Hello again, thanks for checking in. Plenty to chat about again in the world of golf. So let's get started. Please fire away with your questions.
The TV coverage insisted on highlighting how Rory got to #2 before Tiger (age), depsite the fact that he has played more majors and that Tiger had 5 through the same number of professional majors. Was this just typical TV hyperbole or is fair to say that Rory is on a "Tiger" type of pace?
There are different ways to look at it. Age, number of majors played. Bottom line is they are quite close to when they did it. Here's the deal. After getting to No. 2, Tiger went on to win 6 of the next 10.
Do players who automatically make the Fed Ex cup playoffs retain their cards, or is it possible for them to get passed during the Fall series?
For now, yet it's possible. Because the FedEx points is different than the money list. Next year, it won't be the case. It will all be based on FedEx points.
Why is Carl Pettersson identified with a Swedish flag on broadcasts and on the PGA web site? He holds dual citizenship: Swedish and American. Is it his choice as to which flag is shown?
Not sure if it's his choice. You are correct about duel citizenship, but in terms of golf, he would be European if he wanted to play in the Ryder Cup. And he's not eligible for American teams such as Ryder or Presidents Cup.
I know you take issue with the PGA not coming west since 1998, and not till at least 2018. Have they given any reason why this is the case?
Their reasons are not explained in detail. Some of it certainly has to do with simply not finding a place to play, whether it be through their efforts or the efforts of a possible host course. They've also aligned themselves financially with several venues in the Midwest and East: Whistling Straits, Hazeltine, Valhalla, Medinah. All have or will host both PGA and Ryder Cup. Money is the issue there for sure.
It's been thrown around a lot, but what's your take on Woods being a "victim of his own success?"
I don't think there is any doubt about it.This year, Tiger has won three times, more than anyone. He leads the FedEx Cup points and money list. He has the lowest scoring average. He led U.S. Ryder Cup team in points -- despite missing 2 majors last year and missing the cut in a third. By any standard, that's a great year.But he's judged by what he did in the past.
Do you really buy that Tiger wasnt himself on Saturday? Seemed to me that from 16 on Friday through Saturday that his putter abandonef him and he wanted to deflect that criticism.
I think there might be something to it, that perhaps he figured he was trying too hard and he needed to easy off. Tiger usually does not offer up such insight, which is why I tend to think there's something there. Sure, he didn't putt as well, but he also admitted that too.
Bob, great performance by Rory-especially after some shaky starts recently! What do you see in terms of a career for rory? Over/under on 8 majors? how about on 20 PGA victories? thx bro.
Predicting such greatness is really difficult. I think Rory first should set his sights on Nick Faldo's six majors, the most in the modern era of any player from Europe. That is a great career. If he gets there relatively quickly, then you can start to talk about bigger things in the game.
How about this theory. Tiger struggles on the weekends at majors is because he doesn't have Stevie Williams anymore. And I'm not talking about his caddying skills. I think Stevie helped create some of the intimidation factor that Tiger had. Stevie would yell at photographers and celebrate when Tiger made a key putt. We really don't see this from LaCava instead we see them joking around a little maybe too much. Obviously LaCava is caddying like he always has and is free to do that, but I think LaCava has caused Tiger to become too relaxed. It was almost like Tiger with Stevie on the bag was 2 vs 1 for anyone else in the hunt.
There is certainly something to be said for Williams' influence on Tiger's game. Tiger said it himself many times. And yet, Tiger still hits the shots. No player was intimidated by Williams. His presence felt bigger because of Tiger's dominance. It doesn't mean so much when he's not winning.
Next year will the tournament of champions in Hawaii move up from early January or stay where it is?
It is staying where it is.
Isn't it about time that the media stops hyping Donald and Westwood as great major picks? They put up their fair share of top-10 finishes but generally aren't in the mix, and we're talking a big sample size for both of them.
Don't blame it on the media. Theirs peers have been big backers, too.
Logistically, how was the PGA Championship? Was it bad enough to warrant never going back?
In my opinion, yes. Staging majors is about a lot more than the venue. If people can't get to it in reasonable fashion, then it can't work. There are numerous great courses that are major worth based simply on the course. But they don't have majors either because their is not enough land, not enough infrastructure, not enough parking, not enough access. Kiawah, as it is now, would fit that description.
Whats your opinion of the ocean course? it seems like i didnt hear/read to many negative comments about the course but plenty regarding the transit...is that reason enough to not go back?
Similar to last quesiton, you are correct the course mostly got high marks. It's a shame it was so soft. If they didn't have all that wind on Friday, the winning score would have been real low. But there's more to a championship than the course. The logistics were simply horrendous.
is the crux of tiger's weekend major struggles mental?
