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October 9, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Bob Harig

Bob Harig
  (2:59 PM)

Hello again and thanks for checking us out. If you've got a golf question, I will attempt to answer. Let's get started. Please fire away.

Jeff (Hoboken)

What do you read into Tiger apologizing to the Ryder Cup rookies? Are we being a little harsh on a guy who made 7 birdies Friday and then 5 more birdies on the back 9 Saturday? If he and Stricker play anybody else those 2 sessions, they win

Bob Harig
  (3:02 PM)

I think it shows that he cares. He's often accussed of not caring when it comes to the Ryder Cup. That's due to many factors, not the least of which is his poor record. But I think this one hurt. Yes, he played pretty well in the best-ball matches and didn't win. But he could have given the team a boost had he gotten out in front of Molinari in singles and shown everyone he was going to win that point.

Alex (Anaheim)

How do you typically spend the offseason?

Bob Harig
  (3:02 PM)

What offseason!!!! That's the problem, it never ends!

Jeff (Hoboken)

Any thoughts on the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final this week? Any meaning for the players? Or this just appearance fees and exhibition?

Bob Harig
  (3:03 PM)

There is really very little meaning. It's an exhibition, and a strange format -- medal match play for two days to decide the semifinalists. It's a nice payday for everybody.

JY (TO) [via mobile]

What are you looking forward to for the rest of the year? Race to make top 125 in the money list? China tournament? Anything else?

Bob Harig
  (3:05 PM)

I'll be honest, not much of it real compelling!! I guess the WGC tournament is important, especially for the European Tour because it counts on their money list. Can Rory win the Race to Dubai and thus capture both money titles -- just as Luke Donald did a year ago? That is a good story. . The top 125 is obviously important, but it never seems to be a big breath-taking story. That's because it is not necessarily do or die. There are other avenues for guys outside the top 125 to play the tour.

Michael C. (Westport, CT)

I have a request I'd like you to make on my behalf to the PGA higher-ups. Regarding the next Ryder Cup on US soil, since we get to make the rules, how about shortening each match to 16 holes? We'd win in a landslide! Whattaya think?

Bob Harig
  (3:06 PM)

After what happened at Medinah, such cracks are fair game I suppose.

JY (TO) [via mobile]

What are the big story lines for the 2013 season in your mind?

Bob Harig
  (3:10 PM)

Rory's progression; does Tiger win a major?; Does Ernie have an encore?; where does Phil go from here? . . Can Rickie Fowler be a star. . . there will be many good ones.

Benny (Bronx)

Have you heard the rumor that Steve Stricker has hired Michael Phelps as his new putting coach?

Bob Harig
  (3:11 PM)

Another comedian. .. Again, what happens when things don't go very well I suppose.

Sergio Garcia (With the WTA tour)

I heard Furyk say he outplayed me. Well, I think I outplayed Tiger for the last 10 years, so I should have at least 10 Majors. You agree?

Bob Harig
  (3:12 PM)

I'm not sure Sergio out played Tiger very often during that stretch.

Bob Harig
  (3:13 PM)

This was medal match play, too. Tiger had a triple bogey at the 9th hole. In regular match play, that counts as just one hole lost. In this format the three strokes was tough to overcome. And he did until the last hole.

Keith H (Seattle)

Maybe it's Feinstein's book on the subject, but I have a sense of melancholy about this being the last direct route Q-School.I understand the Tour wanting to build up the web.com, but I still think they missed the boat on this one.

Bob Harig
  (3:14 PM)

You are not alone. Many are not happy about Q-School being relegated to only feeing the Web.com Tour next year.However, here is a defense of the new system. If you finish in the top 200 on the PGA Tour money list or the top 75 on Web.com money list -- outside of those getting cards -- you have a four-tournament series to get on the PGA Tour, while playing for $1-million per tournament. . . 4 events is a much better gauge than a 108-hole tournament.

Bob Harig
  (3:16 PM)

It's an exhibition. Not sure why it's not televised in the US. There was an internet feed today at www.usagoals.com. . There were a ton of popups, so beweare, but it begins in the wee hours U.S. time on Wednesday.

