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October 20, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Bob Harig

Bob Harig
  (3:59 PM)

Hello, thanks for checking in to chat about golf as the golf season truly winds down. If you've got questions, I'll try to provide some answers. Fire away.

Brian (Westborough, MA)

AK was turned down for a Euro tour card. Do you think we'll ever see Woods and/or Mickelson elect to get their cards so they can play in the race to Dubai?

Bob Harig
  (4:01 PM)

Just to bring everyone up to date: Anthony Kim had sought a medical extension because he was unable to play in the required 12 Euro events due to injury. He was rejected because they said he made no effort to add tournaments once coming back in April.When the Race to Dubai concept was first introduced, there appeared to be a good chance that some of the top guys would try to play in Europe -- it really required you adding only a few more tournaments.But it hasn't happened -- and the Euro decision to go to a 13-tournament minimum won't help.

Brian (Westborough, MA)

With potentially 4 players (Woods, Mickelson, Kaymer and Westwood) vying for #1, is the upcoming HSBC Champions the most anticiapted event ever held after October?

Bob Harig
  (4:02 PM)

I think it probably was anyway, simply because it's a World Golf Championship event with a very good field. But the fact that No. 1 could go in several directions also makes it much more interesting.

Patrick (Hanover)

Can the champion's tour be used in say Hall of Fame voting? Take a player like Fred Couples who is on the borderline for the HOF. If say he wins several Champion's Tour majors , would that put him over the top in some voter's minds.

Bob Harig
  (4:05 PM)

I'm sure it could play a role for some voters. But in my opinion, it shouldn't. Raymond Floyd always used to say that nothing he did as a senior would change what he accomplished -- either way -- during his regular career. And that makes a lot of sense.

Brian (Westborough, MA)

Why does Tiger's event in December now give OWGR points? For years it didn't.

Bob Harig
  (4:07 PM)

You are correct, until last year it did not give world ranking points. There is a process that is required for world ranking points to be given, and the tournament had to make some changes, including going up to 18 players from 16. It also could not grant spots to anyone outside of the top 50 in the world. Graeme McDowell got in last year despite being outside of the top 50, because the cutoff for the world ranking came at an earlier point when he was within the top 50. . For some in the field, that world ranking criteria makes the event a lot more than a money grab.

Brian (Westborough, MA)

Why did the Fry's.com change venues?

Bob Harig
  (4:08 PM)

I believe the intention all along was to play the event in Northern California near company headquarters.

steve san francisco [via mobile]

Bob, even though its a long way off who do you see as the best major performer of the upcoming season?

Bob Harig
  (4:09 PM)

I'm very curious to see how Martin Kaymer is next year. He was 7th at the British Open and then won the PGA. He's very close to being No. 1 in the world. Only 25 years old. .Lots of others, like Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell could have something to say about it. Same with Tiger. Should be interesting.

Brian (Westborough, MA)

can you give us an update on the LPGA looking into the alleged cheating scandal during the Canadian Open?

Bob Harig
  (4:11 PM)

They apparently closed the investigation. Two players had played the wrong ball and at first didn't report it. But the LPGA took no official action.

jon (los angeles, ca)

Any idea on how Anthony Kim is doing? The US sure could have used him for the Ryder Cup. Could have made the difference.

Bob Harig
  (4:13 PM)

Kim is playing this week in Las Vegas, trying to regain the form that saw him compete very well until he had to stop to have thumb surgery in May. When he returned, he just didn't have it, as was obvious by his results, as he missed cut after cut. A healthy Kim would have been great to have on the U.S. team, but he wasn't healthy so it would not have been wise to pick him.

Jon (Los Angeles)

Your thoughts on Corey Pavin's performance as Ryder Cup captain?

Bob Harig
  (4:16 PM)

I typically preface such thoughts by saying that it's about the players, not the captains. Monty is being hailed as hero in Europe, and yet one half point the other way and he'd be a goat? Kind of tough.I don't have any probablem with the job Pavin did. He wasn't chatty with the media, but that doesn't mean he is or is not a good captain. There were a lot of raised eye brows when he said he made no changes to his singles lineup even after the Americans got drilled on Sunday. And yet, the U.S. nearly won anyway.And the rainsuit fiasco was just that. But the Americans won 2 1/2 points out of 4 in the opening session.He was too bland for my taste, but it is hard to criticize his captaincy in terms of the results.

