The PGA TOUR saw its second playoff in a row, this past weekend at the RBC Heritage. Webb Simpson and Graeme McDowell faced off on the 18th hole of Harbour Town with winds in excess of 30 MPH. How difficult is it to adjust your game to strong winds, as well as the pressure of playing in a win or go home situation?
I think it was Ben Hogan that once said “the wind does not affect a perfectly struck shot”. While that is not entirely true, the point is that the players often try to change things too much with their swing with the wind. If a player takes his normal swing but adjusts the line he takes, he has a much better chance of striking it solid. When a player hits is solid, there is less spin on the ball and will be affected less by the wind. As difficult as it is, when playing in the wind, try to swing the same…as far as the playoff goes, good luck calming your nerves with that situation!
At this past weekend’s tournament, shooting a score of par was a difficult task, with less scores in the 60’s than there were in the 80’s on Sunday. What do you feel is more exciting, a tournament full of birdies and eagles, or one with incredibly difficult conditions and unpredictable scoring?
I think when the weather becomes such a strong factor in the outcome, it takes away from the enjoyment of the tournament. A difficult course is one thing, but when the weather makes it almost unplayable, it is another thing entirely. I would rather see a good, hard course and watch the best players in the world be rewarded for good shots and punished for bad ones.
What is your opinion on television viewers calling in penalties and rule 33-7? Is it fair when not all players are shown on television?
I think golf is the only sport where the viewers can call in and have an effect on the outcome of the event (except for maybe American Idol). I think we need to revisit allowing viewers to call in. It is a very unique and difficult thing to manage.
Four of the last six major winners, including Adam Scott at this year’s Masters, have used a long putter, and the USGA and R & A have proposed an anchoring ban. What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of using an anchored putter?
I am not for the ban. I think at the end of the day, a player still has to make the stroke, no matter what stroke it is. I think the same thing with the rest of the equipment as well. The ball, driver, irons, etc…they have all advanced and changed but the players still have to make the swing. I think we let players make the decisions and all players have the ability to choose to use the stroke or not.