Hi, thanks for checking back in for this week's golf chat. A lot is going on in the golf world these days. A reminder, I'm answering mailbag questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. And I'm chatting with you here so fire away with your questions. Thanks.
Why does no one bring up Seung Yul Noh as one of golf's next superstars? To me he seems to have more game than Ryo and a lot of other "Young Guns."
There is no doubt that Noh has potential and is a great talent, but he's not been around long enough. In time, you might be right, but he's not had much to judge him by -- yet.
Why is everyone down on Phil for having bones tend the flag on the 72nd hole? I bet Charles Howell III wished he did it in 2005.
I don't think people are down on him for it. Those who are miss the point you make. He didn't want the ball to hit the flagstick, and if he had any chance of holing the shot -- whether on the fly or by spinning it in -- his chances were better without the flag.
I would like your opinion about John Daly's rediculous comments about sponsor's exemptions. This is a guy who has been living off them for the last several years, doesn't go to Q school, and has more WD's than anyone the last few years and HE is complaining about not getting them to certain events. Seems like a sense of entitlement to me.
Shameless plug: I wrote about that very topic last Thursday at Torrey Pines . . . http://sports.espn.go.com/golf/columns/story?columnist=harig_bob&id=6064862I can't argue with you. I was stunned he would complain -- unprompted -- about a couple of tournanments that didn't give him exemptions, including the Hope, where a few years ago he was carried out of a party. He's fortunate to get the exemptions he gets.
Are you in Phoenix? Are they expecting a frost delay tomorrow or did they have one for the Pro Am?
I am not in Phoenix. . But they called off the pro-am today due to frozen greens. The forecast is for temperatures in the 30s, which puts the start of the first round in doubt. Amazing weather, obviously.
I saw Calc is taking the 1 time top 50 career money leader exemption on the PGA Tour and is playing this week. What happened to that big "I'm Done" thing at the Memorial last year? What is the proper gift etiquette for this? Do I need to buy him another gift when he retires again? Should I expect him to return my toaster I got him for the last retirement?
Well, I don't think think he said he would NEVER play the PGA Tour again. I think once a guy steps away, even to the Champions Tour, he realizes how good things are on the PGA Tour. He has homes in Arizona and Florida so he probably wants to play some of those tournaments. Hard to blame him.
What do you think is the cause for the PGA tour ratings being up for the first 4 events and with Tiger really not being involved?Certainly Phil helped last week but neither were in the first 3 events at all.
A guess: the weather. It's been so brutal in so many places that people have not had anything else to do but stay home and watch TV, including sports and including golf. Certainly Mickelson helped last week, as you said. The first three tournaments the ratings were up, but the overall viewership numbers were still not all that impressive.
Tiger always seems to have tension with Peter Kostis. Is it basically becuase Peter analyzes his swing and Tiger does not like that?
There could very well be something to your question. Kostis is not only an announcer for CBS but also a well-known instructor. And he quite frequently analyzes golf swings. Tiger probably doesn't like this scrutiny.
How can Phil, one of the top 5 players in the world, be so erratic with his driver? He obviously practices a lot, has one of the top teachers in the world in Butch Harmon, knows if he caught to many grooves on a wedge shot, but can't find the middle of the fairway consistently with his driver. He is unreal at hitting from the rough or fairway bunkers, but cost himself a shot at winning last week by not being able to in the fairway on 18 and go for the green in 2.
Ed, your questions is one of the great mysteries in golf. And frankly, as great as Butch Harmon is, he's sort of gotten a pass on this one -- especially when you consider all the scrutiny that Tiger Woods and his coaches after Harmon -- Hank Haney and now Sean Foley -- receive. Phil succeeds in spirt of poor driving. Last week was, frankly, terrible. He was better than about a dozen players in driving accuracy yet was second or third in greens in regulation. It does speak to his iron play, but as you pointed out, missing the fairway at 18 cost him a shot at going for the green in 2 and setting up the eagle he needed.
What did you make of Tiger's comment to Peter Kostas about when he will play on the PGA tour again? This is twice (the Masters last year) he has been curt with Kostas in 12 months. Is there something there? Is it that Tiger hates having his swing broken down on the Konica Minolta Swing Vision?