Bubba (Phoenix)

I love Hunter Mahan's game. He seems to have a very consistent short game and putting stroke. I think he can hit greens in his sleep. .. However, he seems to have an inordinately wide stance in his setup and and during the Ryder Cup it looked like he was doing a lot of palms-up hand-swiping (probably talking too much to himself!) Do you think he can go to the slate with power and come back hard after his Ryder Cup outing? Thanks.

Bob Harig
  (4:18 PM)

I am not sure if there were any swing issues in Watson's game at the Ryder Cup, but I have a feeling he will come back fine. That was a great learning experience. That pressure he faced was enormous and it will help him in the future. This was a break out year for him, with two victories.

Brian (Westborough, MA)

Where do you stand on allowing transgenders to play on the LPGA tour?

Bob Harig
  (4:22 PM)

This is a very slippery slope that causes the LPGA to spend a lot of time and money. It is really beyond discussion here. So many issues at play. The LPGA does extensive testing to make sure testosterone levels are at what are deemed to be the necessary levels. But that doesn't take into account musculature, which doesn't change. Hence, the controversy.

Patrick (Hanover)

Tom Lehman won this year's Payne Stewart award. Has there ever been a player who with so few wins(5) who has garnered great player status. It seems that he is viewed greater by some people than what he really was.

Bob Harig
  (4:24 PM)

Lehman receiving the Payne Stewart Award is a separate issue to what you are saying, I believe. That is not based on tournament victories. But I understand your point. Lehman has gone a long way on just five victories. But he did ascend to No. 1 in 1996, the year he won the British Open and the Tour Championsihp. And he was close in so many U.S. Opens after not getting to the PGA Tour until he was in his 30s. His good-guy status doesn't hurt.

jon (los angeles)

Everyone wanted to see Rory vs Tiger in singles. I don't understand why Pavin and Monty didn't choose this matchup. It would have created massive ratings and helped the sport. Sometimes that's more important than winning. Agree?

Bob Harig
  (4:27 PM)

It would have been a great singles matchup, but Monty and Pavin were powerless to make it happen -- unless they circumvented the rules, which I'm not sure would have been the proper thing to do.The Ryder Cup requires that you lay out your lineup without knowledge of the other team's order. It would have taken some good guessing to get it to happen.

Eric (Kentucky)

Give me your thoughts on JB Holmes, he has made a ton of cuts this year but is now currently outside of the top 30 on the money list. There have been 5 or 6 tournaments where he has been one round away from contending. I think he has shown maturity this year by making more cuts, but still is missing that "it" he needs to place in the top 10 more often, or to win..

Bob Harig
  (4:34 PM)

You summed it up very well. Holmes has worked hard to make other aspects aside from length strong parts of his game. He very nearly made the U.S. Ryder Cup team again. Just seems to be unable to put it all together -- which doesn't mean he won't.

Ed (Long Island)

Is Phil hurting more than he is letting on? Seems this weeks event in Bermuda was a no-brainer to attend. Not a lot of pressure, just a few days, easy payday. PGA misses another marketing opporutnity by not having him there...

Bob Harig
  (4:36 PM)

I am not sure Mickelson would have played, regardless of any physical issues. Bermuda is a long way from California, and he's playing in Singapore and China in a few weeks. He traditionally skips Kapalua, which is closer than Bermuda and an easy payday, too.. . However, I do think there could be something to Phil not letting on about the arthritis diagnosis he disclosed at the PGA. It very well could have been keeping him from practicing and preparing properly.

Andrew (WI)

Does the HSBC event count on the money list for the PGA tour? I was just thinking, if it did, the entire money list would hinge on that event.

Bob Harig
  (4:37 PM)

And that is the reason it doesn't. The PGA Tour does not want to see it's money title come down to an event in a foreign land so far away. So while the victory would count for a PGA Tour member, the money does not count on the money list.

