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 (4:02 PM)
Hello, thanks for checking out this golf chat. The last official PGA Tour event of 2011 is upon us at Disney, with plenty at stake, as well as all sorts of other golf stuff to discuss, if you wish. Please fire away with your questions.
Evan Almighty (STL)
What do you think about the sites for 2012 majors? I can't wait to see the PGA at Kiawah Island, and the US Open at Olympic Club should be great.
Bob Harig (4:07 PM)
The Masters, of course, never changes, and talking in September, can't wait for Augusta. Olympic is a classic course with a lot of history and will no doubt be a strong venue for the U.S. Open. British returns to Royal Lytham, which has its detractors but I've found something to like in all British venues. Not sure how Kiawah will fare for the PGA. A very unique place.
It appears that the fall series will have an impact on the pga tour player of the year award, but should it? seems odd to be deciding this stuff after the "play-offs" thought that was supposed to be the end of the season
Bob Harig (4:09 PM)
The tournaments are official and they count on the money list, they just have nothing to do with the FedEx Cup. It would be much cleaner if the season ended with the Tour Championship . . . even if that meant the Tour Championship ends later.
New schedule is out who are your scheduling winners and losers? to me losers would be Disney and Canadian Open, and think schedule could help AT&T/Greenbriar
Bob Harig (4:11 PM)
The Canadian Open is clearly in a tough spot. It is the week following the British Open and the week prior to the Bridgestone, which is followed by the PGA Championship. It is very difficult to envision any top player going from England to Canada and then to Bridgestone and PGA in consecutive weeks. Then after a week off, three-week playoff stretch begins. That's tough.
Bob Harig (4:17 PM)
Recent performance gives no reason to support the pick, so if you go by that, it is undrestandable why people think he should not have been picked. It's a very valid concern. Couples is basing it on Tiger's history, his overall record, which is obviously pretty good. He's betting that he figures it out and is strong in match play -- which is a lot different than where he's had stroke-play troubles. What I have said all along -- what two players do you take ahead of Woods, despite his woes?
Do you think they should allocate even more tour cards to Nationwide money-leaders (say top 35) and less to lightning-in-the-bottle Q School grads?
Bob Harig (4:20 PM)
The mix is probably about right. It's tough to ask guys to go through three stages of Q School and then a 108-hole final and give out so few spots. There is talk about them revamping the entire system, however.
Lot of talk about how Pres Cup is an exhibition (esp as compared to the Ryder Cup) but do you think the Aussies esp really see it as an exhibition (any more than Euros see RC as exhibition)? Maybe it's more an outside than inside perception
Bob Harig (4:23 PM)
The Europeans definitely don't see the Ryder Cup as an exhibition. It is as big as a major to them. It means so much to the European Tour. The event is the biggest provider of funds to the circuit, helps support a lot of events. Players take enormous pride in it. The Presidents Cup has not reached that level. Americans don't want to lose, but I still have a hard time figuring out how International players are affected by a loss?
Patrick (Charlottesville, VA)
I thought I had read somewhere that the Tour was considering phasing out the Fall Series, reducing it, something along those lines. Given all of the story lines it has offered this season, does that line of thinking change?
Bob Harig (4:29 PM)
There has been some discussion about them changing the way the Nationwide Tour ends its season. The idea centers around having a series of tournaments decide who gets their tour card for the next year -- it would include those players who were outside of the top 125 on money list along with the top Nationwide players. And Q School then would only get you on the Nationwide tour. Not sure how that would affect the Fall Series, some of those events could be folded in. Lots for them still to discuss.
Jim (New Brunswick, NJ)
If Tiger doesn't have any wins in 2012 do you think he'd deserve a captains pick for the Ryder Cup?
Bob Harig (4:31 PM)
I really think it depends on where he ends up on the points list. If he is close without a win, then I'm guessing he gets picked. But if he is way out -- like he was this year for Presidents Cup -- and plays a full schedule, then I seriously doubt it.
If David Duval does not finish in the 126-150 category, he has used up all his exemptions (British, top 25, top 50 overall). Does that mean he would go to the Nationwide Tour?
Bob Harig (4:33 PM)
He is 151 right now and if he doesn't crack the top 150, he essence only has past champion status on the PGA Tour. He would have the option of going to the second stage of Q school. It's hard to envision Duval playing the Nationwide Tour, although that would be an option.
Think Couples is also betting that Tiger finds some of his form from March, and that the recent results are layoff induced rust
Bob Harig (4:34 PM)
There is no doubt that Couples is looking at the fact that Woods was injured, he had a good Masters, and that he expects him to regain some form before the Presidents Cup.
