Well wouldn't you know it... He did it. Took almost three years but... We don't have to talk Tiger, but it's up to all of you. Ready for a fast hour?! C'Mon!!!!
is Villegas ever going to get his game back? Ever since he lost caddy and switched to TM equipment he has been off. Was shocked to see AK and he won't even qualify for Masters unless they win next week. Seems like a hard worker so what do you think the problem is?
With Villegas, it shouldn't have taken that long to get used to the equipment. His swing is So based on timing because there's so much movement in it. Combine that with finding new stuff. Long transition. With AK alot of it is in the head.
How do you think that you will do playing against the PGA Players?
I have played against PGA Tour players. I got killed four times, and held my own once. They all gave me at least 5 shots a side.
How long until Tiger strikes again?
I've been predicting since last fall that he'd win the Masters. I still think he will.
We could talk Casey Wittenberg winning on the Nationwide Tour.
Hey Michael! So... What do we talk about now that Tiger has finally won again?
Is Ernie your favorite heading into the Shell Open this weekend? If not, who?
Our Expert Pick's will be up on the espn golf homepage tomorrow. I'm gonna keep it a secret but I'll tell you that I picked a European.
i want to be coached by Foley. Haney, not so much
Justin Rose, Hunter Mahan, Tiger Woods... You know another coach that's got 3 wins in his stable this year? I don't.
Will Tiger's victory yesterday get him off the snide mentally and lead to a big year in 2012? Or are comments of the dragon's return a bit premature?
I said Tiger would win four times worldwide including a major (the Masters) and because he won early I'm giving him a two more win wiggle room window and will say he could win six. 4 in the US, and two worldwide
Back how? If you think back like 2000, you're wrong. And wait til Wells Fargo, with the strongest field in play to say that.
Who has the best chance of being on top at the end of the PGA year?
I still think Rory ends the year as worlds #1 because he's gonna play more.
Do you think Bubba would benefit from a swing coach? Or would it take away too much from the golf game he plays now?
Guys like Bubba should never get a swing coach because how they swing can't be "fixed". If Furyk would have went to a swing coach we would have never heard of him.
Since Augusta made lot of changes to prevent Tiger from wining(Tiger proofed), I heard Rory game fits Augusta very well to win the masters, what is your take on it?
That cracked me up when they first changed Augusta and it was said they "Tiger proofed" it. What they did was field proof it. He won three more times after they stretched it out. Rory has the game off the tee, and putting prowess to win there though.
I'll take the under on your 4(+2) wins for TW!
Hey Michael - With exemptions every week for guys who haven't won in years, ie - the dalys and duvals of the world, not sure I am a fan of Els not being there in Augusta. Just doesn't seem right to me.
Yeah, he's been such a figure in golf for so long and even though his track record at Augusta hasn't been all that great, not seeing him there anywhere just doesn't seem right. The curse of time.
Mike - any newer guys on the PGA Tour we might not have heard too much about impressed you so far this year?
Really like the game of Brian Harman, lefty outta GA that's only 5'6", but he's playing hungry and I like that.
I'll ask the same question/idea bounced around last week in chat to the other guys: any problem with Augusta being exclusive with just 90-100 invites, compared to 156 for the other majors?
No, because the strength of the field is still about the same even with a smaller field.
Mike, Thanks for my previous question. if Tiger and Rory both co-lead who do think have more chances to win in the back 9 on Sunday?
welcome. Healthy Tiger. At that course it's ALL about experience.
We know Tiger is your pick at Augusta (and about a million other people's after yesterday!) but besides him, who do you take next, Phil or Rory?
I think Luke Donald will be there in the mix at the end along with Rory, Phil, and Westwood. I think there's also gonna be a no name throw his hat in there too just for giggles
Best food at Augusta concessions?
I'll let you know when I get there!
Do you think Tiger can regain #1 and be there for years like he did before?
I think he can get back to number 1 but I think between he, Rory and Luke they'll juggle it back and forth
Do you think we'll see any rounds in the majors this year play as tough as Bay Hill did yesterday? Only 2 players broke 70.
if it gets really windy at Kiawah for the PGA Championship, that could get ugly.
You deserve a bit of props - you called Luke winning to get back to #1, albeit a week early. Anyway, his chances at Augusta? This feels like one of those majors where everyone talks up the big names (Tiger/Phil/Rory) and someone on the next tier steals one.
Seems like he's wins every time he "has" to. Shows his moxy, but at the Masters it may just be a bit too long for him
Why do you think we never see great play out of Phil for months on end? Do you think he just loses interest? Really just focuses on the majors? I'd say he was just thinking about Augusta this whole time in Florida.
because he does. even he has admitted it in the past, when he starts gearing up for the Masters he rarely plays great in FL. Now he has won the week before (Houston and Atlanta) but...
How do you think the typical pro would perform on a typical public course, poor greens, less than pristine conditions?
I'm pitching a segment called Pro's as Schmo's. Make them use rental clubs and play hard golf balls. I've talked to a bunch of players. Said they'd be into it. Most think if they play 18 they could break par.
