Mailbag time. With the year's first major right around the corner and the meat of the golf season underway, we have a lot to catch up on.
Let's get right to it.
Your thoughts on this era's field being the best in golf? -Kaleb Kinney
There are a lot of different ways to answer this but let's look at these two things:
1. From 1958 (Arnold Palmer's first major) to 1986 (Jack Nickalus' last major) there were an average of 1.86 new major winners every year.
2. From 1997 (Tiger Woods' first major) to today there have been an average of 2.41 new major winners every year.
If you believe that Tiger is roughly equivalent to Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson is rough equivalent to Arnold Palmer then you probably also believe that fields these days are tougher because new major winners are being added at a quicker rate than in the past.
Now, I believe that the upper crust of golf has been better in the past. Your top four right now is Tiger, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, and Jason Day. Is that an historically great top four? Maybe, but I kind of doubt it.
So yeah, I think this era is deeper overall but not as good at the top. If you're Woods or Lefty you kind of have to pick your poison.
Is there a documented case of a pro ever accidentally knocking the ball off the tee at address? -Steve Pease
I've always wondered this! I watch guys all the time thinking "I would definitely knock my ball off if I addressed it that closely." I couldn't find (Google) any instances of it happening but did you know that if it does happen, it's not actually a penalty?
According to USGA Rule 11-3:
If a ball, when not in play, falls off a tee or is knocked off a tee by the player in addressing it, it may be re-teed, without penalty. However, if a stroke is made at the ball in these circumstances, whether the ball is moving or not, the stroke counts, but there is no penalty.
Best and worst dressed on Tour? -Brett Myles
I love this question more than I should.
I'll throw out Brandt Snedeker as best dressed on Tour. I really like Peter Millar's stuff and he always has good shirt-pants combinations.
I presume we're talking about the non-John Daly division when we're talking worst dressed (because his style is quirky but likable because of who he is). On that I'll go with Ryo Ishikawa.
I just don't know what he's trying to do:
Who wins more majors from this point forward between Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Jordan Spieth? -Matt Quade
Good question. I think they all get between 1-3 more so I guess I'll go with Spieth if only because he has more time to play with. Tiger isn't getting to 19 (or 18 for that matter) and I think Lefty can only squeeze out one or maybe two more.
It's not difficult to see Spieth winning two or three even though we could also have America's version of Sergio Garcia on our hands.
Will Tiger Woods get to 82 wins this season? -Wes
Which first-time Masters participant will have the best finish? -Finnian McKenna
I'm going to go with Harris English here. He hits it like a Masters champ should, I'm just not sure if he'll be able to putt his way around there.
Describe the style of a 45 year old Rickie Fowler on a Sunday. -Chas Schoolcraft
A 45-year-old Fowler style is going to be like when Don Draper showed up at the office at the end of season six of Mad Men and got fired. Remember that? Everybody knew (including the viewer) but nobody wanted to tell him what was up.
Speaking of Fowler, this has to be an all-time Twitter exchange, no?
Thanks for the questions, everyone.
Two weeks from today we'll be madly Googling whoever shoots this year's honorary 65 in the first round of the Masters and then goes 74-77-79 the rest of the way!