Lois Lane (Hot, Humid, Wet S. Florida)

Sounds like you are on the Rors bandwagon from your first part of that answer. I will hold you accountable to that when it is shown NOT going to hapen. I understand you have to "go with the flow" for employee reasons, but I disagree humbly.

Bob Harig
  (3:17 PM)

I think Rory is going to be a story whether he succeeds or not. That's what I mean. If he struggles, he'll still be a story.

Bob Harig
  (3:19 PM)

The biggest rules change they are considering is the one regarding anchoring as it applies to putting .There is a strong sense that will ban the practice of anchoring -- not long putters or belly putters. But it'll make it much harder to use them. However, the rule cannot go into effect unhtil 2016. The rules of golf change every 4 years. So players will have time to get used to it.

Bob Harig
  (3:20 PM)

It's interesting, because the players seem to enjoy playing for captains for they have input. That has typically been the reason for Presidents Cup success. Jack Nicklaus let them do what they wanted, Fred Couples has been the same way. Again, I'll point out that the U.S. had a 10-6 lead. That is a dream scenario. And they didn't get it done.

Bob Harig
  (3:21 PM)

That is the great unknown. My guess is you'll see the tour strong arm some guys into playing some of these events. It's important that they have some name players. But somewhere, somebody suffers. Guys aren't going to add much to their schedules. They'll cut back somewhere else.

Jeremy (Marlboro, NJ)

Bob, any word on a new sponsor for Tiger's World Challenge event? Kind of surprised they haven't found one yet.

Bob Harig
  (3:22 PM)

Apparently they have a presenting sponsor they are going to announce next week.

Andrew (WI)

Is there going to be any avenue left for a college player or other amateur to get to the PGA Tour without spending a full year on the web.com? Outside of the unusual cases of Tiger converting sponsors' exemptions into wins his rookie year and Phil binking a tour event as an amateur.

Bob Harig
  (3:23 PM)

Yes, if a guy turns pro and gets spots on the PGA Tour or Web.com Tour, if he finishes among the top 200 in money (PGA) or top 75 (Web) he will then be eligible for the four-tournament series that will determine playing privileges for the next year. It's not the same as just showing up at Q school and making it through but the avenue still exists and it's not as closed as has been discussed.

Dan (CA)

Who decides who will be US Ryder Cup captains? And do they / should they hold Couples Pres. Cup captain runs against him? I think he would be a great RC captain in 2014.

Bob Harig
  (3:25 PM)

The PGA of America chooses the captain and whether you believe so or not, they do seem to hold a Presidents Cup captaincy against potential captains. It's never happened. Fred is an interesting choice, and there would be overlap, but you'd think that could be overcome.

Lana Lang (hanging out w/Lois Lane Hot,Humid S.Fl)

As seen in an article today, what will Augusta do with the 4 possible winners of the Fall Series now qualifying? They will have to start off using both @ 1st tee and @10th tee, which they abhorr, and it is really sad. I hope they don't do that, but know they have to worry about lack of daylight if they have more players...do you think they will give in and add those 4 players?

Bob Harig
  (3:27 PM)

This assumes that all 4 -- or 6 next year -- are not previously exempt anyway. I think it's worth it for Augusta to take the chance on its field size. Perhaps it cuts back in another area. Maybe only top 10 from previous year's Masters get an invite (now top 16). That is a nice carrot to throw out there for the winner.

Jeremy (Marlboro, NJ)

Staying on the theme of schedules and sponsors, a) when is the 2013 schedule supposed to be released? b) Any word on Tampa getting a sponsor?

Bob Harig
  (3:29 PM)

No word on Tampa yet, for now they are going without, which means the tour likely is having to put money in for it to work. You would think the schedule would be announced sometime this month.

Lois Lane (Hot, Humid, Wet, S. Florida )

I heard just this morning that this non-sanctioned event is not a free for all like the past. They MUST play one fall event within the next 3 years, meaning Tiger will probably show up at Frys.com. That's how they are now pulling in the reins.

