Chat with Bob Harig
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN.com golf writer Bob Harig will stop by to talk about the 2011 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 logging in to this week's golf chat. As usual, plenty to disucss in the world of golf. Please commence with your questions and I'll get to as many as I can. Fire away.
Bigger surprise: S O'hair winning or Daly coming in the top 10?
Bob Harig (4:01 PM)
I would have to go with John Daly finishing in the top 10. As poor as a season as O'Hair has been having, Daly had not sniffed a top 10 in several years. It was his first since 2005.
Future of golf looks bright. Obviously just a guess on ur part but rank 1-3 on who will have the most successful career as a pro between Jordan Spieth, Patrick Cantlay, and Peter Uihlein
Bob Harig (4:02 PM)
Your right, almost impossible to answer and really just a guess but based on recent form I'd go Cantlay, Uihlein, Spieth. But they could all have long careers or become superstars or not have any success at all. That's how fickle it can be.
If you had one word to summarize the current season to this point, what would it be?
Bob Harig (4:03 PM)
Brandt Snedeker WD at the last minute this week, and I think he WD in Canada last week too....do you know if he is injured? Would hate for him to lose momentum after a strong year so far.
Bob Harig (4:04 PM)
Trying to find out. The PGA Tour does not know the reason for WDs each of the past two weeks. He missed the cut at the British Open.
Cheesehead Sports Nut (Chicago, IL)
I have a theory on Dustin Johnson. From an outsider's perspective Johnson seems like a relaxed guy that is happy making good money on the PGA Tour so it doesn't really bother him that he could have won three of the last six Majors. Am I reading too much into Dustin Johnson's relaxed demeanor?
Bob Harig (4:05 PM)
Possibly. That seemingly care-free attitude actually might help him down the road as he doesn't seem to be too bothered by these close calls that might destroy somebody else.
Taylor (ct) [via mobile]
Who do you think should be Tiger's next caddie? Keep up the great work!
Bob Harig (4:08 PM)
There's lots of speculation about Tiger's next caddie, and I can't really say that one person is better than the next. As important as a caddie can be, the job can also be overrated. The player hits the shots and needs to be confident in what he is doing,regardless of who is carrying the bag. And in the short term, that person is probably going to be very hands off as he tries to get a read on what Tiger likes and doesn't like. I'm sure Tiger did this with someone in mind.
How thrilled are the tournament organizers this week that Phil is playing and do you see him playing well enough to be a factor Sunday?
Bob Harig (4:09 PM)
You can bet they are thrilled to have Mickelson in the field. This is a tough week on the schedule because two big tournaments are coming up in a WGC and the PGA Championship followed by the playoff events. It is an easy week to take off. For Phil to sign up was huge and certainly he was playing well enough two weeks ago at the Open.
RGS (Bay Ridge)
Have you heard anything new about when Tiger will be back? Obviously, the tour wants him back-especially if he's playing well.
Bob Harig (4:10 PM)
Have heard nothing new. There's been lots of talk that he would return next week at the Bridgestone but Tiger has said nothing publicly since he withdrew from the British Open more than three weeks ago. It is unclear if he is even practicing or working on his game to any serious extent.
ZGoss (New York)
Do you think guys like Vijay and Mike Weir can win top tournaments again (with full fields of top players--not the secondary tournamnets)?
Bob Harig (4:12 PM)
It's certainly possible. Weir has more to overcome because he's been injured and fighting bad habits. Singh has just been in a lull and is fighting age, although he remains a tireless worker. It would not be a surprise to see either win again.
I know it's customary to buy drinks after a hole in one...but what about a double eagle?
Bob Harig (4:14 PM)
I have never heard one way or the other on that but it would certainly make sense, wouldn't it? Maybe others have stories.
Phil at Atlanta for the PGA--has to be the favorite based on showing in 2001??
Bob Harig (4:17 PM)
Well, it's a long time ago. With his score that week, Phil would have won every other stroke play PGA except for the one he was playing. But obviously he liked the course and performed well on it but nothing is the automatic.
Patrick (Charlottesville, VA)
Maybe it's just me, but it seems as though every time someone gets his first win (plenty of those this year), the on-course reporter congratulates them and remarks that he's now in the Masters. However, I don't think I've ever heard them also say they're also in the PGA as well. Am I deaf, or does the PGA get a raw deal?
