Hello, thanks again for participating, looking forward to your golf questions. I'll answer as many as I can get to. Please fire away.
I think Ernie Els needs a three-stroke cushion on the final hole if he's to win another PGA event. He just can't get it done anymore when it's close. Your thoughts?
He came from 3 strokes back Sunday, shot 67, didn't make a bogey. And he made a bunch of par putts on the back nine. Yes, he missed a makeable birdie putt to win in the playoff. Dufner also missed a putt in regulation that would have won it.
Is Bubba's win at Augusta a thing of signs to come or a thing of the past?
If you are referring to Bubba specifically, it's a big question as to how he will proceed. Does he build on the Masters win and become a frequent or consistent tour winner? Or does it become a burden. He'll be interesting to watch.
Why did the USGA decide so late to add a bunker on #17 at Olympic?
It appears they did it because they fear it was too easy of a layup shot and they wanted to make guys think about going for the green in 2 rather than simply laying up.
15 years ago the top 20 in the OWGR got into the US Open, now it's the the 60, is that too many?
The OWGR has taken on a huge prominence at the majors. All use the top 50 and now the U.S. Open the top 60. The feeling apparently was that this will capture a few more players who they deem deserving. Over the years, they have dropped other exemptions like money lists to include more from the world ranking.
What $$$ do you think it will take to retain your cards this year? Around $900,000?
Last year $668,000 was 125th on the money list and purses are relatively the same this year. So you can figure it will be in that area.
Has the future of this championship (as far as a host course) been decided for the year of the PGA here?
Wells Fargo is only signed through 2014. The PGA Championship is at Quail Hollow in 2017. So it will be interesting to see what happens for '15 and '16. If they come back here, go somewhere else in Charlotte or don't have an event. Unlikely that they would play a tour event on the same venue so close to the PGA.
Is the new PGA schedule with the Fall events counting towards the Fed Ex Cup starting this year or next?
Won't begin until 2013. So this fall will be as it has been.
Fired up for this week! Can't wait to get out to the course! Heard they are playing 17 all week from the member tees which should make the shot much easier and in my opinion it will be a cooler looking shot
It appears they will play 17 from different tees, which will likely be cheered by the players. Not sure if that is for all four rounds or just a few of them.
We are hearing how whacky the PGA will be this year - what is it about Kiawah that makes this so?
The heat, the sand dunes, the severity of the rough and what happens if you miss fairways. It can be set up brutal.
although Dufner certainly deserved to win, it almost seemed like Ernie gave it away a bit with some very makeable missed putts on 18 (twice). Thoughts?
For Ernie, it was unfortunate that he was unable to birdie the 18th hole three straight times. And four if you count Saturday. But he made some great putts down the stretch to save pars or he wouldn't have had a chance.
Will Mickelson be focuses this week and he prepares to enter the HOF next week?
Phil appears to be ambivalent about the Hall of Fame. Has said it is not a time to reflect, that he wants to accomplish more. Another reason why the age for entry should be raised.
The media seems upset about Tiger not talking to them this week. My question to the media is what is the last truly insightful question that Tiger was asked that provoked a sincere thoughtful response? It's the same question every week with no substance behind them. Part of it is just the nature of golf, how many questions can you ask the same person. What exactly was someone going to ask him that was going to be news to anyone?
That's not the point, really. There would have been a good deal of discussion about what really happened at the Masters. There was not a lot of time to ask questions after any of his rounds there. What he's been working on, how much, did he get it figured out. On the other hand, we'll just ask him Thursday instead.
This week's tournament seems to get a strong field. Is it something special about the course or just timing in that some of these guys have to start playing again like Phil, Tiger, Rory?
It's both. Players seem to really like the course. And the date is perfect, enough space after the Masters with the Players next week pretty close. They also take care of the guys. One of the big ones is just two amateurs in the pro-am. That's a big one.
Bob,What do you make of tigers comments regarding his posture and take back. Do you really feel that his struggles could be attributed to something so simple?
It's possible. That's one of the reasons we'd like to ask him questions. You can follow up.
Getting that first win is always the toughest, and now that Jason Dufner has that out of the way he seems to me like someone who could go on a roll like the way Duval did when he finally broke through. The guy doesn't seem to have any nerves at all.
Getting the victory should take some pressure off. And he's been in contention a lot, so he's obviously playing well. Winning will help.
Is Dustin Johnson in the field this week? Also, why has Dustin been absent from so many events this year?
He's not playing this week, hasn't played since Doral. He hurt his back prior to the Masters and hasn't said when he'll return.
Why is everyone saying Tiger is done because of one bad week in a major? Tiger admitted that he hit the poorly atrociously at Augusta and you can't win if you hit the ball poorly at Augusta. He said he has corrected the problem, and why shouldn't we believe him? I think its ridiculous that experts like Faldo and others think Tiger is totally loss because he had a poor ball striking week. He did win his start before Augusta if people don't remember.
I am not sure anyone is saying he is done. It was simply shocking that he played so poorly after a relatively solid year, including a strong victory two weeks prior.
