PGA Tour Confidential: Brandt Snedeker wins Canadian Open, Hunter Mahan WDs

Tiger Woods
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Tiger Woods will chase his eighth career title at Firestone this week, and one week later his 15th career major.

5. Tiger has won six majors since he turned 30. Phil Mickelson has won all five of his majors after he turned 30. What does Mickelson need to do to have a better second-half of his career than Tiger? And who wins more majors from today forward: Tiger or Phil?

Bamberger: Phil is so deep into the second half of his career, and doing so well at it, I can't imagine any advice that could possibly be useful.

Van Sickle:Phil has to give up being in love with hitting it past all of his playing partners. He also has to improve at hitting fades to the point where he's able to do it under pressure (see 71st hole at Quail Hollow for an example). That would make his game more complete. Phil probably has a shorter window to win majors since he's older. Then again, Tiger doesn't look like he's got it in him anymore on the weekend. I'll still go with Tiger.

Ritter: The health of each player is probably the biggest X-factor, although given that Tiger's younger, you'd think he'd have a slight edge. But I'll say from here out, Phil and Tiger each win two more majors.

Passov: Phil is phenomenal--but he's had so many majors where he simply wasn't a factor. The number of majors that Tiger has played where he wasn't a factor in any of the final three rounds you can count on one hand. I still see Tiger emerging on top.

Shipnuck: For starters, Phil needs to spend some time at No. 1 and be player of the year, two lofty honors he has never achieved. And obviously he needs to win a U.S. Open to prove that he is indeed a complete player. The way Phil is playing, I can see him easily winning another two or three majors, and it's impossible to have that kind of confidence in Tiger.

6. This week Inbee Park will chase history at the Women's British Open at St. Andrews, where she could win a fourth straight major this season. If forced to choose this week, is your TV set to the Women's Open, or the PGA Tour event at Firestone?

Shipnuck: You mean, would I rather enjoy the wondrous canvas of the Old Course, or have to endure the monotonous repetition of Firestone, which might be the most boring championship golf course known to man? I think that question answers itself.

Ritter: I'll take Inbee's run at history, and St. Andrews in HD.

Van Sickle: If Inbee Park isn't in contention, are you still going to be glued to the TV? Although it never gets old watching the Old Course. Firestone's holes have a certain sameness on TV. I'll still watch the men.

Passov: I'm really torn. I'm totally into golf history, I watch a fair amount of LPGA and gosh, it's St. Andrews! Still, I'm not going to change my Sunday plans to watch Inbee Park, especially with that thorny issue of Evian being a major (so what is exactly needed, LPGA, to win your Grand Slam?), but if Tiger and Phil are head-to-head down the stretch at Akron, I'm parked in front of the set.

Bamberger: This is not a serious question. First of all, the women are St. Andrews. St. Andrews vs. Firestone. Second of all, Inbee's trying to make history. Tiger and Co. and looking to haul cash. Third of all, she's got the most peculiar/interesting method of any elite player in the game. We know the swings the menfolk make.

7. Also happening this week: Golf Magazine will unveil its latest list of Top 100 Courses in the World, and in the U.S. What's the top course on your wish list that you've yet to play?

Van Sickle: My No. 1 unplayed course was Merion but I played there in late May and it was worth the wait. I haven't played any of the courses in Bandon Dunes, or Sand Hills. Or Cruden Bay, Castle Stuart, North Berwick or Portmarnock or...

Ritter: Augusta National will always be at the top of my bucket list, but for courses I could play just by writing a check, I'll take Pebble Beach.

Shipnuck: Oakmont, Chicago G.C., Fisher's Island, Prairie Dunes, Friar's Head, Kingston Heath, Cape Kidnappers, Barnbougle Dunes, Carne, Askernish, Diamante...

Passov: I would really like to say I've played Seminole.

Bamberger: A nine-hole course I am designing in my mind, with wide fast bumpy fairways, brownish playable rough, deep bunkers with coarse sand, smallish fast greens, tee boxes right beside them, itty-bitty scorecards and an honor box for green fees. You can play it in less 80 minutes, faster if you're putting well.

 

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