Chat with Bob Harig
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN.com golf writer Bob Harig will stop by to talk about the 2009 golf season.
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 2 p.m. ET!
Bob Harig (2:00 PM)
Hello, thanks for checking in. Still lots of chatter after the British Open and all that went on there. Feel free to weigh in on anything golf-related. Please fire away with your questions. Thanks
What would it take for Adam Scott to work his way up toward the top 10 again? Last I checked he was ranked somewhere in the 80's.
Bob Harig (2:02 PM)
Adam Scott is 44th in the world at the moment -- after being No. 3 as recently as the 2008 U.S. Open. That's quite a drop. But Scott obviously has the ability to get back there. He's had a tough year but has shown some signs recently of emerging from his troubles.
Patrick (Hanover PA)
With his 2nd place finish in the OPen Championship, does Tom Watson get and invite to the 2010 US OPen. It would be great to see him play at Pebble where he won the 82 Open.
Bob Harig (2:04 PM)
Patrick, the answer is no. A second does not mean in invite to the U.S. Open. It does to the Masters, but of course Watson is already in there. Watson would have to be among the top 50 int he world by the end of the year or the top 30 in the FedEx Cup points -- neither of which is likely.
Hey Bob. Any word on how The Scientist's recovery is going? I was really hoping for a big year from that cat.
Bob Harig (2:05 PM)
The reference is to Robert Karlsson, who was in the top-10 at three majors last year. The Swede has missed the U.S. Open and British Open with an eye issue. I have never heard of this, but he has a blister behind his retina and apparently only rest will take care of it. There have been no recent updates.
Jerry (Victoria, BC)
I'm so into Jiminez - when he went low on Thursday I had high hopes for him to be holding the Claret Jug while smoking a looong stogie. Do you think he will ever break through and win his first MAJor?
Bob Harig (2:06 PM)
Jerry, if a 59-year-old man can tie for the lowest score at the Open,anything is possible. Jimenez remains a fine player at age 45.
michael odell (kentucky)
do u think tiger has much left in the tank
Bob Harig (2:09 PM)
Michael, not sure the question is even worthy, really. Let's remember, he's won 3 of 10 tournaments this year, more than anyone else. Eight top-10s. Two top-10s in majors. Yes, he missed the cut at the British Open. He had a bad six-hole stretch. It happens. Not to him very often. But it happens.
Any comments on Rick Reilly's article calling out Tiger for his on the course behavior? Im a big Tiger fan, but completely agree he needs to grow up and stop the expletives. Nicklaus, Watson all carried themselves as gentlemen off and ON the course.
Bob Harig (2:10 PM)
Shawn, it is hard to argue with Reilly's piece. Of course Tiger doesn't need to be that way, and I bet he would say the same thing. But. . . a lot of people swear on the golf course. A lot of people get upset. The camera is on Tiger all the time, and we talk about guys not showing any emotion, and then he does and we criticize him. It's tough, I guess there is a fine line, and again I think we hold Tiger to a higher standard than others, fair or not.
Mike (Tulsa, OK)
Who are your favorites at the PGA? Other than Tiger of course. What players does Hazeltine set up best for?
Bob Harig (2:11 PM)
Mike, my favorites are players nobody is thinking of or would even mention. That is how this year is going in the majors. Even Sunday on the back nine, I don't think Stewart Cink's name occurred to me. And then he wins. Been a strange year that way this year.
Any word on how bad Couples' back is to cause a WD from the RBC?
Bob Harig (2:12 PM)
Rob, only know what you know on this one. As I'm sure you know, Couples has had back issues for years. Not sure if this is a flare-up or something more serious.
Since Hazeltine is on the water and it can get windy, does it play kind of like a links course? The last time a European won the US Open was at Hazeltine (Jacklin 1970)!!
Bob Harig (2:13 PM)
Dan, in a word, no. . . Hazeltine is nothing like a links. It is an inland American style golf course with trees and water hazards. A links course rarely has water as a hazard other than the occasional burn.
who would be the favorite to win the next masters
Bob Harig (2:15 PM)
Michael, I can barely get through this week, let alone next April!
How do you expect Jamie Lovemark to perform this week and going forward on the pga tour after recently turning pro.
Bob Harig (2:16 PM)
Steve, I don't have any expectations. There is a big difference between being a top-notch amateur or collegian and playing for pay. He has shown he can play with these guys in spurts, but how will he do when a putt missed means money out of his pocket? We'll have to see.
Won't it be ironic if Tiger loses at Firestone where he rarely loses and not win the last tournament he plays before a major only to come back and win the major this time.
