Chat about the Mercedes Championship
|Vijay Singh blew a four-shot, final-round lead in the 2005 Mercedes.|
We'll be talking golf from 7-10 p.m. ET during each day of the tournament (Jan. 5-8, ESPN). The Show will be hosted by ESPN.com golf editor Jason Sobel who will be joined by golf writers, officials and tournament players! So while you are watching the tournament unfold on ESPN, keep it right here in The Show for the latest from Kapalua.
Stuart Appleby is back to defend his 2005 Mercedes title while top-10 players Vijay Singh, Sergio Garcia and Jim Furyk will also be battling for the 2006 crown.
Send in your questions to Jason now! Then join The Show tonight at 7 p.m. ET to talk golf! You never know who might stop by!
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (11:32 AM)
Welcome back! We'll be live from Kapalua again tonight at 7 p.m. ET to take your questions on the Mercedes Championship and much more!
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (6:08 PM)
Aloha! We're less than one hour away from Round 2 of The Show at the Mercedes Championships! Start sending your questions now, as we'll be joined by plenty of players, writers and other special guests, including Hank Haney, Dean of Instruction for ESPN Golf Schools. Mahalo!
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:01 PM)
Ladies and gentlemen...Aloha from the beautiful Kapalua Plantation course in Maui! The wind is blowing hard and scores are blowing up, so it should be another fun day on the course. Looking forward to chatting with you throughout ESPN's telecast of the second round. Let's get going...
CD Arbaugh (Ft. Gay, WV)
Will Vijay or anyone else be able to tackle Tiger this year and take away the #1 spot? And what event will we first see Tiger compete?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:02 PM)
Like many other "experts," I really thought Singh was going to hit a wall this year, but we all could be wrong. After all, he just may win this week. As far as the No. 1 ranking, Tiger has it and it's not going anywhere for a long time. My best guess is we'll see him tee it up for the first time this year at the Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines.
matt (jonesboro arkansas)
what was your favorite moment last year
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:07 PM)
Great question, Matt. Favorite moments can mean different things for different people. Personally, my favorite moment came about 3 hours after Chris DiMarco made the final putt of the Presidents Cup. Sitting in the press center, writing a recap of the event, I was keeping an eye on the Patriots/Steelers game, which was on the TV next to me. As the team (plus captain Jack Nicklaus and assistant Jeff Sluman) started walking towards the interview room for their group interview, the first two men stopped right in front of me -- Nicklaus and Tiger. They just couldn't get past a tight game with less than a minute left. Within seconds, the rest of the team followed suit. So now we had the entire U.S. squad cheering together during a football game after their big win. It really showed a lot of camaraderie. Sorry, that was a long answer, but it was my favorite moment of '05.
Mike in Redding, CA
I have seen Jim Furyks name thrown around as an "under the radar" candidate for majors and player of the year honors. He recently switched to a new ball, in the past it has taken top players a while to adjust to new golf balls, do you think there will be any effect on Furyk?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:09 PM)
I think Furyk is primed for a great season. He's 35 now, should just be hitting his golfing peak and just signed with Srixon, which is making a ball that has been working for guys like Tom Lehman and Tim Clark. The only problem I can foresee for Furyk is that, when he switches to Srixon irons, as planned, the move could take longer than he'd like. But then again, the change could be just what he needs.
Hi Jason. Look into your crystal ball and tell us how Duval will fair by years end.
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:11 PM)
Wow, I'd be in Vegas if I had a crystal ball that clear. No idea what to expect. He could do anything from winning a few tournaments to shooting 82 every single time he plays. I happen to think he'll make a few cuts here and there, maybe some top-10s and continue improving on the work he did last season.
Shaun (Austin, TX)
How great could Vijay be if he could get his putting stroke/confidence on track? He managed all those wins two years ago without a eyepopping year with the putter...
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:13 PM)
You're right, Shaun. I keep expecting him to go back to that belly putter he used to win a majority of those nine events in '04. But Vijay's putter isn't terrible; the way he hits it, he's good enough to win even when the putter is off a bit, as we've seen.
when will the tour gear back the golf ball or will they wait for the people at the masters to be the first to do it?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:15 PM)
The Tour will never do that -- there's too much money in the equipment industry to move to one standard ball. The USGA probably wouldn't do it either. Like you said, The Masters is the best guess, as they've alluded to, but I don't think that will come anytime soon.
Craig (Chandler, AZ)
What is your take on the Ryder cup course and early predictions for the Captain's picks?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:17 PM)
Haven't seen the K Club up close, but I've heard great things. Should be a fantastic setup. As far as captains picks, it's way too early -- we have to see who makes the team first. But bet on the experienced guys. I would think Tom Lehman will pick players with previous Presidents Cup/Ryder Cup experience over guys like, say, Zach Johnson or Sean O'Hair.
Peter (Los Angeles, CA)
Is Ernie Els and Retief Goosen expected to play in next week's Sony Open?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:18 PM)
I believe both players are skipping next week's event, though I'd have to look it up to be sure.
