5. Does Colonial -- short, tight, outdated -- tell us much about Merion? Does this leaderboard give us an Open favorite?
Van Sickle: I can't believe I'm about to write this but I'd say The Players has more to do with Merion than Colonial. It was a light field at Colonial, unlike Merion. Other than being a course crammed into a space almost too small for a tournament, Colonial and Merion don't have a lot in common. The Players, like Merion, is pretty much target golf.
Bamberger: No totally different courses. Length will be a huge factor at Merion. There are only two par 5s. Great for long left-handers. Here's looking at Bubba.
Gorant: Merion gives a lot of people a shot, especially a lot who wouldn't normally have much chance at an Open.
Reiterman: It wouldn't surprise me to see guys like Kuchar and Zach Johnson in contention at the U.S. Open, but I think we all know the favorite is the guy who's won four times this year.
Lynch: Albert Montanes, a 32-year-old Spanish journeyman won a tennis tournament last week in Nice, on clay. That accomplishment no more puts him among the favorites for this week's French Open than the leaderboard at "short, tight, outdated" Colonial hints at a Merion winner. Similar surfaces, vastly different stages and pressures. Though Montanes has a better chance of winning (at Roland Garros and Merion!) than another Spaniard we all know and love.
Ritter: Colonial is a nice tournament, but the U.S. Open is a totally different experience. I do think Weekley could play well at Merion, given that ballstriking is his biggest strength, but overall I don't think Colonial is much of a predictor for this year's national championship.
Morfit: I would say no. Too many big names not even in the field at Colonial.
Godich: Even with all of its tight, tree-lined fairways, Colonial won't tell us much about the Open. The fairways at Merion will seem as wide as a sidewalk, and there is nothing similar about the greens and the trouble that lurks around them.
Chamblee: Colonial's dogleg holes are not as sharp as Merion's and thus far easier to cut a corner, nor is the penalty as severe for missing a fairway or the proper angle. Merion's greens are considerably more difficult, and putting and strategy will be much more a factor at Merion than it is at the famed Fort Worth layout. Merion's leaderboard will look nothing like Colonial's.
6. Former Colonial champs Tom Lehman and Corey Pavin skipped the senior major to play in Fort Worth. Former Colonial champ Kenny Perry opted for the major. Who made the right call?
Godich:I'll take Lehman and Pavin. Their appearance in Colonial speaks volumes about their respect for Colonial. Never mind the history. It's a shotmaker's course. I'd love to see Tiger navigate his way around the place -- just once.
Gorant: If you're gonna play on the senior tour then you should support the majors.
Chamblee: No right or wrong call with regard to playing one place over another, but Hunter Mahan skipping the Byron Nelson in his own community, as one of the premier players in the game, is a PR mistake he should've been talked out of. Perhaps he doesn't sell a lot of tickets but his skipping the event is a slap in the face to the legacy of Byron Nelson and to the Salesmanship Club who work tirelessly to put on a great show and help evenly distribute charitable dollars.
Reiterman: They both missed the cut, but I'll say Lehman and Pavin. They don't have too many starts left against the young kids, so why not tee it up on the PGA Tour when the opportunity's right?
Morfit: Looks like Perry made a whole lot more money, so I'll go with him.
Van Sickle: Kenny Perry was in a position to win on the back nine Sunday. In fact, he coughed up a three-shot lead with six holes to play in pretty ugly fashion. But he did have a chance to win. So I'd lean toward Kenny. Although the Pavins and Lehmans might've had a great time at the Fort Worth Zoo.
Ritter: Given how things played out at the Senior PGA, I bet Perry wishes he would've joined Lehman and Pavin in Texas.
Lynch: Since none of them won, the answer is whichever one best covered his expenses for the week. So probably Perry.
Bamberger: That's for them to decide. That's part of the appeal of the game.
7. Because of flooding, the LPGA decided to play 12-hole rounds at the Bahamas Classic this week. Was the 12-hole round a sham or a tremendous piece of outside the box thinking?
Van Sickle: The 12-LPGA rounds were genius. It reminded me of six-inning baseball games in Little League. Fast and furious. And it was the most attention the LPGA has gotten since Lorena retired. They should look into making one of their events a 12-rounder every year. It was great fun and great public relations. Remind me not to get stranded in the Bahamas before a hurricane, however.
Chamblee: The 12-hole event was a clever attempt to make the best of a terrible week of weather. As I watched I didn't think once about it just being 36 holes or whether it should be official, I enjoyed the views of the Caribbean waters and got to know a few names on the LPGA.
Incidentally, I wish there were 12-hole courses being built, which by the way, was the original number of holes played in the first professional round at the Open Championship in 1860 when they played three rounds in one day for a 36-hole tournament, won by Willie Park Sr at 174.
Reiterman: I thought it was a great move. It's the first year of the event, so they obviously want to do everything they can to give the locals a good show. Amazing how good the course looked despite the record rainfall.
Gorant: It's the future of golf! Just ask Jack.
Morfit: I like it. Bucks tradition.
Lynch: This is the Tour that can't catch a break. Playing on through the hassles is to be applauded, and was a nice gesture toward a new sponsor and a new host venue. The sad reality is that the event probably got more attention for its troubles than a regular, drama-free tournament might have garnered.
Ritter: I wouldn't call it a sham, but the event was obviously diminished. But the record will show that Ilhee Lee earned her first career title this week, and she beat a strong field to get it. Congrats to her.
Godich: Who ever said golf had to be 18 holes? On a totally unrelated note, I once had a boss whose new wife questioned why it took him so long to play a round of golf and even wondered why he couldn't just play six or seven holes. The marriage lasted about a month.