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

Bob Harig
  (2:59 PM)

Hey, thanks for checking in, got plenty to chat about with another major approaching. Your questios are welcome, please fire away.

Robb (Colorado)

Hi, Bob, I am sure you will get lots of questions and comments about Bubba and his caddy. My question has to do more with the players in general and if this kind of thing happens often, but out of the range of tv camera's? Or, is it a rare incident and just happened to be caught live?

Bob Harig
  (3:01 PM)

The reference is to Bubba's rather public spat with his caddie, Ted Scott, during the final round of the Travelers. That didn't look good. No doubt, there are disagreements between players and caddies, perhaps more than we know. Usually behind closed doors. It is rare to see a player dress down his caddie like Bubba did in that instance.

Patrick (Hanover)

In your opinion, Would Murifield and maybe Troon be considered the most Americanized courses in the British Open Rota meaning not as quirky as some of the others?

Bob Harig
  (3:02 PM)

I don't think Americanized is the right word. They are still links, which is really not like anything in the U.S. I do agree, however, that Muirfield has less of the odd bounces and quirks that you see on other links. I'm not sure thought that Troon fits. It has some quirkiness about it too.

Eagle Bob (NV)

Any confirmatin on the reports that TW is already in Scotland "rehabbing" his elbow by playing 36 holes a day at Muirfield?

Bob Harig
  (3:03 PM)

I hadn't heard that one. It is my understanding he is in Florida and won't arrive at Muirfield until sometime over the weekend.

Jeff (MN)

Hey Bob....While we're young!

Bob Harig
  (3:03 PM)

Good one.. My pace of play in these chats is not always up to the speed I desire. 2-stroke penalty.

Mike (Oklahoma City)

Does Hunter Mahan strike you as a player who could win a few majors in his career?

Bob Harig
  (3:04 PM)

He does, but until he gets that first one, who knows? I think there are a good number of players in which we would not be surprised to see them win majors.

Jeff (MN)

Hey Bob....Get stuck behind a 5-some?

Bob Harig
  (3:04 PM)

Uh, Jeff... Chat started at 3.. It is now 3:04

Joel (Niagara Falls) [via mobile]

I discovered something while comparing the twenty Major Tournements, and their winners over this past five years, with the same for the previous tweny/five. What I saw astounded me, and I'm anxious to know if you see any foretelling trends. (I excluded this year, still in progress) From 2003-2007: 20 Majors/5 years, eight total multiple winners, twelve solo champs. (Tiger-5, Phil-3) From 2008-2012: 20 Majors/5years, two total multiple winners, two solo champs. (Rory-2, Padraig-2) Do you see any significance in this ? Thank you for your time.

Bob Harig
  (3:06 PM)

In the last five years, we've had a mixture of winners, nobody really dominating. Obviously Tiger and winning a bunch and Phil adding 3 takes up a lot of majors in that previous stretch.

Duffer (Illinois)

Tiger has made the most money during his playing career but I have heard that the shark is wealthier...true?

Bob Harig
  (3:08 PM)

Wish I knew that one. Norman certainly has had a longer time in which to build wealth, so it's possible. And he's had many successful business ventures.

JY (TO) [via mobile]

Can Tiger shake the inevitable rust/injury to enough of a degree to win The Open?

Bob Harig
  (3:09 PM)

This is the great unknown at this point. We don't know when he was able to start practicing again, if there is any lingering pain, if he's had trouble regaining any form. So many questions to find out about his situation heading into the Open.

JY (TO) [via mobile]

How much do you think it will take to retain your card this year? 600K?

Bob Harig
  (3:10 PM)

Might be a bit less than that. The last tournament to determine PGA Tour cards is Greensboro, which is only another 6 weeks. Also remember that this is the last year money matters. This year only they are going by FedEx Cup points and/or money. Next year, just FedEx points.

pj (midlo)

do you get the sense that until tiger wins another major that the luster and excitement that once existed with the PGA will not return?? I am a sports fan and oldtimer and for once I honestly would say that the under 30 tour players have no real pizazzz - Rory has potential but he really is putting up a stinker of a year with his new clubs and new found celebrity

Bob Harig
  (3:11 PM)

Unfortunately, you are not alone in your assessment. To some, it's all about Tiger. There are a lot of great stories in golf, but it hasn't helped that Rory is struggling this year.