Rex (Grand Rapids)
How good is Atwal? He came out of no where last year and was a cut making machine.
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:19 PM)
Arjun Atwal switched to a new putter last year that weighed just a tad more and that did the trick. He led the Tour in putting average, which helped him make all those cuts. I would think that if he keeps putting like that, his first win can't be too far off.
Who do you see of the "Young Guns" as the next force in golf? Glover, O'Hair, Taylor, Ryan Moore, Bill Haas and others.
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:21 PM)
Well, Moore certainly has the potential to be the best. He's been a can't miss kid for a long time. Of the five you mentioned, I'd go with, in this order (over the long term): Moore, O'Hair, Haas, Glover, Taylor. You can throw a bunch of other young guys on that list, too, like John B. Holmes, Jeff Overton, Troy Matteson and Jason Bohn.
sam (sacramento, ca)
the way tiger played in 05' made it seem he is poised for an even better season. it may sound crazy, but i could see him winning the grand slam, only the open championship looks like a venue that wouldnt suit him well. what is your opinion on his chances for the slam and at each major venue (excluding augusta)?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:23 PM)
It's gotten to the point where Tiger (not to mention Vijay, Mickelson, Goosen and Els) is so good that when looking at major venues, it seems like every single one of them set up well for him. A Grand Slam would, obviously, be incredible. I just think there is too much talent out there for one player to win all of them.
Hi Jason. I saw you had me on your sleeper list in a recent blog of yours. What have I been doing this off season to improve my accuracy? Do you know something I don't?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:25 PM)
Well, Aaron Baddeley, I just think that now that you have a few years of PGA Tour experience under your belt, you're primed for a breakthrough season. You know how to win, as we've seen in Australia in the past, and that is the biggest intangible out here on Tour. I expect big things from you this year -- maybe two wins and a trip to East Lake.
Greg (New York)
Is Charles Howell, III ready to win, or will his putting woes continue to hamper his development?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:28 PM)
Interesting, Greg, that this is the first CH3 question we've received in two days of chatting. A year ago, he was still one of the hot topics. I think Howell is still a terrific talent. My only worry about him is, like I said in an earlier post, winning is an intangible quality. Does he have what it takes to win down the stretch in a big event? I know he has the talent, just want to see that grittiness.
gin blossoms (tupasville, maryland)
do you see michael jordan or any other celebrity player making a run at a major this year? if so, who?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:29 PM)
Yes, there are definitely a few celebrities who could make a run at a major this year -- Tiger Woods is one. Phil Mickelson is another. Michael Jordan, however, probably won't get that elusive first major championship this year.
Does Justin Leonard have a chance to win another major this year? He played well at Winged Foot when the PGA was last there.
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:31 PM)
Laurie, I'll never count out a guy who has two major wins under his belt already. For his sake, I just worry that places like Augusta National and Winged Foot may be too long for him, as he's not a terribly long hitter. Always like him at the British though, where a low-ball hitter can often prosper.
Hey Jason. What is one young player that could totally shock everyone this year, and possibly win a Major?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:32 PM)
Here's a few guys who might not be shockers, but could be major-ready this season: Tim Clark, David Howell and Ben Crane. Each one has a major-ready game. They're all in the second- or third-tier of the world's elite golfers, but on any given week, they can play with the best.
Chad Campbell had an off year in 2005. Do you see him turning things around?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:34 PM)
Absolutely, although it's kind of getting to be make-or-break time for Campbell. Two years ago, he was on the cover of SI as the next young player who would win a major. He followed that with a second-place finish at the PGA, but hasn't done a whole lot since then.
Andy Coz ( Ridgewood, NJ)
Hey J, what kind of score do you think is going to be needed to win the tornement this year?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:36 PM)
Good question, Andy. Browne's got it to 5-under right now, four shots better than the trio in second place. It all depends on how hard the wind is blowing during the weekend -- if it's fierce like it is today, then 3- or 4-under could take the title.
I really want Ernie to win a major this year. He seems good coming out of surgery and I like him winning as least one major. What's your take on him?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:38 PM)
He played well in a few recent overseas events, so it looks like Ernie is fully healed from that knee injury. If that's so, he's certainly one of the top players around and could definitely win a major. Maybe it's his year for a green jacket -- finally.
I believe Tiger Woods will win? Do you think so
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:39 PM)
This week? Uh, no I'm pretty sure he's not going to win.
Alan (Somerset, KY)
What do you expect from Kenny Perry this year? What about John Holmes, can he win in his rookie year?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:40 PM)
I like it -- a Kentucky guy looking out for the Kentucky players... like Singh, Perry's a guy who should be hitting the downside of his career, but just keeps getting better every year. I've written off Perry the last few years and he's proven me wrong, so I won't do it again. I'd expect him to remain somewhere in the top 15-20 players in the world.
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:41 PM)
As for Holmes, he's a kid who can hit the ball a mile. My prediction is he'll do OK this year -- maybe 100th or so on the money list, enough to keep his card -- then really kick it up a notch in '07.
