Chat with Farrell Evans
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN.com golf writer Farrell Evans stops by to give you the latest from the links.
Evans grew up in Forsyth, Ga., 60 miles south of Atlanta, where he learned the game at the Forsyth Golf Club, an 18-hole public course. After high school, he played on the golf team at Florida A&M University and interned with the PGA Tour at the TPC at Sawgrass.
Before joining ESPN.com in August 2011, Evans was a golf writer for nine years at Sports Illustrated. He currently lives in Harlem.
Send your questions now and join Evans Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Farrell Evans (2:58 PM)
No FedEx Cup playoffs this week but there is lots to talk about. Ryder Cup, Tour Championship, Rory, Tiger and Hunter Mahan. Let's get started.
steven in orlando [via mobile]
Your thoughts on Mahan's comments about not watching Ryder Cup this year? Fair or foul for him to criticize him for his candor?
Farrell Evans (3:00 PM)
I like H a lot. His caddie, Woody, is one of the nicest guys on tour. H is just being honest when he says it's going to be difficult to watch the Ryder Cup. It doesn't mean he's not rooting for the Americans to win.
Who do you figure Love III will pick if someone drops out? Would be even more devistating for Hunter if someone cant play. Given his fall from the face of the earth (both mentally and playing wise) I cant see Davis picking him if a sub is required. But if he had held it together, he probably would have been the first alternate
Farrell Evans (3:02 PM)
I think at this point he picks a guy like Bo Van Pelt. Hunter's head is too out of it for him to be a good replacement player.
I dont remember the hype over the Ryder Cup ever being this big, especially given all the great golf that is still going on. Is it fair to say that the Cup has become one of the biggest events in golf? Maybe now the biggest outside the 4 majors?
Farrell Evans (3:04 PM)
The Ryder Cup has been biggest since the mid-1980s, when the Europeans, led by Seve started to win cups after years and years of U.S. dominance. I think what you are alluding to is the expanded TV coverage and attention given to the Captain's picks and to the captain, himself.
Who do you like to win next week, and to win it all (if not same person)?
Farrell Evans (3:05 PM)
Rory McIlroy. If I were a betting man I would pick him.
steven in orlando [via mobile]
Farrell, whats your take on the rory comparisons to tiger? I appreciate the need for the game wanting a TOP-DOG but its not fair to Rory (needless to say its insulting to Tiger) these comparisons. Rory is really good...maybe great but hes no where near a Legend. Your thoughts...
Farrell Evans (3:08 PM)
Steven,I wrote a column that will soon go live about Rory and Tiger,where I say that Rory is going to be the main guy standing in the way of Tiger breaking Jack's record. I'm not interesting in comparing them as much as I'm concerned with how the time they have together on tour will play out. They are from practically two generations on tour. No need to try to compare them one to one.
There are a lot of people complaining about the Fed Ex cup play-offs, but I think the system is pretty solid. There is a decent balance between regular season performance and allowing for movement during the play-off events for guys that do well or poorly. Do you think they've pretty much landed on the system they will use for the forseeable future?
Farrell Evans (3:12 PM)
JY,It's the best format that you could have without treating it like a real playoff and start them all at 0 come the Tour Championship. But look at a guy like Ryan Moore. He was way down the list coming into the playoff, but he's headed to the Tour Championship with two top 10s in the playoffs. Yet he doesn't have a realistic chance of taking the $10 million because he didn't have a great regular season.Moore is like an NFL wildcard, except that in the NFL playoffs, a wildcard has the opportunity to win a Super Bowl.
Do you find the offseason long, or in this era is that impossible?
Farrell Evans (3:13 PM)
There is no offseason is golf. A month and half, maybe, nowadays.
Ron (Tucson) [via mobile]
Has tiger reach the point of diminishing returns in regards to all his strength training ?
Farrell Evans (3:17 PM)
TW will spend the rest of his life doing strength training. His achilles, his quads, his knees, everything has to be as strong as possible for him to maximize his potential. Yet he doesn't need to get any bigger up top, unless he wants to compromise some flexibility.
Chris K (Wisconsin)
Hear anything about who will caddie for Sergio at Medinah?