Bob Harig (4:19 PM)
I get your point completely, but a win does not automatically get you in the PGA Championship, while if it is a regular tour event in the FedEx schedule it automatically gets you in the Masters.
Spieth has done something only Tiger has even done by winning multiple junior Ams so I'd say Cantlay, Spieth, Uihlein with them all close and Spieth having the highest cieling to be great
Bob Harig (4:20 PM)
It's really a guess. Winning multiple junior amateurs is no guarantee for pro success -- just as Cantlay having four consecutive top 25s in PGA Tour events as an amateur does not guarantee anything.
Foley said hm and Tiger have not hit balls. So no way Tiger can be back for the PGA in 2 weeks right?
Bob Harig (4:21 PM)
You wouldn't think so, but maybe Tiger has been hitting balls without Foley? Remember, Foley goes on the road a bit to be with his other players. I'm not saying that's what has happened.
Any word on Tiger for next week. I know he has until Frida but it would be nice if he actually let all of us know what is going on. He is getting like Brett Favre
Bob Harig (4:22 PM)
He does have until Friday to committ but you'd think if he was coming back he'd have done so by now.
Patrick (Charlottesville, VA)
Bob, any thoughts on Tom Watson skipping the US Senior Open for the Greenbrier? I'm a displaced West Virginian, so I love it, but what's your take?
Bob Harig (4:23 PM)
It does seem curious, but Watson is the pro emeritus at the Greenbrier, a role he took on after the death of Sam Snead. He told Greenbrier owner Jim Justice he would be there this year and kept his word. Under the circumstances, it's understandable.
Mahan seems due for a win and will be defending at Firestone. Will he win again?
Bob Harig (4:25 PM)
I don't think there's much doubt that he will win again. It's a bit surprising that he hasn't come through since that Bridgestone victory last year.
Andrew (Knoxville, TN)
How 'bout that pairing this week of Tom Watson, Phil Mickelson and Stuart Appleby? It would be worth a trip to West Virginia just to follow that group in person. Wow! I wonder if Tom and Phil have ever played together.
Bob Harig (4:26 PM)
Yep, that's a pretty good group. I feel confident that Mickelson and Watson have played somewhere together through the years.
Patrick (Charlottesville, VA)
The way Furyk's been playing this season, especially with the putter, does he even make the second-round of the playoffs? He's certainly not defending his FedEx Cup too well.
Bob Harig (4:30 PM)
This has no doubt been a disappointing and somewhat shocking year for Furyk, who is usually so consistent. He's missed seven cuts and has just two top 10s and has really contended in just one tournament. Right now, he is 73rd in points, which means he'd easily make the second playoff event -- which takes the top 100. But he needs to be in the top 70 to get to the third event and top 30 to make the Tour Championship, which he won last year.
I was asking if Mahan will win again at Firestone not for the rest of his career
Bob Harig (4:31 PM)
Good luck figuring out if one guy is going to win one specific tournament. Mahan hasn't won since last year's Bridgestone so I wouldn't put a lot on him winning one specific tournament.
Is Glover in the field at Greenbrier? cause someone on pgatour.com picked him to win but I didnt c him in it
Bob Harig (4:33 PM)
Glover is not in the field at the Greenbrier.
Based on last years results and scores, these guys can go low on this course. Who do you like this week as a favorite and a sleeper?
Bob Harig (4:40 PM)
I don't think the scores will be as low due to changes to the course. Almost all the players are saying that. They've lengthened it and changed the greens. That said, I kind of like Sergio to get his first win. Sleeper? How about Woody Austin, who got in by finishing top 10 last week.
They are playing the Women's British in Scotland this week. Have they ever played at Carnoustie?
Bob Harig (4:42 PM)
This is the first time for the Women's British Open at Carnoustie and it's a great move to go to the venues on the men's rota. There's a reason those courses are so well-known and revered. Next year it's at Royal Liverpool, then St. Andrews, then Royal Birkdale. Good move by the folks who run the Women's Open.
Andrew (Knoxville, TN)
Why does the Champions Tour allow their two biggest majors to be scheduled back-to-back every year? The players don't have much time to get back to the States before teeing it up 4 days after the final round of the Senior British. Wouldn't it be better to seperate those two events a few weeks?
