Chat with Bob Harig
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN.com golf writer Bob Harig will stop by to talk about the 2010 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 Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET!
Bob Harig (3:56 PM)
Hey, thanks for checking in for this golf chat. I'm at Doral this week for the second World Golf Championship event of the year. The golf season is heating up. Lots to talk about, and your questions are welcome. Fire away.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Which Current Golfers that are on the PGA & the LPGA Tours do you think would be perfect Broadcasters?
Bob Harig (3:58 PM)
Chris, I think Paul Goydos would be excellent on TV. He's got a great sense of humor and has been around the game long enough to know all the ins and outs. Juli Inkster seems to be going strong at age 50 but she seemingly would have a career in TV if she wants one.
The USGA released the US Open applicaiton last week and Tom Watson was not named as a special exemption. Does this surprise you and do you think they will name him later in the process?
Bob Harig (4:00 PM)
Brian, the USGA still has time to offer up a special exemption. I would be stunned if Watson didn't get one. His second-place finish at the British Open should have done it, but he's played well this year, too. And of course there is his link to Pebble Beach. Consider this part of the bandwagaon. He deserves it.
Bob,Is there some sort of off the radar issue between camilo and the golf writers? I ask this because despite the great win this week almost all the coverage both on espn (sobel calling him boring) or another sites weekly roundtable (even moderator said his panel seemed cool to it). A third article calls him a prima donna and talks about a time at 2007 british open. I found this surprising since if anything he seems commited and disciplined kind of opposite of AK. He always goes out of way to sign autographs at events I have attended in S. florida. So just wondering if there is something we the public are unaware of and your htoughts on Camilos outlook for the remiander of 2010?
Bob Harig (4:02 PM)
Jon, you might be on to something. Camilo has been difficult to deal with. I don't deny that he signs autographs and is an exciting player. But he's not gone out of his way to help himself with the media that covers him. Part of it, I believe, has to do with the fact that when he was a rookie in 2006, he was overexposed to a degree and did not produce the results that warranted it.
In your opinion, what is the best course the pros play on in Florida?
Bob Harig (4:04 PM)
Brian, to me, it's a toss-up between TPC Sawgrass and Innisbrook's Copperhead, where the tour goes next week. Sawgrass is world famous and has evolved into a course that can be a great test. Innisbrook is very underrated and unlike Florida, with lots of hills and tall trees. Next week's tournament is getting a great field and it has to do with the course.
Jim C. (DC)
Bob, I need a strong showing this week for my fannnnntasy golf team. Who is going to win? Is it within your power to rig the tournament to ensure victory?
Bob Harig (4:06 PM)
Jim, if you've followed my picks, you know I'm not risk to run off to Vegas. I went with Ian Poulter this week. Go with him at your own risk.
Fred Couples is now 2/3 on the Champions Tour and even his los he shot -21. If he keeps this up will he be a Ryder Cup Selection?
Bob Harig (4:08 PM)
Brian, it's an interesting thought, because he's playing well on the regular PGA Tour, too. He's got experience and still hits it a mile. With four picks, captain Corey Pavin has options. It'll be interesting to see how it progresses as we get into the year.
can ian poulter contend again this week?
Bob Harig (4:09 PM)
Dan, I certainly think so. I picked him to win, which is probably the kiss of death.
What has happened to Stuart Appleby?
Bob Harig (4:09 PM)
Patrick, it remains a mystery. He didn't keep his card last year and is off to a slow start this year. He's changed caddies, which is probably not the answer.
I know we have talked about the World Rankings ad nauseum but doesn't it bother you that a player like Rory McIlroy who is a fine player and may be great someday is in the top 10 when he basically hasn't won anything?
Bob Harig (4:12 PM)
Patrick, you raise an interesting point. McIlroy is an excellent player who appears on the verge of stardom. But to date, he has but a single professional title -- he won at Dubai last year on the European Tour. And yet he is ranked ninth in the world. The rankings seem to reward players who hang around the top, even if they don't win.
Ricardo (West Orange, NJ)
Bob, when are writers going to realized that Phil will never be able to live-up to Tiger's caliber? Everybody was expecting him to step up and take the lead now that Tiger is out, instead the kids have taken over the show, which I think is great and more exciting for golf.
Bob Harig (4:13 PM)
Ricardo, I believe there was an expectation for Phil based on how he finished last year. Nobody is expecting him to match Tiger. But as the No. 2 player in the world and with Tiger out, it was natural to think that Phil might step in. So far he hasn't. In fact he has slipped to No. 3.
Should Phil Mickelson be feeling pressure to perform before Tiger comes back. I feel like he had the most to gain with Tiger being gone but has done very little to take advantage during Tiger's absence.
