Welcome to my chat from the Players, where it's hot and breezy. The players are making their final tweaks before the start of the first round on Thursday morning.
Is there any US Open buildup yet? Master's buildup seems to start 2 months before the tourney... but its much less for the other majors, yes?
Not really. This is such a big tournament that it's hard to look forward. The top players will take a couple of weeks off after the Players before heading to the Memorial.
What is consistently the hardest course on tour, not including wherever the play the US Open each year?
The Redstone Golf Club, the site of the Shell Houston Open. And recently the TPC San Antonio, where they play the Texas Open. Innisbrook is also really tough.
Does Ernie have a shot this week? Besides RBC he has been playing pretty well of late. Side note- my buddy and ex-Rutgers star John Browndorf is making a push for Q School. I threw him through a wall this weekend, do you think this hinders his chances?
Ernie has been playing well, but he missed the cut here the last two years.
Farrell, I got Oosthuizen winning this week, mark it down, bet the house (well maybe not that lol) but got a feeling. He's playing so well right now.
Nick,As you probably know, I am big fan of Louis. He has wonderful temperament and golf swing for Sawgrass and the pressure that comes with playing those final three holes.
With it being Players week, how would you personally rate Pete Dye's top five course designs?
Whistling StraitsOcean Course at Kiawah IslandTPC at Sawgrass (Stadium Course)TPC AvondaleAT & T Canyons CourseHarbour Town Golf LinksCrooked StickAvalon LakesCheyenne MountainPGA West (stadium course)
Do you think Michael Bradley can contend in this week's Players Championship?
Bradley has struggled this year and this is a tough course to try to find your game.
I think Louis Oosthuizen is a really solid golfer and will do well in a lot of majors, especially the US Open. I think his game and demeanor are ideal for the big stage. What do you think about him and how do you like his chances at the Olympic Club?
As I said earlier, Louis is a top player. He can hit is straight and long. He can putt and he's fearless under pressure.
Seems to me like Nick Watney finally woke up at Quail Hollow, and in my opinion has the game to really be a dominant player. After really breaking on the scene in 2010, he seemed in 2011 to have a down year. What's your opinion of Nick Watney?
I went around with Nick during his match against Tiger at the Accenture Match Play. He is an amazing talent. He gets wild from time to time, but he should win at least once a year for the next decade.
Whoa??s the frontrunner to win the Players? Someone like McIlroy?
Rory is the frontrunner but as I discuss in my story, this tournament is wide open.
Has there ever been a PGA Tour Event Completely Cancelled due to Rain for the 4 Days? If so what PGA Tour Event?
Chris,Over the years there have been tournament that have been rescheduled. Right off the top of my head, I know that Pebble Beach Pro-Am was rescheduled for later in the year after there was a rain storm.
Any good stories from the caddy contest today?
Let me find Michael Collins.
How come u said what u said about Steve Williams on Twitter then when you seen him in Vegas you apologized and begged for forgiveness? Doesnt that make you a clown
Huh? I never begged Steve for forgiveness.
How important is familiarity with a course? McIlroy hasn't played Sawgrass that much professionally, and yet you pick him to win.
Rory has missed the cut at the Players in his only two appearances. But he's playing the best golf in the world right now.
Why did you condone in Rick Reillys obviously self-serving piece about Tiger's family?
How was it self-serving? Rick talked to Tiger's siblings who only want a relationship with their brother.
Why isn't there more discussion about Rory's putting? I mean on 17 at Quail he missed the hole by a foot on a 4 footer
Rory's putting is his big weakness. I
Will Sawgrass be a preview as to how guys might fare at the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island?
Nah. It's a different golf course. And the PGA will set it up differently and a lot more difficult than what the tour does routinely with the Players.
I don't think the siblings bring up the house if the only thing they want is a relationship with their brother (nor do I think they talk to Rick), but that's not Rick's problem.
Tiger has a sick brother. Shouldn't he know about that?
How do you think Furyk will fare? He lives down the street, has said he wants to win this, but the results have been "meh."
Furyk has a t-5 and t-3 at the Players in his career. He can win here.
Steve said he saw you at the airport and u copped pleas and claimed your twitter was hacked. This happened in Vegas and is in his blog
There is so much talk about a Fowler-McIlroy rivalry. How does one playoff constitute a rivalry?
S-Pand,We would like a rivalry between them. It's fanciful though because Fowler doesn't have the game yet to play week in and week out with Rory.
Rick Reillys niece dropped out of school after having an affair with Tiger according to sources with your old employer. Considering that and the timing of the article how can it not be self serving?
Rick job is not to consider Tiger's schedule when he writes.
Phil Mickelson has 40 tour wins, more than anyone else (other than Tiger) who has played primarily in the modern (post 1980) period. Does anyone currently playing catch him?
No way. Phil, Tiger and Vijay were in a class of their own.
Why do you insist on wasting time with these stupid questions and comments from people. Please dimeiss them and talk golf like....Do you think Tiger can put together 4 rounds this weekend? Do you think people are underestimating Duffner getting married last week as a possible down for this week.
Thank You, Scott.Tiger is screwed up really bad. He might shoot a 65 tomorrow or an 80.
Are Phil and maybe Billy Casper are the most underrated guys in golf history? Given the deeper fields in today's game seems like Phil is easily a top 10 guys, but he's never listed as an all time great
Nice comparison. Casper was overshadowed by Palmer and Nicklaus. Phil is a top 10 player all-time and top two of his generation.
When Tiger noted in the presser yesterday that Brandel Chamblee "doesn't play anymore", did anyone note to him "neither does Sean Foley"?
Tom,Yes, Tiger was pretty wrong headed about his way of dismissing Chamblee, a former tour player.
What's your favorite hole at Sawgrass that's not 16, 17, or 18? I've always liked #4.
