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August 18, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Bob Harig

Bob Harig
  (4:01 PM)

Hello, plenty to chat about today, obviously. The PGA aftermath, Ryder Cup, FedEx Cup playoffs coming up. . . Fire away with your questions. Thanks

Brian (Westborough, MA)

Have Bob Goalby, Paul Lawrie, Nick Faldo, and Geoff Ogilvy officially invited Martin Kaymer to the "I won a major and all anyone wants to do is talk about the dude who finished 2nd" club?

Bob Harig
  (4:03 PM)

Probably a good place to start. It's true, Martin Kaymer might not be remembered for what he accomplished on Sunday. He shot 70 when only two others in the top 10 were in the 60s. Made a clutch par putt on 18 and another great birdie putt on the second playoff hole. It's not his fault there was a rules violation.

Brian (Westborough, MA)

How much blame should the PGA shoulder for bunker gate? They allowed people to turn that bunker into a dumpster and had one of their marshalls literally sitting on the lip of the bunker when he hit that shot. Ultimately this is Johnson's error but if they want these bunkers to be bunkers don't they have a responsibility to treat them as bunkers? And if they have no other place to put the gallery then maybe this is not is suitable course to hold their major.

Bob Harig
  (4:04 PM)

I don't blame the PGA at all. I blame the course designer/owner. There are way, way too many bunkers at Whistling Straits. You would have no spectators at all if you were trying to keep them from the bunkers. That is simply how the place is. I have written that they need to remove all those extra bunkers or let them grow in.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Could you easily beat Tiger Woods the way he shot at Bridgestone Open?

Bob Harig
  (4:06 PM)

Tiger shot 18 over for the tournament on a very tough golf course. Most of us would be happy to shoot 18 over for one round.

Dave (NC)

do you think NBC (and i'll leave ESPN out of it) will try and convince Pavin or maybe even throw some money at him to pick tiger? If tiger plays and preforms well early, the ratings would go through the roof by Sunday.

Bob Harig
  (4:07 PM)

I would like to think that the broadcast entitties (ESPN included, which has the first day of the Ryder Cup) would have no influence whatsoever.

william lienhard (orland ca)

Why enforce a rule in golf on one golfer but not on others.Case in point few years ago sergio garcia got penilized a stroke for hiting the ground with his club at a british open.Tiger woods hits the ground allot when he misses a shot never gets a stroke taken away why

Bob Harig
  (4:08 PM)

Not sure what instances you are referring to, but in the example you give, there is no penalty for hitting the sand after the shot is played -- as long as the ball is out of the bunker.

Colin (Seattle)

Hi Bob- Colin Montgomerie recently said that he is considering choosing Bernhard Langer as a captain's choice. Do you think he is leaning toward picking Langer?

Bob Harig
  (4:10 PM)

I think Montgomerie was being politically correct, given Langer's recent victories in majors on the Champions Tour. I really don't think he is going to pick him. He has four players in the top 20: Luke Donald, Justin Rose, Padraig Harrington and Edoardo Molinari -- who have not made the team. He has three picks. I don't see how you take Langer ahead of those four guys.

jeff (memphis)

What are the chances that a 3rd international competition gets added in the next 5-10 years, and each region gets to be off every third year? In other words, add in a competition between Europe and "The World". With the addition of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, I can see the American side getting burnt out with the best players required to play 6 out of 7 weeks to finish off every single season -- it's just a matter of time before some of them start to opt out of either the playoffs or the Ryder/President's Cup just to get a break.

Bob Harig
  (4:12 PM)

This idea has been kicked around without any traction. The Ryder Cup is set in stone through at various venues for the next 10 years and I don't see the format changing. The PGA Tour has the Presidents Cup. I don't see how either of them work without the U.S. involved.

Matthew (Columbia, NJ)

Hey Bob, have we seen the best of Tiger Woods or does he still have some magic left in him to win another major or 2?

Bob Harig
  (4:13 PM)

We may have seen the best of Tiger -- it's hard to top some of the things he has done in his career -- but I don't think he's done by any means. He's young, seems committed still and very well might have plenty of more victories ahead.

rydercuplover (indiana)

Do you think Pavin will consider Fred Couples for the team? Great year, lots of experience, hits it a mile, great locker room guy.