Bob Harig (4:43 PM)
It remains a mystery why it is done in that manner. The tour is somewhat at the mercy of the R&A, which runs the men's British, and the USGA, which runs the U.S. Senior Open but obviously they don't want their events to conflict with other senior events. No doubt some space would help.
Patrick (Charlottesville, VA)
Bob, what is/are some of your favorite tournaments among the non-majors? I particularly like Quail Hallow, and I think that if it's given time, The Greenbrier can become a very good tournament.
Bob Harig (4:46 PM)
I agree with you on Quail Hollow and I've never been to Greenbrier but all the reports are good. I like Torrey Pines, Doral, Memorial and BMW just to name a few
I disagree. Based on its position in the schedule, the Greenbrier will never become big
Bob Harig (4:48 PM)
The person was asking about favorite tournaments and remarked that he felt the Greenbrier tournament could be a good one. That's different than becoming a big tournament. Doesn't mean it can't be a very good event, which it appears to be already.
What do u know about this year Barclays venue Plainfield CC?
Bob Harig (4:51 PM)
Other than it being designed by Donald Ross, I know nothing about it. First time venue for the tournament.
Watney - Contender, or pretender?
Bob Harig (4:52 PM)
Every time I pick Watney he plays poorly and when I write him off he plays well, so. . . I'll write him off for now and you can decide.
I don't think it could be a very good event with only like 2 players in the top 20 in the world
Bob Harig (4:53 PM)
There are a lot of really good tournaments that don't get the best fields.
Do you think that Tiger Woods will play the rest of the season? Could he make the PGA or Bridgestone? Would he accept a spot on the Presidents Cup Team?
Bob Harig (4:55 PM)
If he doesn't play the Bridgestone and/or the PGA, he won't be eligible for the PGA Tour's playoffs because he is outside of the top 125 in FedEx Cup points. He needs to move up to get even one start in those tournaments. So if he misses that, he'd be looking at playing events on the European Tour or perhaps playing a few Fall Series events -- something he has not done in years. Or maybe he waits until November and plays in Australia, where there are several good tournaments preceding his Chevron event. Presidents Cup? It's hard to envision him being offered a spot -- which comes right after the Tour Championship -- if he hasn't played since the Masters.
The field makes the tourny
Bob Harig (4:56 PM)
Not always. Sure, there's a lot of media attention on the field. But there are lots of good tournaments that don't have all the top players. What's the point of having them otherwise?
Patrick (Charlottesville, VA)
Bob, I know you touched on it in your column, but how can the LPGA just "create" a major. Money helps, yes, but The Players doles out lots of money, and it's not a major. Couldn't the LPGA made Evian a tournament in the vein of The Players, as opposed to waving a wand and declaring a ten-year-old tournament the latest major?
Bob Harig (4:58 PM)
It's puzzling to me. You just "declare" a tournament a major? I guess money talks, and that's why it happened. Now if they were losing one, I could see it. And it did happen before when they lost the du Maurier. But that was a troubling move by the LPGA, even though I'm sure it will be an excellent event.
Hmmm last time Tiger waited until the last minute he (stupidly) played the players. He announced fairly early in the week he wasn't playing Wells/Opens/ATT
Bob Harig (4:59 PM)
I don't think he is going to make the mistake of playing this time if he is not fully ready in terms of health. Whether his game is ready is another story, and that could possibly be the delay, too. How much has he practiced?
So what would be a better tourny: top 100 golfers at mediocre course or no one in the top 100 at Augusta?
Bob Harig (5:01 PM)
Let's not get ridiculous. All I said was -- go back and read -- there are plenty of good tournaments without great fields. I'll give you an example. The John Deere Classic. Nobody would ever say it is a "top" tournament. But it gets good support from the community, those who play it love it and it's well received.
Can we stop pretending there isn't defacto appearance fee money on the pga tour? see last week's RBC field
Bob Harig (5:02 PM)
No doubt, there is something going on with RBC -- and maybe even this week at the Greenbrier. RBC has a marketing deal with several players, and makes no secret about it. And maybe that's what you have to do to get guys to go across 8 time zones -- as was the case from England to Western Canada.
Bob Harig (5:03 PM)
Okay folks, I'm out of time. Please feel free to send questions to my mailbag at email@example.com. Thanks for all the questions and I'll check in again next week from the Bridgestone. Thanks
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