Bob, Do you see it like i do,The Tiger bashing is out of control.When is the statue of limitations up on this guy being bashed daily FOR 2009.Phil, Hope,Hummana and Last years PGA,a stinking Major and nobody in media takes Phil to task for not talking Pre-Tournry.I think some of your friends have more of a problem with TW then just his attitude ,shall we say.
There is not daily bashing of Tiger for 2009. That long ago passed. The focus now is more on his game, and how he hasn't gotten back to pre-2009 levels. And the fact that a guy with 14 majors hasn't won one in four years.
Why does everyone always over hype a major winner? Bubba is a good player, but this talk of multiple majors is ridiculous. Maybe he gets a second one, but come on, how can you realistically think that just because of one good week that will propel Bubba to win 5 majors. He had two prior top 10's in majors, and all of a sudden at age 33, he is going to be Tiger Woods from 2000. This logic just doesn't make sense to me.
I don't know of anyone who said he'd win 5 majors, but I agree that it's way premature to say anyone will win a bunch. We're presently in a streak of 14 different major winners going back to 2008. Nobody is racking them up right now.
hey bob you ever golfed out west? we have some great tracks out here in jackson including a new reese jones and a fazio that are awsome. plus i know you would love to play at 6,000 feet where everyone is a hero!
I was never a big fan before his Masters win, but it's amazing that Bubba's popularity might have actually decreased after the win.
Decreased? His popularity has gone through the roof since he won.
Have you had a chance to read about the owgr bias study? any thoughts?
I did (a golf world story) and it's very interesting. There is no question that the OWGR has flaws. The biggest to me is how strength of field is so heavily weighted toward the top. If you have the top 3 in the world and nobody else in the top 50 ,that tournament gets a lot of ranking points And those guys in the top 3 benefit because they're in the top 3 -- even though they're not beating themselves! The system has worked, but you can certainly argue that it could be revamped.
I have no problem with Tiger taking questions from the fans, but come on, those weren't even softballs. Those were soccer balls teed up. If he's going to do something like that, how about a live chat instead?
He's never going to submit to something live for fear that there would be awkward moments. I have no problem with him answering fan questions. I think that part of it is great. But he could do both. In fact, he could talk to the fans via Twitter, Facebook, his website more often and have tons more fans.
Does Dustin make Ryder Cup team on points? And given his past record do you take him as a Capts pick if he doesn't?
I don't take him as a captain's pick, no. He's not done real well in either the Ryder or Presidents Cup. Unless he really catches fire.
In the Birdie and bogey column you seemed to suggest that Tiger blowing off pre-tourn press would have been better if he'd also not done the fan video? If so that's sort of sad
No, I suggested that it would have been better if they had not used the fan video as the excuse for skipping. He can easily do both. He could have done the fan video last week or two weeks ago. Lots of guys have skipped pre-tournament media sessions, and if Tiger really wants to do that, fine. We won't like it, but we didn't like it when Vijay did it or when Phil does it. But don't make it about the fan video.
Tom Watson is only exempt through the 2014 British Open. He has one 5 British Open's and it would seem fitting if he ended his storied Open Championship career at the home of golf in 2015. Do you seem him getting a special exemption for 2015?
Not unless he finishes in the top 10 this year or next year. The rule is age 60 unless you have a top-10. His last was supposed to be 2010 at St. Andrews but they changed it to a five-year exemption for finishing in the top 10, which he did in '09.
Bob, what's the matter with your colleagues? TW who I believe have never missed a pretourney presser unlike PM or others decides to sit this one out and they are acting like the good ole Boys of 1960 America. How dare "he"Bizarre
It's because he has never done it, and Tiger is different than the rest, like it or not. There is so much more interest and focus on him, and this is his first tournament after a very poor Masters. Came as a bit of a shock I suppose. But you're right, plenty of others skip.
How is the R&A setting up this year's British Open? It has been quite easy the past couple of open's. Will they just try to rely on weather to make the course harder, or are they setting it up a little bit more difficult?
It's all about the weather. I wouldn't say it was easy, say, during the second round in 2010 at St. Andrews. I don't recall it being real easy at Turnberry or Birkdale. But if there is no wind, those courses can be vulnerable. The R&A added some yardage at Lytham, changed a par-5 to a par-4 (believe the sixth hole) which means it is a par-70. But it's still not a long course.
OK, Maybe you will post this question...Phil misses Hope,Houston and last years PGA a Major for [goodness sakes] Pre-Tourney news conferences .Where is or was the outrage.
It's a fair point. Phil skips a lot of pre-tournament news conferences. And when Phil misses a cut, the world doesn't end, either. Tiger is simply held to a different standard, like it or not.
do you ever see the pga tour hosting a high altitude event, they used to have one in colorado before the us open i believe. remembered seeing guys like phil rip 8 irons into 200 yard par 3's
They are going to Denver for the 2014 BMW Championship.