I love 17 but I enjoy 18 because what you need to do on the tee. If you go left you are in the water and right leaves you in the rough. Even with a good drive that's right center, you still have a tough approach to a left pin on Sunday.
it was wrong headed for Tiger to call him out.. Come on, these guys had it coming.
TW was wrongheaded to blow him off by saying he doesn't play. He could have just said that Brandel was wrong.
What do you think of Jason Day's chances this week?
Dave,Jason has struggled this year. His health hasn't been great and I know that he's no longer working with his mental coach, Neale Smith. It's tough to back up a year like he had last year.
Chamblee has sort of gone off the rocker in his criticism of Tiger. He hates that he left Butch, and he hates that he's changed his swing. And that's fine, but it's where we are, time to move forward. Foley isn't the devil, neither is using numbers and video, and Tiger's not going back to Butch
I agree. Brandel over reaches a lot in his criticism of Tiger. It's important that he not leave any dead air on live TV.
Sure, Tiger should know about his sick brother. But why did the family have to bring up the living situation at all if they didn't want Tiger to throw them a bone?
They are desperate.
Did Tim Finchem just say if your tournament is good enough the tour will ignore its own rules and count it?
Finchem was asked why he had a double standard for Augusta, which has exclusionary policy of an all-male membership that it doesn't allow with its PGA Tour venues.
Can you give us a guess at the American Ryder Cup roster... who is the top 8... who are the captains picks
PhilTigerRickie FowlerMatt KucharHunter MahanKeegan BradleyStrickerJason DufnerWebb SimpsonZach JohnsonBrandt SnedekerBo Van Pelt
Does Ricky Fowler need a t10 here to validate his win last week?
No. He just needs to play consistent for the rest of the year and continue building with good finishes.
The family isn't desperate, they are generally upper middle class. They just don't like their available options, which is different. But can we drop the discussion?
Gut feeling - does Westy get a major?
God, I hope so. Westwood is a great player. I think it could be at Lytham this year.
How do you feel when Bubba Watson wont return your calls?
He's good about returning calls.
Who wins at Olympic?
I like Hunter Mahan. I just have a good feeling about his great driving.
If you had to pick an off the radar European to win the Players, who is it? Popular pick seems to be Molinari...
Molinari is the best pick. I talked to him earlier today and he is very poised about being here.
What happens first: Rory wins a second major, or Rickie wins his second PGA Tour event?
Rory wins his second major.
DA Points - very under the radar guy. Made a gritty par in the playoff after not the best second shot - and let's not forget he was first in with a made 20 footer to force Rickie to make. DA seems very even keel as well...you like him to continue some good form this year?
D.A. is a solid player. He has an interesting pre shot routine. He does a lot of mechanical stuff before he hits.
Will ESPN make a push to get more golf... Tournaments like this make me salivate for full early round coverage.
I'm sure they will. They are the world wide leaders..
Ryan Moore seems to be rounding into form. How do you like his chances this week?
Ryan has been in contention here before in 2010 before shooting 80 on Sunday.
Harig was asked yesterday - best player on tour w/o a win, now that Orange Julius served one up last Sunday. He took Steve Marino, even though Steve hasnt been on top of his game recently...who you taking?
What's your impression on Rory's tee shots last week? He was just killing the ball!
Did you see the three wood that he flew 30 yards past the drives of Fowler and Points in the playoff?
Why does everyone think Tiger is done? He's done two other swing changes before, I don't see the big deal.
Tiger has never hit the ball this poorly through any swing change.
funny you say that - I'd take Spence too! I know I'm a homer because he's from out here, but he has guts. Lotta game in a small package.
Haven't heard much about Adam Scott lately, is he even in the field? If so, how does his game look?
Adam is trying this new approach of not playing much. He thinks he's good enough to play a limited schedule and stay sharp. So far it's not working out.
Do you like a course that is more Democratic or one that tends to separate for talent?
I like a more democratic course, but I think tournament organizers want the creme to always rise to the top.
Who's your pick for the Players? And where do you think Rory and Tiger will finish?
I picked Rory to win. I think Tiger is going to finish somewhere around 40th.
Ernie Els - in contention 5 of his last 6 tourneys. Really playing some nice golf. If the putter cooperates, you think he's got a chance this week? Would be awesome to see Easy get another W.
No doubt. Ernie has been a top 10 player on tour all season. He deserves a win.
Who's style of game would benefit the least from a pairing with Ben Crane?
Well, Rory Sabbatini. Rickie Fowler is another example of a fast player. Lucas Glover is quick.
Who is morally better? Tiger, Phil, or Rory?
Morally better. I can't judge that.
Where is Sabbatini at these days? I don't recall hearing his name called out lately.
Sabbatini is struggling a little bit. I know that he's working with Phil's former teacher, Rick Smith.
Do you think there is anything that is off limits when it comes to Tiger. Personally I'm surprised he does not go off more often.
When Tiger came back after the scandal to the Masters, the media was very gentle with him in his first interview.
Tiger's ball striking stats from 1998 and 2004 would disagree with your assertion that he's never hit the ball worse
You're pointing to years when he made swing changes. But all the players who know him from that stretch say they have never seen him hit it as bad.
Is there any young guns in this field that could be a surprise?
Bud Cauley. Harris English.
Do you like the belly putter? Have you played with it?
I love it. I need one.
When's Dustin Johnson playing again?
DJ is still injured.
Good folks, I have run out of time. Same time, same place, next week. So long and enjoy the Players.
OK, Cauley is getting a lot of run leading up to the players. Is this more about his Webb Simpson-eque (quail hollow) knowledge of the course? Or because he's playing decent golf? (Don't say both)
He's a good young gun with knowledge of the course. And he is playing pretty good golf. So long.