Remember when professional golf went quiet this time of year?
That was back when Blockbuster video was a thing and new cars came with CD players. Now both have gone the way of kilties on golf shoes.
Anyway, there’s no shortage of golf questions this time of year. So let’s get started:
Now that he’s added himself to the Presidents Cup playing roster, who is Tiger Woods most likely to pair himself with in Australia?
Under Presidents Cup rules, Woods is only required to play one match prior to the Sunday singles but I’m guessing he will play more than that. Let’s pencil him in for the four-ball matches on Thursday and Saturday morning, which gives him all day Friday and Saturday afternoon to play captain.
There are 11 players who would like to play with Tiger but it probably comes down to Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed and maybe Justin Thomas.
Reed feels like the most likely partner because Woods likes him and it would show what happened in Paris has been packed away in the past. With the way they got waxed twice in the Ryder Cup, Woods and Reed probably want a do-over.
Woods also lost in Paris with DeChambeau and if they play together at Royal Melbourne, they can share workout stories now that DeChambeau is bulking up to look like an NFL linebacker.
If Brooks Koepka can’t play because of his knee, who gets the call from Captain Woods?
Woods didn’t offer any insight last week when he mentioned he and Koepka had coffee together and talked about whether the world No. 1 will be ready for Australia. It did, however, reconfirm the suspicion that Koepka’s participation is in question.
If Koepka stays home, Woods has plenty of good choices.
Rickie Fowler would seem the logical pick, but he’s recovering from a bug he picked up on his honeymoon and opted to skip Mayakoba this week. He will be three months removed from competition when he tees it up at the Hero World Challenge the week before the Presidents Cup. Fowler will have plenty more chances. So he likely sits this one out.
That leaves Kevin Kisner, Jordan Spieth, Kevin Na and possibly Collin Morikawa and Matthew Wolff on the list. Morikawa and Wolff will get their chances down the road and Spieth is still working his way back into top form.
Kisner took a playful shot at Woods on social media last week for leaving him off and he’s a gritty match-play guy. Na has won three times in just over a year which justifies his selection.
The guess here is Kisner.
Since we’re on the subject of the Presidents Cup, is there any chance the International team pulls off a stunning upset next month?
Yes, there is a chance because, well, weird things can happen in golf.
The European team has no chance because it’s not playing. The International team has a chance because it is.
Still, it takes some imagination to see Ernie Els’ team pulling this one off. According to Las Vegas, the U.S. team is a -240 favorite. That means to win $100 on the Americans, it takes a $240 bet.
I’m no Suze Orman but that doesn’t sound like a great investment.
Is it possible, or likely, that Rory McIlroy will win more player-of-the-year honors given how he’s played the latter part of this year or is Koepka still the player of the year?
Based on the calendar year, McIlroy seems likely to pick up more player-of-the-year awards despite Koepka’s major championship success.
McIlroy has won four times in 2019 – the Players Championship, the RBC Canadian Open, the Tour Championship and the WGC-HSBC Champions, not to mention the FedEx Cup.
Koepka won twice (he had three wins in the 2018-19 Tour season, but one was in October 2018) and he’s been invisible since McIlroy beat him at East Lake. That doesn’t diminish the fact he won the PGA Championship and became just the fourth player to finish in the top five of all four majors in the same season.
However, McIlroy’s consistency and his strong finishing kick is likely enough to earn him more hardware.
After Luis Gagne was disqualified from Korn Ferry Tour qualifying because he failed to sign his scorecard is it time to change the scorecard rule since everything is computerized now?
In a word, no.
In two words, absolutely not.
With yardage books, greens books and enough analytics to impress Major League Baseball executives, players should be responsible for something besides hitting the ball.
Was there a better scene on the PGA Tour Champions this year than seeing Scott McCarron win the Charles Schwab Cup with a glass of red wine in his hand as Jeff Maggert holed a sudden-death wedge shot to deny Retief Goosen the cup?
The 50-and-over tour doesn’t get much attention these days but the quality of golf remains exceptional and if you’re a sponsor looking for bang for your buck, playing a Champions pro-am looks like a blast because there’s no pressure, the crowds are small and the players long ago exhaled.
Seeing McCarron sitting with friends and other players watching the Maggert-Goosen playoff while the red wine was flowing was a perfect picture. Good for McCarron winning the Charles Schwab Cup, a big moment in a career that has gotten better with age.
The PGA Tour had a rare week off last week. Should it have more open weeks?
A two- or three-month break would be ideal for the tour, essentially shutting it down from October through the end of the year but that’s not going to happen.
There’s something to be said for letting fans miss the PGA Tour. It’s one reason spring training is so popular in baseball, fans are ready for the game to return.
While the fall portion of the tour schedule has become more important, there’s still a sense that it sits well down the to-do list for fans.
Now that his two-decade runs within the top 50 in the world ranking and on U.S. teams has ended, is Phil Mickelson finished?
To borrow a line from John Blutarsky, was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?
Mickelson may be transitioning but he’s not going anywhere.
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