Chat with Bob Harig
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN.com golf writer Bob Harig will stop by to talk about the 2009 golf season.
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 to chat Thursday at 4 p.m. ET!
Bob Harig (3:58 PM)
Thanks for joining today's golf chat. I'm checking in from the BMW Championship, site of the third FedEx Cup playoff event at Cog Hill. I'm a bit short on time, so I'll have to keep this brief. Fire away with your quesitons and I'll get to as many as I can. Thanks.
Patrick Yocum (Hanover)
Is it me or is the media letting Tiger off the hook AGAIN for his comments about ERnie. He basically questioned Ernie's work ethic. If that had been the other way around PLEASE. Ernie would have gotten lambasted. Your thoughts.
Bob Harig (4:00 PM)
Patrick, I have a hard time hammering Tiger for being honest. He also went on to explain that Ernie plays such a demanding schedule that putting in the time to rehab might have been difficult. The only way you could take Tiger to task is if you truly knew that he was wrong, and none of us can know for sure just how hard Els worked in his rehab.
Patrick Yocum (Hanover)
If STeve STricker wins the next 2 events, Is he POY?
Bob Harig (4:00 PM)
Patrick, I think he would almost have to be player of the year in that case. Five victories would tie Tiger plus it also gives him the FedEx Cup.
What does the BMW think of the previous week's tournament ending on a Monday? Seems like they lose at least one day of having the start around, and if there were any incliment weather possibly more.
Bob Harig (4:02 PM)
Brian, they are not thrilled about it. There's no question that what's good for the Deutsche Bank is not good for the BMW. And upon reflection, it's unfair to this tournament and the players. This tournament loses a possible fund-raising day (many tournaments have Monday pro-ams) and Tuesday was a ghost down around here. Then you've got walking zombies on the course. Hopefully that situation is addressed.
Ted (Jupiter, FL)
Give me one player who's game will suffer next year due to the new groove rule.
Bob Harig (4:04 PM)
Ted, I can't give you one. There are too many variables. On the surface, guys like Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia and Padraig Harrington are name players who would be affected because they hit the ball with a lot of spin. With the new grooves, they won't be able to spin the ball as much. But perhaps they compensate. Maybe they play a ball that spins more. Or they play for shots to run more. It's going to be interesting to see ow it plays out.
Shoeless Joe (Chicago, IL)
So is Mr. Norman throwing the 2009 President's Cup? Last time I checked Ryo and Adam have 0 top 30 finishes on tour since January. I mean were Ian Baker Finch and Jumbo Ozaki unavailable that week?
Bob Harig (4:06 PM)
Joe, the pick of Adam Scott was curious to say the least. Ishikawa not so much. He's won three tournaments this year in Japan, including one on Sunday. And he'll have a huge Japanese following while playing in San Francisco. It smacks of favoritims, however, to pick Scott, who has had a horrible year. The only defense for Norman is none of the other candidates has done much over the past three months to say they deserved to be on the team. Still, this was a choice that will be debated.
Felix (San Jose)
Has the tour ever thought of having some kind of 18/36 hole match at the end of the playoffs between the top 2. I think it would be great to see the top 2 square off for $10 million. Maybe then we'd see some tension and nerves that playoffs bring out in other sports.
Bob Harig (4:07 PM)
Felix, numerous ideas have been presented, including match play or some sort of shootout for the $10-million. The tour always falls back to the traditional stroke-play format with a bunch of guys having a shot.
The Brick ((VGC))
Hey bob,Couple of cats from the club (Kolbay and da boys) think that Tiger will break Jack's record and retire by 40......I say that is c-c-c-c-razy talk and that he will be dawning green jackets well into his 40's (any maybe past 50).....How say you??
Bob Harig (4:09 PM)
My belief is that Tiger will keep playing until he feels he can't be at his best all the time, assuming he has broken Jack's record of 18 majors. Once past that point, he might be moved to get 100 PGA Tour victories, but not if he's struggling to win.
Ed (Long Island)
Up through what current ranking has automatically qualified for the Tour Championship?
Bob Harig (4:10 PM)
Ed, anyone in the top 15 in the points standings is assured of making it to the Tour Championship, which means only 15 spots are available for the other 54 players in the field.
Tiger (Windemere, FL)
If I were to retire tomorrow do you think the tour would be ready for it? I mean playoffs, playoffs?, do you think the playoffs would survive my absence? Alos what happens to purses, WGCs, EA Sports, NIKE, TV ratings/airtimes with out me? Seems like just a whole lot of John Deere Classics.
Bob Harig (4:12 PM)
There is no doubt that when Mr. Woods decides to leave, golf in general and the PGA Tour in particular will suffer. But golf was popular before Tiger and will still be popular after. It will just take some getting used to.
Ron Mexico (Atlanta)
With you guys coming to my neighborhood next week can you go over the tie breaker scenarios? If 2 guys are tied for 30th, do they both get in? Do they have a playoff for that spot? Also, if the ultimate happens, and 2 guys tie for the Fed Ex Cup, what happens then?