Jeff Todd (Earth) [via mobile]

Tiger makes me so frustrated that I literally scream out loud when I watch golf. Why can't he just win already? What is he doing? Everything he is doing is just off. I am so angry about this

Bob Harig
  (3:12 PM)

I would guess Tiger shares some of your angst

Jeff Todd (earth) [via mobile]

Given how much deeper men's fields are, how much (or little) do you think that (Inbee Park) winning the Grand Slam will resonate?

Bob Harig
  (3:13 PM)

Well, if it were a man with 3 majors right now, I think the attention would be off the charts. It's not nearly the same, for whatever reasons. What she has accomplished already is amazing, and is probably underplayed.

Tom (Verona, WI)

Stats question: People seem to like to pick hot players. How does that hold up for the Open Championship? In recent history (maybe 25 years) how many times has the Open winner already won at least once in that year?

Bob Harig
  (3:15 PM)

Well, of the top of my heads, I know Els had not won last year and I'm pretty sure Stewart Cink had not won in 2009, nor had Harrington in 2008.As I wrote today (shameless plug for birdies and bogeys) picking winners of golf tournaments is a fruitless exercise. Current form often means little. Darren Clarke was nobody's pick two years ago at the Open.

Wondering (The South)

Will we still be able to Chat if no Facebook acct? Or are Chats separate from comments? This (paid) Insider is upset if so. Pls advise and thx.

Bob Harig
  (3:15 PM)

It is my understanding that chats such as this are not affected by the new policy about comments on stories.

Kirk (Macon, GA)

What do you think of KJ Choi's chances?

Bob Harig
  (3:18 PM)

Well, his name is not one that comes to mind at the moment for winning. He has just one top 10 in his British Open career. But as I said earlier, lots of guys who are not given a chance often turn up winners.

Mari IL [via mobile]

Please tell me tiger wins a major this year

Bob Harig
  (3:18 PM)

I'm been saying since the start of the year that Muirfield is the place for Tiger. But there is plenty of uncertainty with the elbow injury.

Shoshana (No longer overheating in Boston)

Hey Bob hearing anything out of South Florida on Tiger's practice/elbow? (bc heaven help him actually giving updates)

Bob Harig
  (3:19 PM)

There's been no word. Perhaps no news is good news for him.

Shoshana (No longer overheating in Boston)

I saw that Billy Foster is now working with Brandon Grace. Do you know if that is a permanent or temporary thing?

Bob Harig
  (3:20 PM)

I believe it as permanent as a player-caddie relationship can be ... which means it could change. But I think they hooked up with the intention of staying together for the foreseeable future.

Glenn (Ocean City, NJ)

Any word on severity of Tiger's injury ? A bad arm hitting out of rough at British Open is not a good combination.

Bob Harig
  (3:20 PM)

All we know is what he said 2 weeks ago now, that he would be "good enough" at the Open. No word on when he started hitting balls again, how much he's played, etc.

Tom (Verona, WI)

Gary player in the ESPN body issue...brilliant move! I'm guessing you suggested it.

Bob Harig
  (3:20 PM)

Great idea, but not mine.

Sm (Nj)

Bob, Is the rough at muirfield supposed to be thicker than usual this year?

Bob Harig
  (3:21 PM)

My understanding it is plenty penal, nore more so than usual.

shosheak (trying to stay cool)

I'm having a hard time believing all the Tiger doom and gloomers. He came close at Augusta, but for hitting the flagstick on Friday, who knows, maybe he wins (he was about to take the lead with a birdie there). Tiger struggled in the US Open, no doubt, but let's wait and see where the rest of the year takes us. To me, the "is Tiger back?" question was answered as soon as he once again became the odds on favorite to win every time he tees it up. That sense of inevitability is the essence of what Tiger is/was.

