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June 13, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Farrell Evans

JY (TO)

How brutal is the opening stretch of holes 1-6? Have you ever seen anything worse on tour?

Farrell Evans
  (3:00 PM)

Welcome. Let's get started. This opening stretch is really the heart of the golf course. Many of the players are saying that their are some good birdie chances on the back, where you can rebound after getting beat up on the front.

Alex (Anaheim)

What's your favorite aspect of majors?

Farrell Evans
  (3:02 PM)

I like the whole scene around the practice areas: the range and the putting greens. The agents, the equipment reps, the physical therapists, etc. It's buzz around the majors is just so big. Once the players scatter on the golf course it's less exciting for me.

JY (TO)

Do you see the relative importance of the majors increasing, decreasing or staying the same over the next 50 years?

Farrell Evans
  (3:04 PM)

The majors get bigger and bigger every year. I think over the next 50 years you'll see a bigger multimedia presentation of folks watching the tournament on their handheld devices while they walk the golf course.

RB (Tucson)

I have a desk job and wanted to find out how I can watch the opening rounds of the us open from my desk. Will they show it on pga.com or espn.com?

Farrell Evans
  (3:06 PM)

You can watch it on ESPN.Com

JY (TO)

How do you rank the majors in terms of your overall enjoyment/anticipation?

Farrell Evans
  (3:08 PM)

U.S. OPen--It's accessible and unpretentiousPGA Championship--nice event and more laid-back than all the other majorsMasters--It's the Masters but they lay the TRADITION stuff on hardThe British Open--It's historical

JY (TO)

What do you see as the key hole this week?

Farrell Evans
  (3:11 PM)

Holes 15-18 are really important. Within that stretch you have two par 5s--one that is 670 yards and the short par 4 18th that could yield a birdie or a double bogey. It's a 4-iron, PW for most players to a tiny target guarded by bunkers and a lot of rough.

JY (TO)

You still backing Hunter this week?

Farrell Evans
  (3:13 PM)

Hunter is a great driver of the golf ball, but in my expert picks I went with Tiger to get his fourth U.S. Open. I also like Jonathan Byrd as my sleeper pick.

JY (TO)

Do you prefer a Master's/PGA where there are plenty of scoring opportunities, the 'par is good' conditions at the US Open, or the 'anything can happen' weather/links conditions of the British Open?

Farrell Evans
  (3:15 PM)

I like a course that has a good mix of birdie holes and tough pars. I also let stretches of holes that give players a good chance to gain some momentum or in the case of the first six holes at Olympic, simply survive. That's why Amen Corner is so special at Augusta. So much can happen there that can't happen anywhere else on the course.

jimmy jerseycity nj [via mobile]

beside tiger who do u think has next best chance 2 win us open n give me your sleeper pick thanks

Farrell Evans
  (3:16 PM)

In my expert picks, I picked Jonathan Byrd as my sleeper. I also like Jason Dufner and Steve Stricker.

Chioke Hassan (Baltimore,Md)

Dear FarrellHas the Master ever had a low attedence since the resession?

Farrell Evans
  (3:17 PM)

Chioke,The Masters is recession proof. The folks with Masters badges don't tend to be hourly factory workers fearing layoffs and downsizing.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What PGA Event will Tiger Woods become the winningist golfer in PGA Golf History?

Farrell Evans
  (3:20 PM)

Chris,It's probably going to come at an event that he's won numerous times like Arnie's tournament or the Memorial.

Brian (East Lansing, MI)

Any word on whether Tiger is experiencing lingering effects from his double take on the range yesterday?

Farrell Evans
  (3:21 PM)

Tiger is fine. I saw him in the putting green this morning and he looked fine. I noticed that he's wearing a black version of his white therapeutic golf shoe.

Wes (Lexington)

Been watching alot of the coverage from pat US Opens - at Olympic and elsewhere. Have greens always been so fast, going back to the 1950s-60s-70s-80s, etc? Hard to tell from some of the TV coverage from years past. When did the USGA (and TOUR in some instances) ramp up speeds to get to 12-14+?

Farrell Evans
  (3:23 PM)

The course is playing fast and firm and the USGA wants it that way. The greens will be in that 12 to 14 range. On some of the holes, it's impossible to keep the ball in the fairway. You have to really carve your shots in the contours of the fairways.

Jason (Toronto)

Will Tiger go with 3 wood more often then the dirver? How many holes do you see Tiger using the driver?

Farrell Evans
  (3:25 PM)

There about six holes that he'll hit drive this week. If the course stays fast and firm all week, he can hit 3-irons into some holes.

Mark (Dallas, TX)

Funny how no one plays with a side straddle putting style. Sam Snead did and he is the most winning pro in history.

Farrell Evans
  (3:26 PM)

Mark,The side straddle is illegal.

Nick (Washington DC)

Whats your take on long par 3s? Like the one here this week, and remember that one at oakmont 270 yards or whatever? I think there dumb and give an enormous advantage to the long hitters, and are unfair? Thoughts?

Farrell Evans
  (3:28 PM)

It's too much hole. It would be one thing if the greens were enormous but it's a pretty small landing area.

