Every week of the 2010 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.
Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Welcome back, full-field golf we missed you! Waldo may still be MIA, but he doesn't play the Sony in Hawaii anyhow. What a pleasure, to watch golf balls being putted through the shade of swaying palms. We'll get to Ryan Palmer's win in Hawaii, but let's get a quick Tiger fix here at the top and call it a day on that subject. OK, here we go. Steiny has called you. He's granted you a one-question interview with Woods, who will be sedated by a heavy dose of truth serum. What are you going to ask him? I'll steal mine from Jay Leno: Tiger, what were you thinking? Weigh in, please.
Cameron Morfit, senior writer, Golf Magazine: Where ya been?
Jim Herre, managing editor, SI Golf Group: Tiger, what really happened Thanksgiving night?
Jim Gorant, senior editor, Sports Illustrated Golf Plus: When did you sleep?
David Dusek, deputy editor, Golf.com: If Elin admitted to being unfaithful with multiple men, would you try to patch things up and save the marriage, or would you file for divorce?
Farrell Evans, writer-reporter, Sports Illustrated: Tiger, why weren't you more disciplined, discreet and selective with your choice of women?
Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Is your swing still too flat, and if so, what have you been working on to improve your driving?
Morfit: I went to Hawaii and all I got was this stupid T-shirt. Can't they spell your name right? I don't get it.
Bamberger: Moving to Hawaii, Dean Wilson and John Daly found a loophole that would allow them to play with the old grooves. They used 20-year-old Ping Eye2 irons, which were grandfathered approval from the old Ping-PGA Tour lawsuit. Years ago, Karsten Solheim told me that Ping never made a better iron than those Eye2s. Bob Estes, for one, had a problem with Daly and Wilson, questioning whether they were acting within the spirit of the rules. What's your take? You think there's anything wrong with playing those Eye2s?
Morfit: Lots of excitement with the grooves this week, that's for sure. Joe Ogilvie probably spoke for a few players when he told me he thought the USGA's rollback was a stupid move. Bob Estes is playing with a Titleist Pro V1 "S" for extra spin, a spinnier ball that's not yet available to the public, and he thinks most players will adopt that or a similar orb to counteract the USGA's new mandate.
Shipnuck: They're playing within the rules, so you can't blame them. And anyone else can use the same wedges. But it's a ridiculous loophole.
Bamberger: That's certainly true, Alan, but you win with those old Pings and guys will talk about it forever, so it's really a pretty bold move on their part. It says a lot about Wilson and Daly, really.
Morfit: I don't see how you can argue Daly and Wilson aren't exploiting a loophole. That said, I'm not sure how much difference it makes to play with old Ping wedges. Daly missed the cut and Wilson was never in contention. I watched Wilson hit a pitch shot from a perfect lie after short-siding himself on 18 on Sunday, and his ball ran out, reacting no differently than it would have if it were hit with V grooves. I don't think those old Ping grooves are very sharp.
Charlie Hanger, executive editor, Golf.com: Playing those old Eye2's was genius! They were controversial then and now they are again. Wonder if Ping will start cranking up the old production line this week.
Herre: I still have my Eye2s. Best Christmas present ever from the wife, then the fiancee. I don't see it as a big deal.
Evans: Neither Dean Wilson nor John Daly is exempt on the tour this season. Softer or sharper, these guys still can't make cuts. Yet Bob Estes is wrong to judge them. No laws were broken. That's the point of a loophole.
Bamberger: Well, Estes is interesting, talking about the spirit of the rule. Like when Tiger had that army move that boulder. I have no problem with them using the Eye2s, but you could say it's outside the spirit of the new rule.
Dusek: Tim Herron still plays an entire set of Eye2s and he hasn't exactly been knocking down the flag sticks recently. I see this as more of a symbol of the cat and mouse game that will be taking place this season and in seasons to come. Staying within the rules, players will experiment with anything that might give them an edge. The USGA will then react, and so on.
Morfit: Here's the weird part. After Wilson's rather inflammatory comments toward Estes in the paper this morning, which Estes read, neither man even raised the subject when they played together today. Estes played terribly, making three double-bogeys on the way to a 78, so I'm wondering if he felt weird about it all. When he made a sort of conciliatory gesture to Wilson in passing after their round, saying he hadn't meant anything personal, Wilson gave a terse "I know" and went back to talking to me.