Each week check out the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors as they break down the hottest topics in sport, and join the conversation by tweeting to us at golf_com. This week, we’ve broken down the Presidents Cup, LIV’s recruiting tactics, changes to hole number 13 at the Augusta National, and more.
1. It’s officially Presidents Cup week, where the American Internationals will face off in Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina The series was dominated by the United States. Any reason to believe that this will not be the case again this year?
Alain Bastable, Executive Editor (Tweet embed): Well, even Adam Scott called his team “the heaviest underdog ever,” giving Vegas a nearly 90 percent chance of winning. So, yeah, it looks bad on paper. Really bad. But… match play! Sports! Anything can happen, right? If the internationals can avoid getting sucked into the task at hand – winning 17.5 points – and instead take every match as it comes, who knows what could happen. We’ve seen otherwise, Davids with hot rackets have outdone Goliaths before, and we’ll see that again. It’s been a strange year in golf. Perhaps the strangeness will continue. However, yes, it is also possible to select matches before we get to singles.
Dylan Diether, senior writer (Tweet embed): Of course, why not?! If we don’t think international players stand a chance, there isn’t much of a point, so I spoke to +750 as a very interesting number for the away team. And the course actually suits a group of the international team really well. Quail Hollow prefers big hitters and especially guys who are good at using medium to long irons, while there is less emphasis on chopping and laying. Adam Scott, Hideki Matsuyama, Songjae M, Corey Conners, Taylor Pendrith, Cam Davis, Mito Pereira, etc. – these guys can all hit it where they’re looking. This is a sport! Let’s see how their best things stack up.
Luke Kerr Denen, Game Improvement Editor (LukeKerrDineen): Almost no reason. The weakest team on paper has lost a lot of players compared to the stronger team. Surely the US wouldn’t have Dustin Johnson, who might be the most exciting golfer out there right now. But the depth of their team means they won’t lose sleep because of it. Crazier things have happened, but international players will need a Rocky IV disruption to pull this off.
2. It is likely that the talk about the event will be about Which players are not there, Men like Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, and Cameron Smith, among others. As the first team event without LIV players, how do you expect it to change the mood or level of excitement around it?
Pastable: The LIV factor will undoubtedly dominate the conversation early in the week, just as it has at every other tournament this year. How not, what with the event being defined almost by non-existent players as much as the existing ones. Take the absentees from the international team alone: Cameron Smith, Charles Schwarzl, Abraham Ansser, Louis Oosthuizen, Marc Leishman, and so on. All heavy losses. You can’t blame Captain Immelman for feeling like he got a pair of 2s for a full house for his opponent. By Thursday, though, attention will inevitably turn to the competition, and it will be fun, as always, to see how some unknown players respond to the pressure.
Diether: The event profile gets some kind of short-term support from the chaos and debate about who should be included and who shouldn’t. But there’s no doubt that it’s a less interesting team dynamic without Brooks and Bryson vying for captain picks and Cam Smith dropping daggers on the Greens. Emelmann made it clear in our conversation Professionals leaving for LIV have learned that they will be barred from attending the event. However, it is a definite effect of the presence of the torn golf professional.
LKD: I think the Presidents Cup should be honest about needing to rethink after that. Less than two team events already, if this continues, it is simply not a sustainable path forward for an event already struggling to achieve broader relevance. If the majority of the talk about the tournament revolves around who no You play, you know there is a problem.
3. Name one US player and one international who seems to be ready for a week off.
Pastable: Excited to see Kevin Kesner in play. The dude has been in pain to play on an American team for years. I think he will accept the moment and get up. On the international side, we fully expect the Tom Kim star to continue to climb. An insanely good ball striker, he also looks to me like a cheerful/cheerful boy in the team room.
Diether: Pendrith quietly returned from injury to amass some of the strongest golfers ever. Shoot the ball and get ready for a big week. On the American side, Patrick Cantlay plays like everyone else – and it seems likely that he and Xander Shaveli will play every session.