Is Fred Funk in this Game, he will win if he is! go terps!
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:42 PM)
Ah, another one of Funk's Punks. Yup, Fred is here this week, although I have a feeling the lengthy Plantation course may get the best of him by the time it's all said and done.
When will Tiger grow up and lose the attitude? I get tired of him crying and cursing everytime he hits a bad shot.
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:44 PM)
That's something you'd have to ask him. But he certainly has displayed more outward negative emotion over the years. I think it weakens his intimidation. Personally, I'd be more intimidated by a guy who never flinches, like Retief Goosen or David Howell.
How do you think tiger is not going to win?He is the best golfer out their
Travis Reynolds (Richmond, Va)
Tiger is not in the tournament this week!
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:44 PM)
Thank you, Travis.
Andy Coz ( Ridgewood, NJ)
Haven't gotten near a TV yet, how are the greens looking?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:46 PM)
They're looking smooth and dangerous. The players have been nothing but complimentary about these new greens here, but it looks like they're having trouble getting used to them. (And as I write about them, Hank Haney gives a nice visual presentation on the telecast. Nice synergy.)
If John Daly makes the Ryder Cup team this year, do you think he will be a successful player for the U.S. team during competition?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:48 PM)
First of all, I don't think he'll make the team. And I don't think he'll be a captain's pick, either. I've never been an advocate of having Daly on either the Ryder or Presidents Cup teams. You just never know what you're going to get. And his match-play record isn't exactly stellar. I think he'd be more of a distraction than a benefit.
CD (West Va.)
With the winds blowing this course looks to have become tough. Greens seem to be very slick!!
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:49 PM)
Absolutely. That's the one thing that you can't tell on TV. When players came off the course yesterday, they all mentioned that the wind affected their putting a lot more than their ball-striking. You know that's a lot of wind when it can blow away putts.
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:50 PM)
Here comes Browne...bogey on 6 drops him to 4-under.
What event will lefty play in first this year?
Travis Reynolds (Richmond, Va)
What tournament is Tiger going to make his debut for 2006?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:52 PM)
I would expect to see Tiger for the first time at the Buick Invitational. Phil should be on Tour the week before at the Bob Hope.
Who do you think will be this year's sleeper to use basketball terms?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:53 PM)
Actually wrote on sleepers in our new golf blog the other day. Click here and just scroll down: http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?name=golf
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:54 PM)
Geoff Ogilvy is a guy to watch out for. So is Aaron Baddeley. Depends on what you call a sleeper. Is Tim Clark a sleeper still? Ben Crane? Charles Howell? I think they'll all fare well, too.
Can Ben Crane have a repeat at the GMO this year? And if not, who will win?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:56 PM)
Wow, I'm having a hard enough time making picks for the majors...not sure I can give you a GMO prediction just yet. But if I have to, I always like the Wisconsin guys up there -- let a Cheesehead win it in his own state. I'll go with Jerry Kelly.
Do you think this is Sergio's year to take it to the next level?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:57 PM)
Actually, no. I know I'm in the minority here, but that balky putter of his really bothers me. If you mean 'the next level' to be a major championship, then I think he's got a few years to go.
Travis Reynolds (Richmond, Va)
Is Ben Crane the golfer that wears the NFL clothes with a different team every week? If so, is he sponsored by the NFL?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:58 PM)
No, you're thinking of Ben Curtis. And I'm not sure if he's sponsored by the NFL directly or by the apparel company that licenses NFL gear.
chim richolds(San Diego)
Who do you predict to be the player of the year in 2006?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (7:59 PM)
Our panel of 'experts' -- and I use that term loosely -- made our predictions earlier this week and Tiger was a unanimous selection as POY. Want a darkhorse? How about Jim Furyk?
Do you forsee any more ladies getting a chance to play on the mens tour this year? If so, who and when?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:01 PM)
Nah, most of the young guns who would intrigue sponsors because of their drawing power (Pressel, Creamer) have been pretty adamant about not wanting to play against the men. And Annika won't do that again either. That leaves only Michelle Wie.
What's your opinion on the lengthening of Augusta? Aren't they making this a course where only bombers like Tiger, Ernie, Phil and VJ will competitive?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:03 PM)
Absolutely. Not sure why it was ever called 'Tiger-proofing' in the first place -- 'Tiger-aiding' is more like it. According to some players, they think there's only a handful of guys who can win at Augusta anymore. Personally, I'd rather see it shorter and tougher.
How long till Michelle Wie cards her first win on the LPGA tour?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:05 PM)
Dylan, not long at all, in my opinion. I think she'll take maybe 3-4 titles this season, finally silencing all those critics who say she doesn't know how to win. And I also think she'll win a major or two.
Hey, who's going to win this year's 87 Lumber Classic? Sheesh, seriously though, do you think VJ gets enough credit. The guy is at an age where most players start comming back to the pack, and he's as good as ever.
