Will Padraig Harringtons Open Championship victory open the floodgates for European victories in major championships?
Brian Hewitt - Columnist, GOLFCHANNEL.com:
I think it will have the biggest effect on the younger Euros. For example, Paul Casey was just 22 when Paul Lawrie was the last European to win a major (Open Championship 1999). Harringtons victory will serve as a terrific example for Casey, Luke Donald, Justin Rose and even Rory McIlroy. For that matter, the pressure, for now, is off all the top Euros. But especially the young ones.
Steve Sands - Reporter, GOLF CHANNEL:
It very well could. Two majors in a row have now been won by European Tour players. Sunday, Padraig said he thought other Europeans would see how he did it and understand that Europeans can win the big events. He was extremely proud to end the eight-year drought and expects to see his continent continue to perform well in majors..
Mercer Baggs - Senior Producer, GOLFCHANNEL.com:
No. I'm sure, as a group, the Europeans were happy to see one of their own win a major, but I don't think it has given each individual added confidence on his own that he can do it, too. I don't think there are many European players, at this point in time, who are capable of winning a major championship. And Harrington's win didn't change that.
Mark Rolfing - Analyst, GOLF CHANNEL:
No, I really dont think Europeans can be grouped together because so many of them play the PGA TOUR full time. I dont think a particular players origin will determine whether or not he can win a major.
How do you think Sergio Garcia will respond to his defeat, and how long, if ever, before he will win a major?
When and if Sergio will ever win a major is anybodys best guess at the moment. Might be a lot of permanent damage there after Sunday. I have a theory that Sergio, like Colin Montgomerie, plays better when he has teammates. When its him against the world, Sergio feels too much weight. Garcia and Monty are both spectacular Ryder Cup performers because they have other players rooting for them for at least one week. Tiger is the opposite'terrific as a lone wolf but not a natural-born and bred team player. Woods has come a long way as a team guy in the Ryder Cup. Maybe Sergio needs to wear his old Ryder Cup uniforms at the majors.
I think Sergio will respond well. It was a crushing defeat, but his putting is improved with the belly putter and his ball striking hasn't suffered. He's a more confident player now. I think he'll win his first major next season.
This will take a very, very long time to get over. Sergio will most likely win a major, but I've always felt that it would happen when he'd shoot 65 on Sunday to come-from-behind -- similarly to what Harrington did. I don't think Sergio was overly tough mentally to begin with, so this makes it even more difficult. But, once the world stops conspiring against him, he'll have his day.
This will be a tough loss for Sergio. However, I think hell respond better and sooner than his prior major meltdown.
Is the 18th hole at Carnoustie the toughest finishing hole on any course in major championship history?
Hard to think of another one that tops it. And thats fast company when you consider the 18th holes at both Winged Foot and Oakmont, sites of the last two U.S. Opens. If you had a list of the five hardest holes in major championship history, the first that would come to my mind is the 17th at The Old Course followed by No. 18 at Carnoustie.
I think it's the toughest and best finishing hole in the world. It has everything. A choice of driver or iron off the tee. A choice of laying up or trying to carry the burn. If you hit two good shots you're rewarded with a birdie chance. If you hit a bad shot or two you'll be punished. I love it!
I'm sure you could make one harder by tricking it up, but as far as the natural layout of the hole, 18 at Carnoustie is the toughest I've seen. Even when you try and play it safe on that hole, you can still very easily make bogey or worse.
Im not old enough to say any course in history, but it is the hardest Ive seen.
What is the ONE thing you are most looking forward to this week?
Film of the celebrations in Dublin.
The one thing I'm looking forward to the most this week is hearing the Canadian fans cheer for Mike Weir. He's a legend in his home country.
Nick Faldo is making his debut on the Champions Tour this week, competing in the Senior British Open. I'm very curious to see how his game stacks up out there, and to see if this will spark any kind of competitive fire.
The thing Im looking forward is to see how Sergio will react. Padraig said had he not won the British Open he might have had to reconsider his career. I hope Sergio doesnt, this should be a highlight for him.