Bob Harig (4:15 PM)
Micah, I don't think Phil's pressure has anything to do with whether Tiger is playing or not. I'm sure he feels pressure to perform regardless. It is true that an opportunity has been missed in Tiger's absence.
Can Quiros put it together and surprise some folks this weekend?
Bob Harig (4:16 PM)
Michael, Alvaro Quiros would be wildly popular if he could string together some sucess. He hits the ball a mile and that should serve him well at Doral.
Why do you think Camilo is off to such a strong start this season?
Bob Harig (4:17 PM)
Eric, he said last week that he has stopped sweating the small stuff. That he's trying to enjoy what he has more. That seems to be a good strategy.
will tiger be back at bay hill?
Bob Harig (4:19 PM)
It is quite possible, although nobody really knows for sure. He is working with his coach, Hank Haney, and it appears he is readying for a return. Bay Hill seems like a logical place.
TW2K10 (Saint Paul, MN)
I think Tiger will be playing in his back yard in a couple weeks. What is your thought on that? Do you think that he will win the Masters?
Bob Harig (4:22 PM)
Lots of speculation about Tiger. I have no information. I think if he wants to win the Masters, he needs to play somewhere before. So Bay Hill seems like the likely spot.
Mike (Orem, UT)
Any chance we see Tiger at the Tavistock Cup? Seems like an ideal place to come back his home course, galleries are only open to a select few.
Bob Harig (4:27 PM)
Mike, lots of speculation about this, too. Tavistock makes sense from the standpoing that Tiger lives right there. He can walk out of his house to the driving range. Very little media will be allowed. He doesn't have to take questions. It's not a tour event. And he can get his feet wet in competition. There are tons of negatives, too, but you can see why he might consider it.
Gun to your head: Does Tiger play Augusta?
Bob Harig (4:27 PM)
I hate to make it that dire, but I'd say he does. If he were just going to ease back into it, I'm not sure he'd be working with Hank Haney yet.
What do you think about Villegas bringing home a major this year?
Bob Harig (4:28 PM)
Spencer, it wouldn't surprise me. A player who has three tour victories and is ranked 12th in the world certainly is a candidate to win a major.
i think we will know if tiger is playing in the masters by fri mar 19. that is the last day to enter bayhill and if he plays there he will be in augusta. do you agree?
Bob Harig (4:29 PM)
Dave, I tend to agree that if Tiger is playing at Bay Hill, he will also be playing at the Masters.
Chances Anthony Kim and Rickie Fowlers make the Ryder Cup? Chances Tiger misses it?
Bob Harig (4:31 PM)
Dennis, I like Kim's chances of making the Ryder Cup team and give Fowler a shot just because he's off to a good start this year. The only way Tiger misses the Ryder Cup is if he doesn't want to play. Even if he doesn't qualify on points, he would be a captain's pick for sure.
Jon (Des Moines)
Hi Bob, is it me or is it a little strange that I'm more excited to see Couples at August next month than Woods pending his return possibly later this month? If there was ever a time for Freddie to be in contention in a major again this feels like the perfect opportunity for him.
Bob Harig (4:32 PM)
I don't blame you for feeling that way. If Kenny Perry could contend at age 48, why can't Couples at 50? And he's playing well right now.
Neal R (Louisville, KY USA)
I understand that Tiger is the best golfer in the world but will this coverage ever stop? He has made us well aware that he doesnt want to talk and wants privacy, on and off the course. His attitude is terrible and I do not care if he ever comes back. I wish people would just leave it alone. I am so tired of hearing all of the coverage and I love the PGA tour. I can point out a golfer from a distance or on tv by watching his golf swing. Tiger has never been nice to the fans, let him do what he wants and point the cameras and questions somewhere else. I would love to see the crowds around his group be no more than his close family (which is all he wants around him now) when he returns to the tour. He will miss the attention once it is gone.
Bob Harig (4:35 PM)
There is really only one question in there! Will the coverage ever stop? Uh, I don't think so. Are we supposed to ignore him? When he returns? All that has occurred? There is simply too much interest.
Would it be safe to assume that Tiger is playing in the near future if Hank Haney was working with him last weekend? The PEOPLE need to know!
Bob Harig (4:36 PM)
I would not assume anything, but certainly the fact that Haney is working with Tiger suggests there is some urgency to the situation.
Why doesn't the State of Indiana have a tour event?
Bob Harig (4:40 PM)
It is going to get the BMW Championship in 2012 for one year at Crooked Stick. But you could answer that by asking why doesn't the state of Minnesota have a tour event? Or Missouri? Or Pennsylvania (although the AT&T is moving there this year for two years). Lots of places want tournaments but there are only so many openings.
Where do you see AK finishing this week? Was last week a fluke, or do you think he's finally on to something?