Bob Harig
  (4:14 PM)

I don't see it happening. As good as his year has been, it's been since March that he last won -- on the Champions Tour. And Couples' issues are with the putter, not something you want at the Ryder Cup.

Mike S (CT)

Bob, there has often been criticism that Tiger Woods never had a true rival, as none of the other big stars from his era have won more than three majors when Tiger was in his prime while Nicklaus battled Watson, Trevino, Player, etc. However, how much more difficult do you think that it is to win multiple majors in today's golf world where it seems like the depth of talent continues to improve?

Bob Harig
  (4:16 PM)

It is true this point is made often. (Actually Mickelson has four in the Tiger era) Nicklaus had Palmer, Trevino, Watson, Miller, etc. But in today's game, there is so much more depth. Tiger has seen a ton of first-timers win majors, some of whom have not won a tournament since. That didn't seem to happen as much back in Jack's day. The point is that the competition comes from all over on any given week.

John: (Pittsburgh, PA) [via mobile]

Is Sean Foley officially tiger's coach yet?

Bob Harig
  (4:16 PM)

Not officially. Woods is obviously seeking his advice but hasn't said if it is permanent.

Bob (Phoenix, AZ)

Regarding Ryder Cup - based on the new young guys like Kuchar, Johnson and Bubba - one would think that Pavin picks Anthony Kim of course, more experienced players like Cink and Zach Johnson and the guy who finished 12th in the standings, whats his name, Eldricks Woods guy? What do you think

Bob Harig
  (4:18 PM)

At this point, that is exactly what I would do, provided that Kim is healthy.

Shaun (St. Cloud, MN)

How well do you think Anthony Kim needs to play over the next couple of weeks to prove to Pavin he should be a captains pick? Are high finishes necessary, or is just showing improvement coming back from the injury enough for AK?

Bob Harig
  (4:20 PM)

I don't think he needs high finishes. I think he needs to show that he is 100 percent healthy. He's played just six rounds of golf in the last three months and those six were not very impressive. He's rusty. But he's got three tournaments to show that all is well. I would think if he shows progress, he should be picked.

Shaun (St. Cloud, MN)

The Dustin error obviously overshadowed how compelling a finish there actually was to the tournament, in that 6 guys had a legit chance to win over the final 5 holes or so. When was the last time you saw a major with that many guys who had that good of a chance to win over the final 4-5 holes? 2004 PGA? 2002 British Open?

Bob Harig
  (4:21 PM)

There's no doubt it was a great last day at the PGA, marred by the rules fiasco. And it showed how good golf can be even without Tiger and Phil.

Dave (St Simons Island GA)

Bob, certainly Tiger's play this year doesn't make him deserving of consideration for the Ryder Cup....Isn't it the media pressure which will get him chosen....Pressure from NBC for ratings and journalist, because he is too "juicy" a sublect to write about.

Bob Harig
  (4:22 PM)

I don't think the media should have anything to do with it. He should be picked based on whether or not Pavin believes he will help. And I would argue that finishing 12th in points despite playing half the events makes him worthy of strong consideration. I just don't see five guys you pick ahead of Tiger. It's not one spot, but four.

Tom (Simi Valley, CA)

When asked why Tiger should be on the Ryder Cup team, Corey Pavin, Hank Haney, Monty, and seemingly everyone first responds with ?Well, he?s the #1 player in the world.? Is it me, or is that the weakest argument as to why he should be there? Does anyone think Tiger is the #1 player in the world at this moment? Isn?t it Pavin?s job to put together a team that has a chance to win, not hand out lifetime achievement awards? I?m not saying Tiger shouldn?t be on the team, but it strikes me that no one is coming up with legitimate reasons why he should be on it.

Bob Harig
  (4:24 PM)

I agree that No. 1 in the world criteria is a bit flimsy when we all know that any time over the past two months Phil Mickelson could have moved past him. Still, there are plenty of other reasons, starting with the fact that he has two top-10s in majors this year and is still highly skilled. We're talking about match play, he makes a good number of birdies, etc. If there was somebody out there who deserved it more, fine. But I don't see 4 who deserve it more.