Bob Harig
  (3:24 PM)

Any doom in gloom is always in relation to what he did in the past, which I maintain is unfair. Other than Rory -- who hasn't won this year -- and Padraig -- who hasn't won in 5 years -- nobody has won multiple majors since Tiger's last major win. Obviously he had a stretch there where he wans't a factor, and it appeared he was injured at the U.S. Open. Will be interesting to see how healthy he is and just how much he's been able to work on his game.

Tom (Verona, WI)

Wish you would tweet a link to everything you write on ESPN.com. Maybe your IT crew could set up automatic tweets.

Bob Harig
  (3:24 PM)

If you follow @espngolf they tweet out all the links. I try to tweet out my own but sometimes forget:)

WOndering (The South)

Thanks. When will you be going overseas? Or will your four daily chats be from the U.S.?

Bob Harig
  (3:28 PM)

Headed over this weekend, no daily chats from me however, although we will have a daily interactive chat as we always do at majors from on site..

Bob Harig
  (3:29 PM)

Good question. Might have to be Russell Henley. Or perhaps Jordan Spieth although winning really helps.

Bob Harig
  (3:29 PM)

I believe they are allowed, yes. I've not heard that they have changed the policy.

Matt (Alabama)

I am a big Graeme McDowell fan. Can you explain his win or MC results this season? Is he more likely to win or MC at the Open?

Bob Harig
  (3:31 PM)

I think it's a mystery to even him. He's good enough to win three tournaments in 8 starts but misses the cut in the rest? That is very odd.Here's the strange thing with Gmac: He missed the cut at the Masters, Players, BMW PGA and U.S. Open, the biggest events. Maybe putting too much pressure on himself?

Bob (Seattle)

Are reporters required to wear a jacket if they enter the clubhouse at Muirfield?

Bob Harig
  (3:32 PM)

If so, I'm not aware. I believe we have locker room access without that distinction.

Bob (Seattle)

Going to play N. Berwick when you're out there?

Bob Harig
  (3:32 PM)

It is my great hope and desire to do so. One of my all-time favorites.

Mike (my cubicle)

Why does Tiger love playing coy with the media, especially when it comes to his injuries? It's like he thinks he's being clever in not playing the injury card, but in reality all his coyness does is raise more intrigue and more questions. Perhaps this is his intention after all, despite him pretending he hates media sessions / interviews. I just don't get it -- why not answer the injury questions directly?

Bob Harig
  (3:34 PM)

I agree, it is odd. Injury info cannot be used like in other sports to attack a weakness. I have two theories: Tiger sees himself as an athlete, and athletes typically don't talk about injuries; and he doesn't want to make excuses. My guess is we would have heard hardly anything about it if hadn't been told not to play recently. Then he had to give a reason.

Nate (Minnesota)

Where has Anthony Kim been?

Bob Harig
  (3:34 PM)

He's been injured. Out with an Achilles problem.

Bob Harig
  (3:34 PM)

To be honest, I don't know what to make of Ishikawa. He has done next to nothing on the PGA Tour, despite his great record in Japan.

Mike (my cubicle)

Rory seems like a total mess mentally. He's said he's afraid of missing left which causes him to "hang on" which results in a block to the right. Sounds like a head case to me. Will these types of mental demons be easy for him to overcome and move past? We all know golf is a mental game...

Bob Harig
  (3:39 PM)

I'm not sure he's a mess, but he clearly is struggling. He got into some bad swing habits to start the year and even though he came out of them, there were confidence issues, distractions. The Nike contract, the new agent stuff, the pressure to back up last year... I'm guessing it has taken a toll. Rory's scheduling has also been suspect. He played too early at the beginning of the year. He probably needed another tournament before the Open.. But there's still a lot of golf left. At this point last year, he was in a lull too.

Shoshana (No longer overheating in Boston)

It feels like the golf year is barely half over with two majors, a wgc and the play-offs left, yet there are only 6 events remaining for guys to hang onto their cards. Seems like a growing schism between the haves and have nots

Bob Harig
  (3:44 PM)

This was always going to be an odd year because the season is really condensed with the new schedule. With a bunch of events starting in the fall for the 2013-14 season, perhaps it won't seem so much that way. My guess is a lot of the "have-nots" will participate in those fall events. That is their big chance to give themselves a cushion.

