Chat with Jason Sobel
Send your questions now and join Jason right here on Monday at 4 p.m. ET for all the answers.
Jason Sobel (4:04 PM)
What's up, golf fans? Hope your golfing life has been as fun as mine recently. After a great weekend out at the Ahmad Rashad Celebrity Classic, I'm coming to you live from Stanwich Golf Club, where I (literally!) just got off the course. Stanwich (unbelievable track, by the way) is hosting this week's AJGA Canon Cup, which is a Ryder Cup-style match between the country's best junior players. If you have any questions about that or anything else in golf, fire away. I'll be here for the next hour. You may now swing away...
Zach Rastall (Marinette, WI)
Will we ever see Greg Norman do as good as he was at the British Open?
Jason Sobel (4:05 PM)
If there's one thing I've learned covering golf, it's to never say never. Do I think he'll have a strong showing like that again? No, not really, but I didn't think he'd do it last week, either, and he did. Nothing shocks me anymore.
I heard Greg Norman was supposed to decide whether or not to play in the PGA Championship on Friday, but never actually heard what his decision was...Any news on whether or not the shark is playing?
Jason Sobel (4:09 PM)
Nope, as expected, Norman turned down the invitation. After the British, he played in the Senior British and will play the U.S. Senior Open this week. He's just not at a point in his career where he wants to play four straight weeks anymore; even three is pushing it, I think.
Chris (Jacksonville FL)
What are the rosters for the Cannon Cup this year Jason?
Jason Sobel (4:10 PM)
Here is the West team: http://www.ajga.org/2008canoncup/west.aspHere is the East team: http://www.ajga.org/2008canoncup/east.asp Even if you're not into following junior golf, remember some of these names because many will be the stars of the future.
What chance do you give Michelle Wie in making the cut this week?
Jason Sobel (4:13 PM)
Not much, really. Nothing against Michelle Wie, but I just don't think her game is in shape to be playing against the men. Then again, I don't begrudge her the opportunity. It's not like if she didn't accept the invite, she could have played an LPGA event instead and earned an exemption for '09 (she only has one exemption left). So why not find a place to play and work on your game in the toughest tournament conditions?
In your opinion: A) Is Wie a *bust* given all the hype from playing in men's tournaments from her performance since '06? B) and how in the World do you forget to sign a scorecard given all the people that had an opportunity to remind her? Thanks!
Jason Sobel (4:16 PM)
Way too early to call her a bust. Yes, many players have surpassed her on the road to stardom, including In Bee Park, Yani Tseng and Morgan Pressel -- each of whom has won a major already -- but you can't call anyone a bust at age 18. She's got plenty of time to turn things around. As for the scorecard issue, yes, it's a bad mistake and a bad rule and was handled poorly by the LPGA. Just a mess all the way around.
Isn't Monty still the best player never to have won a major, he is better than Sergio? Also, I would gave Anthony Kim a pass I think he just had nothing left in the tank on Sunday. Already thinking about Oakland Hills and how well the Euros played their in '04 makes me think we could have another Euro major winner
Jason Sobel (4:18 PM)
Well, if you're talking all-time, I'd go with Lighthorse Harry Cooper first, probably, then Monty. But if you're referring to my recent Weekly 18 column, then I was simply looking for the best players right now, not based on their overall accomplishments. And I think Garcia is the best without a major right now.
Why does S. Garcia get so much hype and press in terms of one of the best golfers if he's never won a major?
Jason Sobel (4:22 PM)
Call it the ol' eyeball test. Go out to a range someday and watch everyone hit balls. Or follow Garcia for 18 holes. He's just got an unbelievable amount of talent. He's also the second-most popular player on the planet. Here in the U.S., Phil Mickelson and John Daly are among the biggest draws after Tiger Woods, but globally, Garcia garners more attention. So basically, he generates coverage because people are interesting in hearing/reading about him.
Do we have any chance of beating the Europeans in the Ryder Cup? I am looking at our potential team and on paper it looks to be one of the worst in a long time. Maybe this is what we need, because we haven't been winning with the better "paper" team.
