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 for today's golf chat. We're coming off an interesting Presidents Cup, with plenty of fodder from San Francisco. There are still a few official tournaments left on the schedule, although Tiger and Phil will be taking a few weeks off. I'm here for as long as there are golf questions. So fire away.
Hey Bob, Considering Monty's track record of making contriversial comments (Tiger, Faxon divorce, Sandy Lyle...), don't you think there is a good chance that we can expect more of this as we get closer to the Ryder Cup?
Bob Harig (2:02 PM)
Eric, there is a very good chance that Monty will say something controversial. It's one of the things we love about him. Somehow, some way, he will get things stirred up. And that is not such a bad thing. It is one of the reasons why Monty has been such a high-profile figure in Europe for all these years -- that and an amazing period of good play on the European Tour.
Robert Allenby (Oz)
You're probably running this chat from your laptop while you're downing shots at a bar!
Bob Harig (2:07 PM)
Would a Dunkin Donuts do?For those who don't get the humor, please look up what Robert Allenby said about Anthony Kim on Sunday after he got beat in singles at the Presidents Cup. It has caused a mini stir and apologies have been issues from all sides.
From what you saw from Phil's game the past month do you think he can finally put up a consistant challanger for Tiger?
Bob Harig (2:16 PM)
Alex, we've sort been waiting for that for years, and always seem to be disappointed. It would be interesting to see what would have happened this year if Mickelson had figured out his putting problems earlier and didn't have the family health issues to deal with. Those are huge "ifs." But the fact remains, Phil won twice on the PGA Tour before Tiger really even got started, and then was not much of a factor except for the U.S. Open and in winning the Presidents Cup. Phil certainly has the game to win his share of tournaments and win majors. If he does that with any regularity next year, he'll be challenging Tiger.
Any color on AK's split with his caddy?
Bob Harig (2:24 PM)
Rob, I understand he told his caddie, Erik Larson, at the Tour Championship that he would be going another direction this fall and that it's possible he could be brought back next year -- although that seems unlikely.Let's hope Kim isn't blaming his poor season on his caddie, although it should be noted that players switch caddies frequently, sometimes like putters and drivers.It just seems that for the high-profile guys, it comes as more of a shock.
Any chance that Freddy and Norman are not the Captains for the President's Cup in Australia?
Bob Harig (2:25 PM)
I'd be surprised if they are not. Norman should be an absolute lock. The Cup is going to his home country of Australia. Who better to be the captain? It would have been silly to have him be the captain here and not there. Couples would make sense again, too. He enjoyed it. Why not?
Bob, it seemed to me like the international team was pretty lax heading into the cup and in defeat. Maybe it's just the laid back Aussie thing, but i didnt really feel any national pride like i do with the ryder cup. Do you think that's just a function of the guys coming from all over the place, and do you think anything can be done to make it more intense?
Bob Harig (2:27 PM)
Rob, I wrote something similar last week heading into the Cup. The International team really suffers no indignity if they lose. Who criticizes them? The European team takes grief from all over the continent in the Ryder Cup. Obviously the U.S. team hears about it here if there are issues. But the International team really doesn't have the same things at stake. And I do think it can affect desire, especially if they get behind. There is virtually no fallout if they lose.
Edward (Kansas City)
Maybe AK should have said, "Well, what does it say if I were out all night and still smoked him 5 &#?"
Bob Harig (2:29 PM)
Edward, the comments by Allenby were ill-advised, true or not. At best, it looked like sour grapes. At worst, he just made himself look worse for losing to a guy who he claimed -- stress on claimed -- to have been out all night. Not a real good idea.
National Pride in the Ryder Cup from the Euros? Can someone tell Rob that Europe is a continent, not a country.
Bob Harig (2:31 PM)
Marc, I think the implication was clear in Rob's question. The International team is not even playing for a continent like the European Rdyer Cup team is. The Europeans are also playing for their tour. It is pride in their tour that fueled the entire thing. At the Presidents Cup, nearly all the players from both sides play on the PGA Tour.
What's going on with Johnny Miller and Tiger Woods? Johnny is always deferential after Tiger wins, but he seems to be looking for any opportunity to slip the knife in. At the President's cup it got really obvious.
Bob Harig (2:32 PM)
John, you are not the first to ask about Johnny Miller. I don't know if anything is going on, if Miller is just trying to stir things up. But no doubt, he made some comments about Tiger last week that had you wondering.
For next season, who are your cadidates for bounce-back player: KJ Choi, AK, Sergio, Adam Scott?
Bob Harig (2:33 PM)
Rob, out of that foursome, I would pick Sergio Garcia. It's just a hunch. But he's had the most success of all of them, had a good nearly great year in 2008 and has shown some form recently.
Steve (San Francisco)
Bob, i heard that "behind the scenes" some of the players were unhappy with the greens at Harding. Did you sense that overall they liked playing there?
Bob Harig (2:37 PM)
Steve, I don't think they were thrilled with the greens, but they were also aware of the situation. The course had some issues several weeks in advance of the tournament and it was an all-out push to get them ready in time for the Presidents Cup. The staff did an amazing job, actually, to pull it off. So there was an understanding that things happens and perhaps some changes need to be made going forward.Overall, I think they loved it. Harding was an excellent match-play course. And the fans supported the event nicely. Big crowds every day, even with chilly temperatures on the weekend. I do'nt think anyone would be upset if the event went back there in 2013 or if the PGA Tour brought some other tournaments to the venue.
I'm going to Vegas with some friends for March madness next year and am looking for a course to play while out there. Do you have any suggestions for courses that I can play while not having to take out a substantial bank loan to play? I've been looking a lot at Rio Secco and the Paiute resort courses, especially the Wolf. Thanks
Bob Harig (2:38 PM)
Jon, unfortunately I am not an expert on Vegas golf. I know it can get expensive there but I would suggest consulting Golf Digest online and doing some investigating if you can't find someone who can give their word-of-mouth recommendation.
When is the Ryder Cup and when will the teams be announced?
Bob Harig (2:51 PM)
Alex, the Ryder Cup is Oct. 1-3, 2010.. The U.S. side will be determined through the PGA Championship, with 8 players automatically making the team and 4 captains picks to be made a few weeks later. . The European team is decided at the end of August, 2010. . .
I know there are still a few official tournaments on the schedule and Tiger and Phil have a stops set up, but when is the next time either Tiger or Phil play in an official tournament
Bob Harig (2:56 PM)
Andrea, they are done for the year on the PGA Tour. Both will be playing next month (Nov. 5-8) in the HSBC Champions in China. It is a sanctioned European Tour event and it is also now a World Golf Championship event. But the tournament does not count as a victory on the PGA Tour, nor is the money official.Phil is also playing the week prior in Singapore, while Tiger will play the following week in Australia.
Over/under on how many touraments Tiger wins next year? How about how many he plays in?
Bob Harig (3:01 PM)
I believe Tiger will play exactly the same number he played this year, which was 17. I think he'll add one or two earlier in the year and skip one or two later.. . As for victories? I'm going with 6 again, but this time he will throw in at least one major championshp.. Not really going out on a limb, I suppose.
Bob Harig (3:01 PM)
Okay, I am out of time. Thanks for participating. Hope we can do it again soon, and enjoy the golf that is left in the 2009 season.