Do you agree that the Rory hype is a tad out of control at the moment? The kid looks awesome no doubt, and certainly he is the next big thing in golf (at the moment), but all of these questions about whether he can challenge Jack's 18.... I mean, c'mon. Let's see him challenge Phil's records first and then worry about Tiger/Jack. your thoughts?
Let's get started. I'm here live at Doral, where it's overcast and windy. JY,This is Rory's moment. No one is saying that he's ever going to equal Tiger's achievements. But he's the player of the moment.
Are there any exciting young players on the Nationwide Tour this year to keep an eye open for?
Look out for Harris Swofford, a long-hitting kid out of Georgia.
Who wins this week?
I like Mickelson to win this week.
If you had to pick one of Rory, Tiger or Phil to win the Masters this year... who do you go with? Outside of that big three, who do you see as a sleeper this year for the green jacket?
As last year proved anyone who stays around the leader board on Sunday afternoon has a chance. But I like Westwood to finally breakthrough after so many close calls in majors.
I know everyone is in love with talking about Tiger, Rory and Phil. Donald and Westwood have also gotten quite a bit of talk, but no one is talking about the #4 golfer in the World. Martin Kaymer is younger than all of those guys except for Rory at 27 years old, and ever since his win at HSBC, he has been playing a lot better recently. I know the Masters is a horrible fit for Kaymer's game, but what do you expect out of Kaymer this year?
Frank,I wrote about Kaymer today. He told me that he now feels very comfortable shaping the ball around Augusta. But he did concede that his short game needs some work.
Any vibes based on the practice rounds on who is looking like the front runner at Doral?
Phil has been on vacation through Rory-Mania so he's a little bit out of the loop. But obviously everybody is still talking about Rory. And Tiger.
With two tournaments this week (Doral and Puerto Rico), how does ESPN decide who covers which tournament? And where will you be?
I am at Doral. And so is Harig. We won't have anyone in Puerto Rico.
Do you remember a season's beginning so compelling than this year?
Andrew,I can't answer that question until after Augusta.
How do you see Martin Kaymer's career playing out? Do you see him winning several majors, or just staying consistently near the top of leaderboards, etc?
G.P.,Kaymer is going to be a regular winner. But no one in this era is going to win several majors. He'll get a lot of top 10s but he won't be dominate. Too much parity in the game.
Did you lose respect for Hank Haney w/ him Tiger bashing in his new book?
BW,I wrote about Hank on Sunday in my five things. I think he has the right to share his perspective about his time with one of the most famous athletes of our time. Right or wrong, it's his perspective.
Will we see Jason Day break through and win a major, or any other big tournaments this year? He's always around the lead but cant seem to finish them off.
Jason has been struggling this year. He's working very hard. It's tough to find your game at the majors if you haven't been playing well in events around them.
its not his perspective. its his cash cow
Ryan,That's ok. If you were close friends with Bill Gates or you worked for Facebook, I would hope that you would benefit financially from that business relationship. I don't begrudge Hank for making money.
What's with the notion "time is not on Tiger's side?" The guy just turned 36 and he plays golf. Not hockey, football, or even baseball. Floyd, Vardon, Boros, and Nicklaus all won majors late in their 40's. Realistically, how many more years does Tiger have left on Tour? With technology and his fitness, i could see him competing for another 10-15 yrs, atleast at the majors.
Tiger can compete on the PGA Tour into his early 50s if he wants to do that. You're right the equipment and his exercise regiment will ensure that. But his window to break Jack's record of 18 majors closes more every year.
who has the best chance of reaching number 1 again, Luke, Westwood, Kaymer or Tiger?
Mike,They all have good chances because to get to No. 1 you have to really be consistent and play well every time you go out.
With the Masters giving Ryo a special invite what do you think the chances are they'll hand one out to Ernie if he doesn't qualify?
I don't see it happening. Ernie will have to earn his way to Augusta.
For Rory McIlroy to maximize his potential, what traits/actions etc. of Tiger Woods do you think he should copy and what should he not copy?
Nelson,He's already working out and making improvements on weaknesses in his game. He shouldn't take on any of Tiger's lesser traits like aloofness and profanity-laced outbursts on the golf course.
What have you heard about the vandalism at Doral earlier in the week??
It happened Super Bowl night. The 15th green is a mess after a guy poured gas on the green.
What is the Steepest Golf Course on the PGA Tour Circuit So Steep that you Feel like you are Playing on a Mountain?
Chris,I knew it! Chris, I can't answer your question.
Seriously, what is Bob Harig's Tiger Obsession? It really shows bad for ESPN, truly....