Are you surprised that Tiger is going to play 3 in row? Does that say something about his confidence heading into the PGA?
What chance do you give Danny Lee of making enough money to earn his tour card without going to Q school.
Matthew Lownes (Amagansett, New York)
Hey Bob, why does every one expect Tiger to win every tournament he's just human right?
Bob Harig (2:20 PM)
Matthew, very true. The expectations for Tiger are unrealistic and nobody else is held to the same standards.
How good is Chris Wood? He has two top 5's in the only two majors he has every played.
Bob Harig (2:21 PM)
Pat, Chris Wood must be pretty good to do what he's done the past two years at the Open. He bogeyed the 18th hole Sunday and missed a playoff by that one shot. He's having a nice year in Europe with a bunch of top-10s but he has yet to win.
Matt (Milford, DE)
As an Ian Poulter fan it kills me to see him play so inconsistent. Do you think we'll see him become more steadily as he continues to get more experience playing on the PGA Tour?
Bob Harig (2:22 PM)
Matt, Poulter has plenty of experience. It is a mystery why he goes so long between wins. And he's never won on the PGA Tour. For a player of his stature -- top 25 in the world -- it is mystifying.
Assuming that the winner of the PGA doesn't alter the mix, who do you see as winning POY this year?
Bob Harig (2:24 PM)
Andy, that's a big assumption at this point. If Cabrera, Glover or Cink were to win the PGA, they would clearly have to be player of the year. Without that, Tiger has to have the lead right now with three wins in only 10 tournaments. But a lot can still happen.
Looks like word is Tiger is in for a new swing coach...Hank no where to be found since their issues at the Masters...and some of the guys who played with him at the Open saying they have never seen Tiger hit is so bad...who's phone will ring next?
Bob Harig (2:25 PM)
Thomas, I disagree. Hank Haney worked with Tiger the week prior to the British, as he does before every major. And while he might have hit it poorly at the British, he missed the cut by a single stroke when he played a six-hole stretch in 7 over par. For the other 30 holes, he was 3 under. Not so sure that means anything is wrong. It's just golf.
Matthew Lownes (Amagansett, New York)
How much support do the players actually give to Phil and his family?
Bob Harig (2:28 PM)
I would say quite a bit in terms of emotional support. I would also say they probably would do the same for any number of players going through the same thing.
John Daly played pretty well last week, but didn't get much press. Obviously, there was a much bigger story, but do you think that the John Daly story has worn thin?
Bob Harig (2:29 PM)
Andy, I think it was circumstances. Daly just didn't quite get into the mix at any point during the tournament. Believe me, if he contends or wins a tournament, his story will get plenty of play.
Lou (East Liverpool, OH)
Tiger doesn't have The President's Cup on his official schedule on his website. Any chance....?
Bob Harig (2:31 PM)
Lou, I wouldn't make too much out of that. He doesn't have the Tour Championship on it, either, and I have a feeling he'll be in Atlanta.
Lou (East Liverpool, OH)
Bob: I have faith that you can see the future- At the end of the 2010 Tiger will have how many majors?
Bob Harig (2:36 PM)
Lou, you faith is poorly placed, but since you asked. . . I think 16. If he doesn't get the PGA this year, he wins two next year.
Craig G. (Fairfield, CA)
Hey Bob, I enjoy your work. My favorite golfer is Mike Weir. How do you think he'll do on his native soil this weekend? Thanks!
Bob Harig (2:38 PM)
Craig, I have a good feeling about Mike Weir this week. As you know, this is one he dearly wants, he came close a few years ago losing in a playoff.
Mike (Dallas, TX)
Who are you favorite young players to watch on tour?
Bob Harig (2:39 PM)
Mike, there are several: Anthony Kim, Brandt Snedeker, Rory McIlroy (although not a PGA Tour member), Danny Lee.
How tough will Hazeltine play at the PGA? Will double digit under par be the winning score?
Bob Harig (2:40 PM)
Stan, it sounds as if they've lengthened the course, toughened a few holes. The PGA has played tough in recent years, and a lot of it depends on how tough they want to set it up. Do they grow the rough to hack-out level or let them play from it? What about the speed of the greens? The weather? To the extent that these thigns can be controlled, I doubt they will get to double digits under par.
The Italian Amateur Matteo Mannaserro finsihed 13th at the British at age 16. He would have been in the top 10 had it not been for a bogey on the final hole. Why is this not getting more attention!
