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 2 p.m. ET for all the answers.
Harig Archive: Columns
Bob Harig (2:02 PM)
Hello, thanks for checking in to this golf chat. It's been awhile for me, so glad to be back. Lots going on in golf. Lots coming up. Lots to talk about. Please fire away with your golf-related questions.
Any updates of the injuries to Boo Weekley and Brandt Snedeker?
Bob Harig (2:04 PM)
Mike, Snedeker has a rib injury that has kept him out for several weeks, with his return unclear. Boo suffered a shoulder injury at the Players Championship and went to visit Dr. James Andrews, who recommended rest and rehab rather surgery. Boo is expected back in two weeks.
Thoughts about the changes at the black?
Bob Harig (2:07 PM)
Al, I take it you are referring to the Black course at Bethpage, site of the U.S. Open. I haven't seen them, but from what I hear, the course is excellent. They might have even eased off a bit from the 2002 setup. But that hardly means it will be easy. Should be interesting.
Cosmo (anytown, USA)
I'm not going to ask you for your picks (I know you stink at that, no offense), but are there a couple sleepers I should keep my eye on leading up to the US Open?
Bob Harig (2:13 PM)
Cosmo, who is good at making golf picks? The notion of trying to pick a winner on any given week in golf is crazy. That is why I make light of it. Would anybody have truly picked Rory Sabbatini last week? Or Angel Cabrera at the Masters? .. Okay, how about these sleepers at the Open. Charles Howell and Robert Allenby. Both finished inside the top 20 the last time the Open was at Bethpage. Both are playing decently.
Ed - Long Island
What's that silence??? The PGA tour between majors!!! What can the PGA tour do to market the players other than those name Phil and Tiger to sustain interest week-to-week? Maybe during the majors have more personal one-on-one interviews so the casual fan feels more attached and may take a deeper interest week-to-week.
Bob Harig (2:15 PM)
Ed, it's the age-old question without an easy answer. The idea was that players like Tiger and Phil -- who capture the interest of casual fans -- would draw them into the game and have them following it when they are not around. That has not happened to the degree everyone would like.But there are tons of other great players who you would think would help sustain interest, Lots of good tournaments and venues.
Cosmo (Anytown, USA)
Although I am not a Phil fan, my heart goes out to him, his wife and his kids. Is he just putting golf on the shelf for a while, or is he going to try to play this summer?
Bob Harig (2:17 PM)
Cosmo, no doubt, this is a tough time. Whether you like Phil or not, he is great for the game, a sure-fire Hall of Famer. He was dearly looking forward to the Open at Bethpage, and nobody knows for sure what his schedule is going to be at this point.
Chad (Las Vegas)
Is Jerry West good for golf?
Bob Harig (2:18 PM)
Chad is referring to the news today that Jerry West is now the executive director of the Northern Trust Open, the LA-based tour stop. My take is he can't hurt. He remains a popular figure in sports, especially in LA. His name recognition alone will help the tournament.
Cosmo (Anytown, USA)
Relax, I was kidding about the picks. With that being said, which of the top players do NOT play the type of game best suited to win at Bethpage?
Bob Harig (2:21 PM)
Cosmo, no offense taken, as you are right, I'm terrible at picking. That said, Bethpage demands length and the U.S. Open typically demands accuracy. That doesn't usually suit guys like Tiger and Phil, and yet they finished 1-2 the last time. That, to me, means that length is important. But a straight hitter like Jeff Maggert was also in contention the last time. I don't think it necessarily rules out anyone other than those not playing well.
Bobbo....long time, no chat. Listen here, a couple cats at my local club (Doellsy,baby,jp,kolbay,etc.) think that Tiger is not the same and will be lucky to reach Jack's mark....I say they are crazy...how say you?
Bob Harig (2:22 PM)
I agree with you. It might not be easy, but Tiger is 33. He's had 17 straight top-10 finishes in stroke-play events on the PGA Tour. He is considered to be struggling right now, but hasn't been out of the top 10 in a stroke play event this year. Chances are, he's going to improve and get better. I think it's just a matter of time.
RIGHT ARM!!! Hey Bob...are you picking any Euro's to contend at the Page this year...Scientist has been really disappointing for me this year...Can he come up with a potion/antidote to break out of his funk? Thanks!!
Bob Harig (2:23 PM)
Low ball is referring to Robert Karlsson, who is not been as steady as a year ago when he won the European money title. But what about Harrington? He was in contention at Bethpage the last time (played the last round with Tiger).
Barb Philadelphia, PA
Are you going to be there when John Daly comes back at Memphis? I sure wish him all the best on the pga tour.
Bob Harig (2:25 PM)
Barb, I won't be in Memphis, but I'm sure many will be there to see Big John. He's still a huge attraction. And if he does anything on the golf course at all, it will be big news.
Hey Bob, Brick here...Im just wondering if you think the FedEx Cup is ever gonna take off like Tim Finchim thought it would? I just don't see it happening?
Bob Harig (2:27 PM)
I guess it depends on your definition of "take off." The goal was to have a meaningful end to the season, and this has done that. It also brings the top players together at the end of the year, something that never happened prior. The system certainly has its flaws, but I maintain this is far better than what they had.
What are your thoughts of the PGA instituting a policy that every player should play every event over a three year span? Tiger hasn't played Colonial since '97!!
