Let’s get right into your questions from the Van Cynical Mailbag:
Sickle cell, Whats going on with Phil Mickelson? -- Bwicks via Twitter
Phil does not enjoy the embarrassment of losing in the early Match Play rounds. He does enjoy proving the point that he doesn’t have to play in a tournament that Tim Finchem wants him to play in. So he’s taking a week off. Who knows what his real reason is? That’s just Phil.
Van Sickle, If every golfer would donate the equivalent of one round at their favorite public course to Red Cross, we can help Nepal. -- Tej Sahota via Twitter
So get on it, people.
Van Russian Sickle, what are you thinking Keegan Bradley does this year? -- Mo Hall via Twitter
I think he’s going to struggle. All the guys who used long putters or belly putters were confident they could switch to conventional styles and be successful. I never believed that for a minute. As a guy who’s putted with a claw grip for eight years, I know that you do what you’ve gotta do. If Keegan and the rest could putt conventional, they would have been doing it. Ernie Els is the only guy so far who’s made a successful return to conventional. It’ll be an adjustment period as next year’s anchored putting ban nears. Hopefully, Keegan can find an alternative method that works for him because at last check, he’s 130th in strokes gained putting -- and that’s one of his better rankings among the assorted putting stats. Maybe Keegan can go claw or, as I’ve suggested earlier this year in a couple of stories, face-on putting (or sidesaddle). He’s going to have to go through a learning curve with a new method and it could take time. Patience, grasshopper.
Van Cynical, I just became a dad for the first time. Any advice? Other than to teach her to break 100? #collegescholarshiptosomewhere -- Brian Bailey via Twitter
Start small and keep it fun. Hitting balls on the range -- no kid thinks that’s fun. Mini-golf is fun. Going to the chipping green, putting out and keeping score to make it a game, that’s fun. Riding in a cart is fun. But you can’t make your kid play golf any more than you can make her play the oboe. She has to want to. One added attraction of golf is your daughter gets to spend time with you. The rest is up to you, Obi Wan.
Van Conical, I completely agree with you on Nick Faldo. The one British golfer who can’t call golf. So naturally, a U.S. network employs him. Faldo always reminds me of that painfully unfunny guy in high school who thought he was hilarious. -- Lionel Mandrake via Twitter
It remains stunning, Drake, that one of the players with the fewest social skills ended up with a TV job as a communicator. Some actually like Sir Nick’s commentary, some don’t. Comedy is not his best asset.
Van the Man, I had the Krispy Kreme Donut Dog this past Monday. I won’t get it again, but it was a good novelty treat. -- J. Morgner, via Twitter
The bastards closed down my local Krispy Kreme a couple of years ago. But sight unseen, I’m guessing the Donut Dog needed twice as much bacon, am I right?
E-Vans-cipated, At the China Open, they have miniature versions of Mt. Fuji and The Great Wall -- have you played any of the Spinal Tap designs? -- CapBozo via Twitter
Cap, As Spinal Tap’s Nigel once said, “There’s something about this that’s so black. It’s like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.” I think that covers it.
Van Cynical, How's the High Heat driver treating you? I'm itching for one. -- Chad Rucker via Twitter
Those High Heat drivers were supposed to ship in April, and they’re going out now even as we speak, although we’re not actually speaking. I’d be more anxious except I’m recovering from arthro knee surgery and not ready for golf for a few more weeks. Give me an update on your results when you get yours, man.