Chat with Jason Sobel
Among his other duties, Sobel writes a weekly column, the "Weekly 18."
Send your questions now and join Jason on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. ET!
Jason Sobel (10:31 AM)
Morning, golf fans! Great day here at Doral, should be in the low-80s with a nice warm breeze. I've safely made the 30-second commute from my hotel room somewhat near the 18th green, so let's get going with the chat before the blog continues at 11 a.m....
Tim (Knoxville, TN)
Would you agree that it is crazy that Sergio could pass Tiger as number one in the world? I mean cmon.
Jason Sobel (10:34 AM)
Gonna get into this later in the blog, but yes and no. I mean, let's be real: Everyone knows who the best player in the world is, Sergio included. Then again, TW has only played 11 total rounds of competitive golf since this event last year. No matter how well he's played, should he still hold the No. 1-ranking while playing so little? I think if you're going to take issue with the OWGR, it should be with the fact that it's Garcia who could overtake Woods and not Padraig Harrington, who's just happened to win three of the past six majors.
Joe Vaccaro (Smithtown, New York)
Do you think Tiger can stay on top in stroke play after not playing for a while?
Jason Sobel (10:38 AM)
I think it may suit him better in the long run than Match Play did. Look, Tiger didn't play poorly in Tucson; he was 5-under-par through 32 holes. If that was a stroke-play event, he likely would have been top-10 going into Friday. Instead, he ran into a buzzsaw in Tim Clark, who would have beaten all but one other player in the field that day. With a guaranteed 72 holes, Woods will have plenty of time to play catch-up, if need be.
Cartero (Flower Mound, TX)
What time is Tiger teeing off with and who's in his group?
Jason Sobel (10:39 AM)
He is in the 11:25 group with Robert Karlsson and Mike Weir.
Tim, Washington DC
Where does Doral rank on a golf writers list of tournaments to cover behind the majors? Taking into account location, services, amenities ect.
Jason Sobel (10:40 AM)
My first time here and it's awesome. Top-three already and the tourney hasn't even started yet. Doesn't hurt when everything is right here in the same place. No need to leave "campus" all week.
The media is casting alot of doubt on Tiger woods winning the tournament. I heard Mark Rolfing say that Tiger has to play his best to have any chance of winning. I cannot count how many times tiger has won without playing great. Some are saying there are now new challengers to Tiger woods. We have been here before. There is no golfer today who can match this guy. he has proven it. Talent, mentally,physically.
Jason Sobel (10:43 AM)
The best players win without playing their best. Phil Mickelson did that in L.A. recently. Geoff Ogilvy talked about how he's getting better at scoring well when he's not playing well, which is a sign that he's an elite player. And yes, TW can win when he doesn't have his A-game. That said, against this field on this course, I do think it'll take a really strong performance to win. I'm not sure anyone is doubting Tiger; they're just stating that for him to win this week, for anyone to win this week, it's going to take some great golf.
Mark (st. paul, MN
What are your thoughts on McIlroy? I know he hasnt had a really high top finish yet, but the kid already looks more consistent than Mickelson. (which may not be saying much)
Jason Sobel (10:47 AM)
Well, he won in Dubai against a great field, finished T-5 at the Match Play and T-13 at the Honda, so I'd say he's doing pretty well. I talked to Ian Poulter for a while yesterday and he told me basically the same thing that everyone else is saying about Rory: The kid is the real deal. He's not a big guy at all and nothing about him physically screams superstar -- especially not the shaggy hair -- but McIlroy can belt the ball and has an awesome short game.
We've all become accustomed to Tiger's miraculous feats, but if he wins, would you be surprised? I think that if he did, it would be a blow to some of the players' egos. What do you think?
Jason Sobel (10:49 AM)
No, but then again, not that much would surprise me -- save for a 10-shot victory for Azuma Yano. But really, if TW wins this week, what will be so miraculous about it? The guy is obviously healthy, he's played a few rounds already and he's a great player. We should be more surprised if he finishes well behind the leader than if he wins.
Anthony Kim (LA)
Do I become one of the elite American golfers with a win this weekend?
Jason Sobel (10:51 AM)
You're already there. Then again, you've never finished higher than Tiger Woods in a PGA Tour event -- something you didn't even know until a reporter told you earlier this season. Yes, you're an elite player -- certainly in the top-five Americans in the game right now, if not the top-three -- but let's not get too over-the-top just yet. Wins at the Wachovia and AT&T last year and a strong Ryder Cup were great, but you need to build on those performances.
Alejandro, Fremont, Ca
Hey Jason love your weekly 18 and blogs. Who is your darkhorse this weekend..a lot of people seem to be forgetting how hyped AK and Camilo have been all offseason and at the beginning of this year, now that Tiger is back and that Ogilvy is playing so well, could those two or anyone else make a surprise showing this weekend?
Jason Sobel (10:56 AM)
Well, I don't think anyone is forgetting about AK or Camilo -- certainly two of the favorites this week after Tiger. That said, I picked Andres Romero to win. I'm usually about two weeks off on these things and since I picked him to go far at the Match Play, I figured I'd sort of outsmart myself (if that makes any sense) and pick him again. Guy is a birdie machine who eats par-5s -- could make a handful of eagles this week, too.,
Dan (Chicago, IL)
What is the weather like in Miami?? Make me jealous up north!
Jason Sobel (10:58 AM)
It's awesome. The weather forecast looks like what I'd shoot for four rounds here at Doral: 82-82-82-82. (Well, maybe if I walked off after 14 holes each day.)
Tiger (Pealing my pre-round banana)
What score will win me this tournament?
Jason Sobel (11:01 AM)
Geoff Ogilvy won last year at 17-under 271. Depends on whether the winds kick up a little -- they're supposed to a bit -- though the rough is shorter than usual, which will help. I think it will be right around that number again. All the par-5 holes are birdie holes. If you can play those in 16-under and everything else at even-par, you'll have a good shot to win this thing on Sunday afternoon.
Marty (Mpls, MN)
Oh goody...another blog telling us everything we didn't want to know about Tiger. What did he eat for breakfast this morning Jason? I'm all atwitter.
Jason Sobel (11:02 AM)
Sorry, Marty. I'll certainly talk Tiger a lot over the next four days, but this isn't all-TW, all-the-time. Will be discussing the other 79 players in the field, too. And with that, back to the blog...