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PGA Tour CONFIDENTIAL
MICHAEL BAMBERGER
May 09, 2011
Will the defections of Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood hurt the tournament? What can be learned from the Masters? Is Tiger out of the woods? Has the move to May worked out? And who is going to win the Players Championship?
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May 09, 2011

Pga Tour Confidential

Will the defections of Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood hurt the tournament? What can be learned from the Masters? Is Tiger out of the woods? Has the move to May worked out? And who is going to win the Players Championship?

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Anonymous Pro: When two of the world's top 10 players skip your event, it's a big hit. The Tour will deflect it and spin it any way it can. When the Players was in March, all you saw for two weeks on TV were ads for the tournament. Now what do you have? Craig T. Nelson doing a spot. That shows you this event doesn't have the magnitude it used to.

Hack: Even worse, I don't think Lee and Rory will be the only guys making this choice in the future.

Learning Curve

Van Sickle: What's the most important thing we learned from the Masters?

Hack: I had forgotten about Adam Scott. It's hard to look cool with a long putter, but he did. I was shocked. He had fallen off that list of major contenders. I'm glad he's back.

Van Sickle: I love that line, It's hard to look cool with a long putter. That's like, it's hard to look cool driving a minivan.

Bamberger: Between King Looey (Oosthuizen) winning the British Open, three guys contending for the PGA and that whole crowd at six o'clock in Augusta, we learned that golf is absolutely wide-open at the moment. That makes it really, really exciting.

Shipnuck: The revelation at Augusta was how much depth there is. Charl Schwartzel and Jason Day and Bo Van Pelt—those guys will pop up and win a Hope, no big deal. We used to think there were maybe 12 guys who could win the Masters—everyone else was too intimidated or overmatched by the course. Now a lot of guys are ready to do it at Augusta National.

Bamberger: I totally agree. We've been out of the Tiger era for a while, but Tiger made us forget this until Y.E. Yang beat him at the PGA: It's hard to close an ordinary Tour event, but it's really, really hard to close a major. McIlroy had a commanding lead and couldn't get it done.

Anonymous Pro: Just look at the last few pairings from Sunday. When Tiger was making his charge, the young guys blew by him on the back nine like he was tied to a tree. Check out the shots Jason Day and Charl Schwartzel played coming in. In years past a guy might have folded if Jack Nicklaus or Phil Mickelson or Tiger was on top, but none of these guys so much as flinched. They've taken over.

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