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PGA Tour Confidential: The Verizon Heritage

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Every week of the 2009 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.

Jim Herre, editor, Sports Illustrated Golf Plus: Welcome everyone. We have a guest this week — Jack McCallum, the longtime SI hoops scribe and Charles Barkley Boswell. Jack, what do you really think of Anthony Kim? Nice to see two of the good guys, Brian Gay and Nick Price, kick some butt. We've been waiting forever for Price to finally win as a senior, but I bet no one made Gay his/her fantasy league pick this week.

On other fronts, Rory McIlroy took a pass on PGA Tour membership; looks like Ollie and Lanny, two Ryder Cup stalwarts, will be entering the Hall of Fame; ticket and corporate sales for the U.S. Open at Bethpage reportedly are sluggish; and, most important, Stewart Cink's Twitter followers have grown to an army of 55,000.

Jack McCallum: I hate to swing at the first pitch in such an august group of golf scribes, but since you asked ... Damn, I found Anthony Kim obnoxious. He came out to one of the Barkley-Hank Haney sessions I was covering for the SI story a few weeks back and acted like a 13-year-old. Then again, Charles acts like a 17-year-old, so it was kind of a draw.

I was glad to see Nick Price win. In one of the few golf stories I've written for SI, I met him on a Friday at the British Open. He gave me great stuff for five minutes, and every time I saw him the next two days he'd say, "Hello, Jack." We love it when people remember our names.

Herre: That's an old Jack Nicklaus trick. The story goes that Jack was coached, by Kaye Kessler I believe, to mention the reporter's name in press conference settings. Stuff like that goes a long way with lowly press types.

Dick Friedman, senior editor, Sports Illustrated: Which was the bigger surprise beatdown this week — Gay's 10-shot win at Harbour Town or the Indians' 22-4 pasting of the Yankees on Saturday?

McCallum: Stewart Cink having 55,000 Twitter followers.

Friedman: It's up to 61,298 and growing faster than the national debt. Last tweet, two hours ago: "Time to head back home and dry out the Tundra."

Gary Van Sickle, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Hard to believe that many people even still play Twister. Aren't those little plastic spinners broken by now?

John Garrity, contributing writer, Sports Illustrated: I was going to open with some crack about how a10-shot victory by a poker-faced golfer wearing wrap-around sunglasses didn't make for exciting television — but you broke my train of thought with the news that Cink has an army of Twits. Man, that shakes me to the core.

Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: You know Twitter has jumped the shark when middle-aged sportswriters have discovered it and one of the least cool people on the planet, Stewart Cink, has become a voice of the medium.

Friedman: You're so 20th Century, Vans. Is son Mike Van Sickle on Twitter?

Van Sickle: I'm not sure. I'll ask him the next time I write him a letter.

Friedman: The semi-serious question is whether it's affecting Cink's golf. He's had a mediocre season and shot 72-73 over the weekend to finish T62.

Garrity: The semi-serious answer is that Tweeting is probably good for Cink, who fights a tendency to brood over his imperfections. If you're thumbing updates to your Twits, you're probably not stressing over the island-green par-3 later in your round.

Anne Szeker, producer, Golf.com: Well, he's not tweeting during the round! I think it's a great way for him to connect with his fans, and you get a fun look into his life — hanging out with Ben Crane, going to hockey games, watching the rebroadcast of the Masters to see how much camera time he got. And if Stewart's Twitter isn't enough, his wife, Lisa, is also on there, tweeting "Hoping Stewart finds his golf happy place again!"

McCallum: Sorry to inject hoops, but the big hoops tweeters are Shaq and Steve Nash. Both missed the playoffs. Lance Armstrong is big into it, too. And he fell off his bike. Perhaps Fairway Friedman is onto something.

Farrell Evans, writer-reporter, Sports Illustrated: If I'm a tour player, I'm doing whatever Tiger is doing. I'm guessing that he will not be twittering any time soon.

Van Sickle: Clearly Stew is onto something if he has 61,000-plus readers. I'm not sure what he's onto, but it's kind of funny that he's the tour player on the cutting edge of new media technology. Maybe he heard about it from some of his kids.

Ryan Reiterman, producer, Golf.com: Actually, he got it from watching Wilbon and Kornheiser on PTI. Even more alarming.

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