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Tour Confidential: What should the PGA Tour do to speed up play?

Dave Stockton, Rory McIlroy
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Putting guru Dave Stockton offers a few tips to fellow two-time major-winner Rory McIlroy.

The final two questions are inspired by our special guest Dave Stockton…

5. Ian Poulter kicked off his SiriusXM radio show by relating that Michael Jordan tried -- and failed -- to psych him out at the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah. Which event induces more pressure for the players, competing for country at the Ryder Cup or being in the hunt coming down the stretch at a major?

STOCKTON: The Ryder Cup, Solheim Cup, and President's Cup all create more pressure on a player than any major. You almost feel you have no control in team atmosphere because it's not just you, it's the whole team that ramps up the emotions.

VAN SICKLE: How many times have players described the Ryder Cup as playing the last hole in a major championship on every hole? I think it's close, but I'll give the nod to the Ryder Cup because of the team concept. Stroke play is a different kind of pressure because you can make any kind of “Tin Cup” number imaginable, while in the Ryder Cup, all you can do is lose one hole at a time. Kind of chippy by Jordan to pull a stunt like that, by the way.

SENS: Those are different kinds of pressure, and it weighs on different players in different ways. Would you wager on Ian Poulter coming down the stretch in a major? Probably not. But in the Ryder Cup. For sure.

SHIPNUCK: They all say it’s the Ryder Cup. If you blow a major, only your wife and accountant care. At the Ryder Cup, you’re playing for your captain, teammates and millions of fans at home. That’s way more pressure.

BAMBERGER: Well, you would think, for American golfers, nothing would offer more pressure than competing for your national championship, but in actual fact, if you listen to the players, it really seems that the team pressure of Ryder Cup play makes that far more difficult.

PASSOV: The earth would have to spin off its axis for me to have a chance at feeling what players must feel when in contention at a major. However, I did compete for my country once, against Japan, in a Writers Cup match in Hawaii. I was fortunate to have a great stick with me in my team match, Mark Soltau, who carried us. In my subsequent singles match, after they announced my name and my United States affiliation, I choked beyond description. At the fifth hole, I actually shanked a 3-iron! Somehow, after being 3-down, I was out-choked by my opponent, and I won on the 14th. I'll go with Ryder Cup pressure.

MORFIT: I can't think of anything worse than knowing the entire Ryder Cup is coming down to your singles match on Sunday, especially if you don't crave that type of situation with every fiber of your being, or if you're not 100 percent on your game, and you know you probably won't be able to hide it much longer.

6. You have one 10-foot putt to sink to save the earth from alien destruction. What player in the game today do you choose to hit that putt, and what player in history do you nominate for the job?

STOCKTON: Steve Stricker. Players throughout history I would nominate would be a tie between Tiger Woods and Billy Casper. Honorable Mention would be Ben Crenshaw.

BAMBERGER: In history, very likely Dave Stockton his own self in his prime. The highlight reel of his Hall-of-Fame career -- I don't care that he doesn't have a locker yet -- is all putts, and a couple 4-woods into par-4 greens. Picking a clutch putter from today, that is really hard. As the game gets bombier and bombier, clutch-putting is an area of the game that is in the doldrums. I'm thinking of Ian Poulter, if he's in a team uniform. Maybe Inbee Park or Russ Cochran. But likely Woods, if he's not wearing red. By the way, when these aliens come in, any chance they'd spare Cypress Point?

PASSOV: The greens she putts aren't as severe/challenging as those that are faced weekly on the PGA Tour, but since there's no one guy that stands out to me right now in 2014, I'll go with Inbee Park to sink that 10-footer. If we can draw from history, Tiger Woods edges Jack Nicklaus by a goatee whisker. It's not just the garden variety 10-footers -- and others -- that he's made, it's the difficulty of some of the putts that he's dropped, with their intoxicating brew of speed, break and pressure. I still shake my head in wonder at the memories.

MORFIT: Today: Zach Johnson. History: Either Tiger Woods circa 2001 or Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones circa 1997.

VAN SICKLE: At this moment in time, I might go with Ian Poulter. He rises to the occasion of the putt, it seems. All time, there are a lot of options. Mr. Stockton would be among them, for sure. A Jack Nicklaus in his 30s would be a good option, but I might go with the 2000-2001 Tiger Woods. The 1930 Bobby Jones is my choice if the green is about half as fast as today's putting surfaces.

SHIPNUCK: Zach Johnson. Historically, you’d have to say Nicklaus, though Seve is a close second. Corey Pavin might be second runner-up.

SENS: I'm tempted to nominate Tiger for both. But because I've come to believe that he may in fact be an alien himself, I'd worry that he'd miss the putt intentionally to ensure the triumph of his species.

The Tour Confidential roundtable continues Monday on our new weekly show hosted by Jessica Marksbury. Tweet her your questions @Jess_Marksbury.

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