GOTM Mailbag #1 — Red, White, and Tiger Striped

After getting a couple messages in the ole inbox talking about things I’ve mentioned in the previews, I figured I might as well write out the answers and post them in the open. For those wondering, I’ll probably write these up every few weeks or so. Or when I have enough questions to warrant it. So anyone out there want to get their question answered, submit that form on the the mailbag tab linked at the top of the site. I was thinking that all questions should be golf related, but if you want to ask me my opinion on Israel’s latest elections (what kind of nickname is Bibi?) or Kim Kardashian’s plastic surgery (still odd looking), I’ll answer those too.

I see how much you mention Tiger since you try to throw in a reference every week even though he’s on the sidelines. So do you actually think Tiger will ever win again on Tour? And what do you think he’ll need to do to get back in that kind of form?

Bob, California

First thing I’ll mention is that I hate giving advice to someone going through swing issues. Us fans really have no idea what’s causing his bad play, let alone how to fix it. On the other hand, the media loves asking these types of questions with the hope of getting a quote and an article explaining why Tiger sucks now and how he can get better.

I did a quick little search for “Tiger Woods advice” on google and here’s what I got:

Arnold Palmer says “practice“, Kid Rock says he’s “gotta loosen up and enjoy it“, Mark O’Meara says don’t “over-analyze“, and Sean O’Hair says “his mind is a little clouded“. If I’ll believe anyone from that list, it’d be O’Hair who went through a similar stretch of bad golf that he’s only recently overcome.

So if I had to give advice to Tiger, it would be to not listen to me since I’m sitting on my couch typing this up while he’s out somewhere rolling in his money and success.

That being said, he’s gotta win again at some point. It’s going on two years now since his last win in August of 2013. But he’s had a longer streak of ~2.5 years (fall of 2009 to spring of 2012) without winning, so he hasn’t reached the point of no return. Tiger is 39 years old. Players win on tour after their 50s. He might not be as dominant as he was (since it’s pretty much impossible to win as much as he did back in the day) but he’ll win again for sure.

Simple question here. Who’s the best American golfer in the world right now?

Ian, Kansas City

Before I ran off to the Official World Golf Ranking site, there were five players that jumped to mind right away – Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed and Matt Kuchar. Looking at the actual rankings, I was semi surprised with the actual rankings.

Bubba (2), Spieth (6), Fuyrk (7), Johnson (9), Fowler (11), Jimmy Walker (13), Kuchar (14), Reed (15).

Furyk and Folwer are up there for their ability to always finish well in big events / majors without being able to close. Fowler easily won the award for best finishes in the majors in 2014 finishing T5, T2, T2, and T3. I can see Fowler making the leap sometime soon — sort of the “win once and the flood gates open for good” kind of deal. Furyk… not so much. They’re both discounted. This leaves me choosing between Bubba, Spieth and DJ and Kuchar.

At first, I figured I’d go with DJ, since he has the experience factor while still being young and athletic. But his absence and MCs recently take away from the 4th, 2nd and win recent.

Then I wanted to say Kuchar, but despite the fact that he hasn’t missed a cut in almost a year, he also hasn’t won in almost a year. I’m looking for a player that can win and Kuchar hasn’t done that recently.

This leaves me with Bubba and Spieth. And I’m going to overlook that missed cut recently and go with Spieth as my pick. Kind of tough to do seeing as how Bubba is ranked number 2 compared to Spieth’s 6 But I see 3 worldwide wins in the past few months and a game that can win on every golf course, not just on courses that fit his game like Bubba seems to do.

Thinking into the future, I’d say there’s a 65% chance that Spieth will be my answer to this question if asked after the tour championship in the fall. DJ gets 20%, Bubba gets 10%, and I’ll leave 5% for someone else just in case I’m wrong (not so secretly rooting for Tiger).

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