Chat with Bob Harig
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN.com golf writer Bob Harig will stop by to talk about the 2010 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 Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET!
Bob Harig (4:01 PM)
Hey, thanks for checking in for this golf chat. I'm at PGA National for a few days at the Honda Classic, and you'd think it would be a bit warmer. Nonetheless, I'm here for a shorter time today and will try to fit as many questions in as I can. Fire away.
Tom (Cleveland, OH)
Will everybody call out Fowler for not going for the par 5 15th they way they did Michael Sim (Torrey Pines) for doing the same thing on a Sunday? Or does Fowler get a pass because he's pre-ordained FOG (future of golf)?
Bob Harig (4:03 PM)
Tom, I broached the subject in my birdies and bogeys column to be posted soon (sorry for the shameless plug.) It's certainly a topic worthy of discussion. When a pro has 230 yards and only 210 yards to carry, it is hard for us mere mortals to understand why he would not go for it. I think the criticism is fair, although I would also point out that if the player is not comfortable, is it good for him to play the shot?
Let's set the over-under on Rory McIlroy's first victory in a major - the 2011 PGA. What say you, Harig: sooner or later than that?
Bob Harig (4:04 PM)
Patrick, I am going to say later. He's one just a single tournament as a pro. That's not to say he can't fun off a bunch of victories this year, but I want to see more wins before I think he's going to win a major.
James Midgley (Brighton, MA)
Bob, doesn't it make sense for Tiger to make his return (assuming he's ready) at the Tavistock Cup? This is essentially an exhibition event, and it's a lot easier for a handful of golfers to have to deal with the initial media circus than it would be on a normal-sized field.
Bob Harig (4:05 PM)
James, I have not been sold on the Tavistock Cup as a return site unless he's going to play Bay Hill right after it. Then it makes some sense. It would be a lot of golf in a short period of time right near his home. Yes, it's an exhibition, media access would be severely limited and it would be a chance to compete.
Did Hunter have the Ping Eye II wedge in his bag last week?
Bob Harig (4:06 PM)
Jim, he did not. Mahan is one who has used the Ping Eye 2 wedges that are only legal due to a court ruling. But he has not ruled out putting them in his bag again.
Maggie (Palm Beach)
Any chance we see a Ryder/Presidents Cup or major in Florida again in our lifetime?
Bob Harig (4:07 PM)
Maggie, I'm afraid it will be a long time before we see such a thing. For one, the Ryder Cup has been awarded through 2020. And the last time they had a major in Florida -- the 1987 PGA -- it was oppressive. It's a shame, really. Unless they decided to move a major to another time of year -- as they did for the 1971 PGA Championship when it was played in February -- I don't see it happening.
Brian (Westborough, MA)
Why does Mickelson not play Bay Hill anymore? He won there in '97, lost to a bad bounce (or good bounce from Tiger's point of view) in '01. With the course returning to a par 72 it seems a perfect set up for him and tune up for Augusta.
Bob Harig (4:10 PM)
Brian, it's a fair question. It appears that Mickelson will only play Doral in Florida. He has said in the past that he really struggles on the Bermuda greens. But as you pointed out, he won the tournament!
Do you make anything of Tiger starting golf workouts again, I still am not convinced he will be back in time for the Masters. Your thoughts?
Bob Harig (4:10 PM)
Jason, I think it opens the possibility to him being back in time for the Masters. I said possibility. He's got plenty of time to get ready if that's what he wants to do. But we are all in the dark about that.
Brian (Westborough, MA)
Is the tour happy with PGA National as the host course? I think is the 4 different courses in the past decade here. The one criticism I have with the course is #18. It is a par 5 no one can get to and seemingly turns into a 100 yard par 3 with no excitement.
Bob Harig (4:11 PM)
Brian, they appear to be very happy. The Honda Classic has had its best fields in 20 years over the past few seasons since the event moved to PGA National. Having a resort on site is great for the players. The course is a great test. So far, so good.
What are the deets around JD's PGA file being released to the public/media? Were the courts involved? Why? Thanks, Bob!
Bob Harig (4:15 PM)
The PGA Tour's personal file on Daly was disclosed as part of court proceedings, which eventually made it a public record. Nobody flaunted it in front of the public, but it is available if you want to look at it. The newspaper in Jacksonville where the lawsuit took place -- the paper was sued by Daly -- sought the documents and reported the findings. Daly sued the paper for libel in 2005 and the case was eventually dismissed. As part of the suit, the paper asked the tour for the documents, legal stuff ensued, and they had to give it up. Interesting stuff.
Do you believe that Tiger Woods knows exactly which tourney he is coming back at?
Bob Harig (4:16 PM)
Brian, my guess -- and it is only a guess -- is that Tiger has a plan in his head for a return. He might have a target tournament and he'll try to get ready for it.
How about Ai Miyazato's start on the LPGA Tour. If she's in contention every week, I might find myself continuing to tune in.
Bob Harig (4:18 PM)
Yep, it's an awesome start for a very popular player in Japan. The Japanese media follow her around like they do Ichiro. Too bad that LPGA has to take a break right now before she can play again.
Mike S (CT)
Bob, how likely do you think it is that Europe will avenge its 2008 Ryder Cup defeat this fall? It already seemed to me like a strong possibility with several Europeans trending upward (McIlroy, Kaymer, Fisher, Poulter) - and that was before Tiger's incident.
Bob Harig (4:19 PM)
Mike, I think it is very possible that Europe will win, but it really has nothing to do with the current form of the playres. A lot can change between now and October. And the Ryder Cup has a way of producing things we don't expect. The U.S. won without Tiger the last time so I don't see that being an issue, although he would obviously be a big help if he is there.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What is the Hardest Golf Course that is on the PGA Tour?
Bob Harig (4:25 PM)
If you take out the majors, the hardest courst on the PGA Tour in 2009 was Bay Hill, which played to an average of 2.19 strokes over par. But this year ,the course is going back to Par-72. Torrey Pines was next followed by Muirfield Village. The hardest course overall was Bethpage for the U.S. Open followed by Turnberry.
Do you think that you could consider Sergio as a strong contender in tournaments again after his strong showing at the WGC Accenture?
Bob Harig (4:26 PM)
Nathan, once Sergio got to the semifinals, he didn't fare too well. Still, I believe Sergio to be a stronger contender regardless. He's just too good of a player to not be contending.
Brian (Westborough, MA)
Villegas, Fowler and Calc were all paired together this weekend. When everything is all said and done, who will have the best career? I think Calc with 1 major and 13 tour wins will be tough, not many players get more than that in either total.
Bob Harig (4:27 PM)
Brian, you make an excellent point. Players like Tiger and Phil and Vijay have made us numb to how good 13 victories is in a career. Not many players get there. Cal has 13 wins including a major. It's a pretty good career. And it is certainly no locker that Villegas or Fowler will get there.
Bob Harig (4:30 PM)
I am out of time folks and have to wrap this up. Thanks for checking in. I'll be at Doral next week to take your questions. Thanks.