Hack: The most telling thing for me was Bubba Watson saying recently that he had no interest in being the face of American golf, that he didn't want the Tour banking on him as its poster child. There are questions about these young guys—Dustin Johnson not knowing the rules, Rickie Fowler trying to break through, and Anthony Kim, who is talented like crazy. Do any of them want it enough?
Van Sickle: It's reminiscent of Fred Couples and Nick Price in the early '90s. When they got to Number 1 they immediately wanted out of the spotlight.
Shipnuck: The truth is, American golf hasn't been that great. Look at the Ryder Cup. We had Tiger and Phil and Furyk for about 15 years. They were American golf. You got past those three guys, who else was there? That got exposed in the Ryder Cup. The problem isn't American golf, it's that those three guys have pretty much run out of gas. Their time is almost up.
Bamberger: We're lucky to live in an affluent country with a lot of great country clubs, but the country club system doesn't produce world-beaters. It produced Curtis Strange and Jack Nicklaus, but it didn't produce Ben Hogan or Sam Snead or Byron Nelson or Tiger Woods. It's not how K.J. Choi or Luke Donald grew up.
Anonymous Pro: Right now the Americans who are playing well aren't the type of guys who win U.S. Opens, other than maybe David Toms. Bubba doesn't win Opens. I don't know if he can drive it straight enough. Really, no American is playing well enough to be a clear favorite, not even Phil. It'll be a surprise if any American wins this Open.
The Big O
Van Sickle: President Obama reportedly has played about 60 rounds of golf since taking office. Is it a good thing that our President has a golf jones?
Shipnuck: We should celebrate Obama getting a mental break on the links once in a while. I don't know why golf has such a bad connotation, but I'm glad he gets to turn his brain off for a few hours.
Garrity: Obviously, the vapid partisans go into attack mode for any nonessential presidential activity. I blame George W. Bush for saying he wouldn't play golf while American soldiers were in harm's way, as if golf were some sort of unpatriotic activity. I guess he forgot that the Pentagon operates about 200 golf courses around the world.
Hack: If you're left-leaning, you probably had a problem with Bush playing golf. If you're right-leaning, you probably have a problem with Obama playing golf.