Pam (West palm beach)

Why does Woods record in Ryder cup gets picked over, yet Mickelson, Furyk, Cink and any other player who has more than 1 Cup appearance is left alone. Woods has a better record than those mentioned

Bob Harig
  (4:25 PM)

It's a good point. When the team loses as much as it has, those who have been there throughout are going to have poor records. Tiger's record is not great, but he is 3-1-1 in singles (should be 4-1 as he conceded a lengthy putt to Parnevik in 2002 that gave him a tie). A lot of guys have not performed well at the Ryder Cup.

Nelson (DE) [via mobile]

With all due respect to Tiger, the U.S Ryder Cup team is 1-4 with him (the 1 win being a miraculous comeback) but won without him last time. Are all those results somewhat of a fluke?

Bob Harig
  (4:27 PM)

Two of the losses -- in 2004 and 2006 -- were by the biggest margins ever. So I don't think you can pin it all on Tiger. In 2008, the U.S. team won, but what Americans forget is that Westwood, Harrington and Garcia were dreadful. Europe's best didn't play very well.

pam (West Palm beach)

If the Ryder Cup comes down to the lastputt, who would you like taking it, an out of form Woods or someone else? Whom?

Bob Harig
  (4:28 PM)

I would probably still go with Tiger. The guy has always been money in those situations.

Shaun (St. Cloud, MN)

Does this season for Tiger remind you a lot of his 2004 season, where he was a couple years removed from winning a major, didn't win a stroke play event, and people were questioning if he'd ever get it back?

Bob Harig
  (4:29 PM)

It is similar to a degree, but I don't recall people thinking he would never get back. He did go through a rough stretch and it became clear in 04 that the swing changes he was working on would take time. He won the 05 Masters and had five of the most consistent years ever in the game of golf.

Andrew (WI)

To me, Tiger and the Ryder Cup make sense only if you have ideal partners for him in the team formats. Who would you pair him with in best ball? In alternate shot? To me, to use him in alternate shot, you have to pair him with a master scrambler (Phil?!?!) in order to make Tiger usable.

Bob Harig
  (4:30 PM)

Playing him with Phil didn't work very well in 2004. The easy answer is Stricker. They went 4-0 together last year at the Presidents Cup. I would not mess with that success. Tiger has also had some success with Furyk. But why change? Stricker for the first two days and then worry about the other pairings.

Shaun (St. Cloud, MN)

Are you more impressed by Rory McIlroy's showing in the PGA, finishing 3rd and playing well all week, or disappointed, in that the tournament looked to be sitting there, waiting for him to grab it, and every time it looked like he might, he seemed to make an unforced error?

Bob Harig
  (4:31 PM)

Probably the latter. It's true that this one was there for McIlroy and the putter let him down.

Ed (Long Island)

Do you think all of the talk of Phil taking over the World Golf Ranking has been too much of a distration for him? World Golf Rankings aside, since the Tour Championship in 2009 that he won, then a WGC in China and the Masters - it appears very apparent that as of the last 10 months, Phil is a better golfer than Tiger (and I am not sure anyone else has 3 victories that compare to Phil's for that matter). It doesn't mean that Phil will be better over the next year, but for this period of time he has been.

Bob Harig
  (4:32 PM)

I really don't think it has been a distraction. He wants to win regardless and just hasn't gotten it done.

Andrew (WI)

Is this going to shape up to be the best FedEx Cup playoffs ever? Money list is wide open, PoY is wide open, you probably have a half-dozen players who could get to #1 in the world with a series of wins... this is the first time it truly feels like everything is at stake.

Bob Harig
  (4:33 PM)

I wonder if everyone will look at it that way? It's true that for once a lot of stuff is up for grabs. The FedEx Cup has been panned, but it has done a good job of bringing the best players together over a month. We'd never have that at this time of year otherwise.

