Press Pass Els Celebs and Playoffs

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Press PassEach week, Golf Channel experts and analysts will offer their thoughts and opinions on hot topics in the world of golf with the Press Pass. You can also give your take on our questions. Just click on the link and e-mail your responses to us. We'll publish select answers each Friday.
 
Hot Topic
Ernie Els has a three-year plan to be No. 1 in the world. Can he get there ' or get close?
 
Kraig Kann Kraig Kann - Host, Golf Channel:
Youre assuming I understand the World Ranking points system. He can get close. But for him to get there it appears that Woods would have to decide to revamp his swing again, change coaches and change his shirt color on Sunday. Not to say Ernies not capable, but he needs a lot of help in addition to completely ramping up his dedication to the game and then playing the best golf of his life. By the way, he also needs to double his total of majors during that time, which means three over the next three years at minimum. Bottom line, I dont think he gets there but if he gets close it will give us a lot to talk about.
 
Brian Hewitt Brian Hewitt - Senior Writer, GolfChannel.com:
Els can get there, which is not to say I think he will. I admire his pluck in efforting the top spot. It's just that he is living, as the Irish say, 'in a time of inconvenience' because of Woods' presence and the giant, long shadow Woods casts over all his contemporaries.
 
Mercer Baggs Mercer Baggs - Senior Producer, GolfChannel.com:
He might get to second in the world again, but being No. 2 doesn't mean he'll be anywhere close to No. 1. Unless Tiger decides to be a stay-at-home dad or decides to play left-handed just for giggles, then I don't see anyone coming close in the foreseeable future.
 
Hot Topic
Swedens Henrik Stenson won this past week in Dubai. Who is the best European player at the moment and who has the best chance of winning a major this season?
 
Kann:
This is a flavor of the month question. That said, to me, its Paul Casey. Stensons not far behind. He was 14th in the world ranks coming into Dubai and his win will do him a world of good. But theres something about Casey. I think Paul has a few majors in him and I think he has a great chance to get one before the likes of Stenson, Donald, Harrington and even Garcia.
 
Hewitt:
I still think Paul Casey is the top Euro at the moment but Stenson isn't far behind. The oddest part about this is that means Sergio Garcia is, at best, the third best player in Europe. And with Luke Donald and Padraig Harrington in the mix, Sergio might be No. 5 in this category.
 
Baggs:
I think Paul Casey is the man at the moment in Europe. But while Casey may win the Order of Merit, I think Padraig Harrington has the best chance to win a major. Also, keep an eye out for Sergio this season in the majors. If he stays under the radar and keeps the pressure off, he may actually be able to contend on the back nine on Sunday.
 
Hot Topic
Celebrities and pros will once again tee it up together this week in Pebble Beach. What one pro and two celebrities, of all time, would comprise your ultimate foursome?
 
Kann:
Arnold Palmer in his prime would be a treat. As for the celebrities, thats a tough one. Ill take David Letterman and Chris Rock and hope the laughs never stop - or take the pro off all together and give me Demi Moore, Sandra Bullock and Elisabeth Shue.
 
Hewitt:
My ultimate Pebble Beach Pro-Am foursome would be Tiger Woods, Cheryl Ladd and Michael Jordan. And if Kann, who somehow has the notion that Sandra Bullock would ever play golf with him, approves, Bullock can be my caddie.
 
Baggs:
Gotta go with Tiger as the pro. Don't know how entertaining he would be, but I'd love to play alongside the best ever to play the game. As for the celebrities, I'll take Charles Barkley (who I said a few weeks ago I'd like to see as a tournament host) for one. He's quite funny and quite awful. He also has a gambling problem, so I'd like to play against him - with Tiger as my financial backer. My other celebrity could be anyone NOT named Ray Ramano or Kevin James.
 
Hot Topic
The USGA announced that the U.S. Womens Open will now go to a three-hole cumulative playoff. Should the mens Open be changed as well from an 18-hole Monday playoff?
 
Kann:
Yes. No question about it. The most disappointing thing about going to the U.S. Open is the thought of an anti-climactic finish. Fans dont want to leave without a winner. The media doesnt want to leave without a winner or stay to wait for a winner. And a 3- or 4-hole playoff continues the drama. A Monday 18-hole playoff has little drama. Trust me, everyone there on Sunday dreads the thought of a Monday playoff.
 
Hewitt:
Not yet. But if the three-hole playoff works well after several tries at the U.S. Women's Open, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see the USGA adopt the same procedure for the men. People love to bash the USGA as being hidebound. But it's an organization that's a lot more progressive than the golf world understands.
 
Baggs:
Without question. Having a Monday playoff is a total hassel for all involved -- the players, the tournament staff, the vounteers, the media, even the fans. A tournament, barring inclement weather or darkness, should come to a conclusion on Sunday. And due to the significance of a major championship, a playoff should be a 3- or 4-hole cumulative session instead of sudden death.
 
Click here to e-mail us your take on the above questions. We'll publish select reader responses on Friday.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am