For what it's worth, I was part of a group of golf writers who asked him the same question about his schedule and he responded the same way. I asked him, "What's after Dubai?" His answer: "The future." I didn't take it personally, as he typically answers my questions. But he simply will not give up his schedule. As I said in an earlier answer, there very well might be issues with Kostis, but he would have answered in similar fashion to anyone.
At what point in the season do players start to care about theri Fed Ex Cup standings? Obviously if you play well, win it takes care of itself but are the rankings even on anyone's minds at this point?
Frankly, I really don't think those standings mean anything to the players at this point -- which is part of the problem with the system. Nobody pays attention until about August, and then it's more about who is outside of the top 125 or the top 100.
Bob, is Weirsy finished? Can he comeback from his elbow injury and return to the the top 50 rankings again?
No question 2010 was a year Weir would like to forget. He's playing this year on a major medical extension. If he's healthy, I don't see any reason why Weir can't return to his former ways, but he's now going on 4 years since his last victory.
hunter mahan played decently last week, any chance defending this weekend?
Certainly there is a chance. I bet Mahan wishes he had the first hole over on Sunday, when he made a double bogey. That really hurt. But he tied for sixth and played well. It's always good to return to where you've won.
Why does it seem like, besides the obvious players such as Mickelson, Woods, and Els, that most major winners seem to fall off after winning their first major and do not win another after? Also do you believe Sergio Garcia will win a Major in his career?
There are many, many reasons, and a lot depends on the player. Rich Beem was never destined to win multiple majors, but perhaps you'd think Stewart Cink should win more than one. Sometimes guys get satisfied, sometimes they put too much pressure on themselves, sometimes they were simply fortunate to get the they got.
Great point by Brian about CH3 in 05As a huge CH3 fan, i am encouraged by the past two starts, but am worried about his lack of getting it to the "next level" on moving day. Is he destined for the 1 win every for years and semi-consistant top 25s?
It is possible that is Charles Howell's lot in life. He's been a pro for a decade now and has just 2 victories. But he's won more than $20-million. He's way down in the world rankings, but comfortably keeps his card and makes money. There is no doubt it is frustrating to him to not contend more.
Will Augusta National be making any course changes prior to this years Masters? Who do the odds makers favor this year at Augusta?
If Augusta has made any changes to the course for 2011, they have yet to be announced. Vegas Insider has Phil Mickelson the 6-1 favorite at the moment.
do u believe tiger woods will ever be the dominent golfer he was after he figure out the new swing with butch harmon. An what are his outlooks for the season or do u believe it will take him a few yrs to figure sean foley swing
I doubt he will be as dominant as he was at various times in his career. That doesn't mean he can't win three or four times a year and capture majors. But from 2005 on, not only did he win, but he contended nearly every tournament. His work with Foley is ongoing, but to hear Tiger talk, it seems as if he does not expect the changes to take as long as previous swing work.
The weekend scores at Torrey were incredibly high, other than pin placements, what's the deal? Even the Thursday and Friday scores on the South Course were nothing compared to the weekend scores
You say that, and yet Nick Watney shot 28 on the back nine on Sunday -- eight birdies and a par. In some ways, the course was set up easier. Weather had something to do with it, as San Diego had a lot of rain which made the rough thicker. The greens seemed harder than normal, so shots were difficult to hold.
I saw ads on the golf channel all this past weekend for their Thursday coverage of Phoenix with Ryan Moore mic'd up. How did they know that he would be "randomly" put into an afternoon tee time. Don't tell me that the PGA Tour is playing games with "random" tee time. That would crush me, like when I found out there is no tooth fairy.
The tour is admitting that not all of the tee times are random. They paired Tiger with Rocco Mediate last week. That was no accident. However, the early-late/late-early system still applies.
Do you think with Vegas winning, Fowler feels even more pressure to get a W? A lot of veterans talking about Vegas yet?
My guess is that Rickie Fowler feels pressure regardless. In some way, it must be somewhat frustrating to see a guy come out and win while he is "under the radar." And yes, they are talking about Vegas. It's pretty impressive what he has accomplished in a short time.
Do former PGA members get a certain # of examptions into events each year (like John Mallinger this week)? Is the only way for them to qualify again by going through q school, or can they combine results from limited pga events with nationwide events?
Mallinger is not a former member. He finished 133rd on the money list last year, which means he has status as part of the category of players who finished 126th to 150th. They get priority after Q-School/Nationwide grads. I am not sure how he got into the field this week, but it was likely via a sponsor exemption, of which he can accept an unlimited number as a member.
