Hello everyone, thanks for checking in. For anyone who picked Y.E. Yang to win the PGA last Saturday night, my hearty congratulations to you. Lots to still to talk about, but any golf topic is game. So please fire away with your questions.
In March while in Vegas I put $1 on the four majors going Angel/Glover/Cink/Yang. I now own 3 US States and half of Norway.
Marotta, here's guessing nobody would have even given odds on such a thing. An amazing year for the majors, to say the least.
Y.E. "Raising it" ("it" being his bag) = the greatest golf celebration of the aughts...right?
I give him credit for being unique.
What's the over/under on the hole where Jim Nantz came up with "y.e. SSSSSS!" I say 12.5
Gomes, I didn't hear Nantz say that as I there and not hearing the telecast but good for him if he did.
Your impressions of Hazeltine as a major venue?
I think it's fine. The course certainly has its critics and from a technical, architectual standpoint it has its flaws. But the venue has produced two pretty compelling PGAs this decade and the fans come out to support the event in droves.
Bob, enjoy the work, you do a great job! My question is will Sergio ever win a major? (If you don't include the Players which I do) I mean he's only 30, and still has a lot of years left ahead of him but he seems like he has to many years where he just wates opportunity.
Nick, thank you. . . I'm beginning to have my doubts about Sergio. For a long time I just thought it was inevitable that he'd win a major. He had a great two-year stretch in 07-08 including the Players and contending at two majors. But this year has been a complete waste. He's barely qualfying for the FedEx Cup playoffs. He's been messing around with putters again, which I think is a bad sign. Sergio has youth on his side, but also a lot of disappointment to remember.
I believe Tiger lost the PGA on Saturday. He played too conservatively, didn't putt aggressively and didn't birdie a Par 5. As a result, he let the field and YE Yang back into the tournament. Yang came out firing and made a 67 that could have actually been lower. Tiger played "not to lose" on Saturday and it cost him. Agree?
Dan, you make a valid point. You can argue that he might not have been aggressive enough. Then again, he just wasn't playing that well. You can't go for the seventh green in two from the rough, and that's where he was. In some ways, he played conservatively because he knew he didn't have his best stuff. But I agree with the premise that he let a lot of peopel back in and gave them hope.
Is it good for the game that Tiger showed that he is human?
Stephen, good question. I don't think it is such a bad thing. Tiger was going to get beat at some point. He's had a terrific year. It would be one thing if Tiger came back from knee surgery and played poorly or didn't win a tourament. But he has five wins and three top-6s in majors. That's pretty good. In fact it's great. And since someone challenged him, it gives hope to others that it can happen again. It should make the game more interesting.
Do you think Phil's wife's medical condition affected his play this past weekend? It really appeared to me that his head was not in the tournament.
I think his lack of playing and pratice hurt him more than anything -- and poor putting. Mickelson actually played better at the U.S. Open when his wife's condition seemed to be much more uncertain. Now they seem to have some better news about the prognosis, so he should have been feeling better. But his putting has been terrible and Phil admits he's not sure why it has gone so bad.
Bob,Do you think Tiger will tee it up at next week's Barclays?
Matt, I really don't know. I'm going back and forth on this. He could skip it just because he might not want to play so much. But there is an off week again between the third and fourth playoff events. We'll know by tomorrow at the latest.
what's up with Tiger this year? He played great and won five minor tournaments, but in the majors he had noticeably bad problems with his game?
Bill, I think you're being a bit tough on Tiger. Three of the tournaments he won were far from minor: Memorial, AT
Hey Bob,What is holding back Adam Scott from being an elite player everyone thought he would be?
Matt, there are a lot of issues with Adam Scott that are likely beyond my ability to dictate them. He was working on some changes earlier this year with Butch Harmon and seemed to struggle to adapt. I think confidence has been a big issue too. Hard to believe that his best finish since a second at the Sony was a tie for 33d -- at the Match Play, where he lost in the first round.
What newer course should host a PGA in the near future?