Ty,We have to write about Tiger. Period. How do you ignore maybe the greatest golfer of all time. He's always news.
Do you think the belly putters should be banned?
Andrew,Bellies have been legal for a long time. It's too late to ban them.
How do u guys split subjects among golf writers, i.e., tiger, phil, mcilroy, field, leaderboard etc.?
Coach,We cover the news. And we just run with it.
What about Sergio? He seems to be in a better place lately with his life and his game. Do you think he can make a run in his 30's like Phil and win a few majors?
Sergio doesn't have that consistent game. He can wow you then disappear with a flourish of bogeys. HIs putting is too spotty from week to week.
Does Chris Fiegler spend hours coming up with minutae questions? Your're not the only one being victimized.
Will I win the masters this year?
Tiger, Only you know the answer to this question.
Are we ever going to see actual penalties for slow play to keep things moving? It drives me crazy watching Keegan Bradley and his "fake intensity", going back and forth over the shot 10 times before he actually hits it. And there are guys a lot slower than him.
G.P. No. Slow play is an epidemic on the tour.
No, Bob Harig covers Tiger exclusively.... and it's always a happy story.. amazingly slanted coverage...
You haven't read every story that Bob's written on Tiger Woods.
Under the definition of slow in the dictionary see "Ben Crane"
LOL. Ben is slow but J.B. Holmes and Keegan Bradley are right up there with him.
Of last years major winners, who do you see getting their next one first? Rory is the obvious answer, but do you see and of the other guys getting one first?
Realistically, Rory has the best chance of last year's crop of major winners. But Charl Schwartzel is no slouch.
How long will Tiger rank #1 in Driving?
He's only played in a handful of events. At the end of the year he's going to have the minimum amount of drives to meet the criteria for the stat. So he could keep it all year. But then driving is overrated. He has to make putts. Look at where he is ranked at the end of the year in the putts gained stat?
Has the Donald come out and said if he will make any major changes to the course at Doral?
Donald has a big press conference tomorrow. We'll find out soon.
Are we seeing the end of ernie els, or do you see him regaining his form and ever becoming a top 20 golfer again?
It's tough. Ernie was good for so long, traveling all over the world. But I'm not sure he has four rounds in him, 20 weeks a year.
We haven't had a Shoshana from Boston sighting today. Did the sun rise in the west?
That's a good point. I don't think she was around last week, either.
Has Casey declared himself 100% healthy, or is he possibly rushing it back?
Casey has said that he wouldn't be here if he didn't think he could win. But he probably knows deep down that these are just building blocks.
On tour what percentage of players do you think are happy just getting a nice paycheck, and what percentage are disappointed with anything less than a win?
G.P. 99 percent of the players are grateful for top 10 finishes. Tiger is about the only player of this generation who ever thought that he should win every tournament.
There are some major changes happening to Doral. Gil Hanse (who's doing the 2016 Olympic course) laid out a course routing for Doral and significant changes are being made to 15 and 16.
I just had lunch with Ty Votaw from the PGA Tour. He was intimately involved in the Olympic course selection process and said that it one of the best things he's been around in the game. Hanse beat out some great designers.
With a win how far up the world rankins would tiger move?
Because there are so many top-ranked players in the field at Doral, it's difficult to move up in the rankings. I'm guessing he could move to 10 in the world.
Do you agree with Rory about that there's no rivalries in golf and that your only rival is the golf course?
Rory didn't want to answer the question. Rivalries are what make the game. Rory knows at the beginning of the week that there are only a dozen or so players who can make as many birdies on a given week as he can. So he knows who his rivals are.
How is Padraig's swing changes going? Will we see him back near the top at the majors this year?
G.P.Harrington is not in the field this week. He'S ALWAYS working but he could try to just play golf. At the majors you have to stay out of your way and Paddy can't do that.
Farrell - We always talk about slow players. Who are some of the quickest players on tour?
John Daly. Tiger isn't slow.
Odds that ESPN makes a big excuse if TW finishes near the bottom.... ????
Ty,We'll analyze his performance and write it as we see it.
Can we na Chris F. from Latham NY for life?
Speaking of Daly, how is his injury doing? Heard anything about it?
I haven't. I hope he gets well soon. But then it's hard to say about John. I am very fond of him but I don't try to understand him.
Do you think Davis Love has enough in the tank to make the Ryder Cup team that he is captaining? He has a long way to go to make up ground, but would be an awesome story.
Are you kidding? DL3 is way past being able to make his own team.
Well, guys and girls my time is up. Same place, same time, next week. Take care and visit us for all your golf news this week at Doral.