Bob Harig (2:29 PM)
Al, I think the idea has some merit, but Tiger would have difficulty getting to all of the tournaments once in three years. That's the problem. Even if you stretch it out to four years, there are nearly 40 tournaments. Do the majors count? The FedEx events?
Do you think Tiger's next appearance will be the U.S Open at Bethpage Black???
Bob Harig (2:32 PM)
Tyler, he hasn't committed yet, but I feel pretty certain that Tiger will play next at the Memorial.
When will Phil decide on whether or not to play the US Open?
Bob Harig (2:33 PM)
Jim, he hasn't said anything since the announcement last week that his wife has breast cancer. He could wait up until the last minute to decide if he is going to play, but I would think he would want to give himself the time to prepare. And that is a big part of the problme I'm sure.
What I mean by "taking off" is that the cats that don't necessarily follow or play the game start to get interested?
Bob Harig (2:35 PM)
I'm not sure anyone is going to get interested if they don't already have some passing interest in golf. Those who are casual fans typically tune in for the majors, especially the Masters. Unfortunately for golf, those events are always going to be bigger than a season-ending PGA Tour playoff system.
Bob, what is the difference between Kevin Streelman 2008 and 2009? Is it the flat stick? Doesn't seem to be scoring as well.
Bob Harig (2:40 PM)
Jake, I don't think Streelman is doing that poorly this year,although he's made just seven cuts in 14 events. He's not driving the ball very straight (148th in accuracy) and he's not among the top 100 in either of the major putting categories. Yet he's still made nearly $500,000.
Sabbatini seems like a second tier player...Do you expect him to ever make that leap into the first tier (say top 10)?
Bob Harig (2:41 PM)
He'll have to get a lot more consistent. He is very streaky. He's had a lot of poor tournaments this year and you can't do that and be a top10 player.
What are your take on John Daly's pants?
Bob Harig (2:42 PM)
Tyler, to be honest, I think they look hideous. .. But it was a nice touch when he wore the pink pants in honor of Amy Mickelson.
Doesn't the Memorial start today? Shouldn't we know if Tiger is playing?
Bob Harig (2:42 PM)
The Colonial is this week. The Memorial is next week. Tiger has until 5 p.m. Friday to commit.
How is the LPGA going to let players Tweet on the course? Aren't cell phones not allowed?
Bob Harig (2:43 PM)
Marc, I wasn't aware they were allowing players to Twitter on the course. Maybe during practice rounds or pro-ams?
Barb Philadelphia, PA
Wow - It looks like Ian Baker-Finch is playing well today! He must have gotten some practice in lately outside of his announcing. I wonder if he said "delicious" after each of his birdies. He's always great at the British Open.
Bob Harig (2:45 PM)
Barb, he shot 2-under-par 68 today, which is really pretty incredible. He's not played in a tournament in eight years. For those who don't know, Baker-Finch basically lost his game in the mid-90s. But he plays a lot and is said to be great when he's not between the ropes. Would be great to see him make the cut.
Just saw the story. Apparently the commish is ok with them "Tweet"-ing during tournament rounds.
Bob Harig (2:47 PM)
Marc, thanks for bringing that to my attention. Seems like a bad idea to me. There is the issue of whether a hand-held device is allowed by the USGA. And shouldn't the player be concentrating on her game and her round?
You can see the YouTube video of IBF hitting it 90 miles left on the 1st hole at the Old Course, but to be fair there was a gust of wind.
Bob Harig (2:49 PM)
Marc is referring to when Ian Baker Finch hit his opening tee shot out of bounds in 1995. That is hard to do. That's how bad he hit that ball.
Cosmo (Anytown, USA)
What is the most amazing thing you have ever seen during a golf tournament?
Bob Harig (2:49 PM)
Cosmo, probably Tiger's performance at the U.S. Open last year, especially knowing what we now know about his injuries.
The LPGA needs all the marketing help it can get. Golf needs to go over traditionalism a little bit.
Bob Harig (2:52 PM)
Mike, they can do it before or after a round then. You start to blur the lines of competition when you allow something like that to occur when they are playing. I know they have a lot of time waiting around, but is this the best way to market? I'm not sold on it after thinking about it for just a few minutes.
Hogan's performance after his accident was better for the simple reason that medicine has come so far in the last 50 years.
Bob Harig (2:53 PM)
I'm not saying it wasn't, but the question was what I had seen. . . . I'm old but not that old!
Hey Bob, It's become fashionable for commentators to proclaim that Tiger is now "too big" to swing properly. Your thoughts?
Bob Harig (2:54 PM)
I don't buy it. Tiger works out, he's in great shape, but I hardly think he's become too big to swing the club properly. He swings it pretty well.
How great would it be if Mickelson was "tweet"ing during rounds. He'd have one every 10 seconds with each thought. It'd be a 9 hour round.
Bob Harig (2:57 PM)
Yeah, I"m having trouble with this idea. I understand the LPGA wanting to find ways to market itself. We'll see.
Rooster Oakland, CA
What is wrong with Adam Scott? Dude seems to have completely lost his mojo.
Bob Harig (2:57 PM)
No doubt. He's missed six straight cuts. Scott has been working on some swing changes after dealing with some injuries that likely led to bad habits. But he's too good to be this bad -- if that makes sense.
Bob Harig (3:00 PM)
Okay, I'm out of time.. . Thanks for checking in and for all your questions. I'll be at the Memorial next week and we'll chat again from there. Take care.
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