Chat with Bob Harig
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com golf writer Bob Harig will stop by to talk about the 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 Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Bob Harig (3:01 PM)
Hello, thanks for joining us for this golf chat. A bit late so let's get going. Please fire away with your questions.
Brad (Greensboro, NC)
Hi Bob,I noticed Steve Stricker had his wife on the bag this weekend. Was this a one time thing or is going to be back on it full time (like she used to be)?
Bob Harig (3:02 PM)
One-time deal. His caddie Jimmy Johnson got the week off.
Bob, I have to say I thought the PGA tour got it right with assigning 25 PGA Tour cards via the Web.com money list and then the season end play-off including 126-200 on PGA tour $ list for the remaining 25. Would be nice for a few of those cards to come via Q school (5? 10?) but overall, I think it will enhance interest and viewership of the Web.com tour. Your thoughts on today?s announcement?
Bob Harig (3:05 PM)
Will probably write about this in more detail, but I'm sort of left to wonder why all the fuss? So the top 25 on Web.com are going to get their cards like usual? And now instead of Q-School guys on PGA Tour who miss cards -- along with top 25 who miss cards on Web.com -- play 3 tournaments to get their cards? Whle the FedEX playoffs are going on?One thing I do like -- regular season ends after Grensboro. A line in the sand.
Has Tiger ever won a major coming off a missed cut?
Bob Harig (3:06 PM)
he's missed only 9 cuts and of the 8 previouslyl I do not believe any were the tournament before he played a major.
hpw do you think Phil will do at the Scottish this week?
Bob Harig (3:07 PM)
I'm not sure he'll do all that well. I think he simply wants to get in a good competitie mindset and play a course that has links characteristics to prepare for the Open Championship.
Went to a minitour event recently and was blown away at how good the players looked both on the range and on the course. Is there really much difference in the ball striking of the top PGA guys and the Nationwide players? Makes me feel like the difference is all 80 yards and in.
Bob Harig (3:08 PM)
I think, generally, there is a very fine line between what makes it on the PGA Tour and what does not. It could be short game, putting, a shot here or there. Most pros can hit the ball fine. Now I do think there is a big difference between those players and the elite.
who's your favorite to win The Open?
Bob Harig (3:10 PM)
Been saying Tiger since before the year so I have to stick with that.
What will be the first event next year when the tour begins opening the season in October? Will this change result in more big names playing in the fall events? Would there not be ranking implications for the WCG's and other tourneys if those around the Top 50 sat out until February as some do now?
Bob Harig (3:11 PM)
First event of 2013-2014 season will be Frys.com Open. There will be about 6 fall events, including two in Asia. All will count full FedEx Cup points. Will more big names play? Maybe a few. I think you'll see them all go to play in China at the HSBC event because it will count. I'm not sure guys will sit out to February but it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
Tom H. (Hartford, CT)
Any scenario in which John Huh doesn't win Rookie of the Year? He's got 1 win, 1 second, 4 top-10s, and probably most impressive, only 4 missed cuts.
Bob Harig (3:12 PM)
John Huh is probaby the leader at this point. As you said, he's had quite the year already. But what if a rookie wins a major? Still a ways to go in this.
Bob, are you surprised that the only Americans playing the Scottish Open this week are Mickelson, Rollins, and Beem? It seems many more Americans went and played in past years to get acclimated. Why are so many not playing this week? Many more upper level Americans seem to be playing John Deere than usual as well.
Bob Harig (3:14 PM)
I think the American turnout at the Scottish Open has always been low. There have been a good number of PGA Tour players who compete on both tours,but not necessaril Americans. Now that it is a virtual links you would think more would try to seek an initation. The John Deere has a few more players because of the charter which gets them there first thing Monday morning.
How many missed cuts did Tiger have before the scandal?
Bob Harig (3:16 PM)
He had five . . 97 Canadian, 05 Nelson and Disney, 06 U.S. Open, 09 Open Championship. . 4 since. '10 Wells Fargo, '11 PGA, '12 Wells Fargo, Greenbrier.
