Press Pass Phil Firestorm Holes in One

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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
Should Phil Mickelson, who missed his Wednesday pro-am, have been able to compete in last weeks EDS Byron Nelson Championship?
 
Brian Hewitt Brian Hewitt - Columnist, GOLFCHANNEL.com:
A lot of people think he shouldn't have. Certain players think others get preferential treatment. In this case, I'll take Phil and the PGA TOUR at their word.
 
Kraig Kann Kraig Kann- Reporter, GOLF CHANNEL:
Yes. When weather circumstances like they faced (heavy storms and tornadoes) get in the way leaving no chance to fly in, I have no problem with it. Couldnt they have given Mickelson an afternoon tee-time in the pro-am on Wednesday? Players werent happy ' citing star treatment. Perhaps one free pass per year would be in order.
 
Mark Rolfing Mark Rolfing - Analyst, GOLF CHANNEL:
Yes, absolutely yes! There were extenuating circumstances because of weather issues. Even commissioner Tim Finchem could not arrive because of this problem.
 
Mercer Baggs Mercer Baggs - Senior Producer, GOLFCHANNEL.com:
No. I understand why the PGA TOUR let him play, but given how strict they have been with other players - and they have been very, very strict - they should have held Mickelson to the same standard. What they need to do is relax the rule a little, allowing players at least one excused absence a year. Plus, given that Mickelson was traveling in a private jet, he could have made it on time if he really wanted.
 
Hot Topic
With Tigers old coach, will Mickelson ever be able to pass Woods for No. 1 in the world?
 
Hewitt:
It's a long shot. Phil will get better under Butch. But, as Phil says, it's Tiger's world and he's just living in it. Only way Phil gets to No. 1 is if Tiger gets injured or takes an extended leave from competitive golf.
 
Kann:
Theres a chance. But Phil will need some serious help. Not just from Butch Harmon, but from Tiger Woods. Mickelson is the most talented player outside of Tiger ... now we see if a change in coaching philosophy can get more out of him.
 
Rolfing:
No. Tiger is too far ahead of Phil and too many venues fit Tigers game better than Phils.
 
Baggs:
Looking at the current top 10 in the world, Mickelson is probably the only player capable of doing it, but, all in all, I'd say he will not. It's hard to imagine anyone overtaking Tiger unless he decides to make a swing change. Even as well as Vijay played a few years ago, he would not have passed Woods if he hadn't undergone a swing overhaul.
 
Hot Topic
This weeks Wachovia Championship is contested at well-liked Quail Hollow. What is the best regular tournament course on the PGA TOUR?
 
Hewitt:
TPC Sawgrass is No. 1, hands down. Quail Hollow, Muirfield Village and Cog Hill No. 4 are way up there. The Copperhead course (PODS) is a real sleeper. Pebble Beach also belongs on any list as does Riviera.
 
Kann:
In my opinion it is Muirfield Village. Looks great on television, always manicured beyond perfect. There will be plenty of votes for Riviera or Pebble Beach. I like Muirfield.
 
Rolfing:
Pebble Beach.
 
Baggs:
Of the ones that I have been to, I would go with Muirfield Village. The course just always looks pristine. You can't beat the visuals at Pebble or Kapalua, but Muirfield always impresses with the course itself.
 
Hot Topic
A lady in Arizona is said to have made eight holes in one in the last 14 weeks. What is your most memorable hole-in-one moment?
 
Hewitt:
True story. I was working, just out of college, at a golf course in Illinois. Was standing behind the 13th green of a long par-3, when I saw a man and his wife approach the tee. The man promptly aced the hole. But he and his wife immediately began arguing. He didn't think the ball had gone in the hole. She did. The bickering continued all the way up to the green. When he finally pulled the ball out of the cup, he was greeted with a loud, 'I told you so,' from his wife. He marched off in stony silence to the next tee. Somehow, I don't think they'd been having a very good time the first 12 holes.
 
Kann:
Ive only had one: 166 yards with a breeze at Dorals White (Greg Norman designed) Course. Hit a 6-iron two bounces and in. Couldnt believe it. Neither could Brian Hewitt. The rest of the round was forgettable, and I had no time to buy drinks. We had a 'Post Game' show to do that afternoon at the old Ford Championship, which was won by Craig Parry.
 
Rolfing:
My most memorable hole in one was my first at the third at the Bay Course at Kapalua. But Ive never seen one like Fred Couples' at the 17th hole at THE PLAYERS. He hit the ball in the water then re-teed it and made a hole in one.
 
Baggs:
I've never made one and I blame my father. He has made in the neighborhood of 20, which means the odds are against anyone else in the rest of the Baggs family of ever making one. I did, however, have the greatest near hole-in-one of all time. Playing with my brother a few years ago, I stepped on the tee box with a 7-iron and guaranteed an ace. Guaranteed it. I struck it perfectly, posed for all the imaginary cameras, and watched as the ball took one bounce, hit the flagstick and came to rest inches from the hole. It would have gone in -- if not for my father.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Wachovia Championship
  • Full Coverage - EDS Byron Nelson Championship