Farrell Evans (3:19 PM)
I think he's going to stick with Wayne Richardson. The Ryder Cup is the one place where the players are helping each other more than anything. Caddies are less important here.
The Ryder Cup is always one of my most anticipated times of golf. I love watching the types of emotions that come up from both sides and the way the players really get into every shot. That being said, I know a few players get more excited than others, is there one or two players from each side that players want to play and dominate. I know everyone from Europe wants to beat Tiger, but with more dominate players of late, do they want to beat anyone more than Tiger?
Farrell Evans (3:21 PM)
In past years, you could have said that TW was the one player that the guys wanted to beat more than anyone else. But these guys have been around each other so much that they are all very competitive. I think for the Americans, Rory McIlroy is going to be Target 1. If you can win 50 percent of the matches that he's involved, you have done something special.
Adam (Springfield (GO USA))
I'm real pumped to be going to Sunday at the Ryder Cup. I've been to tournaments before, but I feel watching 12 singles matches is a whole different ballgame. Any strategy recommendations for the best viewing experience?
Farrell Evans (3:24 PM)
That's a tough call. I would try to sit in one spot and watch them all come through. But if the scores is lopsided coming into the last day or it's very close. I might walk with one of the groups that's either in the front or the back. But don't go around with Tiger unless he's playing Rory.
Goldia Sturdivant (Charlotte)
These playoff events have really been good. Rory has really stepped it up and so has Tiger. Your take on the playoffs so far.
Farrell Evans (3:25 PM)
I have written that these have been the best so far that I have seen the history of the cup. Top players on good golfers with excellent subplots. It never hurts to have the game's elite making a lot of birdies. Never.
Chris K (Wisconsin)
For FedEx cup I'd like to see only the top four in the final event. Put them in one group. Winner of that group wins the cup.
Farrell Evans (3:27 PM)
That would never go over well. What if you had four players no one cared about?
Loads of people are getting ready to anoint Rory as the next dominant player on Tour. However, we have seen more players playing lights out one or two years just to fall short of expectations. Do you think Rory will be capable to produce the same or better next year and even for the foreseeable future?
Farrell Evans (3:30 PM)
AJ,Rory is by far the best player we've seen since Tiger Woods came on tour. As I wrote today, if he stays healthy there is no reason why he can't win a lot for a long time.
What would you do to improve the LPGA? Is Se Ri Pak to blame for the demise of the LPGA?
Farrell Evans (3:32 PM)
If the Koreans hadn't come along the LPGA Tour would not be fun to watch, golf-wise. Se Ri ushered an era of more competent golf in the women's game.
Could Rory doing well in the Ryder Cup against the US create any backlash against him? Sounds crazy I know but if he is the reason America gets beat does that resonate into next season at all?
Farrell Evans (3:35 PM)
I don't think a bad or good Ryder Cup will have any impact on Rory or his relationship to Americans. That's not in his personality. He's a head-down, focused, type of guy, who takes everything in stride. The day after the matches are over he'll be thinking about the Masters.
Biggest surprise of the playoffs? I'm thinking Mickelson's play.
Farrell Evans (3:35 PM)
I think you're right. Phil and his new putting grip have been a nice surprise.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
When will be the Final PGA Tour Event of the 2012 Season?
Farrell Evans (3:36 PM)
Will you be at Medinah - and when at an event do you guys walk course or set up shop somewhere?
Farrell Evans (3:39 PM)
Chris,It's a combination of things. I will watch matches on the course for an hour or so. Then retreat to the media center to watch several matches at once on TV. Then when the players come in I go and talk to them. So when I'm at Medinah, I will be all over the place.
How many majors will rory win next year? tiger?
Farrell Evans (3:41 PM)
Colin,Rory wins the Masters and the Open Championship to complete his career grand slam at 24. Tiger gets the PGA.
I have posted on here many times that I think rory will end up being the best player ever. What are your thoughts on this after the last four weeks?
Farrell Evans (3:43 PM)
Colin,That's pretty bold to say after four weeks. But as I have written, I think Rory could be Rory great, something in the vein of a Phil or Vijay career, but Tiger great, no way.