Bob (Boston, MA)
So, for the 2013-2014 PGA season will now go from October to September? What other tourneys are they going to fill in the gaps in November and December? Do you think casual fans are going to watch golf all year?
Bob Harig (3:18 PM)
There won't be a lot of tournaments in Nov/Dec.. Basically will be 6 fall events, a break thru Thanksgiving and the holidays, and then resume in early January. . The way I look at it, they were playing these tournaments anyway. They might as well count.
Ed (Long Island)
Who paid the supposed appearance fees to Phil and Tiger last week?
Bob Harig (3:20 PM)
If they got anything, it wasn't an appearance fee. That is not allowed. But they might have been offered inducements that included them performing some other duties for the Greenbrier or the resort owner such as clinics, speeches, Q&As, etc.
Why do you like Tiger winning the British Open next week?
Bob Harig (3:20 PM)
Just have felt all along that if he was going to win a major this year, this would be the one. Lytham shouldn't require a lot of drivers, he hits the stinger, 2 iron or 5 wood in play and seems to be doing quite well with the long irons. Around par is usually a good score at the Open, certainly not a ton of birdies necessary.
The best tennis players always seem to win the grand slams whereas this isn't the case in golf (at least in the last 4 years). Do you think maybe the penal setups in golfs majors make it more about luck than skill? For example, in the last 10 years the WGCs which have fairer setups have tended to produce better winners than the majors. Or is it just easier to win a tennis slam?
Bob Harig (3:21 PM)
The reason the tennis comparison doesn't work for me is because you don't play against the entire field. Also, it is rare for a very low ranked player to defeat a highly ranked player in tennis. But in golf, 100 in the world can and routinely does win.
When will the tee times for the Open Championship be released?
Bob Harig (3:24 PM)
don't thnk they are released until Monday because they are waiting to finalize the field.
Hi Bob, the field for the British Open is currently at 156 with 2 more additions after play this weekend. Will they play with 158 if no one else withdraws?
Bob Harig (3:25 PM)
I don't think it is truly at 156. It might be that is the number of players who have entered. Guys get on an alternate list based on the world rankings. If, for example, nobody gets in based on those two categories this weekend, the field would be set based on world rankings. It's a bit confusing, really.
Ed (Long Island)
Is Luke Donald going to appear on the back of a milk carton as a missing person? He doesn't seem to have played a lot lately (same as Bubba, Rory, Lee..). Maybe we have been to hard on Tiger and Phil for not playing regularly enough - they seem to be out there more often than some others.
Bob Harig (3:27 PM)
Luke is defending his title this week at the Scottish Open. Rory played the Irish Open. Westwood played last week at the French Open. Bubba played in Hartford. Seems like all these guys are playing once between U.S. Open and Open Champ. Tiger has played twice, Phil once.
Anyone you like other than Stricker this week?
Bob Harig (3:27 PM)
I picked Zach Johnson
Blaine (Norman, OK)
What does Tiger have to do to win the Open at Royal Lytham and St. Anne's? Main keys to a win..
Bob Harig (3:28 PM)
Distance control from 100 to 150 yards. Been a problem all year. And it's different at the Open where you have to run shots up and not fire at the flag. He needs to give himself more chances with the short clubs in his hands.
Seems to me the biggest change is that guys will have no time between getting their cards, and having to start the next yr. And that the new q school (the 3 event series) is a closed shop
Bob Harig (3:29 PM)
Well, they don't have to start the new year right away. They could wait. They'll be exempt. But there is no doubt they've just shut the door on a slew of players. If you are an amateur or an international player who was not already on the Web.com or PGA Tour, you'll have to go to Q School only to qualify for the Web.com and then go through this whole process.
nathan (Tulsa )
what kind of course is the British set up for? a bombers or ball striking? Who are your favorites
Bob Harig (3:31 PM)
It's not a bombers course. It's relatively short by major standards, just barely over 7,000 or 7,100 yards. It's got a ton of bunkers and plays out and back, with the easy holes going out if the prevailing wind is in play, then a brutal time coming back home. It's about positioning, avoiding bunkersk.
