Press Pass Readers Forum

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 23, 2007, 5:00 pm
Press PassEach week, Golf Channel experts and analysts offer their thoughts and opinions on hot topics in the world of golf with the Press Pass. In Press Pass: Readers' Forum, it's time for you the readers to step to the tee box. You can sumbit your answers to our weekly questions each Wednesday in our Press Pass.
 
Hot Topic
Aside from Jack Nicklaus vs. Tiger Woods in their primes, what would be your ultimate match-play showdown of all time?
 
John Daly
John Daly actually might have trouble keeping up with Bubba Watson.(WireImage)
'In a Grip-it-and-Rip-it match: John Daly vs Bubba Watson. The Most Explosive (literally) Match: Steve Pate vs Woody Austin (especially if Woody's putter is not cooperating). But by far the Most Entertaining match would be: Lee Trevino vs Chi Chi Rodriguez.' -- Millend Gupta, Holmdel, NJ.
 
'Bobby Jones vs. Tiger Woods - best amateur and best professional.' -- Ron Ballen
 
'That's a question that took me about five seconds to come up with the answer. All time great match would be Trevino against Ballesteros. They wouldn't get 5 holes in before there was an exchange of gunfire!' -- Ken Doerfler, Glendale, Arizona
 
'What about Lee Trevino and Fuzzy Zoeller. Think about two good golfers with great personalities - would this not be a draw or what? The crowds would love it. They may not have the talent of Nicklaus or Woods but they would be fun to watch..' -- Kenneth Schatz
 
'I would like to see Tiger vs Bobby Jones, who I still consider the best there ever was. Would be even better if they played two rounds one with each generations equipment and balls.' -- Bob Babcock
 
Hot Topic
Phil Mickelson had another eventful finish last Sunday. What is your most memorable Mickelson moment?
 
'Phil's first Masters is a great memory. His reaction was great. And not only was he relieved, but the fans were too!' -- Steve Hrezik, Westerville, Ohio
 
'When (Payne) Stewart was telling him on the 18 green of the U.S. Open that he just beat him in, 'You're gonna have a baby.' I know damn well he was thinking 'I can have more babies, I wanted this Open!'' -- Ken D.
 
'Hands down his win at the 2004 Masters. Each and everyone of my friends sitting around watching leaped off the couch and starting screaming. Never have I seen that reaction amongst us when watching golf.' -- Frank, Madison
 
'Unfortunately I go with his meltdown at Winged Foot. He wants that U.S. Open sooooo bad, finishing runner-up at least 2 or 3 times. Then there he is with easily his best chance to finally win it and poof! My stomach hurt watching it unfold.' -- Rick, Van Nuys, Calif.
 
Hot Topic
Mark OMeara and Nick Price have already debuted on the Champions Tour this year, while Bernhard Langer, Seve Ballesteros, Jeff Sluman and John Cook are all eligible to join in 06. Who among them will have the best career as a senior?
 
Nick Price
Nick Price is a rookie on the Champions Tour this season.. (Wire Images)
'Langer seems to have more gas in his tank than some of the others that were mentioned.' -- David Bergsvik
 
'I too would love to see Nick Price do well on the Champions Tour as you say a real class act.' -- Jim Orr, Wiiliamsport, Pa.
 
'Probably Langer with Price close behind. The sleeper of this group could be John Cook. No one seems to be expecting much from him. Regardless, I hope this group breathes some much needed life into the Champions Tour. ALSO - let's hope Nick Price never has to play a round behind Bernhard Langer! It would be so slow, his head would explode.' -- James Evans
 
Hot Topic
Paula Creamer wears pink on Sunday. Tiger Woods wears red. What color should Mickelson adorn during the final round?
 
'Hmmm. Anything he wants to wear just as long as it's NOT that Baby Spit-Up Yellow outfit that Sergio wore during the final round of the '06 Open Championship! The world would be a better place if Adidas burned those clothes and ritually sacrificed the designer.' -- J. Evans, San Antonio, TX
 
'Phil needs to take a lesson from Lee Trevino. It was he who had a red shirt on Sunday. Lee always had an explanation why. He stated it was because if he cut his throat on Sunday he did not wish to have anyone know he was bleeding.' -- Jeff McArthur
 
'Mickelson's Sunday best? Definitely black. He could use the psychological benefit like the original Black Knight and also benefit from it's slimming effects.' -- Scott A. Wolfe
 
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    Spieth, McIlroy to support Major Champions Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:25 pm

    Nick Faldo announced Tuesday the creation of the Major Champions Invitational.

    The event, scheduled for March 12-14, is an extension of the Faldo Series and will feature both male and female junior players at Bella Collina in Montverde, Fla.

    Jordan Spieth, Rory Mcllroy, Annika Sorenstam, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jerry Pate and John Daly have already committed to supporting the event, which is aimed at mentoring and inspiring the next generation of players.  

    “I’m incredibly excited about hosting the Major Champions Invitational, and about the players who have committed to support the event,” Faldo said. “This event will allow major champions to give something back to the game that has given them so much, and hopefully, in time, it will become one of the most elite junior golf events in the world.”

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    Rosaforte: Woods plays with Obama, gets rave reviews

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:15 pm

    Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte reports on Tiger Woods’ recent round at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., alongside President Barack Obama.