Gus (New City, NY)

Hello Bob, One more thing about the PGA Championship, the PGA said after the final round that "pretty much every grain of sand on the course" is a bunker. Then what about Tiger's great shot off the sand/cart path? Couldn't that be called a hazard? Thanks

Bob Harig
  (4:35 PM)

Here is what the rules sheet said:"All areas of the course that were designed and built as sand bunkers will be played as bunkers (hazards), whether or not they have been raked. This will mean that many bunkers positioned outside of the ropes, as well some areas of bunkers inside the ropes, close to the rope line, will likely include numerous footprints, heel prints and tire tracks during the play of the Championship. Such irregularities of surface are a part of the game and no free relief will be available from these conditions."

Paul (Eden Prairie, MN)

I am a little bothered that the PGA refused to take any blame for the Dustin Johnson fiasco. Johnson accepted responsibility for his wrongdoings, shouldn't the PGA do the same? Mainly in regards to not clearing people out of the "bunker"?

Bob Harig
  (4:36 PM)

Where I believe the PGA erred is in having so many bunkers on the course. I'm not sure what else they could have done. They made it clear prior to the tournament that bunkers would have footprints, no rakes, etc. You'd have no spectators out there if you had to keep every bunker clear.

Pam (West palm beach)

Is there a total disrespect going on for the great talent and determination of Woods here. Also none of the golfers who have made the Cup are consistent - should we be worried about form in 6 weeks?

Bob Harig
  (4:38 PM)

Tiger has always been held to a different standard because of his high rate of success. There are two other players who have made the team who have not won this year. One, Jeff Overton, has never won. Furyk just had a very poor finish to the PGA. Phil has won only the Masters and been very up and down since. So yes, probably too much worry about Woods' year. He's still a great player and in match play brings a lot.

Dan (Iowa City)

Why is everyone acting like Tiger not winning any tournaments this year is the biggest collapse ever? He only played in 13 events and is obviously reworking his whole swing again. With where he was with the driver at Whistling Straits any other player in the world would've missed the cut...by a lot.

Bob Harig
  (4:39 PM)

Actually he's only played in 9 tournameents this year and it is remarkable he scored as well as he did given where he hit the ball. If you throw out the Bridgestone and the second round of Quail Hollow -- and everybody has those tournaments -- I doubt this would even be an issue.

Bill (New York, NY)

Why does the press make a big deal over whether Tiger should be picked for the RC? Whereas if Stewart Cink gets picked, noone will say a word? Cink has done nothing this year but the press likes him and hates Tiger so I guess it is ok.

Bob Harig
  (4:40 PM)

I don't think it has anything to do with the media, to be honest. You're right about Cink, he hasn't done more than Tiger to be picked. I'm guessing they'll both be chosen.

Steven (Clarkston, MI)

Bob, Is there any chance that the PGA Championship moves a couple weeks back in the annual schedule? Seems like it is too close with the British Open. I know the PGA wouldn't want it running into the football season, but pushing it back 2 weeks would help I believe

Bob Harig
  (4:40 PM)

I would love to see more space between the British and the PGA, but that appears unlikely with the PGA Tour's schedule the way it is.

Brian (Westborough)

But if you blame the designer/owner of the course for all the bunkers shouldn't you put some blame of the PGA for coming to this venue?

Bob Harig
  (4:42 PM)

I realy don't have a problem with the venue. I have a problem with all of the bunkers. They did the best they could to warn everyone that, hey, there are a lot of bunkers out there and you better treat them as hazards.

Nick (Atlanta)

I've got the over/under on # of playoff events for Tiger at 2...what you got?

Bob Harig
  (4:43 PM)

Because the points increase so much, I think he has a good chance to make it to the third event in Chicago. But he is going to need a couple of top 5s or a victory in these first three events to make it to the Tour Championship.

Bob (Seattle)

Is Rory McIlroy Sergio Garcia redux? Great ball striking, young, good short game, bad short putter.

Bob Harig
  (4:44 PM)

It's probably a fair comparison at this point. Rory's main weakness appears to be putting. He hits it close a lot and doesn't make near what he should. That has been Sergio's problem.

Tom (Simi Valley, CA)

Have you played Whistling Straits? What have you heard about it? I know the pros more or less loved it, but I wonder about 15 handicap plodders such as myself when I see this trend of $400 golf courses where the word "fun" seems to be questionable.