What's up with Tiger's white shoes on Sunday?
do you NOT remember the last time he wore the black shoes? They lasted nine holes and he had to WD. We may never see those things again.
Over the last 15 years, what has been the biggest technological improvement in golf other than the clubs? What has made the least progress?
The ball has been an even bigger game changer than the clubs. Because now it's HARD to make them curve. Headcovers have made the least progress! haha
The mini moonpie and the pimento cheese sandwich.
I'm an egg salad fan, but I can't WAIT to get some of those mini moon pies in my belly!!
Mike, other than the Augusta course setup, do you see any other challenges that can make Augusta tough?
Wind. It won't be this year, but when it's wet and cold. But this year if it gets windy, course is gonna be a beast.
From my perspective (at home, on tv) Bay Hill looks like a really difficult course. Where would you rank it amongst other PGA venues: one of the most difficult, somewhere in the middle, easier than it looks?
Weird to say but true, Bay Hill is probably ranked the lowest of the FL swing courses. Tampa is the hardest, with PGA National being second, then Doral and Bay Hill close at the rear.
Any word on how Stricker is feeling?
still no word on any injury from his camp
Seemed like the atmosphere was electric Sunday at Bay Hill
it was. By the back nine the crowd was bristling with anticipation of being there when Tiger got his first "comeback" win.
What are your thoughts on Matteo Manassero and him choking yesterday?
I think he was thinking about the Masters just like Els did in Tampa the week before.
Do you think Hank's book release this Tuesday had any "extra" motivation for Tiger to close the deal Sunday?
Bigger star at Bay Hill...you, Bob Harig, Farrell Evans, or Tom Rinaldi?
Rinaldi by FAR. And he doesn't wear makeup on camera! I'm so jealous. He's handsome, but I'm funny. haha
Who are the top 3 caddies on tour?
there are about ten guys that could all have that title
No one's got more than 1 win this year (pretty surprising). Tiger notwithstanding, anyone else get to, say, 3 this year?
I'd Luke and Rory may have the best shot
You could tell Tiger was almost on the verge of tears yesterday, The way he looked staring down his putt on the 18th. I was happy for the guy. Tiger being Tiger said it was just "72". Inside did it feel like number 1 again?
he said no at his press conference. Someone asked him that question
watching tiger's post-victory presser I couldn't help but cringe anytime someone quoted Joe LaCava quoting Tiger (especially the "effing yeah" bit). I know it's still early in their relationship...but do think Tiger tells Joey to stop talking to media?
No. I think he's fine with it. We all saw it on camera anyway, so it wasn't an OMG we didn't know that thing. And Joe is a veteran caddie, he's not gonna go saying something that would embarrass himself or his player.
In honor of WrestleMania this weekend, if a Battle Royale broke out among the ESPN Golf crew, who would be the first to get put through the Spanish Announcer table?
Harig would be out first, then Wojo, then it would come down to me and Farrell for the belt and if it's Wrestlemania, I'd go dirty (maybe a chair) and win!!
After the Masters, how, if at all, do you see Tiger's schedule compared to previous healthy years?
I think his next start may be Wells Fargo after the Masters. Don't know that he'd go much over his normal schedule for the year, maybe add 1 but that's a big maybe.
Mike, I have had plenty of chances to qualify for the Masters and have not been able to do so. I should not be given an exemption.
I understand, but as a fan of yours I'd like to see you there. And there are guys who didn't earn their way in that have been given an invitation in the past.
Have you encountered Haney at all recently? Seems like there's been a lot of venom thrown his way recently, even more so now that Tiger's won. Not that its undeserved, but do you think he's questioning his decision at this point?
I haven't seen him lately. But hearing him the past month talking about the book and where he is now in life, I don't see him questioning his decision.
MC I am loving the chats! I was wondering how someone can become a caddy? One of my dreams is to caddy one week on the PGA Tour.
thank you. email me at ESPNCaddie@gmail.com and I'll explain how I became a caddie and how I think is the best way to learn.
Chances Tiger and Phil, Phil and Rory, or Tiger and Rory get paired at Augusta for Thursday and Friday?
I don't think they'd do it because they hope it'd end up that way on the weekend. I'd rather that happened too.
Any chance we could get the Michael Collins caddie rankings?
HHHMMMMMMM. Interesting column idea! Or maybe a video interviewing a bunch of caddies. Will make a note. Thanks
If Els somehow gets to the Masters, will he even compete?
Funny you say that. He said on Saturday after the round that the mistake he made one year was going to play Houston the week before because he was exhausted when he got to Augusta. I have a feeling if he gets an invite though he'd find the adrenaline.
This week aside, does McDowell appear to be on his way to at least approaching 2010 status?
Yeah. He's really put things back in perspective. After talking to him Friday, I think he's in for a pretty solid year again.
Once again that went too fast!! Thanks all for the chat. Let's do it again next Monday. Same Bat Time same Bat Channel.Meantime you can hit me up on email- ESPNCaddie@gmail.com or Twitter- @ESPNCaddieMC