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:06 PM)
Yeah, you're right. I actually wrote something yesterday in our new golf blog about how this was supposed to be the year Vijay showed his age and his skills started deteriorating, but he just might go out and win this week, so who knows? He's a HOFer, so he has gotten the credit, but if any other player had 17 wins over the past 3 seasons, he'd be a bonafide superstar.
Chode Johnson (Vacaville, ND)
Do you think Mike Weir will come back to the tour and win the Masters in 2007?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:08 PM)
After some bad neck injuries this past season, Weir will be back out there this year and, I assume, much healthier. Even during his down season this past year, he played well at the Masters -- it's a course he likes and knows he can win on, so he's definitely in that handful of players who could win there.
Sam, Hyattsville, MD
Why has CHIII not been in the winners circle more often?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:10 PM)
Wish I had the answer to that one, Sam. He has only one win, but 29 other top-10s in his PGA Tour career. Winning takes time, I guess. But I would have thought he'd have more by now.
Marcelo (Tenafly, NJ)
Hey Jason, who do you think at this point is dominating his sport more, Tiger or Roger Federer? Any parallels between the two?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:11 PM)
I've gotten into this discussion with a lot of fans. Not following tennis as much as I should, I don't know a ton about Federer, but it does seem like he is more dominant than Woods. Perhaps a better comparison would be Federer vs. Sorenstam. Annika won 10 times in 20 starts last year -- that's pretty dominant.
What's up with Stuart Appleby? Amazing golf swing, and at times, fantastic play - last year's President's Cup as an example. Why hasn't he been more of a factor in the majors? Does he have the stomach for it?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:14 PM)
Other than reaching the British Open playoff a few years ago (he, Elkington and Levet lost to Els), Appleby hasn't fared well in the big ones. Perhaps winning the Mercedes (as he has the past two seasons) doesn't leave a guy too hungry for the rest of the season. Think about it, by the second week of January the last two years, Appleby had his whole season made, really nothing to worry about. Maybe that takes away a bit of the desire.
Here's a thinker - What all-time golfer foursome (each at their peak) would you like to see play? Assuming same equipment, who would score best?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:16 PM)
Walt, I'm not sure many other answers would differ from mine: Jones, Hogan, Nicklaus and Woods. Sure, you could maybe throw a guy like Hagen or Palmer into the mix, but I'd say those four. Who would win? I'd say they'd each win 25% of the time.
Jason, How did Notah Begay III do in Q School? Just curious. I read an article in ESPN the Magazine about Q School and I saw his picture in there.
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:17 PM)
Begay didn't fare too well at Q School. He no longer has status on the PGA Tour and will be relegated to playing Nationwide events in his comeback from a lengthy back injury. That said, he told GolfDigest.com's Brian Wacker that he's feeling better now, so maybe we'll see him back on Tour next season.
Will Bill Hass live up to all his hype this year?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:19 PM)
He'll have his ups and downs. Most rookies need to learn the courses on Tour, but he has the benefit of having played many of them and can lean on his father Jay for knowledge. I have him as the third-ranked rookie, behind Camilo Villegas and Ryan Moore.
Joe (Raleigh, NC)
Who do you like in the four majors this year? I like Tiger in the Masters & the PGA at Medinah, with Jim Furyk taking his second US Open in the high rough at Winged Foot. I also like the Big Easy, Ernie Els to win his second Claret Jug (though I don't know if his game suits Holyoke). What are your predictions for the 2006 majors?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:21 PM)
Don't hold me to these, since it's still too early...I could change these picks tomorrow (and very well might)...but for now I'll go with Goosen at The Masters, Woods at the U.S. Open, David Howell at the British and Tim Clark at the PGA. In case you can't tell, I like going out on a limb with my picks.
With the past season Jason Gore had do you think his momentum will carry over into 2006?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:22 PM)
I actually think it will have an adverse affect. Gore was playing on adrenaline for the final six months of '05 and now he has to deal with life as a superstar on Tour. I think he'll come back down to Earth a bit.
Jesse (Los Angeles)
What, if any, advantage does a typical lefty (Phil- high fade, high ball flight) have at the majors this year?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:25 PM)
Jesse, I haven't had much of a chance to analyze Winged Foot, Royal Liverpool or Medinah yet. But Mickelson has a chance to win anywhere he plays -- the top players work the ball left and right so well these days that no course really sets up better for lefties or righties.
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:26 PM)
Down goes Browne! Olin Browne bogeyed 6, 7 and 8 to fall to 2-under. He's now tied with Stuart Appleby, who's looking for a threepeat.
The other Dan from Milwaukee
What's up with Greg Norman this year? Is he healthy, and what senior/PGA events can we expect to see him in?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:27 PM)
I haven't heard that he isn't healthy, but Norman doesn't seem to be too excited about playing senior golf. He'll play the five majors and that's about it. His best chance to win would be the Senior British, but I don't think he plays enough to really compete anywhere.
jason do you think there will be any surprise major winners this year and if so who.
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:29 PM)
Scroll up the chat just a bit. I really like Tim Clark, David Howell and Ben Crane as guys who can contend this year.
