Chat with Bob Harig
Harig covers golf for ESPN.com and provides columns, features and analysis on the world of golf, specifically the PGA Tour. He has contributed to ESPN.com's golf coverage since 1997.
Send your questions now and join Bob on Thursday at noon ET for all the answers.
Harig Archive: Columns
Bob Harig (12:01 PM)
Thanks for checking in at a time that is a bit earlier than usual. There's once again plenty to talk about. It appears Tiger will be back soon -- we just don't know when yet. The West Coast Swing is almost complete. Next week offers up the first WGC event of the year. And Michelle Wie is off to a good start on the LPGA Tour. As always, your questions are welcome, please fire away.
Do you think Tiger is actually at 95 percent?
Bob Harig (12:03 PM)
Steiny, we've kept the streak alive. Every week you have started off. So here we go again. You are obviously referring to the comments made by Steve Williams. I'm not really sure what to make of what Williams said. He is in New Zealand. I'm not sure he has spent any time with Tiger. Sure, Tiger might have told him that and the number seems reasonable, but I would bet he's way beyond where he was at the U.S. Open, when he barely had a leg to stand on -- so to speak.
Patrick Hanover PA
With MIchelle(Media Creation) Wie losing AGAIN down the stretch, doesn't this validate AGAIN what everyone always said the she never learned how to win? She should have about 5-7 wins and a few majors by now. For the last time: MICHELLE WIE DOES NOT MOVE THE NEEDLE, THE MEDIA MOVES IT FOR HER.
Bob Harig (12:05 PM)
Patrick, I wrote this week in Birdies and Bogeys that Michelle Wie never learned how to win, and that it has cost her. I think it is unfair to say she should have won a bunch of tournaments on the LPGA Tour, including majors, at this point. But she would be much better positioned to do so had she been beating her peers throughout her teenage years. As for the media creation of Wie, I think you have it wrong. The media reacts to the fuss made over her. There were thousands of people following her at the golf tournament in Hawaii, and they weren't there to watch Angela Stanford. That is not media generated. She creates her own interest.
What's wrong with Phil?
Bob Harig (12:06 PM)
Steiny, the best answer is a little bit of everything. So far, he's not driving it in play, not hitting enough greens and he's missing a lot of putts. That sounds pretty simple. Probably more complex than that. He doesn't seem to be making the important putts that would have turned a lot of those scores around. It's early, but he is off to a good start in LA, a couple under par through five holes. Maybe he turns it around this week.
Ed - Long Island
If Tiger comes back and wins the Masters, do you think that has the potential to have an overall negative impact on fan interest for the remainder of the year - being he was out for so long and comes right back and wins - is there really any competition?
Bob Harig (12:07 PM)
Ed, I really think it would have the opposite effect. Tiger draws incredible interest, especially when he wins. It would have not just the golf world buzzing, but the sports world. All of a sudden you'd hear Grand Slam talk, which is pretty remarkable to even consider at this point.
What are you hearing about Australia deporting Kim's caddie?
Bob Harig (12:09 PM)
Steiny, I don't know any more than what I read. Not sure what happened, if Australia requires you to disclose that on immigraiton forms or what the situation was. Perhaps somebody who is up on such things could weigh in here and I'll pass along the information.
Bob, I realize it's early, but what do you make of Appleby this week? Starting off with a couple birdies early, can he be a factor going into the weekend?
Bob Harig (12:10 PM)
Jeremy, it is early, but Stuart Appleby is certainly capable of being a factor and winning. If anything, I'm surprised he doesn't do so more often.
Hoppy (Luck, WI)
hey bob, what's the scoop on this yo kid?
Bob Harig (12:12 PM)
Hoppy, I take it you are referring to Ryo Ishikawa. Pretty interesting story, really. He's just 17. He's ranked in the top 100 in the world. He's playing this week in LA. Been invited to the Masters. Won two tournaments on the Japan Tour, one as an amateur. And last year he won over 10-million yen -- which translates to over$1-million. Lots of potential, obviously. It will be interesting to follow.