Bob Harig (4:41 PM)
For Anthony's sake let's hope it was the start of something. It's been awhile and that was a good performance.
Chris (Villanova, PA)
Everyone with a brain in their heads knows that Tiger plays only to win majors. So if he is taking time off to get his life in order, prove family > golf...doesn't he have to skip Augusta? For this reason, I continue to believe we won't see him until Pebble.
Bob Harig (4:42 PM)
I'm not sure skipping Augusta proves anything. Or playing it proves anything. He hasn't played a meaningful tournament since November. He's a professional golfer. Many people in the world have personal issues and they still go to work. I don't see whyhe can't work through his problems while playing golf. The question is if he is ready to play golf.
Jessica Acker (Oronoco, MN)
Bob, aren't your legs sore from running through my dreams all night long?
Bob Harig (4:43 PM)
I just had to post that to give everyone a chuckle at my expense.
Do you think Tiger will ever play in the Transitions Tournament?
Bob Harig (4:45 PM)
I have never understood why he would not want to play there. It's a great course, exactly the type he says he enjoys -- where tons of birdies do not win. It's close to home. Lots of reasons suggest he would play it.
JB Holmes has had a great year so far and is ranked 59 in the world. Do you think he will win at a course other than Scottsdale this year, keep moving up in the rankings, and be part of the US 2010 Ryder Cup team?
Bob Harig (4:46 PM)
Lots of unknowns there. I certainly think he can win someplace other than Scottsdale. That long game can give you lots of chances. He was a pick for the Ryder Cup team and performed well so at least he has that experience.
Frank (Chicago, IL)
John Daly is in the next two weeks: If he misses the cut at both events, is that it?
Bob Harig (4:47 PM)
Frank, I don't think so. It only takes one or two great weeks to have a good year. What else is he doing to do?
Frank (Coram, NY)
How tired are you of the tiger questions?
Bob Harig (4:48 PM)
Frank, not tired at all. I understand the questions. Now the other players... I could see why they are getting tired of us asking them.
Chris (Villanova, PA)
Can you please do something along the lines of..."I will stop answering Tiger-related questions after 45 minutes" next time? This is getting redundant and boring. Funny, it's the same as all "golf" talk right now.
Bob Harig (4:49 PM)
Chris, to be honest with you, I have not had that many Tiger questions. It is about normal.
Who is your Masters favorite at this point including the possibility of Tiger playing
Bob Harig (4:50 PM)
Justin, I've been saying since the beginning of the year that I like Phil at Augusta. I know I'm ont really going out on a limb. But I'm sticking with it.
Max (San Francisco)
What is going on with Sergio? He shot some funky rounds last week? He may have led the field in double bogeys....he may need to copy Camillo's attitude change.
Bob Harig (4:52 PM)
Max, you could make a lot of money trying to figure out Sergio.
What do you think about Adam Scott's chances at Doral? Seems like he is trying to make his way out of that career slump after winning in Australia at the end of last year. I'd like to see him do well.
Bob Harig (4:52 PM)
Tim, there's not been much buzz about Scott so far this year. This would be a great place to have some success and get going in the right direciton again.
Any chance that Hank Haney does his next project with a regular Joe?
Bob Harig (4:53 PM)
It seems to me that part of the appeal is him working with celebrities. That would be missing if it were just you or me or somebody else that is unknown.
Chris (Villanova, PA)
Cabrera, Glover, Cink, Yang could have gone Perry, Phil/Duval, Watson, Woods...2009 was the year of "what if's". What will characterize 2010?
Bob Harig (4:55 PM)
Chris, that's a good question. I think so much depends on what happens with Tiger. This was to be his big year with the majors being at Pebble and St. Andrews. So many unknowns still.
Why do you think we have so many Tiger haters out there? Not only since his latest fiasco, but throughout his career. I'm trying to figure it out. It's like Sydney Crosby (NHL player) in Canada. People love to sh*t all over him, much the same as some with Tiger. He's the best. Just watch and consider yourselves lucky to be able to do so? Or don't watch at all?
Bob Harig (4:57 PM)
For whatever reason, some don't like Tiger. They think he's taken away from golf because he gets so much attention. From where I sit, golf gets way more attention because of Tiger. He's brought interest to the game that would be missing otherwise.
Peter (Atlanta, GA)
Will Tiger's return be the biggest story in golf ever?
Bob Harig (4:58 PM)
Ever? That might be a stretch. But his return is going to be huge. If every broadcast network showed his speech on Feb. 19, what's it going to be like when he hits a golf ball in a real tournament for the first time?
Bob Harig (4:58 PM)
Okay, I'm out of time. Thanks again for participating. I'll be weighing in next week from the Transitions Championship. Enjoy the golf from Doral this weekend.