Stephen, I'm not sure about a newer course, but I'd like to see the PGA head West, even to your part of the country. So many great courses on the West Coast, where it doesn't rain as much and the weather is so much nicer. And they could show it in prime time in the East. So many positives to that.
Is Tiger slowing down or is this recent struggle related to him missing most of last year?
David, I have a hard tie saying he's had recent struggles. He just won two tournaments and finished second in the other. Yes, he didn't win. But it's hard for me to call him struggling.
Tom Watson had 8 Majors when he was 33, blew a 2 shot lead in the 84 British to Seve and never won another major....Tiger Woods is 33, any chance he doesn't get to 18.
Brian, interesting observation. You're right about Watson, he never won another major after the British at Birkdale in '83. He had putting problems thereafter, although in the 90s his ball-striking go better. Is there a chance Tiger won't get to 18? Sure. I think Sunday showed that it won't be easy. But next year the majors in addition to the Masters are at Pebble and St. Andrews, two of his favorites.
Hi Bob, I was at the PGA last weekend and it was a great time. Any chance MN gets a tour event ever?
Ryan, I think it's going to be tough in the short term. The schedule is full. But if in the future some tournaments start dropping, it's possible. The folks love golf there. It will all be about finding a sponsor if an opening comes along.
By recent struggles I am referring to his putting. He has not putted at his career rate lately. He is missing a lot from 10-15 feet. I guess I am use to seeing Tiger make these putts.
You're right, Tiger has had some putting issues this year. It is the main reason he has not won at the majors, except for Turnberry where he missed the cut.
Hey Bob, do you think Phil Mickelson will ever get back to playing like he did when he won the Masters? I just don't see him getting any better than the rest of the competition and he has put on a few pounds. Thanks for taking my question
The way I look at it, Phil won two tournaments this year and contended in two others (Masters, U.S. Open). I don't think his game has fallen off so much as he's been distracted.
If one of the 4 Major Champions wins the FedEx Cup which probably means they won another tournament do they become player of the year?
That's a good debate. If one of the four wins the FedEx Cup and Tiger doesn't win any of the FedEx tournaments, then you'd have a good argument. If Tiger wins a sixth tournament, though, you'd have a hard time convincing me he isn't player of the year over someone who won just twice.
Any idea why Pine Valley in NJ has never hosted a tournament? It's consistently rated at the best course in the world and yet most people have never seen it. Is it just a logistics problem of not having enough capacity to hold fans and the media?
Jon, the reasons you suggest are certainly part of it. Logistics would be an issue. But so is the fact that Pine Valley is an all-male club, where no women are allowed. PGA Tour events can't be played at restrictive venues such as that.
It would be Yang's third win
I stand corrected. If Yang were to win in the FedEx Cup playoffs, he'd have a third victory of the year. Three wins and a major versus six wins and no majors but beating Tiger? Pretty good arguement.
So the Masters isn't a PGA Tour event?
It is not run by the tour
What did you think of Tiger making Yang putt out first and stealing his thunder on that last green??
I don't buy that. Yang had a 10-footer and a one-shot lead at the time. Strange things happen. What if he three-putts and Tiger makes his? If the lead had been bigger or the putt closer, I'm sure Tiger would have putted first. You can bet Tiger didn't exactly want to line up that putt while Yang was celebrating.
The British Open is going back to Saint Andrews and the winning score there in 2000 and 2005 were 19 and 14 under. Are they going to make any changes to the couse or just hope for more wind?
Dave, I think that is their only defense, weather. And the last two Opens there have been played in mild conditions.
Do you think we see a decent performance out of David Duval this week and does he have any additional exemptions for 2010?
Duval has used up all of his exemptions for being among the top money winners. He needs to finish among the top 125 on the money list in order to be exempt next year or face Q School or having to ask for sponsor exemptions. Right now, he is 108th on the money list but just 149th in FedEx Cup points which means he risks missing the playoffs and a chance to add more money.
Thoughts on Tiger being such a poor sport and storming off the court a la Lebron after losing in a big spot??