Ed (Long Island)

Why not play the Fall Series events Tuesday through Friday? Pro football, college football, baseball playoffs...tough to pay any attention during the weekend to golf.

Bob Harig
  (4:38 PM)

Good point. There are a lot of creative things the powers that be could do to help their product at such times. They ought to consider the same thing for various Nationwide, Champions and LPGA evnets, too. End them on a Saturday or a Monday when they are not competing with so many other sports events.

Shoshana (Boston)

Take a guess who is no1 at the end of the year?

Bob Harig
  (4:41 PM)

My guess: Martin Kaymer.

Bob Harig
  (4:42 PM)

I did read it. Good stuff (espn.com/golf). .. Mahan was very honest about the situation, and it is clear he takes a lot of positives from it. I am betting he is better for it.

Tiger Daly (on the range, hitting the long ball)

did you catch E:60's piece on Justin Timberlake yesterday? very well done piece. do you ever see the day when a "celebrity" player like Timberlake or Romo qualifies for the Senior Tour in their later years?

Bob Harig
  (4:44 PM)

I would never rule it out, but it is going to be so tough. There is a huge diffence between being a scratch golfer and one who can compete at it, even on the Champions Tour. If you've ever been to a Champions Tour event, you'll see that the best players treat it like a job -- just like they did on the PGA Tour. It's a lot of practice, a lot of work. Does a celebrity in another life want to put that kind of effort into playing golf? That will always be the drawback.

Kevin (Glen Rock, NJ)

What is your opinion on opposite field events such as Mayokoba, Puerto Rico, and this year's Turning Stone event still allowing 2 year exemptions with a win. Isn't this unfair? Maybe 1 year instead?

Bob Harig
  (4:49 PM)

It is the tour that decides those things and the feeling likely is that you want them to have as much meaning as possible or run the risk of them being second-rate. They already go against another high profile event; they give fewer FedEx points, don't get you in the Masters, have a smaller purse, etc. But the reward for a victory in terms of the exemption is still the same. I guess I don't have a problem with it, although there is plenty to be argued about opposite field events in the first place.

Pam (West Palm Beach)

Should the various tours in picking Ryder Cup captains look for the great "quotes" and charismatic golfers? Everyone knew that Pavin does not have a scintillating personality, yet they wanted him to step out of character.(get personilty makeover to be a good captain) When he did not, he was soundly criticised for being too bland and thus not a good captain

Bob Harig
  (4:57 PM)

If you go by the theory that the captain's role is over-rated -- as I believe -- then the job is more about public relations. So, yes, in a way you need somebody who is glib, quotable, etc. That doesn't mean he will or won't make the right pairings, but let's be honest, how hard is that? All that said, I have a hard time criticizing Pavin. He could have been more forthcoming with the media, but whether he was or not wasn't going to change anything on the course.

Pam (West Palm Beach)

What is the big deal about maybe Phil is hurt more than he lets on and thus contributing to poor play? It is said that at any time more than 50% of tour players play hurt, and thus is a normal occurrence. Why try to give Phil a pass? He has not requested one

Bob Harig
  (4:59 PM)

It would be very easy to sit here and criticize Mickelson. He's really done very little since winning the Masters. Let a great opportunity to win the U.S. Open slip away; played very strangely at St. Andrews. Had numerous opportunities to climb to No. 1 and didn't do it. And then had a poor Ryder Cup, 1-3. Just a half point in the first three matches and the Cup comes home with the Americans. So, yeah, you could take Phil to task. But I'm not sure it's fair when we don't completely know the backstory. His wife's illness, his own phsyical problems. who knows how serious any of it is.

Andrew (WI)

Not really a question, but a statement: Great to see a guy like Rocco get a win that essentially locks up PGA tour status for as long as he'll probably need it.

Bob Harig
  (5:00 PM)

No doubt. Good for Rocco, good for golf. He'll be exempt until he turns 50.

Bob Harig
  (5:01 PM)

I am out of time. Thanks again for the questions and check back again next week. . . Thanks