What are you thoughts on Lehman asking for (and being granted) a sponsor exemption over guys like Cauley?
Bob Harig (4:37 PM)
It's a bit odd, frankly. Lehman doesn't need to play Disney as much as some other players who are fighting for their tour cards. At least in the case of Cauley, he has earned enough for his card next year.
Patrick (Charlottesville, VA)
Who wins POY if both W. Simpson and Donald have very poor weeks, or both don't even make the cut?
Bob Harig (4:40 PM)
Player of the Year remains a tough call. Simpson has two wins, two playoff losses, three seconds overeall. Keegan Bradley has a major and another victory. Luke Donald is No. 1 in the world and the most consistent. Players vote on this, so who knows what they are thinking, but if both have poor weeks, it could very easily go to Bradley.
How is Strick recovering from his neck injury? Will he be ready to go for President's Cup?
Bob Harig (4:41 PM)
He has said it is coming along slowly, but for now he intends to play.
It looks like Luke Donald and Webb Simpson are paired together at Disney. Score one for the featured pairing option.
Bob Harig (4:42 PM)
That was a pretty obvious move by the tour, which has a lot more latitude at Disney,where only two pros are in a group for each of the first two rounds due to the pro-am format used for 36 holes.
I think Lehman was wrong by requesting an exemption as he is more of a Champions Tour player. I understand the sponsors have a right to invite who they want, and to sell tickets, but the spot is better served to have an up-and-coming player than a past his prime guy.
Bob Harig (4:46 PM)
That is an opinion shared by many, especially if he is taking a spot that could help someone. But you're right, the sponsor often tries to use exemptions to help with sales, publicity, That is their right. You can also argue that those who didn't make it had all year to do so. It goes both ways.
Stew (Little Rock)
What was the reasoning from moving to Viking Classic out of the Fall Series to an opposite field event in the summer? Wouldn't it have made more sense for the tourney to stand out alone in the Fall?
Bob Harig (4:47 PM)
The tournament apparently wanted that date so that it could be part of the FedEx Cup schedule. No easy answer there.
Does the battle to become the architect for the Rio Olympics golf course interest you at all?
Bob Harig (4:48 PM)
To some degree, I'm curious about who gets it, who is interested in getting it, and their reasons for wanting to do the project.
Patrick (Charlottesville, VA)
Aside from the money title up for grabs, what are one or two other story lines you personally are excited about this week?
Bob Harig (4:49 PM)
The only other real big story line is for those battling for their cards or to even get into the top 150 on the money list so they can have at least some status.
Do the tour players give a rip about player of the year? I know one golfer who doesn't. His initials are TW.
Bob Harig (4:51 PM)
Those who have never won it care about it, I'm sure. Those who are asked to vote on it may or may not. The tour never releases vote totals. You wonder if there is any voter apathy.
Keith H (Seattle)
Bob, the 18th at Olympic has had its share of controversy in the past regarding the green. To get the tournament back, didn't the club and the USGA have to come to some compromise on the slope of the green (see Payne Stewart in 1998)?
Bob Harig (4:52 PM)
Good question, and I'm not sure exactly. I believe the solution was to be more careful about the pin location.
If media were voting who gets your player of the year vote? and who gets most disappointing? (leaving Tiger out of it)
Bob Harig (4:54 PM)
Player of the year, I'm compelled to go with Donald if you are allowed to consider the body of work. Most disappointing other than Tiger? How about Phil? Has done very little since winning in Houston, and let slip a great opportunity to win the British Open, which would have clearly been the story of the year had he pulled that off.
Bobby (Las Vegas)
I saw that Keegan Bradley won the PGA Grand Slam of Golf today Is that considered an exhibition win? Either way, that's another feather in his cap for beating Rory Mac. It's a shame he won't be in Australia.
Bob Harig (4:54 PM)
He might still be in Australia if Stricker can't make it.
Graham (Short Hills, NJ)
How about Anthony Kim for most disappointing?
Bob Harig (4:56 PM)
Hard to argue.
Given Stricker's health struggles do you sit him for one match on Saturday regardless? Also why not take Keegan, like with what the Euros have done with Kaymer etc
Bob Harig (4:57 PM)
Not sure Bradley wants to go all the way to Australia to be a spectator. And yes, if Stricker is not healthy, it makes sense to sit him out of one of the Saturday matches -- the only time it could happen.
Bob Harig (4:59 PM)
I'm out of time, thanks for the questions. Enjoy the golf this weekend.