Hob Barig ((Mr Stees))

Bob, does Tiger win again this year?

Bob Harig
  (3:46 PM)

I would be surprised if he doesn't. Lots of tournaments left for him

Tom (Verona, WI)

Looking forward to fine food at Muirfield? Perhaps something like Olympic's burger dog. :)

Bob Harig
  (3:49 PM)

With apologies to all of my British friends, there is really no such thing as fine food there:)

Greg (SF)

I played North Berwick and Muirfiled a month ago. North Berwick great poor man's Old Course. Muirfield is not as quirky, but the fairways are sloped towards the rough and you need to shape your tee shots. Greens are small and tricky and any miss is a tough up and down.

Bob Harig
  (3:50 PM)

That must have been some trip. How did you get on Muirfield? North Berwick is a nice, fun golf course, very enjoyable to me.

Ed (Long Island)

I think people are making out too much of Tiger not communicating on his injury. He got, hurt, said he should be good enough to play at the Open. Is anyone going to sleep better knowing he is actually able to hit his driver today rather than Friday? Lots of better more interesting stories to talk about than a status of injury that you know he will show up and play with.

Bob Harig
  (3:51 PM)

It's the nature of Tiger Woods. Everything is magnified. He clearly had some issues at Muirfield Village and Merion and now hasn't been able to practice or play? Just sort of how things roll in regards to Tiger.

Shoshana (No longer overheating in Boston)

Yo Bob given that I've heard your version of fine food is the olive garden, maybe you're not the best judge on this one :)

Bob Harig
  (3:51 PM)

You do not need to be a food expert to have an opinion on food over there, believe me. It's an old line, but have you ever heard anyone say: "Let's go get British food?"

Hob Barig (Sis Mees)

Bob - what kind of player does it take to win at Oak Hill. Good driver?

Bob Harig
  (3:52 PM)

If it's like it was in 2003, Oak Hill plays a lot like a U.S. Open venue. Tough scoring. Need to be in the fairway, be sharp around the greens, minimize the big numbers. Sounds simple, but I don't see it yielding a lot of birdies.

Mike (my cubicle)

Did Tiger win earlier this year due simply to a hot putter? Did his putting cover up the bigger story that he simply isn't striking it as well as he once did? And now that his putter has cooled off, he's struggling to post winning scores?

Bob Harig
  (3:55 PM)

He did putt very well at Doral and Bay Hill. But not so great at the Players, where his ball striking is what won him the tournament. So it's not all about a hot putter although it would help if he holed a few more, certainly. But so much goes into that. Was he too far from the hole? Did he miss too many greens. Was his chipping poor?

Bob Harig
  (3:56 PM)

Curry is not really "British." And yes, Fish and Chips, a real gourmet option!

Bob Harig
  (3:56 PM)

Looks like a great venue.

Greg (SF)

We got on Muirfield a very sneaky way as I understood it. We stayed at the Greywalls hotel that sits right behind the 10th tee, and on a Monday they allow guests to play. There were only about 12 of us. North Berwick was an add-on since we were in the area, and completely agree what a gem it is. The 18th hole reminded me of 18 at the Old.

Bob Harig
  (3:57 PM)

Well, I'm not sure that is sneaky. If that is the way to get on, good for you. I understand that Muirfield is the hardest of the 9 Open venues to get on, as their outside play is limited. So good for you. And yes, North Berwich has a lot of Old Course charms.

Bob (Seattle)

Fresh fish and chips. And I actually liked haggis... but I'll eat offal in a non-Scottish setting.

Bob Harig
  (3:58 PM)

I've tried haggis and it's not as bad as it sounds or looks but it is also not something that you would want in great quantities!

Bob Harig
  (3:59 PM)

And with that, I'm out of time.Thanks for all the questions.Please feel free to fire questions at me on Twitter: @bobharig.I'll be at Muirfield over the weekend, and welcome your insights. Thanks