If and when (and when may come this week) Kaymer becomes OWGR #1, does he run away from everyone and hold on to this for a long time?
I think it's going to be close all year, and we could have several guys be No. 1: Westwood, Kaymer, McDowell, maybe Phil, and certainly there is the possibility that Tiger gets there again.
Would Phil have won if he didn't play in Abu Dhabi?
Although you'd think that would be a concern, I don't get the sense he was bothered by it at all. If anything, playing over there helped him work on his game.
Can we get a moratorium on golf writers comparing Tiger's play to his 2000 year? 2000 was a phenomenal statistical anomaly, that wasn't repeated under Butch Harmon either. Why can't people/writers appreciate it for the one off that it was?
I'm not sure golf writer's are the only ones who reference 2000, but it's true that it was an incredibly special year and to expect a return to that level is not being realsitic.
Do most players like or dread the 16th hole this week?
The ones who truly dread it don't play the tournament. For the most part, the hole and the excitement it brings is appreciated. But players know the ramifications of a poor shot or a bad hole. They are going to hear it.
How cold will the weather need to be in order to delay play tomorrow? Do you see the weather causing scheduling issues into the weekend?
It's not the weather so much as the state of the greens. If they are frozen, or have frost on them, they won't play until the temperatures warm up. So yes, there could be some scheduling issues.
Do you think that after Tiger's implosion, his pre-scandal play has been built up to be even greater then it actually was? Specifically, writers/analysts constant comments that he never missed 10 ft puts (in 2008 he made 56% of his puts from 5-10 ft and in 2009 62%), and that he always at least birdied the par 5's (generally mid 50's percent wise, great obviously and better then last week)
A lot of it is perception. It SEEMED that he always made the 10 footers when he had to have them, although we all know that he didn't make everything. The par-5s, however, is a reality. For years, he either led or was second in par-5 birdies. He fell way off the pace last year and seemed to continue the trend at Torrey Pines.
Is John Daly every going to win again? It seems to me he still lacks consistency. He can still play (67 at the South Course is no fluke).
I would be stunned if he won again. He's won just five times in 20 years and the fifth victory came seven years ago -- nine years after his previous victory. Yes, a 67 is a good score, but it takes more than one and he's had difficulty, as you say, wiht consistency.
What is your pick for the Euro Tour stop this week. I go horses for courses -Adam Scott
I will stick with the hot hand -- Martin Kaymer.
what's the correct pronunciation of Vegas' first name?
He answers to Jonathan even though it is spelled Jhonattan. . .
what happened to sergio? haven't heard about him in forever...
He took a couple of months off last year to regroup after the PGA Championship. He played last week in Bahrain on the European Tour and finished 30th.
Tiger always seems to have big condradictions in his comments on his swing. At his presser at the beginning of tournaments he always says that his goal is to win, then at the end it's he needs time as it is a process. Your thoughts?
I truly think last week that Tiger felt good about his game going in. He had time to work on it after Chevron. He was shooting some good scores at home. Things were going well. And then on Saturday it unraveled, for whatever reason.
The buzz on the Euro tour is world domination, however except for Kaymer and MCilroy, these guys are 30+ years old and 2 Majors. also majors are not easy to win. Why the beef, seriously
I am not sure there is a beef, there just seems to be tremendous pride in the European Tour. Westwood, Kaymer, McIlroy, McDowell, Casey, Poulter, Harrington, Donald, the Molinaris. . .plenty to talk about.
Does the Euro tour play mostly link type courses or more courses set up like in the US?
They actually don't play very few links. Outside of the Open, the only links courses are at the Dunhill Links -- St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns. And now this year they will be going to Castle Stuart for the Scottish Open after being played at Loch Lomond, an inland course. Many are like U.S. venues, although not all.
Why the decision to move up the tees on 18 on Sunday at Torrey? Seemed to make the hole too easy. Also why don't they play the 14th as a driveable par 4 or the 13th as a 700yd par 5 like the open did?
I think they wanted to give guys a realistic shot at going for the green in 2, hence the moved up tees. And guys did go for it. And there was some grumbling about not playing 14 as a short par 4, while the feeling about 13 was it's long enough.
I am out of time folks. Thanks again for all the questions. Enjoy the golf this weekend, feel free to send questions to the above-mentioned mailbag and check bag again next week. Thanks.