    Check out the video, as Rosaforte says Woods received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon. 

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    Stock Watch: Spieth searching for putting form

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 16, 2018, 1:50 pm

    Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

    RISING

    Patton Kizzire (+8%): By today’s accelerated standards, he’s a late bloomer, having reached the Tour at age 29. Well, he seems right at home now, with two wins in his last four starts.

    Rory (+7%): Coming off the longest break of his career, McIlroy should have no excuses this year. He’s healthy. Focused. Motivated. It’s go time.

    Chris Paisley (+5%): The best part about his breakthrough European Tour title that netted him $192,000? With his wife, Keri, on the bag, he doesn’t have to cut 10 percent to his caddie – she gets the whole thing.

    Brooke Henderson (+3%): A seventh-place finish at the Diamond Resorts Invitational doesn’t sound like much for a five-time winner, but this came against the men – on a cold, wet, windy, 6,700-yard track. She might be the most fun player to watch on the LPGA. 

    New European Ryder Cuppers (+2%): In something of a Ryder Cup dress rehearsal, newcomers Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton each went undefeated in leading Europe to a come-from-behind victory at the EurAsia Cup. The competition come September will be, um, a bit stiffer.



    FALLING

    Jordan’s putting (-1%): You can sense his frustration in interviews, and why not? In two starts he leads the Tour in greens in regulation … and ranks 201st (!) in putting. Here’s guessing he doesn’t finish the year there.

    Brian Harman’s 2018 Sundays (-2%): The diminutive left-hander now has five consecutive top-10s, and he’s rocketing up the Ryder Cup standings, but you can’t help but wonder how much better the start to his year might have been. In the final pairing each of the past two weeks, he’s a combined 1 under in those rounds and wasn’t much of a factor.

    Tom Hoge (-3%): Leading by one and on the brink of a life-changing victory – he hadn’t been able to keep his card each of the past three years – Hoge made an absolute mess of the 16th, taking double bogey despite having just 156 yards for his approach. At least now he’s on track to make the playoffs for the first time.

    Predicting James Hahn’s form (-4%): OK, we give up: He’d gone 17 events without a top-15 before his win at Riviera; 12 before his win at Quail Hollow; and seven before he lost on the sixth playoff hole at Waialae. The margins between mediocre play and winning apparently are THAT small.

    Barnrat (-5%): Coming in hot with four consecutive top-10s, and one of only two team members ranked inside the top 50 in the world, Kiradech Aphibarnrat didn’t show up at the EurAsia Cup, going 0-3 for the week. In hindsight, the Asian team had no chance without his contributions. 

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    Langer not playing to pass Irwin, but he just might

    By Tim RosaforteJanuary 16, 2018, 1:40 pm

    Bernhard Langer goes back out on tour this week to chase down more than Hale Irwin’s PGA Tour Champions record of 45 career victories. His chase is against himself.

    “I’m not playing to beat Hale Irwin’s record,” Langer told me before heading to Hawaii to defend his title at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. “I play golf to play the best I can, to be a good role model, and to enjoy a few more years that are left.”

    Langer turned 60 on Aug. 27 and was presented a massage chair by his family as a birthday gift. Instead of reclining (which he does to watch golf and football), he won three more times to close out a seven-win campaign that included three major championships. A year prior, coming off a four-victory season, Langer told me after winning his fourth Charles Schwab Cup that surpassing Irwin’s record was possible but not probable. With 36 career victories and 11 in his last two years, he has changed his tone to making up the nine-tournament difference as “probable.”

    “If I could continue a few more years on that ratio, I could get close or pass him,” Langer told me from his home in Boca Raton, Fla. “It will get harder. I’m 60 now. It’s a big challenge but I don’t shy away from challenges.”


    Bernhard Langer, Hale Irwin at the 1991 Ryder Cup (Getty Images)


    Langer spent his off-season playing the PNC Father/Son, taking his family on a ski vacation at Big Sky in Yellowstone, Montana, and to New York for New Year’s. He ranks himself as a scratch skier, having skied since he was four years old in Germany. The risk of injury is worth it, considering how much he loves “the scenery, the gravity and the speed.”

    Since returning from New York, Langer has immersed himself into preparing for the 2018 season. Swing coach Willy Hoffman, who he has worked with since his boyhood days as an as assistant pro in Germany, flew to Florida for their 43rd year of training.

    “He’s a straight shooter,” Hoffman told me. “He says, 'Willy, every hour is an hour off my life and we have 24 hours every day.'"

    As for Irwin, they have maintained a respectful relationship that goes back to their deciding singles match in the 1991 Ryder Cup. Last year they were brought back to Kiawah Island for a corporate appearance where they reminisced and shared the thought that nobody should ever have to bear what Langer went through, missing a 6-footer on the 18th green. That was 27 years ago. Both are in the Hall of Fame.

    "I enjoy hanging out with Hale," Langer says.

    Langer’s chase of Irwin’s record is not going to change their legacies. As Hoffman pointed out, “Yes, (Bernhard) is a rich man compared to his younger days. He had no money, no nothing. But today you don’t feel a difference when you talk to him. He’s always on the ground.”