Bob referring back to your previous answer,when do you see Tiger coming back then?
Bob Harig (12:13 PM)
Morgan, I would be lying if I said I knew for sure. All along I have been saying Doral, because to me it makes the most sense. A golf course he's won on and knows. Close to his Florida home. A four-day tournament with no cut so he knows he'll get 72 holes. But there's been a lot of chatter about the Match Play next week. He's got until Friday at 5 p.m. ET to commit and so far he has not done so. It wouldn't surprise me either way if he plays next week or doesnt, but if the answer is no, I have to think Doral is the place.
John Daly (Some Hooters)
am i done?
Bob Harig (12:14 PM)
John, I'd say that's up to you.
Do you think Camilo Villegas is going to be a great golfer for years to come?
Bob Harig (12:18 PM)
Steiny, he certainly has the potential. He's young, he keeps in great shape, he works very hard at his game. That is a good recipe to keep it going. If he can learn to refine his putting, he'll win often.
Jack (Philadelphia, PA)
Bob, who is the next young golfer to make a serious challenge at Tiger Woods?
Bob Harig (12:21 PM)
Jack, it's a good quesiton, and a tough one. It might be somebody we don't even know about yet, someone who is 18, 19 years old who has not turned pro. It could be Anthony Kim, who has shown great promise and sort of fits the mold as Tom Watson did to Jack Nicklaus in that they are 10 years apart in age. Maybe it's Villegas. It's possible it could still be Sergio Garcia, who is ranked second in the world and at age 29 has been around for 10 years.
David Duval (In the Rough)
What have you heard about me?
Bob Harig (12:23 PM)
David, not much. I get the sense that David Duval is trying, without much success. He made his first cut of the year at Pebble Beach, but missed a chance to move up with the rain out. He finished tied for 55th.
Curtis (Cedar Park, TX)
What more can you tell us about Dustin Johnson? Two wins before 25 is good, as is driving the ball 315. Is he just a bomb and gouger like Holmes or does he have some real game?
Bob Harig (12:27 PM)
Curtis, he appears to be pretty solid all the way around. His driving accuracy is not great, but that is not unusual for someone who hits it so far. He's in the top 30 in greens in regulation, which suggests perhaps he could putt better, because he is 58th. But Johnson, who played college golf at Coastal Carolina, appears solid.
Curtis (Cedar Park, TX)
Masters Question: There will be some new faces at the Masters this year. How many years (rounds of golf) does it take to really know all the intricacies of Augusta?
Bob Harig (12:29 PM)
Curtis, interesting that you bring this up. Fuzzy Zoeller is the last player to win the tournament in his first attempt, and that was 30 years ago. I don't think it's a fluke. Tiger won it in his third try, first as a pro. I think you need a lot of practice rounds plus experiencing the course in tournament conditions. We've seen players contend early in their careers (Brandt Snedeker comes to mind), but I'm guessing a dozen rounds or more would be a good starting point.
Ryo Ishikawa seems to be a promising golfer, how well do you think he will do during his PGA tour debut?
Bob Harig (12:31 PM)
Morgan, he seems to have a lot of talent and maturity, but it's a lot to ask of a 17 year old to do well on such a stage. Tiger, when he was 16, didn't make the cut at the same tournament. Should be fun to see.
Ed, Portland, OR
Bob, what do you know about Anthony Kang who won last week on the Euro tour. Did the win earn him any exemptions on the Euro tour or on the PGA tour, or perhaps Masters invite?
Bob Harig (12:34 PM)
Ed, Kang -- who is an American -- earns the standard European Tour exemption, which is for two years beyond this season. It won't do him any good on the PGA Tour, unless he moves up the world ranking. The victory moved him to 145th. He would have to be among the top 50 through Bay Hill to get a Masters invite.
Bob Harig (12:37 PM)
Singh finished in the top-10 eight times ont he European Tour last year and is a veteran player with plenty of experience. But he's not fared all that well in the U.S., likely because of the travel issues. If he could play a few more times and get settled, there is no reason why he can't have success.
