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 (4:00 PM)
Hello, thanks for checking out this golf chat. I've ventured out again, this week to the BMW Championship at Cog Hill. Two more playoff events, then the Ryder Cup. Lots to chat about if you're so inclined. Please fire away with your questions.
Steve Stricker had a chance this past week and again this week to be the #1 player in the world. The 12 men who have been #1 all have won at least 1 major. Not only has Sticker never won a major he hasn't had a top 5 in a major in over 11 years!!! Clinton was still President! I think the OWGR are pretty fair but do we need to re-evaluate them if Stricker becomes 1 this fall? Charlie Hoffman just got 70% of the points a major winner would get by winning in a reduced field event this week. Do you think majors are weighted enough?
Bob Harig (4:05 PM)
Good question, and I don't know the answer, really. The world rankings are a complicated deal. I'm not sure that winning a major should be required. If Stricker had won a major 10 years ago but now had a chance to be No. 1 based on his play over the past two years, would that matter? I think the point you're making is that a major ought ot play into how a player does in the world rankings, but it is more about how he performs over a two-year period. As we've seen, it is not always about who is the best right now.
Is Geoff Olgivy the biggest enigma in golf? Some weeks he shows the unreal talent that he has(few and far between), and other weeks he plays like a 10 handicapper.
Bob Harig (4:07 PM)
Ogilvy is a very tough one to figure. You're right in that he shows unreal talent and that drops out of sight. It again puts into perspective how good Tiger Woods was for so long. A lot of top players go through long periods where they are very visible.
I know you reported this, but why was it such a BIG deal that Tiger was picked for the Ryder Cup. The REAL news would have been if he wasn't.
Bob Harig (4:09 PM)
Agreed, it would have been a much bigger deal if he had not been picked. But it still had to be reported. I wrote that the real news was Fowler getting the pick. That was the surprise.
Mike S (CT)
Bob, do you think that we've seen the last of Vijay Singh and Davis Love III, two stalwarts of the past 20 years, as contenders for any big tournament?
Bob Harig (4:10 PM)
I don't think Singh is done yet. He showed some flashes last week and continues to work very hard at his game. Love might be a different story. He is not getting into as many majors now, not contending.
Where does Tiger have to finish to play in Atlanta?
Bob Harig (4:12 PM)
According to the PGA Tour, he is going to need at least a top 5 finish to advance.
Hunter Mahan is the only player on the US with a winning record in ryder cup play. Do you see the europeans domminating this ryder cup?
Bob Harig (4:14 PM)
I might be in the minority, but I don't see the Europeans dominating. The nature of the competition is that the underdogs typically have a better chance than anyone thinks. Match play evens the playing field. And while Mahan might have the only winning record among Americans, plenty have done well in the Presidents Cup, which at least has the same format. Funny things happen at the Ryder Cup.
So, Tiger's been grinding enough to make it to the top 70. Is this the week he pulls through and wins? He loves the course and it's basically built for his game.
Bob Harig (4:16 PM)
I can't say that, really. Nothing is out of the question with Tiger, but he's had many courses this year where he had played well previously and it didn't matter. You still have to be playing well and if you're not the course doesnt' matter much.
Ricky Fowler, i like the pick. Young guys helped us win last time. Overall whats your take on Pavin's selections?
Bob Harig (4:20 PM)
As I wrote (shameless plug) I wouldn't have had a problem with anyone he picked -- aside from senior golfers or John Daly -- because nobody did enough to distinguish themselves to the level that they had to be picked. You can poke holes in Fowler's selection, but you'd be able to also if he took Holmes or O'Hair or Glover or Crane or Hoffman.
I share a first name and hometown with Jeff Overton. How do you see him faring in the Ryder? I'm not really a golf fan but excited about the local boy doing good.
Bob Harig (4:22 PM)
Overton will be interesting. He played his way onto the team by getting hot in the latter part of the year and by playing a lot of events. He and Fowler are the only players on the team without a win. He's got a lot of game but how will he handle that stage? It's quite intimidating.
Hi Bob- I wanted to get your thoughts on who you think will be the strongest pairing for this year's Ryder Cup? I know its early still but I have to think the Molinari brothers could steal the show
Bob Harig (4:23 PM)
I agree with the Molinari brother assessment. There could not be an easier pairing for Monty. For the Americans, I think Pavin would be foolish not to put Tiger with Stricker. Why mess with a good thing?
Jim (NY, NY)
I realize he probably would have ducked it but how was Corey Pavin not asked a question about how much he planned to play Tiger in the Ryder Cup during the press conference? Considering Pavin knew Tiger would be listening to his reply that question has to be asked.
Bob Harig (4:24 PM)
He would not have answered that question anyway. He likely won't answer it in Wales. We'll see when we get there I suppose.
Steve (Knoxville, TN)
So the BMW Championship is at Cog Hill this week, which is sad. I grew up in the Chicago area and there are so many great courses there and they put the tour event at Cog. Don't get me wrong, I grew up on the public courses but Butler National was an amazing venue. Medinah would be sweet. Rich Harvest Links would be new and interesting. Chicago Golf Club has a ton of history. I feel you should choose the best course for a premier event.
Bob Harig (4:26 PM)
As a Chicago native myself, I agree, but there is a lot more to it than that. Butler National had to give up the tournament due to its membership policies; Medinah doesn't want it every year. Chicago Golf, to my knowledge, couldn't host a big event like this. And Cog Hill has been available plus is a strong test. So much goes into hosting a tour event.