It very well could be. He seemed to suggest as much when he admitted he tried to change his attitude going into the third round. He didn't say technique.
Enjoy your work Bob. Looks like Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker locks for RC Capt picks. Who else? Bo Van Pelt?
Unless Van Pelt has a huge couple of weeks leading up to the picks, I don't think he makes it. He's never played in a Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup. There are guys ahead of him in points such as Mahan who have been there.
Not much conversation about Rio 2016 in golf circles. Fair to say it's because at least 95% of guys would rather win a major, than an olympic medal? Or, because like the NBA/NHL/Tennis there are yearly tournaments that capture more attention
The Olympics in golf will eventually become a big deal, but it's hard to believe they will ever rival winning a major. Now as years go on, people from around the world will get exposed to the game due to its Olynpic inclusion. As that grows, then an Olympic medal means more.
Why are US Am championships included in Bobby Jones' major record, but no one elses?
Typically Jones' record is listed both ways: 7 professional majors, 11 when you include his 3 U.S. ams and one British Am.During his time, amateur golf was just as big as the professional game, and those tournaments were considered on equal. There was no Masters at the time. The PGA Championship was young.
Tiger Woods is not all the way back; he's half way there. When he starts seriously contending on the weekend of a major championship, he will be back. Right now, his weekend confidence (mojo) is not what it needs to be. Seems to me he's trying not to lose rather than stay aggressive, like his late father, Earl Woods, trained him to be.
That could very well be the case. He's also not been a consistently good putter and he continues to struggle with his wedge game.
Who wins the ryder cup? gotta like USA's chances...also, who are your 4 picks? do you like BVP over fowler? i know your buddy Mike loves BVP but lets not forget Fowler was huge 2 years ago
The US has looked strong in the past and not won. The Ryder Cup is amazing that way. I do not think Van Pelt is a pick at this point. He's not won. Furyk hasn't either but his experience is invaluable.
Hey Bob... what percentage would you give a singles match of Rory vs Tiger at the Ryder Cup?
Pretty low. Less than 25 percent. The reason is the captains lay out their team not knowing what the other captain will do. They often try to guess. But unless it's really close and they both elect to put their top guy last, the chances of them meeting up in one of the other 11 spots are pretty remote. I guess the captains could secretly conspire to make it happen, but they ight have other ideas.
Hi Bob,Do the assistant captain's for the Ryder Cup get any perks for the job?
Other than accommodations, meals, etc., no.
what is the feeling during the Fed Ex competition? Does the final at East Lake even come close to the atmosphere at a major?
Not anywhere near close. There's only 30 players. To be honest, the buzz is severely lacking.
Chances JD gets his card back this year? Looks promising to me.
He moved up to 131st on the money list, so he's got a shot. He's playing this week, and even if he misses FedEx playoffs, he'll have several more chances. It would be the first time he's fully exempt since 2006.
Do you think a successful US Open at Merion next year will make the USGA think more about classic venues in the future and not just a rotation of 7,700 yard monsters?
It's all about logistics, too. Merion will have logistical challenges, being able to fit enough spectators and such. But yes, if the course holds up, perhaps they rethink length.
Rory has alot of talent, but you got to wonder if he'll have the motivation and focus to really pile up the majors. If you think that only two men have ever gotten to double digits, isn't something around Faldo's 6 majors a little more reasonable of a goal?
Actually, it's 3 have gotten to double digits, Walter Hagen also. But you are correct, to assune Rory is going to win 10 or more is not wise. He might. But we thought Norman would easily get there. Some figured the same for Ernie Els.
Who do you see as being the key figure on both Squads in order for either to prevail during the ryder cup?
Very difficult to say. There is typically somebody you weren't thinking of who plays a big role. Graeme McDowell certainly came through for the Europeans the last time. It could be a guy who contributes very little in overall points, but maybe hits a key shot to win a hole and save or win a match.
Who do you trust most to sink a critical putt?
Right now, I'd go with Zach Johnson. He is second in the tour's strokes-gained-putting stat.
Do you think we'll see bigger names playing the "Fall series" next year given the season will start in October? Pretty big boon for those tournaments if so.
This will be interesting to see play out. I really don't know. Clearly they are hoping for this, and perhaps a few guys will show up to an event or two so as not to get behind too far. But there is no guarantee they will.
Who do you like at the US Amateur this week? And thoughts on former pro's (i.e. Gary Nicklaus) returning to the amateur ranks.
I would have a hugely difficult time picking the winner.. but I think it's great that a guy like Gary Nicklaus is back competing.
