#AskAlan mailbag: Which current pro will finish with the most major titles?

May 2, 2017

Thanks as always for the excellent questions. Lots to nibble on here…

Which annual Tour stop is at the course you’d least like to play? NOLA? Memphis? (Only golf, no entertainment options considered.) –Todd (@tamcfall)

Having just played the TPC of Louisiana, I didn’t find it offensive in any way. There is a nice variety of holes and some really fun shots to hit. The terrain is flat and boring, but for what it is, it’s perfectly fine. I’d have to go with PGA National, site of the Honda Classic. That’s also a flat, featureless site but every hole is fraught with man-made danger. It’s an ass-kicking from start to finish, and not my idea of fun.

Among today’s players, who finishes with the most majors and why? #AskAlan -Aman (@theamanmisra)

You can’t underrate the importance of Rory’s lead; he has four major championship victories and the next closest player, with two, is Spieth. Two majors is the career total of Greg Norman, Johnny Miller, Bernie Langer, Ben Crenshaw, Curtis Strange and a bunch of other Hall of Famers, so Spieth has a lot of work to do just to get to where McIlroy is right now. (Given that Dustin Johnson is significantly older and Day is oft-injured, I don’t think anyone else is in the conversation.) On the other hand, Jordan is four years younger and has never been hurt, while Rory is accumulating a lot of dings. McIlroy can overwhelm a golf course like no other but doesn’t have a great track record on really fast greens and in heavy winds. Spieth has less firepower but his game travels better in varying conditions. I’ll take Rory here but would not be the least bit surprised if a decade from now Jordan has caught him.

Why are big ball manufacturers lagging in creating glow balls so darkness is no issue? [email protected]

I agree it’s a missed opportunity, though to really make it work we could use glow-in-the-dark flagsticks. Late last century, a couple buddies and I decided we wanted to play the 16th hole at Cypress Point under the stars. We tested the very lame glowing balls that were on the market but they didn’t perform nearly well enough to carry 220 yards in heavy night air. We wound up cracking open glow sticks and smearing the gooey liquid on our regular balls. Alas, most of it came off at impact; we only found one of our drives. Sadly, it wasn’t mine.

Big winner last week because Zurich offered no OWGR points: Lee Westwood? After novelty wears off, will no OWGR points affect future fields? #AskAlan [email protected]

Interestingly, both Jordan Spieth and Jason Day mentioned last week that the lack of World Ranking points made for a more relaxing week – if they played poorly it would not have a deleterious effect. I’m sure the Tour’s middle class would love to earn points, especially if they can latch on to a better player. But if the stars are content with the current arrangement, don’t expect it to change.

What life accomplishments did you achieve during the Kerr-Nomura playoff? [email protected]

I don’t know why everyone is making such a big deal about this—I only got halfway through “The Brother Karamazov” during the playoff.

If the PGA Tour hosted a four-day speed golf tournament, who would be your favorites? #AskAlan -BrianFosterFSU

Pat Perez, Matt Every, Brandt Snedeker, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Rory Sabbatini, Jhonny Vegas.

Do you take questions only about golf or in general, because there are parts of String Theory I still can’t grasp. [email protected]

Bring it.

I can’t grasp ‘vacuum state.’ Please help. –Pioppi

Just imagine the inside of Bubba’s head.

Was Kisner’s clutch shot a “chip-in” or a “hole-out”? #AskAlan #Semantics -Sean (@SMSteinemann)

To me, a hole-out is a full swing from the fairway. And Kisner’s heroic shot was more of a pitch than a chip. So I guess it would be a pitch-out, which makes sense only to the linguists.

I’ve said forever that I’d quit golf if I ever got an albatross. I have two aces, numerous eagles and have shot under par twice. Is that crazy? What achievement would you have to earn to walk off the course for good? –Justin (@jmdephillips)

First of all, spectacular humblebrag. Since I’m often guilty of the same offense I’m always happy to encounter another skilled practitioner. I’m not sure why you’d quit over a fluky shot; from 240 yards out there is a big element of luck as to whether your ball trickles into the hole or rolls a few feet past. As for me, I suppose a walk-off eagle to win the Pebble Beach Pro-Am would make me wonder if there’s anything left to play for. But then I’d have to come back the next year to defend…