Bob Harig
  (4:45 PM)

I did play it several years ago, twice, and enjoyed it very much. It is a neat golf course, and there's plenty of room off the tees. I wasn't playing anywhere near the tips so it was enjoyable. However, the price now is $340. Throw in a caddie at $60 minimum and we're not really talking public golf, are we?

Brian (Westborough)

Isn' the short putting the bain of a lot of young players? Camilo (especially him), Bubba, Sergio, Adam Scott, JB. I never recall an era in which the "young guns" can't make a 4 footer. Good luck for them 12 years from now.

Bob Harig
  (4:47 PM)

I'd throw in Sean O'Hair as well. And Charles Howell. These guys are great golfers but struggle on the greens. I think Bubba's putting is fine, but your point is well taken.

Shoshana (Baltimore)

Were you surprised at how much Tiger said about wanting to be a captain's pick? Basically asking Corey for a pick? Does he really want to be there, is it just PR or did Corey ask him to say something to make the pick easier?

Bob Harig
  (4:48 PM)

I don't think he asked for a pick. He said he'd accept the invite if asked. Not sure Tiger has any choice but to take that stance. I think it would look back for him to say he doesn't want to be part of it.

Pam (West palm beach)

What is the secret to making 4 footers? Would you say; Focus, determination, belief, killer instinct and the will to win

Bob Harig
  (4:50 PM)

I would say that all of those things are important. But the belief comes from having a solid stroke and a good eye to read the putts. Not sure killer instinct is as important as confidence and composure.

Bob Harig
  (4:51 PM)

Not sure of the answer to that, it's a good question. I happen to doubt it could happen without him playing simply because somebody else would get there before him. He is close with Mickelson and Stricker at the moment.

Ed (Long Island)

Why Cink over Rickey Fowler for RC?? Kid seems to be a real star in the making.

Bob Harig
  (4:53 PM)

It's a shame that Fowler wasn't able to make it on his own because he could be part of the team for many years. But he hasn't had a top 10 in two months and he's never won. Jeff Overton is the first player in U.S. history to make the team without a victory. There is a theory that you should have to make your first Ryder Cup team, not be picked for it. (Hunter Mahan got picked for his first, however). Cink has been there is the theory on this.

Shoshana (Baltimore)

"And I'm looking forward to it, hopefully Corey will pick me on the team" isn't asking for a pick?

Bob Harig
  (4:53 PM)

To me, he simply answered the quesiton and is hoping to be picked.

Jordan (utah)

wouldn't Rickie Fowler be a better pick for captain Corey pavin than Anthony Kim? Kim just off injury seems to me to be a question mark.

Bob Harig
  (4:54 PM)

Only if Kim is not healthy. Kim had a really good Ryder Cup two years ago. He had his issues at least year's Presidents Cup but it was still more experience on that stage. I don't believe Fowler is more deserving.

Andrew (WI)

Over/under 0.5 majors for Dustin Johnson in his career? It was a pretty scarring loss he just took, and the putt he thought he had for the win at the time was very tenative....but he's also mega-talented...

Bob Harig
  (4:56 PM)

Not sure how this will play out. I didn't think Johnson would recover so quickly from Pebble Beach and look at what he did at the British Open and PGA? Pretty impressive.

Shoshana (Baltimore)

Do you think Harrington gets left off the team? Really hasn't played well lately, but lots of experience, sort of a poor man's Tiger Woods argument

Bob Harig
  (4:58 PM)

He has certainly put himself in a tough position. There are three picks and Monty can also choose Justin Rose, Luke Donald and Edoardo Molinari. All of those guys have own this year.

Billy (PDX)

Tiger has the second best 16 round score this year in the majors... he's not exactly a liability. There's no chance someone like Lucas Glover should be invited over him. This is absurd.

Bob Harig
  (4:58 PM)

Only Mickelson had a better record in relation to par in the majors among those who made the cut in all four.

Bob Harig
  (5:00 PM)

I am out of time. Thanks again for all the questions. Check back next week.