Re: Michael Hoey disqualified for signing for incorrect score after he did not add a penalty for failing to recreate the lie after removing ball from embedded lie to confirm that it was his ball. (He called the foul on himself.) Do players have only one mark on a ball? If the ball had multiple marks then perhaps he would not have need to remove it.
I believe it was covered by sand and he couldn't tell. And then he didn't put the sand back, which seems a bit silly.
Good question, I do not know. Not many. . Perhaps somebody could chime in if they know.
Can the Rory vs. Tiger hype stop? When Tiger was at Rory's age, he was the best putter in the world. Rory is a very streaky putter, he goes tournaments where he makes putts and blows out fields like this PGA and the US Open, but then he goes tournaments where he can't buy a putt. Tiger NEVER was a streaky putter, always a great putter up until a few years ago. That is the difference and a significant difference.
A good point. The comparisons will be easier to make when we see what Rory does over the next 12 majors. Tiger won 6 of the next 12 at the same point in his career.
Beautiful hypothetical. What if I say they tie and Ryder Cup is halved at 14-14?
Overall what do you think of the work Tiger's done with Foley? The commentators here in Britain go crazy when he hits a bad drive, but seem to forget that he's always hit bad drives. Seems to me he still has a bit to go, obviously from 150 yards and in, as well as get more comfortable with the draw, particularly for Augusta next year
People tend to forget where Tiger was a year ago. He missed the cut badly at the PGA. Didn't qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs. At one point fell to 58th in the world. He is now 3rd and had a chance to go to first last week. He's won three times, leads the money list. Yes, no doubt, he has issues in his game. Ne needs to work out the problems with his short irons. But overall, the referendums on every shot, every round, skew what has been a succeful year.
I think he'll look more at the time he squandered in 2010-11 due to personal turmoil and injury. Yes, he had chances, but Nicklaus did too. Remember, 19 seconds for Jack in majors.
I believe it was 12 guys that made the cut at all four majors. Only two of them were under par for the 288 holes played.
Thank you. I will try to research it with some time and answer on twitter and again next week.
Do the players hold in high regard that Phil has earned 9 straight Ryder Cup and President Cup competitions? Basically for the last 18 years he's been one of, at the worst, top 10 American golfers every year. Remarkable accomplishment when you think of that.
They should. It's a nice run of consistency. Tiger has missed just one since '97 and that was due to injury. But he had to be a pick twice. Phil has never been a pick.
What do you think is considered a successful year for Tiger? Most people say that he has to win a Major for it to be successful, is that what you see?
I think he considers this year a success. But he doesn't consider it great without a major.
who is the best golfer in the world right now
Rory is ranked No. 1, but is he the best? Very hard to say. He's missed 4 cuts this year worldwide, does that make him the best? Tiger has missed 2 cuts, but has won three times? Luke Donald has probably earned more world ranking points than anyone and has two worldwide victories but no majors.
Do you think the FED EX Cup has gotten too gimmicky to make the Tour Championship must see with any of the top 5 winning that TC they win the FED EX Cup?
I understand why they did they. They want their to be incentive for a player to try and finish in the top 5, whether it be through gaining more points during the year or playing the first three playoff events -- where points are 5X as many as regular tournament.Still would love to see some system where guys start over at the Tour Championship and the winner gets it all.
Re: All four majors... Adam Scott, Graeme MacDowell, Furyk, Dufner, Zach Johnson, Tiger... I'm sure there are others but those are the ones top of mind
Thanks for this. Believe GMac has been top 15 in them all, as well as Adam Scott.
After the general criticism of the 2-stroke penalty assessed to Carl Pettersson for brushing a leaf on his back swing in a hazard, have you heard of a better, workable rule? It seems like with any system of rules there will be borderline cases that appear unjust. Players probably accept this as part of being paid big money to play golf.
The problem is how do you change this rule? It's in place so that a player cannot clear a path behind his ball on the backswing. Then you have to go to intent. The rule seems silly and maybe they just ought to allow you to drag your club back as long as you don't ground it. The other issue: Pettersson was on TV. What if that happened to a guy in the second group who wasn't? Pettersson was not going to call a violation on himself because he didn't know he committed one.
With the RC captain's picks - what's more important - individual talents or fit with other players to match with and team chemistry?
I think the captain looks at all of that. You could be a great partner and excellent chemistry but if you're playing horribly, that shouldn't mean a pick.
Did Rory silence any critics who said his girlfriend was getting in the way?
Probably so. That was certainly an issue, and his swoon earlier this year was the reason. He also had contended in no majors since winning the U.S. Open.
Okay, I'm out of time. Thanks again for all the questions. Check me out on twitter @bobharig and feel free to send me questions there, I will try to get to them as well. Thanks.