Each Tuesday for the remainder of the golf season we will be rolling out a mailbag, with any and all questions invited from readers and fans around the world. Have a good question you want answered? Hit me up on Twitter at @shanebacon and we will try to get to it in the coming weeks. Here we go ...
@shanebacon how large a lead would you need on the back 9 to win a PGA tournament?
— Shosh Agus-Kleinman (@ShoshEAK) February 10, 2014
Bacon: This question comes on the heels of Jimmy Walker needing all six shots he had heading into the final round last week at Pebble Beach, and it comes from one of my favorite readers on Twitter.
I'm going to attack this question from a different angle; how many shots would an eight handicap need to win a PGA Tour golf tournament on a Sunday?
First, I'd say fans, spectators and fellow competitors would make an amateur with an eight handicap extremely nervous, so we can double that six shots to 12 without much worry. Now, you have to factor in all the intangibles that PGA Tour players have that a regular golfer wouldn't (and we aren't talking about golfing ability). This is simply the stuff like being calm in the moment, understanding the situation, knowing the protocol of a professional golf tournament, and being okay hitting drives with fans lining both sides of you. I now bump that lead to 15 shots.
Now comes the hard part. Is our golfer a confident guy? Does he or she struggle when the pressure is on? Is putting a strong part of his game or is it something he gets away with?
My initial thought was 20 shots, but I actually think we could bump it to 25 shots without much sweat. This would allow the amateur a blowup hole, a few missed short putts and possible another blowup hole. With a 25 shot advantage, you could shoot 90 and it would still take a 65 from your closest competition to get into a playoff.
@shanebacon who will win more events going forward. Tiger or Cheyenne Woods?
— Philly (@PhillyLabLover) February 10, 2014
Bacon: On Sunday I wrote that I could see Cheyenne Woods becoming a legitimate superstar in the game of golf, not just the LPGA, and thought her win in Australia was huge for her career and the women's game in general.
A few people got really, really huffy about that, pointing out her struggles in the majors and how it took her until 23 before winning her first professional tournament.
I understand all that, but I think a lot of people are missing what it takes to be a superstar on the LPGA. We've seen great talents that never caught on, but names like Natalie Gulbis and Paula Creamer are famous because they had that X-factor to go along with their brilliant golf games. Cheyenne has that, with the look and the smile and the famous uncle and if you don't see that I don't know what to tell you. Do I think Cheyenne could do for the LPGA what Tiger did for the PGA? Absolutely not, but I do think she has a star power that few in the game have right now and it is great for women's golf in general.
That said, no way she wins as much as Tiger. Not even close. Woods is a guy that wins three times in a season and gets disappointed. If Cheyenne won three times this year it would be leading sports radio and on she would be on the cover of magazines. I think Cheyenne has a lot of upside, as I mentioned above, but nobody can win golf tournaments like Tiger Woods and the comparison is a little unfair even if the two are related.
— Chris Fagan (@ChrisFagan45) February 10, 2014
Bacon: If you don't know, Cypress Point was one of the courses that was in the AT&T rotation until 1990, and it is routinely rated one of the top three courses in the United States (No. 3 this year in the Golf Digest rankings).
Sadly, I think the days of Cypress being a part of this event are done and it is a huge bummer.
One of the reasons that Cypress Point is not a part of the tournament anymore is that the course is simply too small. There aren't a ton of places for spectators to enjoy the golf, and the course measures around 6,500 yards, very short compared to what most PGA Tour golf courses lay out at these days.
That said, Cypress Point would be must watch television if it was included. The closing stretch on that golf course is not only some of the most beautiful golf in the world, but it's some of the most beautiful coastline in all of California. Pebble Beach is amazing, Spyglass is one of the best golf courses on the entire peninsula, and adding Cypress Point to that rotation would really make this tournament a can't-miss for any pro worth his weight in history.
— A.J. Voelpel (@AJVoelpel) February 11, 2014
Bacon: Come on, who isn't picking the flower one? That's a lay-up!
Bacon: I think most golf fans and media members are leaning towards Jack's record being safe over Tiger breaking it at this point, but here is the thing you can't count out.
When Tiger gets that 15th major win, his first since 2008, who knows what happens next? We saw it when he broke out of that PGA Tour slump in 2012, and I think a lot of people could see something similar happen if and when he does pick up that next major.
Woods has played different at the majors over the last couple of seasons than he does at regular tour events. For whatever reason it seems he gets more nervous, more conservative and a bit more aware of what could happen with a win. When he drops that mentality and just goes out and plays his game I think he has two or three more majors to win, but I still think Jack's 18 is safe.
The reason we aren't just giving up on Tiger is that we know deep down in that brain of his lies a competitor that is just waiting for that chance to break out of this major slump and go on a run like he has in the past.
@shanebacon over/under 5 wins for Walker this season?
— Nik A. Bando (@Nik_A_Bando) February 11, 2014
Bacon: If I was a bookmaker in Vegas, I would probably set this number at 4 (and wouldn't hate the under of 3.5). Jimmy Walker has played incredibly this year, but as we saw on Sunday at Pebble Beach, the wheels can start coming off slowly even for a guy with two wins in '14.
Walker's third victory at Pebble was impressive, but I just don't see him getting to five wins by the end of the season. I would go under, and that is more of a compliment to the rest of the PGA Tour than it is a knock to Walker's game.
@shanebacon Hey Shane, just curious, who is the best looking man in golf? Thanks
— Stephen Zinger (@SPYZINGER) February 11, 2014
Bacon: Well, that is an easy question. How can you go against John Daly after he was spotted rocking this awesome look?!