Donald Miralle/Getty Images
By Gary Van Sickle
Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Well, I was too ill to travel to Phoenix this week for my favorite PGA Tour stop but apparently still grumpy enough to answer your savvy golf questions. I’m still in shock (he said sarcastically) that those two Yoopers finished another whole season of episodes scouring Oak Island without finding anything.

Enough said. On to the Van Cynical Mailbag:

Hey Sick Man, Does Brandt Snedeker win a major this year?—WilliamRX via email

Why not? He’s Zach Johnson with fluffier hair. Sneds has been close at Augusta and the British Open, two majors Zach has won, and his putting is as good as anyone when he’s on. That said, now he’s got to beat four first-namers to win his major — Rory, Jordan, Jason and Rickie. I think it just got more difficult.

Hey Van Cynical. Your take on Patrick Reed’s withdrawal at Torrey? Did the caddie still get paid? I thought it was a wuss move but not shocked by it.—John Lee via Twitter

It’s lame but that kind of thing happens frequently on the PGA Tour. Reed shoots 81, he’s last off for a final round to be played in a hurricane and almost certainly won’t finish Sunday. So he gets outta Dodge before the massive storm hits and isn’t stuck there until Monday night or Tuesday morning just to finish last. I don’t agree with Reed’s play but I understand it. Graham DeLaet, left to play in a twosome in the last group, called Reed out on it. Hard to believe DeLaet was surprised, given Reed’s reputation for not making friends on tour.

RELATED: Why the 17th Is the New Party Hole at the Phoenix Open

Hey Sickle Sell, Do you miss the caddie races at the 16th hole in Phoenix?—Dugbug88 via email

Nope. Durned kids. Somebody’s gonna put an eye out or break their neck and they won’t be laughing then. Hey you kids, get off my lawn!

Hey G-Van, If a birdie falls at the Farmers Insurance Open and no one sees it, does it still make a sound? Do you tip your cap?—Michigan Golf Live via Twitter

If no one sees it because no one is there, Michigan, your cap has to tip itself. Which makes sense since the wind at Torrey Pines tipped over everything else, too.

Hey Cynical Van, It’s ridiculous we have to wait 15 minutes for a playoff to start on the PGA Tour in 2016. Sign the damn scorecards after the playoff.—Ben Higgins via Twitter

That is annoying, Higgy Bear, but in tournament golf you don’t have a score until your card is signed. Also, what if one of the playoff participants who just finished needs to visit the latrine? You’ve got to give him a chance to tee off at No. 2, if you know what I mean. These are more reasons why golf is best viewed after it’s been recorded, so you can zap through the non-golf action. But having to wait for anything—I hate that.

Hey Van Rules Stickler, Who will hit the ceremonial tee shot in 2036 when Nantz is calling his last Masters? I say Crenshaw and Faldo.—David Troyan via Twitter

At the risk of stating the obvious, Troy Soldier, I’ll go with Michelle Wie and the soon-to-be-perfected Bobby Jones Droid.

Van CounterBalance, How’s the anchor ban going on tour so far? Any early fallout? Broncos or Panthers? Manning or Newton?—Klaugh56 via Twitter

It’s going as well as you’d expect, Laughmananoff. Here’s where some of your favorite ex-anchorers rank in putting (strokes gained putting stat) so far: Webb Simpson 178; Keegan Bradley 218; Tim Clark 210; Adam Scott 191; Carl Pettersen 85. Most of them are also down in scrambling and sand save stats, too, since those involving making a putt after playing a shot. I’ll go Panthers and Newton over Broncos and No-Neck Manning. Here’s where Phil Simms steps in and says something profound like, “Turnovers will be the key.” No, duh.

Hey Van Sinister, There was a 218-yd par 4 in LPGA Bahamas event. What's next, a 400-yard par 6? What say you, Gary?—Michael O’Connor via Twitter

Yes, history was made last week, Mannix, because Ha Na Jang became the first LPGA player to ace a par-4 hole. Except the tees had been moved up to 218 yards that day—oddly, the same day Jason Gore made an albatross at Torrey Pines, a legit albatross. Not much coverage from the Bahamas for the pro-ettes but I am assuming the tees were moved up because of wind and blustery weather. This is the same tourney that once played 12-hole rounds due to flooding. So I’ll give them a pass and congratulate them on figuring out a way to get the round in … this time.

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