Jason Sobel (4:24 PM)
I write this all the time: Pit the U.S. and European teams against each other in matches 100 different times and they'd win 50 each. Is the Euro team really better this time around? I'm not so sure about that. They're going to have guys like Soren Hansen and Oliver Wilson on the roster, which won't make Paul Azinger too jealous. It's going to be those bottom of the roster guys, though -- the ones who are 8-12 -- that make all the difference in the outcome.
How much of an impact will Anthony Kim make in this years Ryder Cup, especially without Tiger?
Jason Sobel (4:26 PM)
Well, he's not only one of the better U.S. players, but he's one of the hottest right now, too. That said, if I'm rooting for the U.S. team, I might be worried that Kim is burning himself out too soon. He's played a ton of events over the past few years and even though he's young, that kind of grueling schedule can take its toll on a guy.
Jason, thanks for the chats. I would love to see Anthony Kim lead the next wave of great golfers onto the tour, but who are some not "household" names that could make an impact on the PGA tour in the next 5-10 years in your opinion?
Jason Sobel (4:30 PM)
Well, I think it's many of the guys we've talked about in the past. Jason Day is a can't-miss prospect. Rickie Fowler and Michael Thompson both really impressed me at the U.S. Open. Rory McIlroy and Oliver Fisher have great futures ahead of them on the Euro Tour. And I've been hearing good things about Won Joon Lee on the Nationwide Tour. But really, I could sit here all day and name guys. Like I said earlier, take a good look at the Canon Cup rosters. The girls are closer to the big-time than the boys -- 12 of the 20 girls in the field have competed in the Women's Open already -- but remember those names, because so many of them will be Tour players at some point, whether it's two years from now or a decade away.
Give us 3 golfers not in the Top 20 in Ryder Cup points who could make a run over the next couple weeks to earn a spot on the team, or at least impress Zinger enough for a possible captain's pick.
Jason Sobel (4:35 PM)
Well, Jerry Kelly and Chad Campbell are 20 and 21 on the list; I wouldn't be surprised to see either one make a run. I only have the list through the top 24 right here, so I'll go with one more who is further up, but still not on the roster and that's Brandt Snedeker. He's 15th right now. He doesn't do anything really well, but knows how to get the ball into the hole. I would think Azinger will give him strong consideration.
Hey Jason, first did you play golf today while still on the clock, calling it "research"? And second, is Kenny Perry showing up to the PGA Championship?
Jason Sobel (4:37 PM)
Absolutely. It was a "business meeting" with my friend Rob Coleman, the chief communications officer of the AJGA. Instead of sitting in a meeting room for 4 hours, we decided to take it out on the course. Like there's something wrong with that? As to the second part, yes, Kenny Perry will make the trip to Oakland Hills. I haven't done my ranking of the field yet, but he will be very, very high on the list.
Looking at the Nationwides top 25 Money list, who do you expect to make the biggest impact and or contend in 09? I'll go with Colt Knost.
Jason Sobel (4:39 PM)
I like Casey Wittenberg. Kid was supposed to be a phenom when he first turned pro. Took him a few years to get his game in shape, but I think he's going to have veteran caddie Ron Levin on the bag next year (Todd Hamilton's looper when he won the British), which will help.
If Michele Wie makes the cut but forgets to sign her scorecard, is it OK to laugh?
Jason Sobel (4:40 PM)
Oh yeah. The first time, you have to feel badly for her. The second time? That's her fault and you can all have your laughs. That said, if she does it again, I'd be pretty surprised.
So in your top 18 guys not to win a major, and your 19-36 guys also listed, I noticed no Aaron Baddeley? Two time winner on tour, and the leader of the 07 US Open by two shots going into the final round. What gives? I didnt mind him not being in the top 18, but some of the guys listed from 19 to 36... come on.
Jason Sobel (4:42 PM)
You know what? I'll give you that one. I had him on the short list and omitted him from the final list ... not sure why, honestly. OK, let's expand it to the top 37 -- Badds is in.
Mark (Boston, MA)
As a follow up to Joe's question on your top 3 not in the Top 20, what do you think of Bubba Watson's chances of making a run from his current position of 26?
Jason Sobel (4:44 PM)
Can he make a run? Sure ... but it'll be tough to come from that far back. That said, I've heard Paul Azinger wants to set up Valhalla very long and with wide fairways, which will play into the hands of the big bombers. Obviously, guys like Watson and J.B. Holmes fit that mold.