Can you talk of Jeev Milkha Singh's chances on the U.S. Tour. Seems like he will be playing quite a few tournaments in the U.S. this year.
Bob Harig (12:38 PM)
Sorry, forgot to post the question before I answered it. . I'll post the answer below again.
Bob Harig (12:39 PM)
Singh finished in the top-10 eight times ont he European Tour last year and is a veteran player with plenty of experience. But he's not fared all that well in the U.S., likely because of the travel issues. If he could play a few more times and get settled, there is no reason why he can't have success
Is AK possibly more injured than we thought, would have imagined he would have played this week if not
Bob Harig (12:40 PM)
Mike, Anthony Kim is playing in the Johnnie Walker Classic in Australia, a European Tour event. He shot 68 in the first round and is tied for 14th. By the way, Anthony Kang -- who won last week in Malaysia -- shot 67.
Kyle (Ottawa, ON)
Will Mike Weir win a tournament this year?
Bob Harig (12:40 PM)
Kyle, I think a win for Weir is coming. He's off to a strong start, been getting into contention a good bit.
Who gets more wins this year, Phil or Furyk?
Bob Harig (12:43 PM)
Mike, I'm going with Phil, simply because Furyk has never won more than twice in any year and last year did not win at all.
Curtis (Cedar Park, TX)
I just saw the Nike clinic on the Golf Channel with Anthony Kim and Tiger. Kim seemed like he really didn't know much about his own golf swing and how it varies from shot to shot and from club to club. Do you think he is really just a pure "feel" player or do you think he was playing dumb for the cameras?
Bob Harig (12:45 PM)
Curtis, that was an interesting clinic, to be sure. I'm guessing he was not playing dumb. I don't think Anthony really studied it that much, and that clinic with Tiger might have opened up his eyes to a few things, to maybe learn more about his own swing and game. Not sure you caught it, but Kim made a reference to thinking Tiger had won eight majors. Tiger mocked being insulted, but who in the game doesn't know Tiger has won 14?
Chris (Bakersfield, CA)
I just learned of Calvin Peete, what kind of player was in his day? Unitil recentley I had really only heard of Jim Thorpe as famous black golfers (other than tiger of course)
Bob Harig (12:49 PM)
Chris, Calvin Peete had quite a career. He won 12 times on the PGA Tour, was on two U.S. Ryder Cup teams. Won the Players Championship. And he didn't start playing golf until his early 30s. Pretty incredible. And another thing: he led the tour in driving accuracy almost every year.
Gary: (Paducah, KY)
Are there more African-American pros coming to the tours?
Bob Harig (12:52 PM)
Gary, sadly, there is not a huge number in the pipeline. There were more African American golfers on tour 20 years ago -- Calvin Peete, Jim Thorpe, Jim Dent, just to name three -- than there are now and the numbers are not big in the lower ranks. It remains a big problem for golf to try and get young minorities not only interested in golf, but good at it.
So, do you think Phil Mickleson will keep it together and finish ahead of Mike Weir??
Bob Harig (12:54 PM)
Too early to say. Phil is certainly off to a good start at the Northern Trust, where he is defending champion. It is something he needed.
Jeff - SC
Give me a few names of guys on the nationwide tour this year to keep an eye out for
Bob Harig (12:58 PM)
They are just getting into their season on the Nationwide Tour. Len Mattiace, who nearly won the Masters in 2003 and has battled injuries, is one player trying to make it back to the PGA Tour. Michael Sim, once the No. 1 amatuer, is back on the Nationwide Tour. Matt Every just missed his PGA Tour card last year.
Warchicken (Newport, NH)
What do you recommend for the best refreshment in the 19th hole after you just shot the round of your life?
Bob Harig (1:00 PM)
I recommend drinks on you! Congrats.
Bob Harig (1:00 PM)
Okay, I'm out of time. . Thanks again for all the great questions and check back again next week. Take care.