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 4 p.m. ET!
Bob Harig (4:00 PM)
Hello, welcome to Hazeltine National and the PGA Championship. It's been quite the day already here in Minnesota. I can't stick around for too long, so fire away with your questions and I'll get to as many as possible. Thanks
Patrick (Hanover PA)
Are certain venues now PGA/US OPen sites? For instance. Hazeltine used to be US OPen and is now PGA and PInehurst has settled into a US Open site, or is it the discretion of the USGA/PGA.
Bob Harig (4:02 PM)
Patrick, that seems to be how it's going. You get in good with one of those organizations and they seem to claim you. Hazeltine is getting a future Ryder Cup, which is run by the PGA of America. The U.S. Open had laid claim to Pinehurst, which will have the Open again in 2015. It's about relationships and planning and probably some politics, too.
After Harrington's shot into the water at 16 last Sun, why did he hit his next shot from so far out? What is the rule on that?
Bob Harig (4:06 PM)
Jim, good question. I believe it was because he would have been dropping closer to the hole. If it was a yellow-staked hazard -- sort of like the island green at TPC Sawgrass -- you have to drop with the water between you and the hole.
Kolbe (Goat Ranch, CA)
Hey Bob. I've recently started following a few players on Twitter. Poulter is by far the best, but Casey and Camillo seem to update fairly often, too. Any tips out there for who I should follow? I just love all the insight in to their day to day lives as touring pros.
Bob Harig (4:07 PM)
Kolbe, I'm not a huge Twitter follower, but I do know that Stewart Cink is very prolific as is Poulter. Both offer a lot of insight and seem to have a good sense of humor.
Bob,No question if Tiger plays like this all week it's over. But, it is not just the scoring that is impressive, but the way he handled the course. Similar to the British when he hardly hit driver off the tee and won going awy. I think he accepts that 290 in the fairway is better than 320 in the trees.
Bob Harig (4:07 PM)
Robb, I thnk you're onto something. Take what it gives you. Tiger from 290 is still going to be hitting a shorter club into most greens. He did manage himself around very well today. He hit 12 of 14 fairways and 15 greens. Pretty impressive.
Besides being able to boom the ball, what do you like most about Alvaro Quiros game? I'm hoping puts up a good score going into the weekend, because I hear he has a good game but doesn't like playing in the US-so he doesn't get much exposure over here.
Bob Harig (4:10 PM)
He does seem to have some homesickness issues which is why he hasn't played well over here. As for his long driving, I'm not sure there is anything else as strong. Obviously if he can hole some putts he can be something else. There is no question about how awesome it is to see him hit a golf ball.
Hole 15 at 642 yards seems like such an epic endeavor to me. In the limited coverage that I saw today, I was lucky enough to watch Tiger's second shot bound past the green. How was the scoring on that hole today-any eagles? Did I get a skewed perception of the field by watching Harrington, Beem, and Tiger all take a pretty good second shot at it?
Bob Harig (4:11 PM)
There's no question the hole is a beast but they moved up the tees some today which didn't make it as daunting. Still, it's a long hole.
Jason (Boston, MA)
Better Course, Hazeltine or Firestone?
Bob Harig (4:15 PM)
Jason, you're probably asking the wrong guy. They are both good in their own way. Personally, I think they've had to work too hard to make this one "difficult." By that I mean they've lengthened it so much -- 7,600 yards -- that you wonder if it's contrived. That's just me. Firestone has withstood the test of time, and while some feel the layout is boring, the No. 1 player in the world love it. That has to mean something.
Gus (New City, NY)
Hi Bob, Are any of the players, besides the media asking them about it, still talking about Tiger/Paddy being put on the clock last week? To me it was one of the bigger non-stories of the year. Thanks
Bob Harig (4:18 PM)
Gus, as someone who tries to judge news, I'm insulted!!Here's how that went down: Tiger brought it up. Tiger almost never dives into anything controversial. The fact that he did -- and was sticking up for the guy he beat -- made it news.And let's face it, any kind of rules issue, especially one involving a chronic problem like slow play, is going to generate some interest.
Scotty C (Crab Shack, NY)
Allenby switched over to THE CLAW last and it seemed to have worked. There's this cat at my club that switched over and he's having great success with it. How many other players rock that grip? Mark C comes to mind...
Bob Harig (4:20 PM)
It's amazing how much that grip has helped people. You're right about Calcavecchia, and of course Chris DiMarco -- who is not in the field here -- sort of refined it and made it popular. Mark O'Meara has also used it. One thing that seems clear. You need to practice it, which of course, these guys have time to do.
Gus (New City, NY)
Hi Bob, Sorry that I insulted you. You are one of my top two favorite golf writers on espn.com. Do you think that Phil competes like he usually does again this season, or do we have to chalk it up to an understandably lost season? Thanks
Bob Harig (4:24 PM)
Gus, seeing as there are only two of us, thanks!! No offense taken.I'm not sure yet on Phil. He played pretty well at the U.S. Open and he seems eager to play a few more times this year. I consider that a good sign. If things are better with his family situation-- and that appears to be the case -- there's no reason to think he won't be okay. But in the end, I still think we'll wonder what might have been. Phil had it going very well after his victory at Doral and the final-round push at the Masters. Then, understandably, things changed.
Bob, I believe he also has the option to play again from the spot of his original shot, which he chose not to do because of the difficulty of the shot. He went back to a full yardage.
Bob Harig (4:26 PM)
Marc is referring to the earlier question about why Harrington dropped on the other side of the water on Sunday at the Bridgestone after hitting his chip shot across the green and into the water. And he is absolutely correct. Hitting from the same spot is always an option, but the shot was so tough he didn't do it. Thanks Marc.
Who do I have the pleasure of watching finish up when I get home?
Bob Harig (4:31 PM)
Phil, Ernie, Stewart Cink, Lucas Glover, John Daly, Colin Montgomerie. . . those are just some of the guys playing in the afternoon and all have a long way to go.
Bob Harig (4:32 PM)
Okay folks, sorry I've got to go. Sorry this was so short but other duties beckon. Thanks for checking in and enjoy the PGA.