Chat with Bob Harig
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN.com golf writer Bob Harig will stop by to talk about the 2011 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 (4:02 PM)
Hello, welcome to the Tour Championship. Chatting this week from East Lake Golf Club where somebody gets $10-million at the end of the week. Any golf questions are welcome, so as long as you have them, I'll try to answer them. Fire away please.
With Phil being a lock for the 2012 HOF who else may we see get in?
Bob Harig (4:05 PM)
You are correct, Phil is a lock -- even though I'll go off on a tangent here and say that anyone who is not 50 should not be eligible. That doesn't mean Phil isn't a Hall of Famer, but it's just absurd that you let players in when they can still be in their prime. Age 40 is still young by golf standards. Okay, sorry.So who else? The old-timers get overlooked because the voters don't educate themselves. Macdonald Smith won more than 20 tournaments and a bunch of Western Opens when that was considered a major and is not in. I will vote for him.Davis Love has a chance this time around. On the international side, is Sandy Lyle a Hall of Famer? Two majors and a Players. Monty? All those money titles? Should be interesting.
Just wanted to say that I enjoyed the story on Foley, nice perspective
Bob Harig (4:08 PM)
Thank you, I will use the opportunity to plug the piece here. Sean Foley, Tiger's coach, and also coach to Justin Rose, recently went through a vary harrowing experience. http://espn.go.com/golf/story/_/id/6998133/swing-coach-sean-foley-gets-nice-top-justin-rose
Ed (Long Island)
Do you think Whan knows all along he is going to let Lexi Thompson on the tour and didn't come right out and say it to create some marketing for his tour? If he said it Sunday after the tournament, a non story, by deferring an answer on it - look at how many articles have been written on it and how much attention it has garnered. Free publicity.
Bob Harig (4:10 PM)
Excellent point. You are correct that the story has had a lot more life because Whan has waited to grant Thompson membership next year. No doubt, she has proven she deserves it, and she is a rare case of someone being that good that young. The LPGA commissioner has been very concerned about opening the door to teenagers, not wanting to set precedent for them to leave school and turn pro. Thompson is clearly a different case.
Bob Harig (4:16 PM)
I do think $10-million gets their attention and the guys in the top 5 have the best chance to earn it. Any of those guys win and they win the FedEx Cup. Although golfers play for a lot of money, they don't play for this much. The winner gets more than $7-million more than the next guy.
Bob Harig (4:20 PM)
sorry folks, having some internet issues at East Lake. . Bear with me.
Bob Harig (4:22 PM)
The farther down the list, the harder it is to win the FedEx Cup. In Bradley's case, he can only win the FedEx Cup if he wins the tournament, and then a bunch of things happen, including: No. 1 Webb Simpson finishes 13th or worse and No. 2 Dustin Johnson finished fifth or worse and No. 3 Justin Rose finishes fourth or worse and No. 4 Donald, No. 5 Kuchar and No. 6 Snedeker finish third or worse. . So it can happen, but. ..
Bob Harig (4:25 PM)
So far, it hasn't happened. One thing I'll say at this point about Tiger and the Presidents Cup -- of those who are outside the team right now, who would you pick over him? Or what two players would you take instead? Snedeker, Van Pelt, Fowler? Bradley? I think the pick makes more sense now, which is why Couples should have waited. It's not like there is a murders row of players lined up to fill the last two spots.
Bob Harig (4:27 PM)
First, I would shorten it to three playoff events and increase the size of the two fields following the first one. .. Then I would move the Tour Champoinship around the country to different high-profile venues. Would try to get it on some of the best coures in the country. A small field lends itself to venues that might not otherwise be able to hold a tournament.
Bob Harig (4:31 PM)
I do think they need to look at this on a case by case basis. They have an age minimum because they simply do not want to encourage players who think they are good enough to drop out of school to turn pro. Then what if they fail? So it's not that easy to rubber stamp it and even in Thompson's case, Whan doesn't want to set any precedent. But clearly she is a different case. She averages 280 off the tee. She just won a tournament that would make any other player a tour member.
Ed (Long Island)
Rickie Fowler - was his season a success - won a bunch of money, no victories and no Tour Championship?
Bob Harig (4:31 PM)
I think given all the hype, you would have to term this year a disappointment. Fowler barely contended on Sunday this year.
Bob Harig (4:34 PM)
I agree that Reavie might top the list. Maybe Bo Van Pelt who has just one tournament title. In some ways, it would be very impactful to all of them. But let's be honest, a guy like Phil, Vijay. . they've won multi millions.
Bob Harig (4:37 PM)
I don't think so. I think they try to position themselves just like any other tournament, especially with all that is at stake.
I get why Lexi is different, but what if in another 5 years a teenager came along who was contending, but they weren't from a golf family, could Whan really say no, you can't go to q-school? That would seem to invite a lawsuit
Bob Harig (4:38 PM)
That is why he is being careful and not slam dunking this. He doesn't want to set a precedent. But she was granted the q-school waiver and she passed the ultimate test by winning. Seems absurd that she should still have to go through q school to get her card and be a member.
Bob Harig (4:39 PM)
Clearly, this question is not about the Houston Open
So who does this course set up for the best? How is the weather looking? Is the rough manageable?
Bob Harig (4:41 PM)
We are supposed to have some rain the next two days, not nearly as hot as it has been in years past in Atlanta. Rough is not as deep. I think the scores will be good. The course is pure right now, very nice. Who does it set up for? I'm not sure it favors anyone. If Justin Rose plays like he did last week, the course shouldn't matter much.
Bob Harig (4:43 PM)
I don't think he could be criticized for taking Allenby and Baddeley. Few are as familiar with Royal Melbourne as Allenby and it's hard to think that having 5 Aussies on the team would be a bad thing.
Bob Harig (4:46 PM)
I think the crowds here will be decent, but not overwhelming. Part of it is the venue. It is small by tournament standards and parking can be an issue. But because there are only 30 players, the spectator support looks just fine. Still, if you move it around, you create some buzz in those markets.
Bob Harig (4:55 PM)
Okay folks, thanks for the questions and your time. Enjoy the Tour Championship. We'll chat again next week.