Ed (Long Island)

Is this almost a "gimmicky" golf course with the fairways behind almost impossible to hold? If a player hits his drive and splits the fairway, what is the point of it being sloped so severe that it rolls into the rough? Doesn't sound like it rewards good shots which is what a test of golf should be.

Farrell Evans
  (3:30 PM)

Ed,That's how a course like Olympic can defend itself against technology. These little eccentricities give the course it's character, but as Graeme McDowell told me yesterday, Olympic is a fair test. You just have to be really precise on your lines. It's not golf for the unskilled.

Mark (Dallas, TX)

the croquet stance is illegal, but not standing on one side of the ball facing the hole. Many face-on or side saddle putters are on the market. what rule makes them illegal?

Farrell Evans
  (3:31 PM)

Sam Snead's side saddle style is illegal.

Wes (Lexington)

Farrell, think you may have missed part of my question. Just curious if USGA courses have always played as tough as they do now, and if greens have alwyas been in the 12-14 range? Or have they become faster over time?

Farrell Evans
  (3:33 PM)

Wes,Since 2006 with the advent of the graduated rough, U.S. Open courses are not as difficult as they were say jn the 1970s and 80s. The greens were always diabolic but you had rough right off the fringe and just off the fairways. You couldn't miss a fairway at Olympic the last time it was played here. Now you have at least a chance if you barely roll into the first cut.

Shoshana (Boston)

Tiger only played 8 holes yesterday, he apparently played back 9 + a couple this morning, and is now signed up for PM practice rd. That's waaay different that his normal routine. Anything going on?

Farrell Evans
  (3:36 PM)

Shoshana,I couldn't tell from his rancor with the other players on the putting green. I think like a lot of players and from some of his comments that he's trying to figure out how to go about tackling this golf course. It's a quirky place. There isn't one hole out here that you can just stand up and hit it.

John (SF)

Is the shaved area to the right of 17 going to be an issue this week?

Farrell Evans
  (3:37 PM)

Oh yeah, the players don't like it. I think it's going to depend on the pin positions on that hole. Players are going to be trying to hit the middle of that green.

Shoshana (Boston)

Seems like the greens on 13 and 17 have the potential to get goofy with balls rolling off the greens. Has the USGA addressed that at all?

Farrell Evans
  (3:40 PM)

No, those are going to be holes that players are going to have make tactical decisions that are going to make them less likely to attack those holes. The players expect to birdie the 17th, but with the delicacy of the greens give that hole some edge.

Brent (Pikeville)

What do you think the winning score will be and what do you predict the cut line to be?

Farrell Evans
  (3:41 PM)

The winning score will be around 3 under par. The cut line will be about around 6 over par.

Mikey (Brooklyn, NY)

Do you agree with the no cell phone rule at the Open? And do you think the USGA will reconsider anytime in the future?

Farrell Evans
  (3:42 PM)

Fans should be able to have their phones in their possession on silent and capable of using them to look up scores and video.

John (SF)

Where are some good vantage points to see the golf this weekend?

Farrell Evans
  (3:44 PM)

Olympic is a tight little place. I like standing at the 9th tee, where you can see parts of several holes.

Nick (Portland, OR)

Farrell, what is your golf handicap?

Farrell Evans
  (3:45 PM)

Nick,I play to about a 7 handicap on an average golf course. But I play most of my golf at Bethpage Black, where I struggle to break 90.

Bob (Fort Worth)

Farrell what are the winds expecting to do? Are they going to make the course play longer or shorter?

Farrell Evans
  (3:47 PM)

The winds are changing all the time. But they are ever present. It's never really calm. I was out on the practice range yesterday with Geoff Ogilvy and he told me that he stayed off the course away from the wind. It was ugly--windy and cold.

Brent (Pikeville)

Do you think it is fair for players to be going off two different tees in their opening rounds(esp considering the difficulty of the first 6 holes) or do you prefer starting everybody from the first tee?

Farrell Evans
  (3:47 PM)

For the sake of time, you have to have them go off both tees. Tomorrow there will be a fog delay in the morning.

John (MA)

Looks like the last tee times on Thursday and Friday are about 5:57ET (around 3PM local). Can we expect the leaders to be going off at about this time for the weekend?

Farrell Evans
  (3:48 PM)

Yes. On the east coast, you will see golf in prime time.

Mark (Frankston, TX)

where did this idea of the spectators staying quiet evolve from? no other sport comes to mind where the athlete gets so upset when someone snaps a picture. and with so much money at stake you would think that blocking it out would be a valuable part of their preparation. Tiger's dad reportedly used to make distractions just as Tiger was about to hit or putt to train him to concentrate. Guess he lost that ability.

Farrell Evans
  (3:49 PM)

It's an old, old etiquette thing. But the reality is that it's not really that quiet on a golf course at a tour event. It's impossible to have pure silence. What the players don't like is the abrupt noise in the middle of their swings.

Mikey (Brooklyn, NY)

Of the two power groupings, Mickelson, Woods, Watson, and Mcilory, Donald, Westwood, which one will have the lower score at the end of the second round? And which players out of those two groupings have a chance of missing the cut?