Bob Harig
  (3:31 PM)

Well, in order to play in this tournament, PGA Tour members had to seek a competing event release from the tour. Asking for and receiving is fairly routine, but usually it's for an event on another tour. For example, Rory gets releases to play in European Tour events. This is different. There is a good chance the tour negotiated some sort of "payback" from these players to grant the release. And Frys might be one of them for Tiger next year.

Superman (Krypton)

Can they possibly update/change the RULES of Golf to allow changes more often than every 4 years? That seems a bit antequated in this age of everything being outdated by the time we get it home.

Bob Harig
  (3:32 PM)

Equipment changes can be made sooner, but changes to the actual rules occur over a longer period. And in this case, it's a good thing, to give players a chance to adjust. And I woulnd't be surprised if the waiting period is even longer for amateurs.

Dan (CA)

Does a PGA lifetime membership for guys like Tiger mean he can play in every Major for the rest of his life if he wants?

Bob Harig
  (3:33 PM)

No, he is bound by the invitation criteria of those tournaments. For the Masters, it is lifetime, U.S. Open 10 years, Open Championship unntil age 60 and PGA lifetime.. . For PGA Tour events, he has to still adhere to membership rules, but can you ever imagine Tiger not getting an invite if he wanted it?

Shoshana (Boston)

I believe the presenting sponsor is northwestern mutual (check Greg M's twitter feed)

Bob Harig
  (3:34 PM)

Yes, he tweeted that today, but an official announcement is forthcoming.

Andrew (WI)

The PGA Tour can easily force all the players to play in a fall series event, as long as the WGC in China counts as one. Good way to let the stars comply with it while getting the rank and file to help statesside.

Bob Harig
  (3:35 PM)

Well, they really can't force them to do anything. They are independent contractors to an extent. But still, there are rules, and if a guy wants to play a competing event, he has to get permission -- hence some back room deal making.

Jeremy (Marlboro, NJ)

And to the above poster about the college players and the new Finals Series: Remember that when those events start, the Top 25 Web.com Tour guys are already guaranteed their cards -- they're just playing for reshuffle list position. So for the college guys, yes they're playing against 126-200 + the Top 25 Web.com guys but its essentially just 126-200.

Bob Harig
  (3:37 PM)

Yes, the top 25 Web.com guys are assured of keeping their cards. So basically you'll have 150 players in these tournaments playing for 25 spots -- although 25 of the 150 will already be in.

matt (Glen Rock)

why isn't tiger playing the wgc event in china? he is playing rory there a few days earlier.

Bob Harig
  (3:37 PM)

Not sure. Tiger is playing the week prior in Malaysia, then the Monday after in China against Rory. He then said he has some other special events planned that week.

Jon (In flight en route from Phoenix to Orlando)

What do you think about moving the Ryder Cup to the middle of the summer (in between US and British Opens) to put it on a bigger stage and avoid competing with Football, baseball playoffs and the rest it's up against in the fall?

Bob Harig
  (3:38 PM)

Don't see it happening. We're talking about 24 players. It would conflict with PGA Tour events, and they are unlikely to not have them.

Lois Lane (Hot, Humid, Wet, S. Florida )

He hasn't announced it yet; chances he won't play? None IMHO. Him miss a WGC. He'd have to be crazy...must keep up the OWGR chase....for the public, not himself.

Bob Harig
  (3:39 PM)

He's announced he's not playing in China. His schedule is CIMB Classic in Malaysia, the Rory exhibition, then his World Challenge.

Ed (Long Island)

Do you consider Ken Venturi a Hall of Famer?

Bob Harig
  (3:40 PM)

I do. His playing career might not have warranted it, but when you couple it with his broadcasting career and his influence on the game through television, Venturi is a no brainer. He spans the generations too. He learned from Byron Nelson, taught many players.

Keith H (Seattle)

Those of us in the Pacific Northwest are raising one to Ryan Moore. He had a pretty good finish to the year. Is this the year he takes the bigger step? (Major contention, Pres Cup, etc.)