Of all the courses you get to visit, which course is your favorite thats available for the public to play? Pebble? Plantation? Someplace else?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:30 PM)
Of the ones available to the public, yeah, Pebble is absolutely my favorite. There is nothing like those holes along the ocean. It's pricey, but worth it.
Joe (Raleigh, NC)
I liked your PGA pick of Tim Clark in your response to my previous question. I think he is going to have a great season, especially for someone from NC State. (I'm a Tarheel Grad myself). My next question concerns the Ryder Cup. Given the success of the Woods-Furyk and Mickelson-DiMarco teams established at the President's Cup last Fall, I believe we are primed to "upset" the Europeans this year at the K-Club. What are your early thoughts of a possible US victory in the 2006 Ryder Cup?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:32 PM)
Well, first of all, you're right -- I think a U.S. win would be an upset. they're on the right track, with these two teams all but assured of playing together for four matches. That leaves a lot of the mystery out of it and these guys can have plenty of time to get comfortable with each other. I want to see the rosters though, before I make a call on the winner.
chris (san diego)
whats up with chris dimarco and how will he perform this year
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:34 PM)
DiMarco's a bulldog. He'll keep playing really well. He hasn't won in 3 seasons (although I'll give him partial credit for the Presidents Cup victory), but it's going to come soon and when it doesn, I think it could happen in bunches.
any chance of seeing Lucas Glover or some other player other than the 6 golfers that are deing shown on TY?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:36 PM)
Well, it's tough. There are big names on the leaderboard, so it makes sense I would think to show them. Glover is currently even-par. One or two more birdies and you'll see him plenty.
Lou (Jupiter, FL)
Olin Browne played some pretty good golf last season, winning the Deutsche Bank Championship and placing second in the Valero Texas Open. How do you think he will fare this season? Will he make a run at a major?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:38 PM)
Good question. A lot of times 'experts' like me tend to get caught up in the next big thing, looking just at rookies and young players who could step up, but Browne is a veteran who has played well. A major? Well, he was in the thick of things at Pinehurst last year, so it's not out of the question at all.
Will Ernie Els play more this year and how will he do?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:40 PM)
Actually, rumors are Ernie will play a little less this year. I think he'll still play in as many U.S. events as he usually does when he's healthy, but he may play in fewer overseas events to cut down on the travel. When healthy, he's a top-5 player. there's no reason to think he won't live up to that level.
Wow - you nailed the foursome question. How about that foursome against Snead, Palmer, Watson and Demaret? There would be some betting going on there! Certainly a "heavenly" made for tv event! Question: Maybe I haven't noticed as much, but how often does Tiger's caddy give him advice? Seems like some caddy's like more advice than others.
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:42 PM)
From what I've seen on the course, Steve Williams doesn't give Tiger much advice at all. But a guy like Bones McKay will help Mickelson read the greens. It all depends on what the player wants from the caddie.
Michael From Benton
Why dont they play the Mercedes on the main land....it seems like the gallery there is so small
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:43 PM)
I think the event is drawing good crowds, it's just that the course is so spread out that it doesn't look that crowded. Besides, this event is alike an all-star game for last year's players. Having it in Maui makes it more of a treat for them.
Wow...Kenny Mayne just got jobbed on Dancing with the Stars. Just to make sure I mention golf, I did enjoy Kenny's Sportscenter commercial when he hit balls into the satellite dish.
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:46 PM)
Did he get voted off? I was really rooting for Kenny, he's a good dude. And his 'We Want The Funk' piece at the TPC in '04 was priceless.
Joe (Raleigh, NC)
What are your favorite British Open venues? I'm partial to Muirfield, Royal Birkdale, and Carnoustie. I think Royal St. George is the worst, and I think St. Andrews is the most overrated (though I do appreciate the history of the course). How do you rank them?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:48 PM)
I disagree with you on the best. Doesn't get any better than St. Andrews. I'd almost be OK with it if the British was held there every year. I do agree that Royal St. George was terrible, I don't think we'll see too many more of them held there. Looking forward to Royal Liverpool this year, not really sure what to expect.
Jason Kapalua was made with the wind in mind. These guys are playing it today in windy conditions. What do you think the winners score will be?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:49 PM)
The wind is definitely affecting these players. I said earlier 3- or 4-under would win it, but now it could be closer to even-ar. This course is playing like a major venue. I love low-scoring tournaments -- not a big fan of the birdiefests. Let's hope the wind keeps blowing the next two days.
Dave in Chicago - Dancing with the Stars??? Please turn in your man card as you leave the room.
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:50 PM)
You may only watch until Kenny is eliminated.
Eric Brennan (Indiana)
How many of the guys are playing the new Taylor Made ball this year??
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:52 PM)
Good question. I haven't talked to many of the guys yet, so I'm not sure. Looks like a bunch of the manufacturers are now making good balls that can compete with the Titleists and Nikes of the world.