Can you give us a long shot for the British, you think will contend? American and Foreign born player
Bob Harig (3:32 PM)
I'll have some predicitons next week, i've been saying all along I think Tiger wins this one, but as you know picking golf tournaments is nearly impossible.
would you consider Webb Simpsons final round at the Greenbrier a choke? especially after coming off a win at the US Open?
Bob Harig (3:35 PM)
No, he just had a bad back nine. But there is more scrutiny when you win a major.
Simple question. Where does Tiger win again?
Bob Harig (3:36 PM)
Been saying Open Championship
Ed (Long Island)
Do they "trick"up the British Open courses like the US Opens or PGA with thicker rough and faster greens, all just let the weather decide the difficulty and play as is?
Bob Harig (3:36 PM)
They let the weather dictate.
How much (if any) if any impact was there on TW having his Tues rd cancelled
Bob Harig (3:37 PM)
It probably didn't help. An extra 9 holes to get used to the altitude, heat, etc might have helped. But by Friday he should have been able to figure it out regardless and really didn't.
There will still be re-shuffles (I'd assume) so if you don't play in the fall you'd be risking your priority status
Bob Harig (3:38 PM)
My guess is they won't have a reshuffle until after the first of the year. Most of those guys won't get in the Asia events, it's only 4 tournaments. There are a lot of little things such as this that have to be considered and worked out.
anyone in the game today who could win 10 + majors in their career that hasn't already done so?
Bob Harig (3:40 PM)
Right now, it's hard to think of someone. Phil has 4 and is 42. Padraig is 40 and has 3. Ernie, Vijay. . it's too late. Nobody even has two majors at a young age right now. Rory is certainly one that people think could do it, but only three players in the professional game have made it to 10: Jack, Tiger, Walte Hagen.
Justin (Rockford, IL)
John Daly is taking advantage of his exemptions....not that far off the Top 125 to get his card back....you think he makes it?
Bob Harig (3:41 PM)
it would be nice if he did so he didn't have to keep asking for exemptions.
Will Phil Mickelson ever win an Open? I know that he was in contention last year, but do you see him in the hunt next week?
Bob Harig (3:42 PM)
Last year was rare. He's had just two top-10s at the Open. And he's running out of time.
Hi Bob, would the British Open allow 158 players to play next week? It looks like that's the number of guys that will be there at the moment based on exemptions and such...
Bob Harig (3:42 PM)
No, the field will be 156 when it's all set.
Brian (Sacramento, CA)
In your opinion, how long before we see another dominant player such as Jack or Tiger come along? 5, 10 15, 20 years? It just still does not seem as though Rory, Rickie or the other younger players has what it takes to dominant.
Bob Harig (3:44 PM)
People said there'd never be anyone to come along after Jack but Tiger came along. Will there be another Tigr? Maybe. But it's a lot to ask someone to win like he's won. Rory is a great example. He doens't win frequently. Maybe he will.
will rory win 10+ majors...20?
Bob Harig (3:45 PM)
I doubt it. I think he'd do well to get to 6 or 8. Very few in history have done that.
Mike (Long Island)
do you think there will be any surprises on the ryder cup teams?
Bob Harig (3:45 PM)
Unless you consider someone like Paul Lawrie a surprise, no. Both sides have a lot of candidates, and I would expect that captain's picks to be guys who were in the mix for one of the automatic spots.
who has the best chance to beat nicklaus' record of 18 majors besides tiger?
Bob Harig (3:46 PM)
Right now, no one.
Bob, you mentioned that par is a good score at the Open Championship. Obviously, that's not the case at St. Andrew's...are you speaking primarily of certain British courses, including this one?
Bob Harig (3:48 PM)
Par can be a good score at St. Andrews, it hasn't worked out that way recently. And under par is going to likely win at Royal Lytham, maybe 6 or 8 under. But you don't have to make a ton of birdies like you would at the Greenbrier. Tiger shot even par there and was 9 back after 36 holes and missed the cut. It's a different mindset, more about putting. Not at the Open. More about taking advantage of your opportunities, saving par from tough spots.