Bob Harig
  (3:41 PM)

It would be nice. Injuries really hurt him in the early part of his career.

Jeremy (Marlboro, NJ)

Plus, as Tim Finchem said at the WGHOF press conference with Ken Venturi yesterday, you can't go 36 holes-a-day for two straight days in summer. There's a reason why they changed the U.S. Open format after Ken's 1964 win in the heat.

Bob Harig
  (3:42 PM)

There would be a lot of issues with playing the Ryder Cup in the summer.

Shoshana (Boston)

Rory isn't playing the China wgc either, big blow to that event. Rory/tiger both played HSBC Abu dhabi though

Bob Harig
  (3:43 PM)

That's right. Rory playing the European Tour event the week prior in China. Also playing Dubai at end of European season.

Jeremy (Marlboro, NJ)

I meant to say Top 75 on Web.com Money list, my apologies. This can all get confusing at times, haha.

Bob Harig
  (3:44 PM)

Understood. It is confusing. But in some ways, the new system will be better. I understand those who would like to see Q school still be an avenue to get you on tour. But I use Rickie Fowler as an example. In 2009, he barely missed getting his card in limited tour starts. He would have easily qualified for the four-tourney series. There, he has a chance to finish among the top 50 and get a card.

matt (Glen Rock)

tiger also isn't playing in australia?

Bob Harig
  (3:44 PM)

No Austalia.. Malaysia, World Challenge at Sherwood are it after this week.

Tommy (Green Bay, WI)

63 then 86 77 for JD this past weekend. Case of trying too hard and thinking about getting his card back?

Bob Harig
  (3:45 PM)

It's a mystery. Said he wasn't hurt. Hard to believe he'd give up. I don't know how a professional golfer shoot 86 on one of the tour's easier courses.

Jeff (Hoboken)

Furyk got a little testy with a reporter in the Ryder press conference. I understand that the question was probably a little unfair, but shouldn't Furyk have handled it differently? As a pro athlete, your response can't be "you must not have been on a team before." Obviously, the reporter is not suggesting that he could be on the Ryder Cup team, he is just asking a question.

Bob Harig
  (3:47 PM)

I don't think the quesiton was unfair, not do I like the "you must not have been on a team before" response. We all know what happened, and he was being asked about it. Now Furyk is a good guy and he gets the benefit of the doubt here. It was a tough, tough situation. It was a tough question. And once he got past that, he answered it quite well. Bascially he was asked about his inability to close this year.

Dan (CA)

I don't see the Ryder Cup competing with Football as being a bad thing. Millions more TV's on + social media means it's more likely people will watch some golf too. Problem for TV is when it's in Europe. Matches start at 1:00AM on the west coast.

Bob Harig
  (3:49 PM)

No way around that, unfortunately, when there's an 8-hour time difference and you have to start early in the morning to finish. On the other side, it ends quite late in Europe, no matter where it is played in the U.S.

Ed (Long Island)

Phil played a lot of events early this season, do you think he pares that back a little bit to avoid the mid season slump he had this year and stay fresh?

Bob Harig
  (3:50 PM)

Phil has typically done it that way. Takes a long time off in the offseason and then plays a lot early. Will be interesting to see if he cuts back because he loves all those West Coast tournaments he plays.

Jon (Durango, CO)

With all the worries about scheduling around the 2016 Olympics, why bother? If it works, that's fine, but if it disrupts plans for any of the majors, I don't know if it makes a whole lot of sense to participate. Does golf need the Olympics more than the Olympics need golf?

Bob Harig
  (3:50 PM)

The various govenring bodies all agreed the majors would not conflict. Olympic golf will have a hard time succeeding if the stars don't participate.

Matthew (UK)

Is it true that Rory's on his way to Nike?

Bob Harig
  (3:57 PM)

I don't know that, but nothing would surprise me.

Bob Harig
  (3:59 PM)

Okay folks, I'm out of time. Thanks for your participation again. Feel free to hit me up with your questions on twitter. @bobharig. . Thanks