Chat with Bob Harig
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN.com golf writer Bob Harig will stop by to talk chat live from the British Open.
Harig covers golf for ESPN.com and provides columns, features and analysis on the world of golf, specifically the PGA Tour. He has contributed to ESPN.com's golf coverage since 1997.
Send your questions now and join Bob to chat Thursday at 11 a.m. ET!
Bob Harig (11:01 AM)
Hello from beautiful Turnberry, where the weather is perfect and players at the British Open are taking advantage. Time is limited, but fire away with your questions and I'll get to as many as possible.
Kyle (Northville, MI)
Bob, what would you shoot at Turnberry this week? What would your typical 10 country club handicapper shoot?
Bob Harig (11:03 AM)
Kyle: It depends on the tees and the weather. . . If we're talking the back tees, a 10-handicapper would have difficulty breaking 90, even in nice conditions. If the wind blows, you might not finish. . . But give the average guy this course with wider fairways and manageable tees, and he would likely really enjoy it. As for me. . . I'd have no chance!
How often do you think players "cheat" on the PGA tour? I know it depends on your definition of "cheating" but I've seen som strange things, especially with drops. I remember Vijay hitting into the water on 11 in the final round of the 2000 Masters and getting a drop that seemed like it was way ahead of the point of entry.
Bob Harig (11:05 AM)
Brian, I don't think anyone "cheats." Do they try to push the envelope when it comes to the rules? Sure. That doesn't mean they are cheating, they are simply trying to do what is allowed. I am not sure of the incident with Singh, but remember he had playing partners who are supposed to protect the field. . . And there are rules officials. Now that is not to say no one has ever cheated or that it won't happen. But I'm saying it is likely rare.
Galen (Omaha, NE)
Is Turnberry going to be playing like we REALLY expect to see links courses play, in that the typical firm fast conditions where the players really have to think about the run out of their drives and all of the notorious bunkers on these courses. I love the Open Championship for the different style of golf it requires, and to see who can best adapt to the different conditions from what are typical in the U.S. and on the PGA Tour. I'm sure the weather will be the ultimate decider, much like the U.S. Open, but how is the course going into the Championship?
Bob Harig (11:06 AM)
Galen, we're already seeing a benign Turnberry. Today (it's 4:07 p.m. in Britain) has seen virtually no wind and no rain. Of course, all of that can change.. . And the course will still remain firm and fast.
Bob do you think tiger woods will win another major this year?and what is the latest on phil mickelson's wife?
Bob Harig (11:09 AM)
Victor, if Tiger doesn't win this one -- and he's already six behind -- then he's got just one more chance at the PGA. He finished second at Hazeltine seven years ago and he's playing well this year, so it's certainly possible, probably even likely. But as you can see, it's very difficult to predict these things. Just because you're playing well doesn't mean you are going to win.
Chuck (Long Beach)
Outside of Tiger, when a guy says he's making a change to his swing, is that just an excuse for when he is struggling? Why would Paddy make a swing change after winning 3 majors in 6 tries?
Bob Harig (11:11 AM)
Chuck, in Harrington's case it is not an excuse, although you could see why it might be perceived that way in other instances. Why change? Good question. It really doesn't make sense, but many players feel perhaps that they are "getting away" with things in their game that will hurt them later if they don't try to improve now. In trying to improve, they inevitably go backward for a time before moving forward.
RAY GORDON REID ( DULUTH GA30096)
QUESTION TO BOB HARIG AT 11.10AM HI BOB HOW TIGER DOING
Bob Harig (11:12 AM)
Ray, Tiger's not doing so well. He's finished for the day, shot 1 over 71 and is six strokes back with a ton of guys between him and the lead.
Boo Weekley (Turnberry)
Bob what are the chances that I can continue my solid play out here? Was striking the ball great today, I reckon.
Bob Harig (11:12 AM)
Boo is a great ball striker, which is the key in an Open.