Will they still have the tournament in Hawaii with previous season winners? That was always the first offical tournament of the year
Bob Harig (3:49 PM)
For now, the format of the tournament won't change. It simply won't be the season opener.
Rory is my favorite player in the game today. I personally believe he will win 20 majors or more because he has a perfect swing and will be able to play into his 40s and maybe even his 50s at a competitive level because of the physical shape he is in. Any thoughts?
Bob Harig (3:50 PM)
I don't agree with 20 majors. I'd like to see him get to 2 first. But I do agree he's got a swing made to last. Effortless power is a good thing. putter is suspect, though.
Bob Harig (3:51 PM)
Andrew, geez, relax with the Tiger question about the Open. I answered it earlier.
What do you think is the best way to pick a team? or determine a list? money earned (which can vary by event)? set points (like fed ex)? or pts based on strength of the field?
Bob Harig (3:52 PM)
I don't think it matters that much. Money, points are close anyway. World ranking points is too confusing. All of them are fairly representative of how a player is doing. What is more important is the window. To give players points in the previous year, to me, is not a good idea. How someone did at the 2011 U.S. Open has no bearing on how he'll do at the 2012 Ryder Cup.
Over/Under: 23 Tiger career majors? He always mentions Jack winning his last at 46 and Watson almost winning at 59. Will he be the first over 50 player to win a major?
Bob Harig (3:53 PM)
Gotta be under. He'll do well to get to 18. But yes, he's got time on his side. As long as his knee holds up, Tiger is in good shape. Why can't he win into his late 40s if he still has the desire?
I prefer Michael Collins any way he's more accurate then you and provides better analysis.
Bob Harig (3:56 PM)
Sorry dude, I just didn't't need to get your question 5 times when it was already answered. Scroll down and read!!
Do you see Tiger playing until he's 50 or beyond?
Bob Harig (3:56 PM)
that's a big question, isn't it? How much desire does he still have then. Will he need the money? Lots of things can get in the way at that point.
um huh? why is someone posting as me, esp posting inane comments on Rory winning 20 majors
Bob Harig (3:57 PM)
sorry if that happened. folks, don't you have better things to do than that?
Ed (Long Island)
I think it is tougher for the younger guys now to come along and dominate. With all of the money out there now they come out earlier, maybe before their games are totally refined, live a glamourous life style where winning is not a requirement. Between sponsors and a few top 10 finishes a year, they will make more money than they can ever spend.
Bob Harig (3:58 PM)
There's no doubt that it takes a special player, human being, to rack up major wins. Only 4 a year. Lots of discipline and dedication. It's hard to even win a bunch of tournaments. Lots of good players, guys who come out of nowhere like last weekend. so many factors.
do you honestly think rorys relationship with Wozniacki (forgive spelling) has had an effect on his game this year?
Bob Harig (3:59 PM)
It's natural to think that, but he was playing quite well at the beginning of the year, end of last year.
Will he need the money???? Is that a serious concern???? Dude is already worth over a half billion.
Bob Harig (3:59 PM)
That's my point. You lose desire sometimes. He's accomplished so much.
Who's the best player not named Tiger of this past generation? Always found it interesting that the biggest knock on Phil was "he doesn't have Tiger's mentality" and yet if Tiger never existed (not too hard to imagine given he is SUCH an anomaly) everbody would say, Player X "doesn't have Phil's mentality". Funny how history is shaped by the outliers.
Bob Harig (4:00 PM)
Phil and Vijay would be at the top of this list, and both likely would have more victories were there no Tiger. Also wonder how Ernie Els might have fared.
why doesnt greg norman play more often? would be great for the game to see him out there more often
Bob Harig (4:01 PM)
No doubt. He's one of those guys who falls into the motivation category. He's done just about everything, played golf at a high level for 25 years. Hard to keep doing that. I think we're seeing that a bit wiht Phil.
Bob Harig (4:02 PM)
Okay folks, I'm out of time. Thanks for a lot of questions again, sorry I could not get to them all. Try me on Twitter @bobharig. Also hope to be chatting next Tuesday, probably in the morning ET, from Royal Lytham. Enjoy the golf.