LKD: go ahead? Max Homa appears to be primed to grow in red, white, and blue. And he plays well. He wouldn’t be surprised to see him turn the table. As for the international team? How about Joohyung Kim. It’s a big stage for a young player who has a bunch of talents, and I think she’ll come out the best out of it.
4. David Puig, an Arizona senior, made his debut at LIV Golf Chicago This week, TK finished. Puig became a professional while being ninth amateur In the world. Will the future of both the PGA Tour and the LIV go down to where these top amateurs land?
Pastable: Even for the most accomplished college stars, there is clearly no foolproof path to the PGA Tour, so for comers looking to make a quick buck, LIV is undoubtedly an attractive option. Not sure how the PGA Tour will compete with that. Puig seemed to be in trouble due to the lack of opportunities (eg, sponsor invite) being awarded to play the PGA Tour events. The Spaniard noted that those invitations often land in the arms of better-connected American players. There is no easy answer here about the tour. The entry bar couldn’t be lowered, even for the seemingly unmissable college buttons. The Tour Merit Qualification System makes the Tour what it is. You must earn it.
Diether: For Alan, there were a lot of potential clients that couldn’t be missed and would end up missing out. But LIV cannot take everything in its current form. There are only 48 spots, after all. The question then becomes how the LIV’s feeder structure works – and how far they can send money secured big time on the depth chart.
LKD: Not right. I’ve said this before, but I don’t think the future of either round is in jeopardy, at least for the next few years. What golf lovers should prepare for is the kind of chaotic reality we saw in golf between the ’80s and ’90s, when half of the world’s top players played the European Tour and the other half in America. It was only the rise of Tiger Woods that cemented professional golf in the United States. With the Goats receding from sight as a player, this kind of strong two-round is what we’ll come back to.
5. After much speculation and years of questioning, new images appear to add New junkyard stadium at the famous Augusta National Stadium 5 13th. What are your thoughts on extending the thirteenth place and how it will change the championship?
Pastable: Change will startle the traditionalists but This is life. This is where we are with the professional game. I think in an ideal world, lengthening would make the hole 10-15 percent more difficult. Any more than that and 13 would lose his eagle ability which makes watching him very interesting. I like that the new push-up shirt looks like it’s creating a knee waterfall, no The tee shot at 18. Good luck in that fairway of pines with one shot on Sunday.
Diether: I think it would be great. Pros hitting big drives and then trying to fly high, soft fade from the hook on that green? Yes please. I’ve watched enough Masters from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s to yearn to watch the pros take on the challenge. But this is in a vacuum. If you zoom out, golf’s most famous yard can hardly keep stretching, stretching, and stretching; The distance debate can sound like golf’s version of climate change. The new and improved No. 13 hole is like a warm, sunny New England winter. Certainly, it represents an existential threat to the very existence of humanity. But hey, what do you think of the Golf March?
LKD: I love him, and can’t wait to see him. From the sky, the hole gives me Golf Harbor Town. Target golf at its best. Pull the driver and hit the tie tight around the corner. Hit the shot or go home.
6. Breach of a rule of etiquette is not a crime but it can lead to an indictment. we made A list of the nine worst violations, ranked from least to most serious. What is the etiquette mistake that drives you the most crazy on the golf course?
Pastable: My top three should be the top three of my other players: slow play, slow play and slow play. An absolute affliction on the game. Fourth Far: Scrape five feet as if it were extra kicks. These insanely self-proclaimed gadgets often come after the offender has just missed a hit from the same distance – as if they did. Start Miss two in a row from this range.
Diether: You can tell a lot about a person from the way they treat their can. If the play partner is rude to their loper, blames him or her for their own shortcomings, harsh on them or generally treats them like second-class citizens, I’ve seen what I need to see.
LKD: People stand in my line on the green. Not only are you making spanking more difficult for me, you are also really annoying. It’s like cutting someone on the road, or jumping in front of someone in line. Or like those pesky people on planes trying to slip through the aisle before it’s their turn to get up and leave. Either way, it’s rude, so don’t do it.