5. Given the leaderboard, renovated golf course and NBC coverage, did the LPGA's Evian event strike you as a legitimate major?
PASSOV: Architect Steve Smyers transformed the Evian course into a much harder, more dramatic venue, but its stunning setting on Lake Geneva that straddles France and Switzerland makes one want to relax, not grind. Sorry that InBee Park wasn't a factor, so we could debate what her fourth major win would mean, but many of the other usual suspects were high on the leaderboard. Still, horrible weather conspired against it, shortening play to three rounds. Not a major yet, no matter what they call it.
GODICH: All this talk about the fifth LPGA major, and then the event gets reduced to 54 holes. I think that was the golf gods' way of saying, "Fifth major? We don't think so." And while I appreciate the increased efforts by NBC and Golf Channel to get more of the game on the tube, network coverage does not necessarily signify must-see TV. Look no further than the celebrity tournament at Lake Tahoe that NBC airs every summer.
VAN SICKLE: Has any major championship seemed like a major in the first year of its existence? I'd say no to Evian. But the LPGA has more than one major that lacks true major feel.
BAMBERGER: No. Majors are not named for water companies.
SENS: None of those three helped, but given the fact that the label was slapped on the Evian event for the first time this year, in a kind of presto-chango executive level move, it was always going to seem like something of a manufactured major.
WALKER: They got unlucky with the weather, but the Evian was a cool event at a glamorous course with an exciting finish. You can’t just decree a tournament a “major,” but the Evian is trending in the right direction.
6. Horton Smith's green jacket for winning the first Masters sold at auction this week for $682,229.45, the most expensive piece of golf memorabilia ever sold. What item from golf history would you most like to own?
PASSOV: I'll take Bobby Jones' "Calamity Jane" putter, just ahead of Hogan's Merion 1-iron and Old Tom Morris' beard. The way my garage looks, however, I might just have one of them and not know it.
MORFIT: Tiger's red shirt from the day he won his first Masters in '97.
WALKER: I’d want something I could swing. How about Arnold Palmer’s driver from the 1960 U.S. Open?
SENS: Blair O’Neal’s Cobra calendar bikini. Wait. Does that sound creepy? Ok, then, I’ll go with something boring like Hogan’s one-iron.
GODICH A green jacket, a U.S. Open trophy, a claret jug, a Wanamaker—I'm not picky. Any of those would do.
RITTER: A green jacket would be pretty damn cool, but you can't drink Bells Oberon out of it. Sign me up for a claret jug.
VAN SICKLE: I wouldn't mind owning Augusta National Golf Club but I don't suppose that's the kind of item we had in mind. I'm not into memorabilia. Take the golf ball Tiger Woods used to win the Masters in '97, mix it up with a bag of other balls and then tell me which one Tiger used? It's just a golf ball or a club or a bag. The green jacket is kind of cool. What's the point of owning it, or a trophy, if you didn't earn it yourself? I'd enjoy owning rare photographs of old players and tournaments. That's about it.
BAMBERGER: Pebble Beach Golf Links.