Should the Solheim Cup be re-formatted to include international (non-American, non-European) players?
Brian Hewitt - Columnist, GOLFCHANNEL.com:
Im not sure re-formatting the Solheim Cup is the answer. But womens golf must find a way to get the International women into Cup matches, especially with the ascension of Mexicos Lorena Ochoa to complement Karrie Webb, the Koreans, the Japanese and even a player like Julieta Granada from Paraguay.
Mercer Baggs - Senior Producer, GOLFCHANNEL.com:
No. Like the Ryder Cup, the Solheim Cup should not be adjusted to fit international players. And as great a team as the internationals could comprise, I don't think the LPGA needs to create a new team event to include them. The PGA TOUR has a hard time getting people to care about the Presidents Cup; I'm not sure the LPGA could sell a similar competition to the public -- at least the U.S. public.
Ian Hutchinson - Contrib. Writer, GOLFCHANNEL.com:
That's been talked about for years, but it may be a can of worms that the existing teams don't want to open, at least not at this point in time. That might be a can of whup...ah, never mind. The South Koreans plus Lorena Ochoa sound like a scary team. Then again, it would be interesting to see how that international team would handle the team aspect of the Solheim Cup.
Mark Rolfing - Analyst, GOLF CHANNEL:
No there will be another international team event in womens golf before you know it.
Is it better for the future of the FedExCup to have someone like Steve Stricker, who has played in all four Playoff events, win the inaugural edition or someone more prominent like Tiger or Phil, who has skipped events?
Whats best is for Tiger and Phil AND Stricker to be dueling late into Sunday afternoon. That will make for higher ratings and, probably, more memories. I think, at this point, its hard to question the strategy of either Mickelson or Woods for skipping events. Both should be fresh for East Lake.
Tiger or Phil. Tweaks will be made to the Playoffs next year, and probably the next few years until they get it where they want it. But it's always good business for the TOUR to have one of its two superstars win a big event.
I've got to go with Stricker. It never hurt any championship to have a longshot come from nowhere to win it, especially someone with the heart of Stricker. Tiger probably will end up winning it, but what does it say about this whole debacle when someone takes a week off and still coasts through and wins it all? If the TOUR needed anybody to sell this whole playoff concept, it was Tiger and he showed early with his actions that majors are all that count to him. Maybe the TOUR should listen to him because that seems to be the general consensus about what counts most on the schedule.
I dont really think it matters whether a player has skipped events or not. I think, probably, in the first year having Tiger Woods win, who has been the best player all year, would validate the Playoffs the most.
Should the FedExCup be moved up even further on the schedule to avoid football season altogether?
Its a nice thought. The problem is then you start having problems squeezing the earlier part of the schedule. This I know for sure: If the Bears had been playing at home at noon, Chicago time, Sunday, the final round attendance at the BMW Championship would have taken a serious hit.
If it's possible, the TOUR should make it happen -- even if they have to add a couple of events to the Fall Series. Last Sunday was great golf, but even with Tiger in the mix, it got lost in the opening week of the NFL, college football and the U.S. Open tennis finals.
I'll answer that question with two other questions. Which two tournaments will get snuffed because of moving the FedExCup up on the schedule? Does Major League Baseball try to avoid the NFL by ending its season at the end of August? If the TOUR is so scared of just a few weeks up against pro and college football, then this game is in some serious trouble.
Im not sure that football is the biggest issue for the Playoffs. For example, in Chicago it was more that the kids had gone back to school and it was a post-Labor Day date that affected attendance. And for Atlanta, it is too close to the heart of the summer now, as evidenced by the poor condition of the greens.
Whats the ONE thing you are most looking forward to this week?
I want to see Phil and Tiger coming to the last hole in the last group Sunday tied for second one shot behind Steve Stricker. From there, let the chips fall where they may.
The Solheim Cup. The ladies play with a lot of heart and it should be competitive. The best thing about this week is that you can wake up early and watch the Solheim Cup and then tune in to Tiger and Phil at the TOUR Championship (all on GOLF CHANNEL). Not a bad week for golf fans.
Definitely the Solheim Cup. Won't it be refreshing to see golf being played with heart and spirit again?
Tiger, Phil and Steve playing together on Thursday and Friday.