Penn Williams (Tucson)
What do you think of Phil's chances this week, he has been playing decent. The last nine holes on sunday at the deustchabank probably kept him from being the number one golfer in the world now.
Bob Harig (4:29 PM)
Phil is consistently inconsistent. That has been the story of his year. In the past, he has not played well here. He doesn't care much for the course so it is very hard to gauge how Phil will do.
Fowler and Bubba seem to have a great relationship. Seems like an easy pairing for Captain Corey.
Bob Harig (4:29 PM)
Agreed, and I believe one of the reasons Fowler was picked.
Lou (East Liverpool, OH)
Tiger always has said that any year where you win a major is a good year. Mickelson really seems to be putting that theory to the test. Can an elite level player like Phil really be happy with a year where he underperforms in such a high percentage of his tourneys?
Bob Harig (4:30 PM)
My guess is that Phil would say he's disappointed he hasn't been able to add to the success of the Masters. Winning the green jacket did make it a good year, but you think of how much better it could have been.
Please explain to us at a high level what Foley's swing theory is versus that of Harmon and Haney. Harmon was about athletic posture, wide wide wide. Haney was about the swing plane. What is the basis of Foley's theory?
Bob Harig (4:34 PM)
This is very complicated stuff, for sure. Your summary of Harmon and Haney is simplistic, but accurate. Foley's theories eminate from the power in your swing coming from your feet. He is trying to get Tiger to keep from swaying backward on his swing and to keep his head from dipping. It is much more technical than that.
Alex (Union City, Ca)
Hey Bob, love your work!Who's your early favored partners for Woods at the RC?? Think Pavin will keep the mojo he and Stricker formed at the President's Cup last year? Also, what's your juiciest pairing overall? Fowler/Mahan, DJ/Mickelson??
Bob Harig (4:36 PM)
I don't see how he goes against the Woods/Stricker success from the Presidents Cup. Why mess that up? I sort of like the idea of Fowler and Bubba Watson and Phil and Dustin Johnson
Jim (NY, NY)
Was the guy who asked Tiger about how other player's wives now view him in the room or asking over the phone? Was it awkward in the interview room during that question?
Bob Harig (4:37 PM)
He was asking in the room and it was awkward, yes.
I know his play on the course is more important, but won't it be akward for Tiger and the US teams when it comes time for the "wife functions" during the Ryder Cup? Talk about an elephant in the room.
Bob Harig (4:38 PM)
It could be awkward, yes, but I doubt anyone will make an issue of it.
Pam (West Palm Beach)
Bob, if you can remember as far back as 1996 when Tiger came out on tour, what was his reception like then? Was he liked/dismissed as cocky, arrogant, introverted ,shy, loner, or they were not sure how to treat him as the only person of color in the locker room. The feeling among bloggers is that he is not a good teammate. Do the players feel and say that
Bob Harig (4:41 PM)
Early on, there was some rumblings about him being cocky. He was young and a bit abrasive and immature. But the smart ones came to appreicate his greatness and how much he helped the game and themselves. As for a teammate, I've never heard a bad word about him in that regard. I think early on guys didn't know how to react around Tiger. But they've come to appreciate him and now he's looked at to be a leader.
John (Little Rock)
Why was O'Hair even in the conversation about being a captain's pick? He is a wonderful ball-striker who can't make a putt to save his life. It was painful watching him at the Memorial Skins Game this year. And the RC is all about making long putts, right?
Bob Harig (4:42 PM)
Good points, and I think that is ultimately why he wasn't high on the consideration list. O'Hair was on the Presidents Cup team last year and he did make a run on the points list. But ultimately his struggles on the greens had to be a concern.
Frank (South Dakota)
Give me 4 names that you guarantee will be future American Ryder Cup captains.
Bob Harig (4:43 PM)
Davis Love, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, David Toms.How about those names?
John (Little Rock)
What has happened to Els game? After his hot start, and some flashes at the US Open, he hasn't done much of anything the second half of the year. Is he injured, too?
Bob Harig (4:44 PM)
Ernie is another puzzling one. My theory, his last nine holes at the U.S. Open were a mental blow and he has not bounced back.
Brian (Westborough, MA)
Any chance we ever see Tiger and Phil partnered up again in a Cup match?
Bob Harig (4:45 PM)
Given the way it went in 2004, I highly doubt it
Noticed two obvious big names you left off the list of possible future RC captains. Any particular reason or hunch you have about Tiger or Phil not being listed?
Bob Harig (4:47 PM)
Well, I'm guessing Tiger is at least 15 years away from it. . . Phil would be sooner, maybe in the next 8 to 10 years. Not sure he wants it.
Fun hypothetical thought: If Tiger wins the BMW, wins the Tour Championship, wins the FedEx cup, does he backdoor the money list title and the POY too?
Bob Harig (4:48 PM)
That would be some story.
Jim (NY, NY)
I'd like to see Tiger and Phil jointly campaign for a pairing, especially at the Ryder Cup where only 8 go out. I'd like them to take on the challenge of disspelling the notion that they can't play together. Just as their loss deflated the US in '04 I think it would really pump the team up if those two went out and put up the 1st point.
Bob Harig (4:50 PM)
The problem is you spread out two top players who can get only one point. And if they lose, it is a huge lift for the other team. That is what happened at Oakland Hills.
Brian (Westborough, MA)
if you had to guess who the next ryder cup captain for the US would be?
Bob Harig (4:50 PM)
My guess is it will be Davis Love.
Bob Harig (4:52 PM)
I am sorry folks, I'm out of time. Enjoy the third leg of the playoffs, thanks again for all the questions, and check back again next week.