How on earth did Kim card a 9 on #2?
Bob Harig (11:13 AM)
Alex, don't know the details yet, but he's done well to keep it at 3 over so far.
Gus (New City, NY)
So it looks like my pick for the Jug is already cooked - David Duval. I don't think i'm ever going to be able to figure him out.
Bob Harig (11:17 AM)
Gus, I wouldn't say Duval is cooked. A 71 is not great today, but he's certainly not out of it. But there are many skeptics where Duval is concerned simply because he has performed so poorly -- except for the U.S. Open last month -- for so long.
What would you put the odds of Watson actually winning this thing? 50-1? 100-1?
Bob Harig (11:18 AM)
Matt, depending on the betting shop over here, Watson was 200-1 or so heading in. Even now, I would still put the odds over 100-1. We're talking about the oldest major champion by 11 YEARS! Incredible if it happens.
Canaan Campbell (Lawrence, Kansas)
Why has Tiger Woods started out slow in the 3 majors so far?
Bob Harig (11:23 AM)
A good question. No good answer. A theory is that Tiger has been trying to be too careful, plodding along while others are speeding past him. Of course if he went for broke and made mistakes, that wouldn't be good, either. But for some reason, he's been getting off to slow starts in these tournaments and it is hard to understand why.
Of active players, Sergio is the best never to have won a major. Furyk is the best to win only 1 major. Who is the best to have won only 2 majors?
Bob Harig (11:25 AM)
Matt,how about Retief Goosen?
Paul Casey is better than Sergio. Sergio stinks.
Bob Harig (11:27 AM)
Mike thank you for that contribution. . . Every one is entitled to their opinion, but the world ranking at this point bears you out.
Andrew Fouch (Lexington, Kentucky)
what do u think are the chances of tiger do well in the next few tournaments?
Bob Harig (11:28 AM)
Andrew, I think the chances are quite good, actually. He hasn't finished out of the top-10 in two years in a stroke play event. His level of play is consistently excellent whether he wins or not.
Gus (New City, NY)
Do you and Sobel start elbowing each other during these dual chats and live blogs? Also is it true that you are a terrible car driver?
Bob Harig (11:31 AM)
Gus, actually no. We wonder why they ask us to do this at the same time. Obviously we're both doing sort of the same thing, although mine is for a limited time while he is doing it all day. But hey we roll with it.As for the car, it is absolutely not true that I am a terrible driver. There are several of us staying at the same place up the road in Ayr and the rest of these guys are afraid to drive over here. I don't mind it at all.
That eagle by John Daly was quite impressive as is his outfit. Does he have any good golf left in him or will he miss the cut yet again?
Bob Harig (11:32 AM)
Scotty, it's been an up and down round so far for Daly, and right now he is 2 under. I do believe he has some good golf in him, regardless of whether he makes the cut here. He's still got plenty of game, it's the other factors that remain in question.
Of the 5 guys who finished at -4, who has the best chance to win?
Bob Harig (11:33 AM)
Matt, actually five have done so to this point, and I'm not sure who has the better chance. I'd probably go with Stricker because we know he's playing well coming off a victory on Sunday.
Tyler (La Crosse, Wisconsin)
Steve Stricker just won the John Deere and is currently one stroke back at -4. Would you consider him the favorite to win or would you still consider Tiger or someone else?
Bob Harig (11:34 AM)
Tyler, I wouldn't consider anyone the favorite at this point. So many players are within a few shots. I think it's wide open now.
Ryo Ishikawa. This guy is the real deal. 17 years old. Pressure up the wazoo. Comes out playin with his idol and fires 68. Who wins a major first him or Kim? I like Ishikawa. hes fearless.
Bob Harig (11:39 AM)
Joel, no doubt that was impressive today. I figured he'd have difficulty with the hysteria that typically is part of the scene with Tiger. But he beat him by three strokes. But win a major? That's going to be tougher. I'd have to pick Kim over Ishikawa for now, but of course there is no guarantee either will do it -- or maybe they both win a bunch.
