belly putters give golfers an unfair advantage?
Michael Collins: False, but I wish it was true. The tour is very good at power posing, but you know why bodybuilders don't box? Because they'd lose. Same thing for the tour.
Farrell Evans: False. The tour has its fingers crossed that the USGA will back off the rule change.
Bob Harig: False. In the end, the tour is not going to go against the ruling bodies. To do so would be a monumental departure, a first in history. And it would make for a horrible situation when it comes to the major championships.
Kevin Maguire: False. The PGA Tour is playing this out with a lawyer's persistence. (Remember, Tim Finchem, a lawyer by trade, is the commissioner.) I suspect the USGA and the R&A will take these comments and give them their due discussion, but in the end, nothing is going to change why the governing bodies proposed this amendment to the Rules of Golf in the first place. They had to know this could happen (remember, the current president of the USGA, Glen Nager, argued cases before the Supreme Court). But in the end, the PGA Tour will have said its piece and will fall in line since they don't want to create any more disturbances. And they'll have covered themselves in case any of their players want to raise a lawsuit with the commish.
• Defending champion: Rory McIlroy
• Experts' picks | FOREcaster
• Venue: PGA National Resort & Spa, par-70, 7,241 yards
• Location: Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
• TV coverage: Thu., Fri. 3-6 p.m. ET on Golf Channel; Sat., Sun. 1-3 p.m. ET on Golf Channel, 3-6 p.m. ET on NBC
• Dates: Thursday-Sunday
• Payout: 144-man field with winner earning $1,026,000 of $6 million purse
• Format: 72-hole stroke play with cut to low 70 and ties
• Quick links: Money leaders | Schedule | World rankings
• Follow @ESPNGolf on Twitter
Michael Collins: Tiger. It's not like he hit it bad against Charles Howell III in the WGC-Match Play. He hit it fine. Rory, on the other hand ... He's got some serious work to do.
Farrell Evans: Tiger. He played well in his loss to Charles Howell III and he's won this year. Rory has played three pretty mediocre rounds with equipment that he doesn't completely trust yet in competition.
Bob Harig: Tiger Woods. His game appears in far better shape at the moment. He lost in the Match Play without making a bogey. McIlroy simply needs more golf to get his game sorted.
Kevin Maguire: Tiger Woods. Sure, McIlroy's the defending champion, but what part of his game has been strong enough to think he'll play better than the winner at Torrey Pines just a few weeks ago? The world No. 1 needs rounds under his belt with those new Nike clubs and hopefully he'll get more of them this week (four) than he's had all season so far (three).
4. If the PGA Tour would ever move the WGC-Match Play, where should it go?
Michael Collins: They should move the tournament somewhere in the Caribbean. Great weather this time of year and plenty of resorts for golfers' families to enjoy, too.
Farrell Evans: I like Harding Park in San Francisco. It's a beautiful, historic golf course and it's public. The tour and the city have had discussions about bringing the Match Play to the course, which hosted the 2009 Presidents Cup.
Bob Harig: Move it to Florida, specifically Innisbrook, where title sponsorship woes have left the Tampa Bay event in trouble. In the process, you move from a golf course that the players don't like to one they do while solving the sponsorship issue.
Kevin Maguire: Well, let's put the "world" back in WGC. The fear is that if they go to some far-off place, guys like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson won't show. Fair enough (and probably true.) So let's think Caribbean in February. Sounds like a good place for a family vacation, eh Lefty?
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