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Tour Confidential: What if Tiger and Phil can't play the Masters?

Graeme McDowell
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Graeme McDowell made his comments about Tiger Woods at a press conference at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.

5. Graeme McDowell backtracked on some seemingly obvious remarks about how Tiger Woods’ aura has been diminished in recent years after McDowell was criticized on Twitter. Has social media made players more or less candid in sharing their opinions?

SHIPNUCK: It's made them more candid but also more sensitive to blowback. I guess finding the right balance is the key. I didn't think G-Mac had anything to apologize for, but from personal experience I can vouch that there are a lot of hardcore pro-Tiger trolls out there. Apparently they convinced McDowell otherwise.

BAMBERGER: The drunken tweets aside, it has made them less candid. From what I can tell, most of that tweeting activity is rooted in trying to sell something to somebody. I miss Roy Firestone, Peter Kessler and, while we're at it, Brian Lamb. Interviewers who let their subjects talk.

RITTER: Seems like pros go through a period of candidness before getting burned a few times and shutting it down. Stewart Cink, one of golf's Twitter pioneers, says he's dialed it way back because of all the negativity.

VAN SICKLE: Social media and all news sites that allow comments let yahoos with agendas shout down respectable voices. No matter what you tweet, some wiseass has a would-be clever comeback, put-down or hater remark. The short length of Tweets also allows them to be easily misinterpreted. So yes, players are more wary of telling it like it is online than they were a year ago. There's almost no upside in it.

LYNCH: McDowell is an honest guy and what he said is so demonstrably true that it hardly seems worth debating. But the faux protest machine on social media stands ever ready to pounce, and it doesn't distinguish between truthfulness (McDowell) and obnoxiousness (Elkington, for example). Small wonder that many golfers now just use social media to promote corporate partners, not to engage with genuine fans. Here's hoping McDowell doesn't withdraw into that mentality too.

PASSOV: It's a lousy Catch-22. Fans and media love the spontaneous, honest tweets from those we follow, yet we condemn the sender when the comments burn too hot. G-Mac just won the Golf Writers of America's award for media friendliness. Tweet away, G-Mac. We love what you do, even when we don't agree.

SENS: I was sorry to see McDowell backtrack because he had nothing to apologize for. But as to the question: more. For every McDowell cowed by blowback, there are dozens of Poulters and Elkingtons who dispatch their every thought into the ether, no matter how embarrassing. Mix in a little alcohol (as Lee Westwood did in his wounded post-PGA Twitter rant last year) and now we're really talkin'. Or at least they are.

6. Bill Murray wore PBR-print pants and a Dalai Lama T-shirt at a charity golf event earlier this week, so we know who the best-dressed amateur golfer is. Who’s the best-dressed player on the PGA Tour? What about all-time?

BAMBERGER: I think the Tour rules officials dress better than the players. Gray slacks and white shirts -- what more does a man need? Seve, in his navy, Continental prime, was the best-dressed I saw. From the pictures, either Jones (not the PGA Tour, though), or Hogan.

SHIPNUCK: I'd say McDowell. All-time has to be Hogan -- such a clean, classy, classic look.

RITTER: Couples always has a cool factor, and he more or less launched the spikeless shoe revolution at the '10 Masters. All time, I'll take everyone who played golf in the ’20s and ’30s.

VAN SICKLE: Today's players are dressed largely by the same half-dozen clothing-makers. How do you single anyone out? All-time, Gene Sarazen stood out for wearing knickers and ties back in the day when that was normal attire. I don't know what makes you best-dressed these days, but anyone who says ‘John Daly’ is banned from Tour Confidential forever.

PASSOV: I'm not exactly fashion-forward, but I'll chime in anyway. Adam Scott wins for everyday attire, though for special occasions, I'll go with Ian Poulter's outfits -- IJP Design -- and Ryan Moore with long-sleeved shirt and tie. Historical division, Ben Hogan for every day, Jimmy Demaret for special occasions. My favorite garment? Jack Nicklaus' blue-and-white argyle sweater in winning the 1978 Open Championship.

SENS: All-time I'll go with Doug "The Human Crayola Box" Sanders. In the modern era: John Daly, because I like using his pants as a Rorschach test.

The Tour Confidential roundtable continues Monday on our new weekly show hosted by Jessica Marksbury. Tweet her your questions @Jess_Marksbury.

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