Not sure what you're referring to. Tiger was gracious in defeat Sunday. He complimented Yang after he made the putt on 18 before he putted out and then again after they were done.
Will the changes in the structure of the FedEx Cup really make it more exciting?
Matt, it ought to be better than last year. It's set up so that nobody can clinch it before getting to the Tour Championship, and if you make it there, you mathematically have a chance to win the whole thing. It's got to be better.
How important is winning the Fed Ex Cup to the players. Besides the money, do they view it as the next biggest thing other than winning a major.
Scott, to be honest, I don't think they give it much tought until now. They might add a tournament or two trying to position themselves but really throughout the year they concentrate on winning tournaments and letting things fall where they may. Once it's over, I'm sure they are thrilled to have it. But I would think individual tournament victories still mean more.
No interviews after the round for Tiger? I don't understand why people always stick up for him. Just like with his attitude on the course (i.e. cussing and banging clubs)
I sat in on a fairly lengthy interview after the round. Tiger answered every question.
Is the PGA Championship still seen as the distant fourth major to the other three by most people in the golf world?
Paul, I always answer this the same way: it counts just the same as the others. Tiger has 14 majors, including 4 PGAs. He doens't look at the PGA as anything less than the other four.
With the Race to Dubai purse getting cut by 30%, do you think more golfers like Westwood, Stenson and McIlory will become PGA Tour members next year. Most of them play 10 to 12 events anyway. Add in the Fed Ex Cup and it shouldn't be too many more events.
Scott, I don't think that will impact their decision to come to the PGA Tour. The 25 percent cut, actually, means that instead of a $10-million purse and $10-million bonus, it will be $7.5-million each. Not shabby at all and they know it.
What do you know about Liberty National? Have any of the players played it recently? Is it a links course? Is it long? Tough?
Dave, I don't know much about it other than it has spectacular views. I've heard mixed reviews. It'll be interesting to hear what the players say next week.
Bob, do you see this as a catalyst for Tiger actually getting better? Taking this on the chin could possibly make him work even harder for next year.
Matt, you make a good point. You saw what Tiger did after Turnberry -- he won his next two starts. He won't wallow. He might work even harder. And he knows he's got those major venues next year he really likes.
Any chance the IOC reconsiders the format for Olympic golf before making a mistake with the 72-hole stroke play?
Dave, there is a chance the format could be reconsidered. It is not set. The players were asked about it and they recommended 72-hole stroke play as the best way to determine a champion. It just seems as if they could get a bit more creative.
Follow up to my Pine Valley question. Could the USGA look into having a US Open there or do they follow the same guidelines as the PGA? Also, do you see Sahallee getting another tournament? I attended the PGA there when Vijay won and it was a great site.
Jon, the USGA, PGA Tour and PGA of America go by the same formula. Any club that discriminates cannot hold a tournament. The Masters walks a fine line because it technically doesn't discriminate. It has minority members and allows women. It just does not have women members. Again, Augusta National runs the tournament.
Is Y.E Yang a one timer, or is he someone with the potential to win another major?
David, Tiger has now finished second in the majors six times to Rich Beem, Michael Campbell, Zach Johnson, Angel Cabrera, Trevor Immelman and Yang. . Only Johnson and Cabrera have won since. Will Yang win again? Possibly. But it is hard to envision him becoming a world-class player.
why does everyone cut tiger down he cant win everything?
Mike, Tiger is held to an unbelievable standard. We in the media are guilty of it. The guy has missed two cuts as a pro in majors and now won five tournaments in a season for the ninth time. Think of how many players haven't even won five times total?
What about the Solheim Cup?
Marc, yours is the first quesiton on the Solheim Cup, which begins tomorrow. I'm surprised it hasn't gotten more attention. To me, it looks like a rout for the Americans.
Which one of the big 4 Englishman wins a major first, Casey, Westwood, Fisher, Poulter or Donald? I like Poulter and Fisher because I dont trust Westwood's putter down the stretch
Dave, I keep saying Westwood. It puzzles me that he hasn't gotten it done.