Ryan (Oxford, OH)
Hows Tiger doing?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:53 PM)
Very well, I assume. After all, he's on vacation.
will (west palm beach)
does john daly have a chace to be in the top 15 on the money list this year
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:54 PM)
A chance? Sure. But he'll have to win a few times. Daly's really become an all-or-nothing player. But he can miss 20 cuts and take two titles and finish top-15, so it's a possibility.
Im really tired of people acting like they know Phil and thinking that he should stop playing so aggresive. Do you think he should play more conservative?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:56 PM)
All depends on the situation. If he's up two with two to play, he might not want to hit that high fade over water. But if he's down two, I love the fact that he always goes for it.
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:56 PM)
Ladies and gentleman...we have a new leader! Jim Furyk, who owns a house just off the 18th green here at Kapalua, is now at 3-under.
Sgt. William Marshall (Iraq)
Wow, I finally get on ESPN, and we're discussing golf. That's ok. Thought I'd let you know that we constructed a 5 hole course out here in the desert boys. USA! USA!
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (8:57 PM)
Hit 'em straight, Sgt. Marshall! Keep up the good work and get home safely.
Matt (Laguna Niguel, CA)
Jason, Do you think the PGA should make big players like Tiger and Phil play in these high attention early year events? It just seem to me they should do something so it doesnt turn into the Masters Tour.
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (9:00 PM)
Nope, I disagree. I know I'm in the minority, but I don't fault Tiger and Phil for not showing up this week. PGA Tour golfers are independent contractors. That's a phrase that is often met with negative connoitations, but it's a good thing. It means that the PGA tour players will never strike, be locked out or get traded to another tour. Sure, they can make they're own schedules, but I think the positives of the situation far outweigh the negatives.
Manuel (Santo Domingo)
At what stage of his career you think Justin Leonard is? Is he on his way down already or you think he may be a top 10 player againg
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (9:01 PM)
I think he's right where he should be and will stay for a while -- a top-10 or top-15 player, who will win an event or two every year and maybe contend at a major once every year or two. Not sure he'll ever be better than that, but he won't be worse either.
Irwin (Puerto Rico)
Is the PGA going to play in P.R anytime in the near future. It would be perfect for a season start.
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (9:02 PM)
Well, first of all I don't think this event is leaving Maui anytime soon. I know there are some terrific courses in Puerto Rico, but I haven't heard any rumors about the PGA Tour going there in the future.
Eric Brennan (Indiana)
Speaking of Furyk, he and Tiger looked great at the Presidents Cup together. How do you feel about Tigers comments that he preferred the atmosphere of the Presidents Cup over the Ryder Cup??
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (9:04 PM)
I think he was speaking for everyone, really. Who wouldn't enjoy the more relaxed, fun team atmosphere of the Presidents Cup over the pressure laden Ryder Cup? I think that's a big part of what Tom Lehman needs to accomplish -- he's got to bring that Presidents Cup spirit that the team had to the Ryder Cup this year.
vj and campbell look good
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (9:05 PM)
Not to gloat or anything...but Campbell was my pick to win entering the tournament. I'm sticking with him.
since ut won the natl. championship. we all know that Tesas is the sports Mecca. So give us your all time best golfer from Texas aside from Mr. Hogan
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (9:06 PM)
Off the top of my head, let's go Byron Nelson first, Jimmy Demaret second and Lee Trevino third. I'm sure I missed someone though. And Omar Uresti sneaks into the top-100.
Irwin (Cabo Rojo P.R)
what are the expectations for Fred Couples in 06?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (9:07 PM)
Well, it always depends on how his back feels. If he's healthy, Couples is going to play a lot of events as he tries to make the Ryder Cup team. He loved being a part of last year's Presidents Cup team and really wants to be in that team atmosphere once again. I think he'd take making the team over a profitable season, although the two will probably have to come hand in hand.
Matt (Laguna Niguel, CA)
Sure they are private contractors but how long are the sponsers going to put up the big money in advance if they dont know if the Tigers and the Phils are going to burden themselves to show up???
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (9:09 PM)
I don't think either of those players is in danger of losing a sponsorship by skipping this event. Besides, if you look at their last five seasons, they've played just about the same amount of tournaments every year.
Do you see a Paula Creamer and Annika rivaly happening soon?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (9:10 PM)
I think it's already happened. Sure, it's a bit of a one-sided rivalry right now, but Creamer trailed only Annika on the money list last year. I think the bigger rivalry is Annika against all the young guns, which includes Creamer, Pressel, Gublis, Wie, Ochoa, Song, Miyazato and Lang.
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (9:12 PM)
Ladies and gentlemen, Jason Bohn is fresh off the course after a great round of 3-under 70. He will join us here in The Show in just a few minutes, so start sending your questions for the winner of last year's B.C. Open!
Morgan Pressels seems to have the most sound game ive seen from the young guns, do you agree with this?
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (9:14 PM)
I happen to think Creamer's game is a little more refined than that of Pressel. And long-term, I'd take Wie in a second over any of them.
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (9:17 PM)
Keep firing away those questions for Jason Bohn! He'll be here any minute...