You keep using the excuse that Tiger is different from the other tour players thus there is a diff standard for him. The only diff is the color of his skin. The man is a human being and should be treated thusly. his "crime " is that he has been widely successful and I guess he must pay. How sad
His record means he is the most compelling, the one of the most interest. The fact that he hasn't won a major in four years and his pursuit of getting back to that point is news. Nobody else has his record. Obviously he is treated different. He's on TV more than anyone else, interviewed more than anyone. The ratings skyrocket when he plays, unlike any other players.
Judging by the harshness of some of the questions on this chat about Tiger, could you imagine Tiger himself seeing those questions in a live chat? Something tells me that wouldn't end well.
You ought to see some of the ones I don't answer
Do you think we put too much emphasis on winning and losing majors? There are 4 a year, does winning one really make a golfer immortal (Bubba)? Does having a bad week means he is destined for failure the rest of the year (Tiger)? Andy North won 3 tournaments as a pro, 2 happened to be majors...2 good weeks in his pro career has propelled him to a very nice analyst career, but as he is always introduced as a 2 time major winner, sort of overstates his career.
That's the power of major championships. It puts you on another level. There are only 4, and to win a specific one is special, given the history ,the pressure, etc.
Tiger has the best scoring avg on tour (rory doesn't have enough rds) this year. When you watch basketball or tennis, there's no constant harping on if a player will be back. It's more about looking forward. What does back even mean anyways? I think it's this constant harping on Tiger being back, is what drives some people nuts
He's probably never going to be "back." Not if you want the 2005-08 timeframe when he won a major each year and multiple tournaments. Who among any athletes do we expect to be on the same level they were 5 to 10 years after they were dominant? And yet, there are enough signs in Tiger's game that suggest he can still win a bunch of tournaments and majors.
Bob , ARE YOU GOING TO FOLLOW up on Phil ON WHY HE PUKED ALL OVER HIMSELF AGAIN IN A MAJOR. AND ASK RORY WHY HE HAS FINISHED OUT OF THE TOP 25 IN 4 OF HIS LAST 5 MAJORS.OR ARE THOSE QUESTIONS ONLY FOR THE HUMAN PUNCHING BAG TW.
In fact, I was right there to ask Phil about what happened during the final round of the Masters. And I asked Rory on a conference call yesterday about a poor Masters. And I was there to ask Tiger all the nice quesitons, too, when he won Bay Hill. And it would be nice if you would quit screaming at me with all caps.
I can't remember a more apathetic battle for the #1 ranking in any sport in a long time. Is there anything that can be done to spice it up, or is it just one of those things we shouldn't care too much about anyways?
It's probably just a nice talking point. The battle for No. 1 is interesting only when those stalking it are winning.
How about having a Q& A with a golf coach, regarding generalities and not specific golfers? Sometimes it appear that many scribblers dont have a good understanding regarding playing golf at the elite level
We talk to golf coaches all the time. Butch, Hank, Sean Foley. Leadbetter, Jim McLean
You keep saying that whether we like it or not Tiger is held to a different standard and Phil and others will never get criticized as much for skipping pre tournament pressers. What are golf writers like you doing to fix that double standard or do you condone it?
There's nothing we can do. Players are not required to do it. Back when Vijay was No. 1, there was quite a bit of consternation about it. We fought behind the scenes, we told the powers that be he should be fined. For the most part, the public doesn't care much about our woes, so you don't hear about it.
Bob, any general thoughts on what Lexi is doing? Seems like the intent is fine, even though the execution of the idea may get iffy. I give her props for trying.
I agree. Nice gesture, but seems a bit weird and a bit too public.
What exactly are the signs that Tiger can still win a bunch of tournaments and majors? Nobody is saying that about Mark Wilson or Carl Pettersson, and they've won four tournaments in the same timespan Tiger has won one. He's just another good player at this point. Celebrity. High interest. But on the course, just another player.
Lowest scoring average, high up in greens in regulation and total driving, a run of 3-1-3-15-2-WD-1 in stroke play events going back to last year's Aussie Open through Bay Hill.
Memo to everyone: the press creates double standards for Tiger because the fans themselves are creating double standards for Tiger.
It's not a double standard, it's simply a matter of level of interest. Nobody seemed to care much if Vijay blew off an interview session. Tiger creates a different level of interest. That's why we write and talk about him so much.
Is this year's US Open in prime time TV coverage? Its on the west coast so you would think so. What time will it be aired on TV? Do you have any info yet?
I don't have the schedule, but I know for ESPN's part they stay with the telecast late, so that should mean into prime time. Now sure how late it is going on Saturday-Sunday with NBC.
Bob, give us a way-too-freaking-early US Open prediction. Degree of difficulty: also pick a favorite among people outside, say, the top 10 in the world.
Course is going to be tough, like 3 or 4 under will win. How about Oosthuizen, he is outside of the top 10.
How come rory gets off the hook when he shot 77 at Augusta, that needs some assessment.
He really didn't get off the hook. It was noted quite prominently that he shot 42 on the front nine and that he's had one poor round there each year.
Okay, I'm out of time. Thanks for all the questions, even the nasty ones. Everybody needs to relax a little bit and enjoy the golf. If you don't follow me on Twitter, I try to answer a few questions there as well @bobharig. Thanks.