Chat with Andy North
North is a two-time U.S. Open champion, for two of his 14 professional wins. He was also a three-time All-American at the University of Florida.
Send your questions now and join North in The Show at noon ET on Wednesday!
North Archive: Search
Buzzmaster (11:51 AM)
We'll have Andy chatting in just a couple of minutes! Send in those questions!
Andy North (11:55 AM)
It's nice to be talking to everybody about golf and Tiger Woods again. The golf season starts today!
What did you make of Tiger's practice round yesterday? How did he look to you?
Andy North (11:56 AM)
He hit the ball very solidly and only missed a couple of fairways. His swing looks great. The greens at this golf course are very severe. It's interesting to know if he had enough time on the greens to figure them out before the start of the tournament.
Nick (Knoxville, TN) [via mobile]
Do you think it was the best decision for Tiger to come back for the match play since it is so physically demanding towards the end of the tournament?
Andy North (11:57 AM)
He wouldn't be here if he didn't feel like he was prepared with a chance to win. In match play, you can talk about how demanding it is at the end of the week, but you only have to beat one guy at a time. He really thrives on that.
Tom Salter (Antelope, CA)
Tiger's #1--no question. But he's been off 8 months. How much of a "rust" factor will there be in this first match? For this week?
Andy North (11:58 AM)
A player is always a little bit rusty. It's as much mental as it is physical. Because it is match play and you have to throw yourself into it so quickly, I would think we would know after one or two holes where he is and how much rust he has. I would suspect not very much.
James (Memphis, TN)
Over or under? Number of majors Tiger wins this year- 1 1/2.
Andy North (11:59 AM)
I think he's going to win two. I think Bethpage is a fantastic golf course for him. He won the last open there. Walking and playing at Augusta will be tough, as the hills are so demanding there. But he has something to prove there, as he let a couple get away, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him win there either. Having said that, if he wins the first two, there's no telling what he will do. But over 1 1/2 would be a good bet.
ben (midland tx)
Tiger's practice round was nice, but where was the pressure to perform? What if Skip and Rob were right yesterday, and the pain made Tiger a great player?
Andy North (12:01 PM)
You're not looking for pressure and how you will handle it in a practice round. You're looking at the course and figuring out how you'll handle it...chipping and feeling how the course will play. I don't think you could ever say a player plays better because of pain. He's probably happy to be pain-free right now.
You've had knee surgery before yourself...what's it like the first time out after coming back?
Andy North (12:02 PM)
It's very difficult to trust the first few awkward shots you have. Most of the practice you do is on a fairly flat surface. To get that first downhill lie or lie in the rough, that is when you know you're pain-free. But there is always that question in the back of your mind until you are able to do it in those circumstances.
Jonathan (Lewis Center, Ohio)
For the remainder of his career, will Tiger have to pull off on ripping it from the rough and sand like he used to due to the leg?
Andy North (12:03 PM)
I think he'll be better with the reconstruction. His left knee will be very solid and he'll be able to hit up against it, which will help him in those difficult situations.
What's harder to prepare for - match play or stroke play?
Andy North (12:04 PM)
I don't think it makes any difference. He's trying to get his game shaped to the point where he can go win. I don't think it would make any difference to him which format he was playing in this week.
We all know Tiger's been working on his game during his rehab. But what about Williams, his caddie? I know he probably doesn't have a ton to do with Tiger's performance, but he'll be there with him. Is there anything for him to do to keep his skills sharp during the layoff?
Andy North (12:05 PM)
I don't think there is anything that Steve would have done to prepare for this week. He keeps himself in great physical shape. He drives race cars when he's home in New Zealand. I'm sure he found a way to keep himself busy. I don't think he practiced walking yardages. He can probably handle that just fine.
Nathan (Las Vegas)
Does Anthony Kim take the next step to challenge Tiger, Phil and the other big names on a consistent basis this season? His Ryder Cup play gave a look at what he could do.
Andy North (12:06 PM)
I think Anthony Kim is the best player since Tiger. I think he has the opportunity to become a great, great player. He made huge steps last year in that direction, and I expect that would continue.
James (Memphis, TN)
What should Brendan Jones' strategy be for today's match with Tiger?
Andy North (12:06 PM)
Birdie the first five holes and get him down early! But unfortunately, that's not how it usually goes. He needs to play solid golf and not give away goals. If he can do that, he has a chance.
Just how much lower was PGA attendence and populatiry in the absence of Woods?
Andy North (12:07 PM)
The television ratings were down dramatically. That's a pretty good indication. The gold world is happy to have him back. It's nice to be talking about the PGA Tour in a positive way again.
David (Toledo, OH)
Do you think Justin Rose will every break through at a major? What is the holdup?
Andy North (12:08 PM)
He sure looks like he has the game to win a major championship. He just needs to learn to win period, anywhere. He's been in position but has struggled down the stretch. I think he has grown as a player, but maybe this is the year he breaks through.
What is your opinion on Norman's thought that tour players should take a pay cut?
Andy North (12:11 PM)
It's nothing the players should just take. It goes back to our organization and what is the right thing to do. Our commissioner could have done something positive for our sport by creating a situation where 10 percent was taken off purses across the board, explaining it in such a way that we're trying to help communities and sponsors, so that excess funding could stay in communities in a charitable form. I think that could have been a real positive move.
Andy North (12:11 PM)
It probably would have helped the long-term health of our tour.
Ben (Tempe, AZ)
Andy, I know this is a golf chat but as a fellow Badger fan I have to ask. Thoughts on whether we are in or out in the tournament? How do you think they will do if they get in?
Andy North (12:12 PM)
The Badger basketball team is currently in, I think. We need to win more games, like the Michigan game on Sunday. As all Ryan-coached teams, no one will want to play us once we get in the tournament.
Christian (Danbury, CT)
How will Tiger's return affect the mental states of other top pros like Phil and Vijay? Is there a let down that comes with the realization that their life just got harder?
Andy North (12:13 PM)
Because they're competitors, they love the fact that Tiger is back. As Phil mentioned in his press conference yesterday, it will definitely make it more difficult to win tournaments. I think they understand it is very positive for golf and our tour right now.
Mike (Raleigh, NC)
Which young player on the tour right now, has a shot at challenging Tiger if he returns to full strength?
Andy North (12:15 PM)
Anthony Kim is the guy, without a doubt, that is head and shoulders above everybody. His golf swing is technically very good, he has a lot of confidence, and he's coming off a lot of success. He had a real positive experience at the Ryder Cup. He's the young guy that people want to watch.
Andy North (12:15 PM)
It's nice to be talking about golf, and it's great to have Tiger back. Thanks for logging on!
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