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (9:18 PM)
Jason's interests include financial markets and college football (he went to U. of Alabama), so feel free to ask him about those...
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (9:22 PM)
Jason Bohn is just finishing up his press conference right now...should be with us shortly...
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (9:27 PM)
Here he is...Jason Bohn!
Jason Bohn (9:35 PM)
Hi, how's everyone doing? Great to be here?
Hi Jason B. - So how much Chapstick did you go through today? It looked WINDY out there! Congrats on a great 2nd half last year.
Jason Bohn (9:37 PM)
Grant, I went through about half a stick today.
So if I ask a question of Jason which of you answers? Ok Jason Bohn, tell this Crimson Tide fan who next year's quarterback will be and what are they gonna do about an offensive upgrade for '06? Roll Tide!
Jason Bohn (9:38 PM)
Not sure about the QB. Think we're going to have an incredible year. Roll Tide Roll!
Troy Chaney (Raleigh, NC)
I have a friend who has made it from the mini tours to limited PGA statis and full Nationwide. What will be his biggest challenges?
Jason Bohn (9:40 PM)
Troy, getting in tournaments will be one of his challenges. And learning patience with his game versus trying to press his game.
Jason im 18 and a one handicap and someday hope to be on the PGA tour, what can i do to push myself to the next level?
Jason Bohn (9:41 PM)
Dylan, just keep working hard and believe in yourself and good things will happen.
How many events will Jason Bohn win this year?
Jason Bohn (9:41 PM)
My prediction is two, but I'll take just one.
hi mr bohn how do you feel to shoot 3 under par? this course is tough eh?
Jason Bohn (9:42 PM)
Three under par was a great score today so I'm very pleased and yes, this is a very diificult golf course.
Jason i just want you to know i watched the B.C. Open and saw you won, i just want you to know how jealous i am of your game. Your a great player.
Jason Bohn (9:43 PM)
Dylan, thanks for watching and keep working hard on your game and you'll be here someday.
What do you like/dislike about Kapalua?
Jason Bohn (9:46 PM)
Steve, I love Kapalua. I love the smells, the maitais and the beach. The golf course is pretty good, too. Not really much to dislike here.
Jason, who do you think is the best player on tour that most people havent heard of yet?
Jason Bohn (9:48 PM)
This Bubba Watson is going to be something phenomenal to watch. I've played a lot of golf with Bubba and he is one great player.
AG89 (W. PA)
What kind of irons do you play?
Jason Bohn (9:48 PM)
I play the Titleist 695MB. It's a new prototype iron right now. Great clubs.
Whats your favorite course/hole on the tour?
Jason Bohn (9:49 PM)
My favorite golf course on tour is Pebble Beach. It also has my favorite hole on tour, which is the 18th.
John, Silverton, Oregon
At this stage of you career, what have you learned about being able to compete on the PGA Tour. Is there something you didn't expect or has it been pretty much what you expected?
Jason Bohn (9:52 PM)
John, it's 100 times better than I ever expected. And the biggest thing I've learned on Tour is patience. I just have to realize to let it happen and not force it to happen.
Jason, do you view this tournament as more of a reward for last year or do you approach it like any other tour event?
Jason Bohn (9:53 PM)
It is a great reward from last year, but I still appraoch it very seriously and very similarly to every other event.
Jason Bohn (9:54 PM)
Thanks for having me in The Show. Goota go do some practice. Hope to talk to you again real soon!
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (9:56 PM)
Thanks, Jason. Great stuff. Coming up soon Hank Haney, Dean of Instruction for ESPN Golf Schools, will join us. Hank will answer your questions about your own game, so start getting your questions ready!
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (10:03 PM)
Once again, Hank will be joining us soon. He'll be able to answer questions about your own game, from what clubs you should be playing to practice tips on the green. Here's a chance to get a tip from one of the world's top instructors. So get those questions in...
Hank Haney, Dean of Instruction for ESPN Golf Schools (10:12 PM)
Hello everyone, glad to be with you. Hank Haney
Hank, I would like to know what kind of practice schedule the typical tour pro will follow when they're at home.
Hank Haney, Dean of Instruction for ESPN Golf Schools (10:13 PM)
It all depends on the player, but i do know that Tiger and Vijah work a good 12 hour day. It is hard to imagine the work that those two put in.
AG89 (W. PA)
What do you think is the most important aspect of the game?
Hank Haney, Dean of Instruction for ESPN Golf Schools (10:15 PM)
Normally you would say putting because that is the greatest percentage of your strokes, but I think you could say the most important aspect is whatever you are struggling the most at. Even with most pro's their practice time is like putting out fires, which ever part is hurting them the most gets the most attention.
Hank how has your life changed since Tiger started working with you?
Hank Haney, Dean of Instruction for ESPN Golf Schools (10:16 PM)
It is nice being a part of Tiger's team and it has been a great experience so far.
Hank----Do you think if Tiger lived on the practive range like Vijay he would be even more dominant or do you think his current routine gets the best out of him?
