Grand slam for Inbee Park?
And what can we expect from Tiger Woods at the Open Championship?
What would another major win by Inbee Park do for women's golf? How will Tiger's layoff affect his chances at the Open Championship? Our experts analyze those and other pressing topics in golf in our latest edition of Monday Four-Ball.
1. What would it mean for women's golf if Inbee Park won the grand slam?
Collins: Nothing fuels popularity like a dominant force in any sport. Inbee has become that dominant force. Women's golf is a hard sell -- that's just a cold hard fact -- but just like Annika Sorenstam, Lorena Ochoa and Yani Tseng before her, Inbee can put a huge recharge into the interest of the women's game. Did I mention she's only 24?
Evans: Let's start with what it would mean for the game of golf. It's a big deal for the sport. Inbee Park has the chance at St. Andrews to be the first person, man or woman, to win four professional majors in the same year. It's important that the whole game embrace this moment, not just the women and the LPGA Tour.
Harig: It would be terrific, regardless of whether the LPGA now has five majors or not. The great thing is Park will go for No. 4 at St. Andrews, the home of golf, which makes the pursuit even more significant. The game's history is broached in these circumstances, and the fact that no player -- man or woman -- has won four professional majors in the same year speaks volumes.
2. With Tiger not playing a tournament before the Open Championship should he still be the favorite?
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Collins: Heck no! But who else can you put there if you're a betting parlor? Going back 10 years when Ben Curtis shocked the world (and himself), only three guys in their 20s have won (Curtis, Woods, and Louis Oosthuizen). So much for the "young guns." And which "old guy" (over 40) are you willing to give out your cash for?
Evans: If Tiger is healthy, he should be the favorite at Muirfield. Yet with the weather and the quirks around Open Championship golf, it's such a unique week that every player is coming into an unpredictable environment that doesn't always yield itself to useful predictions. Tiger could shoot 65 and then the weather could turn and he could have another 81 like he did at Muirfield in 2002, when he was trying to win three consecutive majors.
Harig: Well, let's put aside what "favorite'' means in terms of betting. For general discussion purposes, does it mean we think he is going to win? Or is the most likely to win? With two poor performances, an injury and a lack of preparation, it is hard to pick Tiger at this point. Muirfield should be great for him, he's had a terrific year, but this is not the best way for anyone, Tiger included, to go into a major championship.
3. Jessica Korda fires her caddy nine holes into the second round of a major; any problem with that?
Collins: I was fired after the first round by a guy who had his wife caddie for him on Friday. That being said, it's NEVER OK to fire your caddie (or for a caddie to walk off) mid-round. By doing that, Jessica has put a label on herself that will keep her from getting the best caddie available. Who wants to work for someone that unstable, and is that kind of golfer ever going to win a major?
Evans: Korda was obviously frustrated and fed up with their arguing, so she had to do what had to be done to finish her round. But she had a problem from the outset with her caddie for it to get to that. Perhaps, she needs to examine what she needs from her caddie. She should always proceed with great caution when firing a caddie. It should never be an easy choice.
Harig: It was a horrible move, and speaks to maturity issues. Things are so bad you replace your caddie mid-round? If the relationship had deteriorated to that degree, why was a move not made before the round began? This is not the first time this has happened in golf and won't be the last, but it sure looks bad.
4. Martin Kaymer, Rory Sabbatini, Vijay Singh, Trevor Immelman ... Some big names sitting on the FedEx Cup bubble with a handful of events to play. What big-name player ends up on the outside looking in come playoff time?
Collins: Karma says Vijay should be the one on the outside looking in, but I believe Sabbatini is the one who is actually struggling the most -- including outside the ropes. It's impossible to play high-level golf when you're always wondering when the next rip on Twitter is coming.
Evans: Vijay Singh. I just don't know if his desire is still there. As hard as he continues to work, he's not getting the kind of results that made him one of the most prolific winners of his era. Age has finally caught up with him.
Harig: It is hard to believe we're at the stage to discuss the FedEx Cup, but the key is there are still two major championships remaining among the final seven weeks in the regular season, and that is where a move can be made. Singh is 130th and has plenty of time to crack the top 125, but he has no finishes better than 20th this year. But I'm looking at Louis Oosthuizen. He's 144th and had to withdraw from his past two tournaments.
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