Bob Harig (4:16 PM)
Actually, the tournament is in two weeks. Next week is an off week and then the Tour Championship begins on Sept. 24.If two players are tied for 30th place here at the BMW, they both advance. There is no playoff.And if I'm not mistaken, it is mathetmatically impossible for there to be a tie for the top spot at the Tour Championship. The points are re-set after this event with the leader being given 2,500 points and 30th place getting 210. Then the points at the event are the same as they are here, with the winner getting 2,500 points down to 205 for finishing 30th.
What do you think of the new Cog Hill? Are you at the event?
Bob Harig (4:17 PM)
The new Cog Hill looks cleaner to me.It's in great shape, they re-did all of the greens and moved and re-shaped bunkers. With excellent weather, the place looks terrific.
Melissa (Cambridge, MA)
Why don't men and women compete on the same tour? If women played from the ladies tees wouldn't it be fair? My husband tells me that the PGA tour has much narrower fariways andfaster greens, usually with more slope as well, is that true?
Bob Harig (4:18 PM)
Melissa, generally speaking, PGA Tour courses are set up much more difficult than those on the LPGA Tour. The greens are faster, fairways narrower. Even if you allowed for a difference in tees, how do you keep it equitable?
Trevor (Vegas Baby)
We have the LV event in a few weeks, any chance we get a decent field or has the playoffs sucked the life out of the fall series?
Bob Harig (4:20 PM)
Trevor, there's very little chance of having more than a few players from the top 25 in the world. It's simply the way this thing has shaken out. The Fall Series events are going to be about guys trying to improve their position on the money list or keep their cards for 2010. To get of the so-called "name" players will be a bonus at any of the events.
Bob, what are your thoughts on Paddy Harrington? Is it encouraging to see him getting back into contention these last few events after so many months in the wilderness, or discouraging to see his hopes dashed with a few untimely wayward shots?
Bob Harig (4:22 PM)
Matthew, I think it's both. Great to see Harrington back in the mix, disappointing to see him falter at three tournaments where he took penalty strokes each time.
Tommy (St. Louis)
Any chance we see a winner of the FEC besides Tiger or Stricker?
Bob Harig (4:23 PM)
Tommy, yes, the way the points system is set up this year, anyone in the top five heading to Atlanta wins the FedEx Cup with a victory there. And everyone in the top 30 will have a shot at the Cup, depending on what happens to others. So neither player is guaranteed the cup unless he wins in Atlanta.
Being in Chicago is there much buzz about the 2016 Olympics there this week? Also, where would you guess golf would be played then, doesn't Cog Hill have numerous courses?
Bob Harig (4:24 PM)
Hal, yes there is. The city council here just voted to pick up the tab for the Olympics if there are cost over runs. And Cog Hill, if golf gets in and the Olympics come here, will be a strong contender. It got a solid endorsement from Tiger Woods, which can't hurt.
Follow up on the fall series, why not let these events offer appearance money to the stars to try to lure them?
Bob Harig (4:26 PM)
Trevor, appearance fees is not the answer. Tournaments have enough trouble raising funds to put on an event without having to get into competition over throwing money at guys just to show up. And that sets up a bad precedent. They've given these guys their appearance fees by having these last two playoff events with no cut -- guaranteed money.
Brian (Westborough, MA)
Does Danny Lee have any sponsor's exemptions left this year or will he need to Monday Qualify to get in to the Fall Series events? Also, what do you think of his game, did Norman consider picking him? He did win down under this year i believe.
Bob Harig (4:28 PM)
Brian, you're right, Danny Lee used up all of his exemptions so he would be forced to qualify. He's looking at having to go to Q School. I don't believe Norman ever seriously considered him.
Fletcher (Rhode Island)
Any chance the tour reviews the slow play rules for next year? It seems over the past few months to have popped it's ugly head up more and more and with no one being penalized in the past 20 odd years is there really even a rule?
Bob Harig (4:31 PM)
Fletcher, I wish they would, but it's doubtful. They seem to feel their rules address the issue. It's simple to me: once a group is out of position, give them a warning. The next time they are out of position, all players are on the clock for the rest of the round. From there, if they violate the timing issues, give them a one-stroke penalty. Then two strokes for the next offense. that will help speed up play, believe me.
My buddy and I (whom i talked to you about 3 weeks ago) were able to play TPC Boston yesterday. he's a plus3 handicap and he shot 67, that could have been lower. If tour players used handicap systems, what would they be. BTW, he says you're wrong and he can beat Adam Scott anyday.
Bob Harig (4:32 PM)
Sorry, he's not beating Adam Scott any day. Not saying it couldn't happen in a flukish sort of way, but if your buddy is that good, he'd be playing for pay, simple as that.
Bob Harig (4:32 PM)
Okay folks, I'm out of time. Sorry for the brief visit but I have to go. Enjoy the golf.