Press Pass Bigger Disappointment Tiger or Jim

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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.
 
Hot Topic
Who should be more disappointed in not winning the U.S. Open: Tiger Woods or Jim Furyk?
 
Brian Hewitt Brian Hewitt - Columnist, GOLFCHANNEL.com:
Nobody hates not winning more than Woods so he's probably the more disappointed. Furyk, on the other hand, has had excellent chances to win U.S. Opens each of the last two years. Both made big putts down the stretch. Neither did what they needed to do on the 17th Sunday. I'd say Furyk (the last American to win a U.S. Open) should be the most disappointed because he bogeyed the 71st hole.
 
Steve Sands Steve Sands - Reporter, GOLF CHANNEL:
Tiger. He hit the ball beautifully Saturday and put himself in position Sunday but could only manage three birdies on the weekend. My guess is he feels like this one was his and it's an opportunity lost.
 
Mark Rolfing Mark Rolfing - Analyst, GOLF CHANNEL:
Jim Furyk. Not just because of his Pennsylvania ties but also because of the bogey at the 71st hole. Tiger just didnt hole any putts. He had one birdie in the last 32 holes.
 
Mercer Baggs Mercer Baggs - Senior Producer, GOLFCHANNEL.com:
Furyk. While Tiger has 12 majors to comfort this loss, Furyk has but one. Winning a second major would have placed his career in a whole new light. When you consider how he lost it and the fact that he blew a chance to win last year as well, he's probably taking this defeat harder than Tiger.
 
Hot Topic
After the last two majors has Tiger lost any of his 'mystique?'
 
Hewitt:
Tiger has lost none of his mystique. And anybody who thinks he'll never come from behind to win a major championship is not in touch with the reality of how good this guy is. Jeff Brehaut called Tiger the best player who ever lived 'by far.' The fact that Woods hasn't won either of the last two majors demonstrates again, to me, how difficult it is to master the game of golf.
 
Sands:
No, I don't think so. He's won two and finished runner-up in two in the last four majors. He still is the most intimidating player in the game.
 
Rolfing:
Definitely not. He is still the best player in the world by far. Also, Aaron Baddeley shot 80 with him on Sunday.
 
Baggs:
Players, I think, have plenty of reverence for Tiger, but the fear factor seems to have decreased considerably. Guys have seen that he is not invincible. They know that just because he is in the hunt doesn't mean that he's guaranteed victory. Of course, they're also aware that they stand a much better chance of beating him from another group than playing in his on Sunday.
 
Hot Topic
How will fatherhood affect Tiger Woods professionally?
 
Hewitt:
My sense is that Tiger Woods, a highly-organized human being, has planned for this day. And that includes how being a father will affect his golf. He will need to be even more organized in budgeting his time. And there may be times when quality will have to replace quantity as a goal in his practice and preparation for tournaments.
 
Sands:
I think it will affect Tiger's personal life at home but not deter him from doing anything professionally. Tiger is a driven athlete who wants to be considered the best of all time. And he's not the first man to become a father and then go back to work. I don't think he'll miss a beat. His priorities might change off the course but on it they'll remain the same.
 
Rolfing:
I dont think it will affect him much other than maybe playing a few less tournaments each year. Tiger is the best I have ever seen at being able to focus when he needs to.
 
Baggs:
It would seem to have to have some effect, if only in relation to his schedule; though, it doesn't really seem possible that he could actually play less than he already does. Tiger has won multiple majors upon getting married and multiple majors in the wake of his father's death. He'll probably now win both the British and PGA.
 
Who or what impressed you the most at the U.S. Open?
 
Hewitt:
Actually, Phil Mickelson impressed. He played hurt. He tried on every shot. And he didn't complain as much as you might have expected
 
Sands:
Angel Cabrera. After sliding a bit near the end, Angel, who is not known for his closing ability, drove the ball with confidence on 18 and finished with a strong par. He went out and won the U.S. Open. No one lost it this time.
 
Rolfing:
I was totally inspired by the golf fans at Oakmont and the TV ratings on NBC.
 
Baggs:
Angel Cabrera's par on the 72nd hole. I don't think I've ever seen a player that visibly jumpy down the stretch. After bogeys on 16 and 17 wiped away a three-stroke advantage, he crushed a drive down the center of the fairway on 18, hit the green and made a solid two-putt. It might not appear overly impressive, but given the circumstances it most certainly was -- especially when you consider that 18 played as the hardest hole at Oakmont for the week.
 
Hot Topic
Who or what was the biggest surprise of the week?
 
Hewitt:
Cabrera is the obvious choice here. Oakmont didn't figure to be the place for a long, but sometimes erratic, driver to break through and win his first major. I'm still digesting the notion that he is our national champion. It took me a long time to accept Orville Moody. I do respect Cabrera's talent and there was nothing flukish about the the way he won. That said, I don't see him stringing together majors any time soon.
 
Sands:
Angel Cabrera. Again, not known for his closing ability, Angel, in the biggest spot in his career, stayed focused and finished off a final round to win his first major. And he held off Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk! Awfully impressive.
 
Rolfing:
The biggest surprise to me was Bubba Watson. When the longest driver in golf can do as well as Bubba did on the most penal course in America, that is impressive.
 
Baggs:
Tiger's putting. Woods has had a few poor putting performances in majors, but after such an awful display on Saturday, you were just waiting for him to start dropping some in on Sunday. And waiting. And waiting. Never happened. I was very surprised that given how many opportunties he had to win this major, he didn't get it done on the greens -- and he's the best clutch putter I've ever seen.
 
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