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 (2:01 PM)
Hello, welcome to the Tour Championship in Atlanta. The first round is well underway at East Lake, and FedEx (and world) No. 1 Tiger Woods will be teeing off in a few minutes. I'm here to chat for the next hour or for as long as there are questions. So let's get started. Thanks.
andrew (corvallis or)
on wednesday the PTI guys talked about having the cash for the fedex cup out by the 18th green. how awesome would it be to have it all in one dollar coins in a pool so the winner could swim in it. i know its to audacious for golf but come on you know that would be awesome and drive up ratings.
Bob Harig (2:02 PM)
There's no doubt that it would be pretty cool to have that huge stash of cash on the first tee on Sunday and again on the 18th green. Padraig Harrington suggested putting it in a wheel barrow and letting the winner cart it to the locker room, with any falling off going to the caddies. That would be fun.
Patrcik (Hanover PA)
I noticed that Ricky Barnes is hovering around the 125 mark for money this year. Just say he would not have any playing privlidges at all next year, would he still be able to play in the Masters for finishing T-2 at the US OPen.
Bob Harig (2:03 PM)
Patrick, you're right, Ricky Barnes is going to have to work during the Fall Series to keep his card for next year. But no matter what, he's in the Masters. The top eight and ties get an invitaiton and Barnes tied for second.
Gus (New City, NY)
Hello Bob, As a golf fan, is there anything better than Stricker and Woods in the final pairing on Sunday, tied for the lead through 15 holes and then seeing what will happen? Thanks
Bob Harig (2:05 PM)
There is no doubt that the PGA Tour would love to have it come down to the 18th green, no matter who it is. The FedEx Cup has lacked drama in its first two years. If Stricker and Woods were in the final twosome with the tournament title, the FedEx Cup and $10-million on the line, they probably could not ask for a better scenario. But there are several things that could happen to make it that compelling.
With Finchem's comments, how many and which tournaments do you think will be cut from the tour?
Bob Harig (2:07 PM)
Paul, he didn't necessarily say any tournaments would be cut. They could be. It is more possible, he said, that the tournament would lose sponsors. That doesn't mean they couldn't find another sponsor to fill in. So far, the tour is not down any tournaments for 2010, but it does still need to find title sponsors in San Diego and Milwaukee.
Could you explain the difference between the PGA Tour playoffs and the Race for Dubai?
Bob Harig (2:10 PM)
Shane, there are several differences.First, the playoffs are on the PGA Tour, the Race to Dubai is on the European Tour.The PGA Tour playoffs are a series of four events that conclude with the Tour Championship and a $10-million bonus going to the winner.The Race to Dubai is simply another name for the European Tour's money list. The top 60 in money earnings qualify for the season-ending Dubai World Championship. That tournament will have a $7.5-million purse (down for $10-million). There will also be a bonus pool of $7.5-million paid to the top 15 finishers in the final standings.
Craig G. (Fairfield, California)
Hey Bob, I enjoy your columns. Can you capsulize the career of my favorite golfer Mike Weir? Has he lived up to his skill set? What is he still capable of achieving in his career?
Bob Harig (2:12 PM)
Craig, I believe Weir has had an excellent career. Eight PGA Tour titles including a major championship and the Tour Championship. I would bet that Weir would have taken that starting out, although once you achieve success, you feel you can always do better and accomplish more. He is playing in the Tour Championship this year so he's had a solid season and there is no reason to believe he can't continue to win tournaments -- although it's been two years since he has done so.
Eugene (Hong Kong)
Do you think there is a golfer outside of Tiger Woods to win golf's grand slam in one year? If so, what country would he hail from?
Bob Harig (2:15 PM)
Eugene, here is the way I look at the Grand Slam.Right now, aside from Tiger, there are just four active players who have won three majors in their careers: Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson and Padraig Harrington. That is for their careers, and yet we think somebody is going to win four in one year? Very, very doubtful -- for anyone.You never say never, but you look at the history, the odds, how hard it is to win one major. It is a huge reach to think somebody will win four in a row in the same year.
Mike S (CT)
Bob, could you offer career outlooks for two of my favorite golfers on the LPGA - Stacy Lewis and Na Yeon Choi? Thanks.
Bob Harig (2:16 PM)
Mike, I think Lewis has a nice future. She's a strong player who's been in contention a lot, just has not won. Choi is coming off her first victory but it was a limited field event. She joins a long list of Korean golfers who are having success on the LPGA Tour. But only a few have posted multiple victories.
Its hard to believe that Els and Mickelson are already 40 or will be soon. Do you see them having the longevity of Kenny Perry and contending in majors even into their 50's?
Bob Harig (2:20 PM)
Scott, you're right. It's hard to believe those guys are approaching 40. But there's no reason to think they can't keep being competitive. I wouldn't say they'll be contending for majors in their 50s, but if they retain the desire and their golf swings, they can keep being a factor.
Ai Miyazato needs to be on TV more.
Bob Harig (2:25 PM)
Marc, it's not a question, but an opinion worth noting.
Shouldn't Tiger be disgusted with the PGA for "Tweaking" the Fedex cup scoring? It seems to me that the only Tweaking going on is the PGA is trying to figure out a way to not let Tiger runaway with the Cup. If you don't have a reset of points, Tiger would win every single year
Bob Harig (2:28 PM)
Andrew, it's true, Tiger would have a commanding lead if there were no re set of points. But if you want to emulate playoffs, then there has to be some starting point that is more equal.Think about it in other sports.The Yankees are going to easily have the best record in baseball, right? What do they get for that in the playoffs? Home field advantage, which is one game. They get no bye. They still have to win the same number of games to win the world series.There are flaws with the playoffs, but they have gotten much closer to having it right now. It wouldn't be good of this thing were decided before they even got here.
How much endorsement money does an average PGA Tour Pro make? Say between 20-100 on the money list.
Bob Harig (2:36 PM)
Vic, it varies greatly, and it's difficult to know for sure. Some of it is based on potential, some of it is based on performance. And a lot of sponsorship money has dried up. Generally a top 50 player can expect some sort of deal for playing clubs and balls and having a compnay logo on a hat or a bad. It could range from $100,000 a year to in the millions depending on the player.
Bob Harig (2:40 PM)
Okay, gotta run. Thanks for your quesitons and checking in for a brief chat. Check out Jason Sobel's live blog all weekend where you can get many more questions answered. Enjoy the Tour Championship.