Which is worse to get while playing: the yips or the "Sh" word (rhymes with "thanks")?
Jason Sobel (4:48 PM)
Wow, that's a great one. Neither is good, obviously. Hmmm .. .would you rather be on the green in regulation and five-putt or hack it all over the yard and then chip up and tap it in? It's like asking if you'd rather have your wife cheat on you with a good-looking guy or an ugly guy -- either way, it's not so good. I'll take the yips. At least you'd look good getting there.
9-16 in the Ryder cup, Stricker, Austin, Mediate, Mahan, Trahan, Johnson, O'Hair, and Snedeker. Azinger said earlier in the year that if you didn't win he wasn't going to pick you. Only Trahan, and O'Hair have won. Who is in and who is out in your opinion?
Jason Sobel (4:50 PM)
Yeah, he may need to amend that statement, or else be forced to pick the likes of Chez Reavie and Paul Goydos. If the top eight stays the same (through Stricker), I think he'll take Mediate, Mahan, O'Hair and Snedeker. Decent names, good talent. All good guys to have in the team clubhouse.
Mark (Boston, MA)
I realize it's still relatively early but with three of the four majors gone I think we can start thinking about POY - how much does Tiger get penalized for being out for so long with an injury even though he will likely end up with the most wins on the season and one amazing major victory?
Jason Sobel (4:53 PM)
I still think it's his to lose. If either Immelman or Harrington (or maybe Garcia) wins the PGA Championship, they'll have a shot. If Kim or Mickelson or Perry goes on a huge tear, any of them could do it, too ... but I think Tiger's record of four wins (including a major for the ages and a WGC event) in six starts will be good enough to get it done.
Do you think Norman will win one of the next 2 senior events?
Jason Sobel (4:54 PM)
Nah, I think Norman kind of had his big week and now he's back to dreaming about continuing his honeymoon and drinking wine and making money. Golf is really secondary for him these days, and I don't think grinding out a senior major victory is at the top of his priority list.
Earlier this year we heard that Atlanta lost sponsorship of the ATT Classic. Any word if a new sponsor has stepped up?
Jason Sobel (4:55 PM)
No. In fact, last I heard, the Atlanta event was going to be filled in the regular season schedule by the Texas Open, with no other event in Atlanta besides the season-ending Tour Championship.
Hey Jason, Jealous that you've been playing. What happened to Duval on Saturday at the Open, if he played a decent round he would have ended up in the top 5. Did the pressure get to him? I know i've given up trying to figure out his game. Thanks
Jason Sobel (4:57 PM)
Well, it's not like those were easy conditions, with wins of more than 40 mph throughout the day. Really, Duval just had an awful start -- his final nine holes actually weren't terrible. I'm with you, though; I've given up trying to figure out Duval's game, too. I'm still wondering if those opening two rounds (not to mention the final round) were simply a blast from the past or a sign of things to come.
C'mon, Goydos would be a perfect addition for our Ryder Cup team. Instead of a bunch of stiffs, we could just send out Goydos, Boo, and Woody. That'd be heaven for the media...only 24 golfers, and that trio is among them.
Jason Sobel (4:58 PM)
OK, fine. But if you're doing that, then go all the way and add Rocco and Calc to that list, too. Hey, as a member of the media, I wouldn't complain. That's like the Interview Room All-Star Team right there. (By the way, I've had an idea for exactly such a team on ESPN.com for a while now; hope to have something after the season is over.)
Do you think Perry's strange decisions in tournament selection will affect the way Azinger will use him in the Ryder Cup?
Jason Sobel (4:59 PM)
Nope, not one bit. In fact, I'm not really sure how they could. I mean, if they somehow moved the RC from Valhalla to Royal Birkdale, maybe he'd play him less often, but I'm fairly sure that won't happen. If it does, I need to change my travel plans.
Jason Sobel (5:00 PM)
Thanks for all the questions. I'm about to go nurse my wounds from the past three days; let's just say I didn't post a whole lot of red numbers on the scorecard. Here's hoping you fared much better than me. Until next time, hit 'em straight ...