Whats happening with Daily these days, hes playing like a rollercoaster? Is it time to pack it in?
Believe it or not, Big John is 4 under through 14 holes today in Greensboro. Always tough to figure him out.
Why, in your opinion, has it been relative unknowns to give Tiger those 2nd place finishes in majors and not other big name players?
Cory, the best explanation I can come up with is they are not expected to do it. If Yang had shot 75 on Sunday, nobody would have criticized him. They would have expected it. And yet, that might have been his best chance to win a major, there has to be some internal pressure, right? I look at these guys having the weeks of their lives, seizing the opportunity and not worrying about the outcome.
How many MORE majors to Cabrera/Glover/Cink/Yang win? I set the over/under at 1.5.
Jerry, good question. I wouldn't be surprised if they combined to win none. But then again, Cabrera has shown himself to be tough when he gives himself a chance. Cink should win more than he does. Glover is a talented player. . . That's what makes picking winners in golf so tough.
How amazing is it that Yang started golf when he was 19, then went into service for 2 years before really starting this game. It's incredible that he made it onto the tour, let alone win a major...Do you know of any other tour player who picked up the game so late? Seems like most of these guys started swinging clubs before grade school...
Andy, great point. He's 4 year younger than Tiger and been playing for roughly 10 years less than Tiger. . . The best example I can give you is Larry Nelson. He didn't take up golf until age 21 after returning from Vietnam. He won three majors and 10 tour titles total.
I am a Football and Hockey fan. I am not a big fan of baseball and basketball because they seem too passive and unexciting. What is your best argument to someone like me who wouldn't normally watch golf to start watching regularly?
I think you have to gain an appreciation for the sport. It's certainly not like watching team sports, but if you gain an understanding of how tough the game is and watch what these guys do, follow some of the personalities, it is very compelling.
Why does the PGA Championship hold its major in August when people start focusing on the end of baseball and the start of the NFL. If it is a true major, why not switch spots with the Players Championship, giving it more of a spotlight.
Paul, it's been this way for years. And switching spots on the schedule is not that easy to do. The tour probably doesn't want to give up its slot for the Players Championship. It certainly wouldn't want to play it in Florida in August.One year, 1971, the PGA moved to February. It was played first that year and then not again until Aug of 72. But that was a one-off deal.
Is it possible all of Tiger's muscle has cost him some of his "touch" around and on the greens.
George, I seriously doubt it. Tiger still has pretty good touch. He remains one of the game's best around the greens. And this muscle you talk about it not new. I just think he's like anyone else, he has his days when he struggles on the greens.
Geoff Ogilvy came out of the blocks strong this season, but hasn't done much since. Any explanation for his mediocre play in the Majors?
Matt, it's a mystery. Ogivly has been a disappointment. Got off to such a great start and then wasn't much of a factor in the majors. He's a great player, but hasn't shown much here lately.
What do you think about seeing more public courses on the tour in the future. I feel like this would also open up the fan base if people could see the pros playing "normal" courses. Whats your take Bob?
Derek,when you say "normal," a private course can be that way, too. It's really more about logistics and if the course offers up a challenge. Plenty of public courses have been used for tournaments, including Torrey Pines, Bethpage, etc. I think they like to go to places that everyone can play, if possible.
Calvin Peete is another good example of a player taking the game up late. He won 12 titles including The Players
Jerry, thanks for passing that along. Calvin Peete indeed did not start playing until later. And he led the tour in driving accuracy forever.
(This question would be better in December or January, but ...) Bob, any predictions as to who will be the Lucas Glover or Nick Watney of 2010 (i.e., a guy who starts the year world-ranked 150 or worse, but gets into the top 40 by year-end)? Thanks.
Wayne, it's impossible to say. This year is a great example. In all honesty, I never saw Lucas Glover or Y.E. Yang coming. That's the beauty of golf.
I'm out of time. Sorry I couldn't get to all of the questions, but thanks for the flurry of good ones. Hope you can check back in again next week when the FedEx Cup playoffs begin. Enjoy.