Chat with Andy North
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, golf analyst Andy North will chat live from Augusta National, as he's ready to cover the 2010 Masters.
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 Wednesday at noon ET!
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Buzzmaster (11:56 AM)
Andy will be here at the top of the hour to take your questions!
Buzzmaster (12:03 PM)
Hang in there folks. Andy's running a few minutes late.
Buzzmaster (12:04 PM)
Andy is here!
Many people are saying that playing with Tiger will be a distraction, but isn't it conceivable to think that the groups before and after Tiger's will have to handle a wide array of distractions as well?
Andy North (12:06 PM)
Of all the tournaments that a player can play in, this is the easier one, as far as the distractions, people running around between shots. People find a spot and watch groups go through. In front or behind, the group in front is the horrible spot to be. Everyone's running to see the next shot. But I don't think that happens as much as a normal event.
Wondering what Tiger's driver swing looks like this week. I know he's fighting it right, but yesterday he got quick and hooked one. Any insight into what he's working on and if he can find a pattern for the tournament? Thanks,
Andy North (12:07 PM)
I had a chance to watch him hit a few balls a week ago when he was in for a practice round. I've watched him every day this week. Is he hitting every shot perfectly? No. None of the guys are. The one thing that I thought looked positive for him is his rhythm is very good. When he's not hitting well, his rhythm isn't good. He played a solid round yesterday. This is not a golf course you hit every shot perfectly. When you do miss shots, you have to be in the right spots.
Hi Andy thanks for taking questions. I'm a big Camilo Villegas fan but he seems to have cooled off a little lately, does his game set up well for Augusta?
Andy North (12:08 PM)
I think it does. Camillo is a terrific player. He's gone through some hot stretches the last few years. He hits the ball long enough that he can get some advantages over the guys who don't hit it long. It's a big advantage to be longer here. Soemtimes, going into a major championship, you play so well and your focus changes to where you're looking a week or two down the road to that major.
'Grits' Crandall (Dallas)
Champ, with Tiger getting next to last tee time Thurs, will this add some additional pressure in seeing the day's low scores already posted prior to him starting, versus going off early in the day? I would think an early time would have been preferred....
Andy North (12:09 PM)
I think any time a player is going off late, there are some issues involved. There is supposed to be some wind and some storms coming in. I think the scores posted won't be an issue for him. I don't think that's as much of an issue as the wind and storms that are coming in.
Doug (Chantilly, VA)
Andy, any thoughts on what the winning score will be?
Andy North (12:10 PM)
The golf course is in really good shape. The warm weather the last 10 days has helped things grow. From a winning score's standpoint, generally, in majors, if you can figure out a way to shoot 70 every day, that's good. It depends on the wind too.
Brian B (Columbia, MD)
Hey Andy, which young guns are most likely to finish in the top 10? Villegas? Mahan? O'Hair? There are so many!
Andy North (12:11 PM)
I think all three of those players are getting to the point where you don't think of them as young guns any more. They're at the point in their careers where they have to start thinking about winning majors. You look at other guys, guys like McElroy. I think he could be a super star. He has a great golf swing.
Ray (Arlington, VA)
Any clues today on how the course will be set up for the tournament? It seemed like the pros were speculating that they really didn't know how the course would be set up for the tourney relative to the practice round setup.
Andy North (12:12 PM)
The history here, you know there are four or five hole locations on each green that they use. You want to try to make some shots into those areas. Whether it will be difficult or easy, you don't know. In past years, they try to make it harder on Thursday and Friday. Every hole has hole locations graded by difficulty and they try to balance it out.
Can Sergio break out and win his first Major this week?
Andy North (12:14 PM)
Sergio is a player who you always expect to play well at majors. He drives the ball so well and he's a wonderful iron player. The one thing that he has some issues with is the putter. That's been his weakness the last few years. This is a golf course that if you don't putt well, you have some trouble. This is a course that you have to put the ball in the proper position on the greens. He should be able to do that.
Being that long drivers have an advantage in the Masters, would you give Bubba Watson a fighters chance this week?
Andy North (12:14 PM)
Absolutely. Bubba does a couple of things very very well. Obviously, he drives it 800 miles, but he's also good with the wedge. He's able to spin the ball well. I wouldn't be shocked if he had a good week.
Would you bet on Cabrera's chances this year?
Andy North (12:15 PM)
I think that's a good possibility. It doesn't seem like he cares a whole lot on the other events, but then he gets to the majors and he does a lot better. Why? He drives the ball really really long and very straight.
It is good to see Ernie Els getting his game back in form. How do you think he will preform in this years tournament?
Andy North (12:16 PM)
I don't think I've been as pleased in seeing a player win as with Ernie this year. He's had some tough times and yet he's really dedicated himself to playing better. First, look at his history here. He has a great history. He could have won 2-3 times here. I think he's a really good pick this week.
Scott (Chattanooga, TN)
Andy, with a chance of rain on Thursday possibly softening the course a little, what do you see the winning score being this year?
Andy North (12:17 PM)
It looks as if it's not supposed to be that much rain. They're not talking very much. The real issue here is always the wind. If it blows, it makes it so difficult. If a front goes through, the afternoon players have the real disadvantage.
Anthony Kim has to be coming into this event with glowing confidence. Do you see him having any problems this week?
Andy North (12:18 PM)
Anthony Kim is an interesting story. Not only did he play well last week, but he has played well the last few weeks. He has past history on this course where he can make tons of birdies. I like his chances. He's still a young guy.
Andy, have you done your Dr. Andy routine with Van Pelt yet? Who wins?
Andy North (12:19 PM)
Actually, we haven't put the theory to test this week. We've made it a U.S. Open thing. We thought that Dr. North probably worked better at the Open.
Tiger or the rest and why
Andy North (12:20 PM)
I think this year, you have to take the rest of the field. I think there's a really good chance he could play well. And I think there's a chance he could not function well. We don't know where his game is. You can watch him take shots, but you don't really know until he tees it up on Thursday.
Andy North (12:21 PM)
It's always great to talk to Grits in Dallas. It will be a great week. We'll have some fun.