Dan (New Haven, CT)
Do you expect to see a lot of Sunday scores under-par or will the weather/conditions bring everyone back to even by the final day like every other Major?
Bob Harig (11:40 AM)
Dan, the weather around here is so unpredictable, you never know how it will affect things. If it remains like it is today, I'm guessing there will be plenty of low scores. But we're supposed to have a chance of rain, so things can change quickly.
Bob is there an eight hour difference between the u.s. andscotland?
Bob Harig (11:41 AM)
Victor, it is now 4:40 p.m. here. 5 hours between here and the East Coast of the U.S., eight hours to the West Coast.
Shaun (St. Cloud MN)
It's been about 10 years now for Sergio, and still no majors. So at this point, whose career path does he more resemble: Greg Norman, who had similar Sunday troubles to what has plagued Sergio, or Phil Mickelson, who was pegged for a major from his amateur days, and then felt the pressure of the media for so many years? Or is it more likely that Sergio will end up like Monty, with so many close calls, but never finishing the deal off?
Bob Harig (11:42 AM)
Shaun, all of that is in play until we see the final resume. Mickelson didn't win a major until he was in his 30s, then grabbed three of them. Monty never did get it done. Norman was different in that he had multiple chances and came away with two. Garcia has really not had a ton of chances.
Bob the second part of my question was about phil mickleson,s wife. what is the latest on her?
Bob Harig (11:47 AM)
Sorry Victor, forgot that part. . . We really don't know anything about Amy other than that she had surgery two weeks ago. There have been no official reports on her situation.
Just a note Harig, Kim is so prone to blow up on holes and with one mistake, a major can be out of reach...
Bob Harig (11:47 AM)
Joel, you may be right. Very tough to say who is going to win majors.
Bob - what did you think of Quigley's decision not to go to Turnberry? thsnks
Bob Harig (11:50 AM)
Rob, I wrote earlier this week that I didn't like the decision. If you are exempt for a major championship, you should play. These opportunities are cherished and to blow it off, to me, is bad karma.Now in Quigley's case, there are some extenuating circumstances. He got a spot on Sunday and didn't have his passport with him at the John Deere. That would have meant not getting here until Tuesday at the earliest. And he did have plans to go to a Memorial Service for the wife of player Chris Smith. . . She died in a recent car accident.All that said, I don't think Quigley wanted to go through the hassle anyway, and if that is the case, I don't agree with his decision.
German (Santiago, Chile)
Al excelente equipo de comentaristas, donde juegan y que handicap tienen? y gracias por sus comentarios y su claridad de llevar el juego.....muy entretenido.
Bob Harig (11:51 AM)
Sorry, my Scottish is not very good.
What does the future hold in store for Bryce Moulder or Hunter Mahan? Are they capable of winning a major or will lack of experience hender them?
Bob Harig (11:51 AM)
John, I have a hard time predicting anyone will win a major when they've not won a tour event in Molder's case or just one in Mahan's case. Both are excellent players, and I really like the way Mahan has been playing.
If the weather stays the same and low scores are being fired all over the course who do you think that helps/hurts the most. For example, would a guy like Retif Goosen beable to fire a low enough score in ample conditions or would he be better suited to have the wind kick up and have to grind out pars?
Bob Harig (11:54 AM)
Andrew, generally speaking, poor weather and tough conditions favor the best players or the ones who strike the ball the best. When the weather is nice, more players have a chance because their flaws are less exposed.
Who was more upset at Tiger's tournament? Hunter Mahan or sportswriters who didn't get a chance to write bad pun headlines like "Hunter catches Tiger"
Bob Harig (11:55 AM)
Matt, we frown on bad puns.
Bob Harig (11:59 AM)
Okay folks, I'm out of time.Thanks for all the questions and enjoy the Open.