Bob Harig (2:41 PM)
You're right, it's an amazing feat. The oldest and youngest players in the field did quite well. I'm sure Tom Watson's play simply overshadowed Mannaserro's.
Frank (South Dakota)
Certainly 19 is the number Tiger has his eyes on, do you think he cares much about getting to 100 total?
Bob Harig (2:42 PM)
Frank, I really doubt 100 is a big part of his motivation. Perhaps getting past Sam Snead's 82 is in the back of his mind. But if he gets to 19 majors, I doubt he'll be too worried if he doesn't get 100 tour vitories.
Hi Bob. Is there a rule over how long you can stand over the ball before pulling the trigger? Westwood really likes to hover over the ball...reminds me of this cat at my club who does the same thing.
Bob Harig (2:43 PM)
You are basically allowed 40 seconds to hit a shot once it is deemed to be your turn. As we all know, the slow play rules are not enforced very effectively.
Thomas (Hartford, Ct)
what tour will John Daly be playing in 2010?
Bob Harig (2:44 PM)
Thomas, my guess is that Daly will not be exempt on the PGA Tour, so he will be forced to rely on sponsor exemptions. If he finishes this year strong and stays out of trouble, I would also guess that he'll get plenty of exemptions if he wants them. I'm sure he would rather player the PGA Tour than in Europe.
Gomes (British Columbia)
Hey Bob...Gomes here. Just wondering if you knew why the Open wasn't broadcast in HD. All in all, I was pretty disappointed with the coverage. It seemed like they weren't able to follow many groups at all. Thanks
Bob Harig (2:46 PM)
Gomes,the various broadcast enteries were at the mercy of the BBC, which provided the feed of the telecast but not in HD. That is also why some of the coverage looked different. I do not know all the technical details, but it is different from when a major is covered in the U.S.
Thomas (Hartford, Ct)
Who are the top 5 currently without a major?
Bob Harig (2:48 PM)
Thomas, simply going by the Official World Golf Ranking, the answer would be: Paul Casey, Kenny Perry, Sergio Garcia, Steve Stricker and Henrik Stenson.. As it stands, they are ranked third through 7th in the world and none have a major.
How good is the Italian teenager who finished top 15 at the British? His game looked good.
Bob Harig (2:49 PM)
Brock, it did look very good, and he was on the cusp of contention going into the final day. Hard to say, though, because he's just 16. Will things change as expectations grow?
Will Paddy Harrington be in Major contention for years to come?
Bob Harig (2:50 PM)
Bryan,I think he will. Harrington might seem crazy for messing with his swing, but he knows what he is doing. He's trying to set himself up for the long haul.
Some people are saying the fact that Watson could contend at a major like that proves that golf is not a sport. Your thoughts.
Bob Harig (2:51 PM)
Danny, I don't buy that. It takes incredible skill to hit a golf ball the way these guys do. The fact that one person in his 50s in all the years of golf being played might have won a major doesn't change anything. It's simply an incredible feat.
On a scale of 1-10, how disapointed were you when Tom Watson missed the putt on 18 to win the tournament?
Bob Harig (2:52 PM)
Ricky, if 10 is the highest level of disappointment, it would be 10. I don't think anybody wanted to see him miss that putt. It was such an incredible accomplishment to get to that point. We were on the verge of one of sports' all-time great stories. And this is no knock on Stewart Cink, who did what he had to do, is a true pro, and desrves the Claret Jug. But you asked about Watson, and to see him come up short after all he did was disappointing.
How good is Kyle Stanley? His fisrt three pga tour events he has performed admirably
Bob Harig (2:54 PM)
Lou, I don't think it's enough time to tell. He's off to a nice start and that's encouraging. Certainly better than the alternative. Just so many good young players that you can say for sure.
In your opinion, do we see Phil at Hazeltine?
Bob Harig (2:56 PM)
Jay, just my opinion, but no. I think Phil will stay away.
Bo Van Pelt finally got a win last week. Think he might break through now that the monkey is off his back?
Bob Harig (2:57 PM)
Dave, it should help. Van Pelt has had some strange Sundays in his career after getting himself into contention. This should help his confidence.
David (Sydney, NSW)
Steve Marino came back to earth on the weekend at the Open. Does he have what it takes to break through and win in the States?
Bob Harig (2:58 PM)
David,Marino had a great start, then struggled on the weekend, but I don't think that will change the opinion that he looks like a guy who can win. He's been close. Lost in a playoff to Steve Stricker at Colonial. I think he'll win multiple times.
Bob Harig (3:01 PM)
I'm out of time. .. Thanks for all your question and check back again next week. Enjoy the golf.