Every week of the 2011 PGA Tour season, the editorial staff of the SI Golf Group will conduct an e-mail roundtable. Check in on Mondays for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors and join the conversation in the comments section below.TOMS TAKES COLONIAL, BUT CAN HE KEEP WINNING?
Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Greetings Confidentialists. Before we get started, I want to introduce this week's guest commentator, Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher and swing coach to the stars, Mitchell Spearman.
Pretty strong bounce-back by David Toms to win at Colonial after giving away the Players. With 13 wins, including the 2001 PGA Championship and a bunch of Ryder Cups, there's been a little chatter of him making a run at the Hall of Fame. What more would Toms have to do to earn a spot in St. Augustine?
Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Oh, he's not even close. I'm not saying he couldn't get there. Of course he could. But he'd need to turn into Vijay.
Jim Herre, managing editor, SI Golf Group: Agree with Michael. Toms has a long way to go, at least two more majors and seven more total Ws. He's sure swinging well at the moment, though. With that putting stroke, he's another guy you have to consider at the U.S. Open.
David Dusek, deputy editor, Golf.com: Toms is certainly on a hot streak, but with all due respect he has never been a dominant player. He's just not a Hall-of-Fame-level golfer.
Shipnuck: Twenty wins seems to be a key threshold. That's unlikely given Toms's age. If he could pick off another major and get to 16 or 17 victories, he'd have to be considered, given the other guys who have been voted in. But personally I think the Hall has let in too many very-good-but-not-quite-great players.
Jim Gorant, senior editor, Sports Illustrated: I agree with that. Seems like the pressure to get a few guys on the docket each year, and the fact that guys who are more popular tend to get more votes regardless of their qualifications, has led to some questionable decisions.
Gary Van Sickle, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: All these guys on the bubble will get in if the Tour keeps having an annual induction ceremony; to have a TV show, you need inductees. Unless the Tour goes to every-other-year voting (which would be a great move), everybody will get in.
Mark Godich, senior editor, Sports Illustrated: Toms has to get to 15 wins and maybe win another major. That's a big ask, but based on how he bounced back this week, he might have it in him. He's certainly riding a wave of confidence, especially after what happened at Sawgrass.
Damon Hack, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: I asked David about the Hall of Fame at Quail Hollow. It's definitely on his mind. He knows he has a lot more winning to do to get there. Probably needs four or five more victories, including another major, to be in the mix.
Herre: Toms might get in with fewer wins due to his post-Katrina work. And we all know he's a good guy.
Mitchell Spearman, Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher: I guess if he'd won last week, that would have been a big step. Let's see what happens in his forties. Outside of Bubba and Vegas, it seems like the ball-controlling shotmakers are making a run this year to win more on tour.
Farrell Evans, writer-reporter, Sports Illustrated: Another major would get Toms in. But I don't know that another couple of regular wins would make a difference. It could go either way with him. He's not a first-ballot guy, so to speak, but definitely as worthy as a lot of guys who are already in.
POULTER KNOCKS OFF DONALD
Shipnuck: This was one of those weeks in which the Euro tour offered a much more compelling tourney. After Ian Poulter's rousing victory at the World Match Play Championship, no less than Paul Azinger declared Poulter the best match play golfer in the world. I'm not convinced of that, but it was definitely a big W for the flighty English lad. What's your take on Poulter's place in the new world order?
Hack: Poulter has a seat at the table, one of the 15 or so best players in the world. He needs a major to back up his brashness, but I believe he'll get it.
Spearman: He certainly shows that heart and desire are more important than a great golf swing. No doubt if his technique was better, i.e less laid off at the top and less excessive left leg movement on backswing, he'd be a regular contender in majors.
Bamberger: Couldn't one have said that about Hall of Famer Raymond Floyd?
Spearman: Yes, that's true. Floyd had lots of different shots, and a stare that could kill you.
Dusek: I think Poulter gets up for events that matter most to him (Ryder Cup, WGC-Match Play, and so on). He gets ultra-focused and seems to rise to the occasion, but at majors, so do a host of other guys. If he could bring that fierceness every week, I think he could win a lot. I think he's a solid top-10, top-5 talent.
Bamberger: A great talent, an interesting guy, and I'm glad he's on the scene. I don't see him closing the deal in a major for the reason Alan cited: flightiness. I hope he does. It'd be fun. But it's hard to close your eyes and imagine it.
Gorant: He's gritty and gutty but doesn't seem to be able to consistently put himself in contention. He's shaping up as a match play specialist.
Godich: Never mind a major. If he wants a seat at the table, he needs to win more, period. But he does have a pair of impressive match-play victories on his resume.
Jeff Ritter, senior producer, Golf.com: I ranked him ninth in the latest SI Golf Ranking, the first time all year I've had him in the top 10. It was an impressive win, but he still needs to show more in a major to crack my top five.
Herre: I'd rank Poulter among the top 10 Europeans. He has to win a major or three. He's 34 now and can't make a rep on potential.
Evans: Forget a major. Poulter has to win any stroke play event that has a world-class field.