How many majors do u think rory will win in his career
Farrell Evans (3:43 PM)
Come on Colin... he has 2 majors - Tiger has 14 and will end his career with possibly 100 wins. Jumping the shark
Farrell Evans (3:44 PM)
Chris,Don't be so hard on Colin. Everybody thought it was crazy 15 years ago that Tiger would put up the numbers that he has in his career.
Patrick (Philly, PA)
I got here (very) late, so if has been answered, excuse it. What's your prediction for the Ryder Cup? Does the US win big? This seems like their best chance in years.
Farrell Evans (3:46 PM)
The Europeans have five or six guys that I would put up against any six Americans, but it's going to take 12 guys to win the cup and I don't think the Europeans have enough good players to beat the Americans on U.S. soil.
Only reason i say that is i just got a feeling watching his first us open as an amateur
But Rory didn't have a Tiger in the field.... Tiger has no Jack to go and defeat - if that makes sense
Which group wins this scramble (top players): 2-person PGA, 3-person Champions Tour, or 4-person LPGA (from each Tour's tees)?
Farrell Evans (3:47 PM)
3-person Champions Tour. The top seniors can putt and hit it long. Big advantage for the old guys.
how many majors will tiger end up with when it is all said and done?
Farrell Evans (3:48 PM)
Looking at the stats of the US players selected for the Ryder Cup that do have experience playing, one can't help but notice the poor records concerning fourballs and foursomes. Why are these records so bad? And please don't tell me it's because of the closeness and camaraderie of the Euros, cause a professional should be able to hit the ball on the green when playing with or against someone he dislikes....
Farrell Evans (3:49 PM)
Aj, you're a funny man but right on this one. There is no good explanation for it.
Do you think if Tiger had stayed with his Butch and/or Haney swing only, would he have 18+ majors already?
Farrell Evans (3:51 PM)
It's hard to say. Tiger is a constant tinkerer. I liked his swing best when he was with Butch. But he said he couldn't physically sustain that swing. With Hank, he looked horrible, I thought, but he one a lot of tournaments. I don't know that it matters with Tiger. He just needs to figure it our mentally and for a long time he had all the answers.
Could a Rory vs Tiger singles match at the Ryder Cup finally get them to have a little bit of a testy relationship? I think it would benefit Tiger in his quest to catch Jack if he did not like Rory so much...
Farrell Evans (3:53 PM)
No way. Deep down, Tiger is pretty ambivalent about the Ryder Cup. And Rory knows that Seve and Monty are the only players who ever really made a career out of the Ryder Cup. So he's got his eyes on majors like Tiger. So they aren't going to get but so mad at each other.
Jack didn't have to face a Jack either. Tiger still has had Phil, Vijay, now Rory. There will be players that come along and try to challenge rory too
I have to go but im looking forward to reading your column farrell. It is outstanding
Dan (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Did Colin just say that a column you haven't posted yet is outstanding? Nice! That aside, gut call, who is this year's goat at the Ryder Cup?
Farrell Evans (3:58 PM)
Lol. Goat. You can't make me answer that one.
Farrell - I will see you on Sunday at the Ryder Cup...you can sign the Flag I purchased right next to Tiger!
With pairings being manipulated more for TV, why not change the practice for Ryder Cup matches too? Love names a player/team, Olazabal counters, then vice-versa. Would make for even better ratings and interest.
Farrell Evans (3:59 PM)
The ratings will be fine without any manipulation.
Farrell Evans (4:00 PM)
My time is up. See you next week, same time, same place. Thanks always for joining me.
Who wins between you, Collins, and Harig?
Farrell Evans (4:00 PM)
Looking at the converstions about Rory, a lot of people seeming to be unsure about Rory point out the fact that Rory only wins when there are soft course conditions. What do you think about these statements? Do you agree? Looking at his ballflight, his first three rounds at the masters and his regular PGA tour win this year, I tend to disagree.....
Farrell Evans (4:01 PM)
Rory is a bona fide star. You can come up with a load of reasons to doubt his future. But the kid is the real deal! Peace.