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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
Do you like watching the Masters Tournament under firm and fast conditions with even par being a great score? Or do you like it when the conditions allow for lower scores with more birdies and eagles?
 
Brian Hewitt Brian Hewitt - Columnist, GOLFCHANNEL.com:
As much as I enjoyed this Masters playing more like an Open Championship this time around, I, like many others, pine for the roars from Amen Corner. If the Masters wants to set a target winning score, I'd prefer 10 to 15 under. The winner, Zach Johnson, didn't go for any of the par-5s all week long. Something doesn't seem right about that. The 'signature' golf shot in the history of the Masters is Gene Sarazen's '2' on a par-5.
 
Kraig Kann Kraig Kann - Anchor, GOLF CHANNEL:
I liked watching Sunday at the Masters under the scoring conditions. I didnt much enjoy the first two rounds. Saturday was just tough ' forget that day. The weather combined with the course set-up dictated everything. Dont forget ... Augusta can determine the score just like the USGA can and we saw a Sunday with the fun and drama were always used to.
 
Mark Rolfing Mark Rolfing - Analyst, GOLF CHANNEL:
I like it better when conditions lead to lower scores; its the way I always remember the Masters. Tradition is a great part of the Masters and the combination of having lengthened the course and the difficulty of the conditions this year took away many scoring opportunities. The players had to play defensively.
 
Mercer Baggs Mercer Baggs - Senior Producer, GOLFCHANNEL.com:
I'd much rather watch the Masters when players are allowed to be a little more aggressive, as they were on Sunday. I don't see anything wrong with 8 under to 12 under being the winning score. Certainly, the weather played a factor this past week, but much more so, the competition committee determined Augusta National's difficulty. Any coincidence Fred Ridley, former USGA president, is the new chairman of that particular committee?
 
Hot Topic
With Zach Johnsons Masters victory, who will be the next first-time major winner?
 
Hewitt:
Interesting, by the way, that nobody that I saw came up with the headline: 'Masters And Johnson.' ... Anyway, I'm thinking the next first-time major winner will be Padraig Harrington and it may happen as early as Oakmont in June where, by the way, the conditions promise to be nasty. Sergio seems to be heading in the wrong direction. Monty is done when it comes to winning a major.
 
Kann:
Look out for Luke Donald or Paul Casey. Those guys are good enough that their time will come ' perhaps before Sergio's. Appleby learned a ton and I wouldnt count him out. My guess is the Europeans get the distinction of the next first-timer.
 
Rolfing:
I believe it will be one of three players: Henrik Stenson, now the sixth ranked player in the world; Paul Casey, who if not for a bad opening round at Augusta could have won the Masters; and Vaughn Taylor, who simply is one of the best putters in the game.
 
Baggs:
I hope it's Padraig Harrington, simply because I'm a fan. But I'm not putting my money on a European in a major. I can't see Adam Scott winning a major right now. I'm not going with a first-timer in the U.S. Open, but how about Trevor Immelman in the Open Championship at Carnoustie.
 
Hot Topic
Tiger Woods hasn't played the Verizon Heritage since 1999. Should players, like on the LPGA, be required to play in every PGA TOUR event at least once during a certain period of time?
 
Hewitt:
I don't like special treatment, but Woods has earned it. He should not be required to play anywhere he doesn't want to play. Period. I am, however, on another subject, getting a lot of e-mails from viewers who are growing increasingly weary of Tiger's profanity on the golf course.
 
Kann:
Yes. The Yankees have to play the Devil Rays, right? Id love to see Tiger at Hilton Head more often.
 
Rolfing:
I think that requirement would be ideal, but I dont see it happening. I dont think the PGA TOUR policy board would ever approve that system. As an alternative, if the PGA TOUR considered each PGA TOUR event and once every four years gave every tournament bonus FedExCup points that could be a step in the right direction. In any case, I dont think it would affect a player like Tiger Woods, whose schedule is pretty much set each year.
 
Baggs:
No. I think it would certainly be nice to see, and certainly would be beneficial to the TOUR, but players shouldn't be obligated to play anywhere. I don't think this is something that we will ever see happen. Tiger wants to play where Tiger wants to play. And the TOUR wants to keep Tiger happy.
 
Hot Topic
The LPGA returns to action this week at the Ginn Open. With her major victory, is Morgan Pressel now Americas best female player under the age of 25?
 
Hewitt:
Morgan Pressel may have vaulted past everybody and earned the right to be called the best female player, of any age, in the U.S. She was the first American to win the Kraft Nabisco since Dottie Pepper in 1999. On the other hand, the tournament kind of won her because she finished so much earlier than all the other contenders. I still believe that when all is said and done, Michelle Wie will have the best record of all the American women. But her ship is in dry dock right now and nobody seems to know when it's going to sail again.
 
Kann:
No. Not ready for that yet. I still give the nod to Creamer or Wie. But Pressel is for real.
 
Rolfing:
I dont think so. I believe it's Paula Creamer, but with her victory Morgan has definitely closed the gap.
 
Baggs:
I'm definitely giving the nod to Pressel over Wie right now. Wie may have the greater potential, but potential means bupkis right now. Creamer may still be atop this list on a weekly basis, but I see Pressel as being the kind of player who out-performs her American peers in the majors. She may not win that many regular tournaments, but I think she will claim up to five majors throughout her career, given her tenacity when even par is a great number.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Verizon Heritage
  • Full Coverage - Ginn Open
  • Full Coverage - Masters Tournament