5. Michelle Wie, who finished T56 at the Women's British Open, made the Solheim Cup team as a captain's pick. Was this wild-card choice about golf or TV ratings?
Van Sickle: Michelle Wie's pick was about chemistry and potential and the long ball. Wie can be a devastating talent off the tee with her length. And she's got history. But if I were captain, I'd want the best putters on tour on my team. That's not her. I don't think the ratings will be any different with or without Michelle Wie. They are what they are.
Shipnuck: Both. Let's face it, there weren't that many other good candidates. Wie's selection brings a ton of buzz, but don't forget she's played some of her best golf at the Solheim. Maybe this week will jump-start her career the same way the Prez Cup helped Adam Scott out of his funk.
Ritter: She isn't playing well, and putting is the worst part of her game. So, it must be ratings. Nothing else makes sense.
Lynch: It's about what all picks are about: the opinion of one person, the captain. And that's all that matters. Some players will gripe, but they had their chance to make the team. Captain's call.
Passov: Compared to the Michelle Wie I watched in 2003 and 2004, the Michelle Wie of 2013 has to be the biggest waste of talent/potential in golf history. I still root for her -- she moves the media needle for sure -- but given that most of the best players in women's golf (the Asians) will be nowhere near this event (which would provide more competitive flair), this move smacks of desperation.
Godich: Let's see: Six missed cuts and a curious WD at the U.S. Women's Open and nothing better than a tie for ninth in 17 starts this year. I think the stats speak for themselves. And if the LPGA needs Michelle to drive the needle, it's got an even bigger problem than we thought.
Morfit: Both. What if she's the women's version of Poulter, a totally different player in that single event? One can hope.
6. When it comes to the major championships, the PGA Championship is clearly fourth among equals. What can the PGA of America do to elevate the status of its championship?
Lynch: Go to strong courses every year, limit the number of club pros playing so it doesn't look like a union picnic, and do something about what is indisputably the worst broadcast in golf every year.
Godich: The charm of the PGA used to be watching the world's best players play practice rounds with and compete against 40 club professionals. Now that number has dwindled to 20, just so the PGA can say it has the strongest field of the year. Let's reduce the size of the field, increase the number of club pros and pair touring pros with club pros in the first two rounds. Until the PGA of America does something, this major has the feel of another Tour event. The field just happens to be bigger. You'd think an organization that represents the lifeblood of the game would take better care of its own.
Morfit: I actually think the PGA is cool. And you could make the case that two PGAs in particular shaped where we are now: Rich Beem refusing to wilt amid the Tiger roars, and Yang just taking him down out of nowhere. But they should avoid gimmicks like letting the fans pick hole locations.
Ritter: It would be hit-or-miss for TV ratings, but going back to match-play format would give the PGA an identity (or, in this case, a return to its old identity). To spice it up even further, I'd borrow an idea a friend had and let the top-seeded players choose their opponent for their opening-round match. Can you imagine how great that pre-tournament selection show would play on TV? Host: "Hello, Tiger. Who would you like to select as your Round 1 opponent?" Tiger: "Give me Sergio." Golf fans: "Whoaaaaaa!"
Passov: Do NOT convert it to match play (see, WGC-Accenture, early departures, for example). Take it to really compelling new venues (Whistling Straits has been a great choice) or say Sebonack, which looked really strong for the Women's Open this year. That said, it's not so bad being the fourth among equals. At least the men's tours agree that four majors is enough, and that these four events are cemented as such for the indefinite future.
Shipnuck: More daring course selection instead of U.S. Open leftovers. The PGA should colonize every cool new course that opens in the U.S. so as to carve out a different identity from the national championship.
Van Sickle: The PGA has done a great job of picking venues, not counting the occasional Valhalla. The only way to not be the fourth major is to move up in the batting order. Play the PGA in February or March, and you're a bigger deal. That's the only way. Nothing wrong with batting cleanup. It worked for Rocky Colavito [LINK: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_Colavito].
7. Pick your PGA Champion (and a potential dark horse).
Van Sickle: It's hard not to see Tiger doing this for four more rounds on a somewhat similar course. Sometimes the obvious pick is the right one. I was leaning toward Luke Donald until his back-nine fade at Firestone. It might be a Zach Johnson week. Oak Hill will be about who avoids the rough and who can read the greens. Zach is good at both.
Godich: Your winner is Tiger Woods. But if it doesn't happen this week, I'll take Jimmy Walker as my dark horse in keeping with the PGA's tradition of producing first-time winners. Jordan Spieth rounds out the trifecta.
Lynch: Phil. Dark horse: Michael Thompson. Doesn't the Honda Classic winner usually take this title? (Two of the past four years.)
Ritter: Gotta see Tiger put it together on a major weekend before I'll take him. Give me Snedeker to win, Stenson as a dark horse.
Passov: Henrik Stenson is pre-ordained to finish second. For the forth time this year, I'll pick Tiger to win. Straight hitters prevailed when Oak Hill hosted in '03. Tim Clark is currently top 5 in driving accuracy, and finished third here in '03. He's my dark horse.
Morfit: Jason Day wins. And Poulter is dark horse. Or vice-versa.
Shipnuck: Keegan Bradley is my winner. Tiger is my dark horse -- after all, dude hasn't won a major in eons.