Farrell Evans
  (3:51 PM)

Luke Donald will have the low score out of the two groups. As for an MC, I worry about Watson, who said yesterday that an 80 was lurking in his game. But Rory has struggled and Phil has been off of late.

Brent (Pikeville)

Have you got to watch any of Andy Zhang play in his practice rounds? If so, how has he looked?

Farrell Evans
  (3:52 PM)

I watched Zhang a bit yesterday. He was nervous. He has a real upright golf swing. He's got a lot of polish though in his game.

John (SF)

Is the fog delay a certainty tomorrow?

Farrell Evans
  (3:53 PM)

The USGA just said that it expects delays.

Corey (Pelion, SC)

Do you think the Tiger, Phil, Bubba pairing will effect the superstars?

Farrell Evans
  (3:53 PM)

It's going to be a zoo. 90 percent of the fans on the course will be with that group.

Shoshana (Boston)

have you had a chance to get out and eat at all in SF? And do most of the players eat out, go to chipotle or order room service?

Farrell Evans
  (3:54 PM)

No way, Chipotle? They are eating better than that, I'm sure. I expect to go to a few plays downtown before the week is out.

Ed (Long Island)

Is this any of the pro's home course that would have an advantage?

Farrell Evans
  (3:55 PM)

Michael Allen is a member here but he's 53-years old. I don't know at that age if course knowledge gives him an advantage.

JCody (Atlanta, GA)

Do the black shoes look better than those whites on Tiger?

Farrell Evans
  (3:56 PM)

I think the white shoes look more athletic. He looks dressed up now.

Shoshana (Boston)

A few of the players were tweeting about going to chipotle, apparently the downtown one was closed

Farrell Evans
  (3:56 PM)

That's right. I saw that. It's so fattening.

Dan (Philadelphia)

If a club pro makes the cut, do they get paid?

Farrell Evans
  (3:57 PM)

Club pros are professionals so yes they do get paid.

Nick (Washington DC)

Whats your favorite type of food after a long day of playing 18 holes?

Farrell Evans
  (3:57 PM)

A beer and a burger.

Shoshana (Boston)

What's the middle of the course like? Seems like most of the talk has been about 1-6 and the ending stretch

Farrell Evans
  (3:58 PM)

The middle of the course is pretty interesting. The 7th is a drivable par 4. The 9th is a good hole that I saw a lot of players missing right on Tuesday. 10 and 11 are good holes.

Jason (Los Angeles)

Do you think a guy like Lucas Glover can win this championship?

Farrell Evans
  (4:00 PM)

I talked to Lucas yesterday. He said the course was tough but that he felt like it suited his eye well. He hasn't contended in a long time. So it might be tough for him to bring it all together this week.

Trent King (Mcdonough, GA)

What do you think of the Phil, Bubba, and Tiger pairing? How will that affect the first two rounds for the two lefties? Bubba being a new major champ and Phil loving to play with Tiger.

Farrell Evans
  (4:01 PM)

Hey buddy, The two lefties could feed off of each other since they will be trying to work the ball the same way around the golf course. It could be a good tutorial in left hand golf.

Ed (Los Angeles)

How do you like the chances of foreign players like Tim Clark and Louis Ousthazen?

Farrell Evans
  (4:01 PM)

Louis and Tim are solid players. Obviously, you have to like what Louis can do after his performance at the Masters. But he's struggled of late.

Ed (Long Island)

Seems the talk about this course is to keep it in the fairway, rough will be tough, small greens to fire at. To me that adds up to a player with a great short game...Phil it is!!

Dan (Okoboji, Iowa)

Hey Farrell, should be a great US Open, cant wait! I asked this question to Harig is his chat and just want to get another golf writers perspective. With todays youth looking up and watching players like Ricky, Bubba, and D.J, do you think it would be bigger for the game of golf for one of them to win, or another younger player, compared to Tiger or Phil? I am and always will be a huge Tiger fan, but I cant help to want to see someone young that kids can really look up to win the open. What do you think? Who do you want to see win?

John (Denver)

How about a couple of names that could flame out this week and miss the cut, yet turn around and be serious contenders at "The Open Championship"?

Farrell Evans
  (4:03 PM)

One last question for you John,Flameouts: Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood could go out and struggle playing together but pull it together and contend by the weekend.

Toby (San Francisco)

I'm heading to Olympic on Friday. What will be the best hole to actually see the super group hitting their shots?

Farrell Evans
  (4:03 PM)

Start with them at the 9th hole.

Farrell Evans
  (4:04 PM)

My time is up guys. Stay tuned with us all week here at ESPN.COM/golf and ESPN TVIt should be a great time. So long.

Nick (Washington DC )

With all the sloped fairway shots here Farrell, shouldnt that favor the guys who are good at Augusta. I.e Tiger, Phil, Bubba, Rory, etc.. I think there making too much of hitting the fairway here, thoughts?

Farrell Evans
  (4:04 PM)

No, these fairways are diabolic and unpredictable but yes, players who can shape their ball will have a great advantage this week.