Hank Haney, Dean of Instruction for ESPN Golf Schools (10:17 PM)
It isn't humanly possible to put in more effort than Tiger Woods does on his career.
Hey Hank your one teacher that i respect in the highest sense, i was wondering im a one handicapp and 18 years old what do i need to work on to make it to the next level?
Hank Haney, Dean of Instruction for ESPN Golf Schools (10:18 PM)
Thanks for your compliment. Short game, short game and more short game, and short game includes putting and more putting. Good luck.
Berg Chicago, IL
Does Vijay have a good shot to win after his struggles today?
Hank Haney, Dean of Instruction for ESPN Golf Schools (10:19 PM)
Vijah always has a chance to win, he is right there, he is always right there, he is an awesome player.
Hank--I dont know why but I consistently hit a full pitching wedge farther than my 9 iron. Any theory on that?
Hank Haney, Dean of Instruction for ESPN Golf Schools (10:22 PM)
Your 9 iron is probably not a real 9 iron. By that I mean the loft is probably the same or less than your pitching wedge, have both the 9 iron and the pitching wedge in your set checked. There should be a 4 degree difference between each club and over time lofts of clubs can change, either from a club being bent on an airline trip or just from hitting a lot of balls, especially if you hit off matts a lot.
Hank, would you teach a swing like Olin Browne's where he kind of brings it inside then turns hard with his upper body on the downswing?
Hank Haney, Dean of Instruction for ESPN Golf Schools (10:24 PM)
There are a lot of ways to swing the golf club and Olin takes lessons from Jim Hardy who is a great teacher. It is hard to argue with the success that Olin has had in the last 8 months.
Im ranked in the top 10 in Tiger Woods o6 on XBOX LIVE ON THE new XBOX 360 ... Will this be enough practice to help me get my PGA card next season?
Hank Haney, Dean of Instruction for ESPN Golf Schools (10:27 PM)
That is a pretty good honor but I am pretty sure that you are going to have to go to the tour school in order to get your card.
Brandon (New Orleans)
Is there anything that Tiger has taught you about the golf swing that you may not have known or thought of before?
Hank Haney, Dean of Instruction for ESPN Golf Schools (10:29 PM)
I learn everyday that I watch Tiger, especially with the short game. As for the full swing, he keeps reinforcing what I think is correct.
roy (sc i know)
who would not go to this?
Hank Haney, Dean of Instruction for ESPN Golf Schools (10:33 PM)
Are talking about the Mercedes Championships? As far as fans go, only someone who doesn't like a beautiful place like Kapalua. As for the players go, someone wouldn't come if they had family priorities and this tournment just was going to get in the way. Touring professionals are independent contractors and I really think they should be able to do whatever they like. Unfortunately, most of the media think they should be able to dictate when people play.
What young players have really impressed you?
Hank Haney, Dean of Instruction for ESPN Golf Schools (10:34 PM)
I think Sean O'Hair is going to be a very good player.
What do your think about natural golf?
Hank Haney, Dean of Instruction for ESPN Golf Schools (10:35 PM)
That system is based on the way that Moe Norman swung the golf club and he is one of the greatest ball-strikers of all-time.
YOu have done a great job with Tiger, thanks for helping him get back to form, golf is more exciting again, plus I am sure he pays well too.
Hank Haney, Dean of Instruction for ESPN Golf Schools (10:36 PM)
I appreciate you saying that, you are right it is exciting when Tiger plays well, I think it elevates all the other players games also.
Whats your take on Michelle Wie and Morgan Pressel?
Hank Haney, Dean of Instruction for ESPN Golf Schools (10:38 PM)
Michelle Wie is an unbelievable talent and she could really be something special. Morgan Pressel is a great player as well and I think she seems like she has a great will to win and should do real well also.
Casey (New York)
My dad has an old "two way" chipper in his bag. I say it is an illegal club by todays standards and he says it's not. Who wins?
Hank Haney, Dean of Instruction for ESPN Golf Schools (10:39 PM)
You win. Illegal. Can't have a double faced club.
When everyone can shoot under par every day, what seems to seperate 'champions' from really good players?
Hank Haney, Dean of Instruction for ESPN Golf Schools (10:41 PM)
So many factors, not the least of which is the ability to make the last putt under extreme pressure.
Hank Haney, Dean of Instruction for ESPN Golf Schools (10:41 PM)
Keep your eyes level to the ground in your backswing, if you tilt your head you will reverse pivot everytime.
Why is it that lefties have the prettiest swings in golf?
Hank Haney, Dean of Instruction for ESPN Golf Schools (10:42 PM)
Good observation, it is something about those lefties, same thing in baseball, the lefties always have the smooth swings. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.
Hank Haney, Dean of Instruction for ESPN Golf Schools (10:43 PM)
Thanks for all your great questions. I hope to hear from more of you tomorrow. All the best with your golf. Hank Haney
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com golf editor (10:44 PM)
That's it for The Show tonight! Thanks to Jason Bohn and Hank Haney for stopping by. Be sure to tune in tomorrow at 7 p.m. ET for more great golf chat. Aloha!
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