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2013 U.S. Women's Open

2013 U.S. Women's Open

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PGA Tour Confidential: Park wins third leg of Grand Slam, Bill Haas takes AT&T

Rory McIlroy
Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images
Rory McIlroy missed the cut at the Irish Open.

5. Rory McIlroy missed another cut -- this time at the Irish Open, played at an undistinguished parkland course with a normal Tour setup. Is it time to hit the panic button? Is you made a list of 10 favorites for the British Open, would he even be on it?

Bamberger: I wouldn't hit the panic button, because what does that accomplish? A golfer finds his game by going back to what made him good in the first place. This period will look like a blip, some time from now when he's not in the thick of it. I'd put him in the top-10 for the Open, for sure. Can you name nine better golfers? Tour players can find their games with one good swing. Sometimes.

Passov: I found it oddly disconcerting last week to see him in the stands on a cold, dull day watching Caroline at a meaningless match at Eastbourne, the Wimbledon tune-up event. Why aren't you out testing drivers, or playing in another tournament -- or something -- to help find your golf game? There seems to be so many distractions for him right now. If the Open forecast is for damp and windy, he's not in my top 10.

Ritter: You almost never panic at his age but this looks like a potentially lost season for Rory, which was unfathomable back in January. I can't see him finding it at the British, but he's in my top 10 for the PGA as long as he's in the field.

Wei: I feel like the panic button was hit a long time ago. It makes me wonder if there's something going on off the golf course -- I'm telling you, it's not the driver because first time I had that club in my bag, I hit 13 of 14 fairways and only missed the one because I drove it through. I'm not sure he would have been in my top 10 for the British Open either way because we know how much Rory fares, or rather, doesn't, in tough weather conditions!

Godich: If Rory were 34, I'd be concerned. Considering he's 24, I don't think it's time to start sweating things. He'll be back-and back strong-though that probably won't happen until next year.

Van Sickle: Rory should be in a concerned mode, but not panic. I don't think I'd put him among my top ten contenders. He'd probably be No. 11. I think he's capable of turning it around in a round or two, however. I wouldn't say he can't win at Muirfield.

6. It was a great TV weekend for fans of golf course design. Which course captivated you most, D.C.'s Congressional, Long Island's Sebonack, Pittsburgh's Fox Chapel or Indiana's Victoria National?

Passov: Fox Chapel was victimized by soft conditions due to massive rainfall--a big disappointment for sure. Fazio's Victoria National is amazing to look at and Congressional oozes history, but they're both forced-carry golf courses. These days, I'm into playing (and watching) the bounce and roll, and Sebonack showed off really well. The greens played tough, but not goofy, which was the concern going in.

Van Sickle: I'll play the role of homer and go with Fox Chapel. If you were offered one round in Pittsburgh any where you wanted to play, you'd go with the Fox. Oakmont is a death march and Laurel Valley is nice but Fox Chapel is a living antique. It's got a Redan hole and a Biarritz hole and it's challenging and great fun. You can't beat it.

Wei: From the little I saw of it, Fox Chapel looked incredible, but it's a Seth Raynor and I'm biased. I was at Sebonack this week and it was really a beautiful course, but design-wise, it can't compete with its next-door neighbors, National and Shinnecock.

Godich: I'll take Sebonack, if only because I was intrigued after hearing so much about the place. I have to say it didn't disappoint.

Bamberger: All interesting, but probably Sebonack, because I was so eager to see how good players play it. I know what it's like to shoot 88 on it: about the most beautiful course you could ever imagine.

7. Club pro Michael Bembenick shot and signed for a 103 in the second round of the event in Indiana. He refused to quit, stating that to do so would send the wrong message. Would it? Should there have been more consideration for his playing partners and to the PGA profession? What kind of message did Michelle Wie send by citing "illness" as reason for a WD, knowing she had to come back the next morning and would miss the cut no matter what?

Passov: I'm torn on both of these. If Wie hadn't had a history of pulling these stunts (where she was called out by Annika Sorenstam), I'd cut her more slack. You gave the fans 35 holes--cut your losses and get out. As for the club pro, this had to be a bad case of nerves compounded by a hard golf course. That said, the other guys in your group, and behind you, are tying to make a living, and your beyond-pathetic performance couldn't have helped them. I might have bagged it with nine to go, out of respect for those folks.

Bamberger: The pro move is to finish, unless you are a distraction to others. Rory McIlory at Honda was not a distraction to Ernie Els and Mark Wilson, and he should have played. Wie, the same. The club pro should have called it a day. One-oh-three? is supposed to be a pathway to the Tour, not an after-work league.

Van Sickle: Bembenick showed the never-say-die attitude golfers should have. So he played bad. So what? He finished. Quitting doesn't accomplish anything, unless you're trying to get better at quitting. It's not the first time Wie has bailed when things got tough. That said, plenty of PGA Tour players WD after a rain delay when they know they're missing a cut the next day. It's nothing new. But it certainly fails to impress me.

Wei: As a former competitive golfer, I have issues when I see people quit and I do see the club pro's point of view, but really, I wouldn't have blamed him had he not turned in a card. Props to him, though. It's a little bit of a black mark on Michelle, but you know, she really looked absolutely miserable out there. I'm surprised that girl hasn't completely lost it with all the pressure and crap she has to deal with. By the way, PGA Tour pros do it ALL THE TIME, but no one cares unless they're a name that moves the needle.

Godich: Good for Michael for grinding it out. And if he had WD's, his playing partners would have been standing around waiting for the threesomes in front of them. Who's Michelle Wie?

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