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, would you rather play an entire (non-Majors) PGA Tour schedule or play the Masters once?
— Jamie Kennedy (@jamieonsport) February 4, 2014
Bacon: Okay, when I first read this question I thought, "Masters, no brainer, next question," before I started to really think about it.
First, every golfer in the world is going to pick playing Augusta National once over pretty much every other golf course in the world, but I'm trying to think financially and logically for my own self moving forward and that's why I would go with the full non-major PGA Tour schedule.
The reasons are simple; the percentage of making the cut in the Masters in your first attempt as a professional are slim, so what are my chances? One percent? Two percent? Even as a guy that can still fire under par rounds of golf on a fairly consistent basis, the toughness of Augusta National combined with the pressure of the fans and the magnitude of the moment would probably cut those numbers in half (I think breaking 80 would be a more realistic goal).
If I had an entire year on the PGA Tour to get comfortable, work on my game between tournaments and understand the ins and outs of tour golf I feel like I would give myself a way better chance of not only playing well, but making a few cuts and bringing home some hefty checks.
So, PGA Tour it is for now, and if anyone wants to offer this up my way, I'm down for it.
@shanebacon Do you think Graham Delaet is talented enough to win a major this year?
— Riley Ogden (@RileyOgden) February 4, 2014
Bacon: If you take this question at face value and simply answer if you think DeLaet is talented enough to win a major in 2014 I would say yes. I think if you listed the four best golfers in the world right this moment you would have to include DeLaet simply because the guy has been on an absolute tear in the '14 season.
Since that opening missed cut at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, the Bearded One has logged five consecutive top-8 finishes including a T-2 at Torrey Pines and a T-2 last week at the Waste Management Open.
The problem is, DeLaet has very, very little major championship experience, playing in just the 2013 British Open and PGA Championship, finishing 83 at the Open and missing the cut at the PGA.
I think he definitely has the talent to win a major, especially if he continues doing what he's doing right now, but I think winning a single PGA Tour tournament is his initial goal and something that is more realistic this year. If he gets some reps in the majors under his belt, wins a PGA Tour event or two, I think '15 is the year we need to circle for his best major chances. That said, if he won one this year I don't think anyone that keeps up with the game would be surprised.
@shanebacon who will be the surprise American and European to make the Ryder Cup?
— Greg Corbett (@gcmtwash) February 4, 2014
Bacon: This is a tough question to answer so early in the year, because the rankings are so mixed up considering a lot of the big names haven't really started their seasons yet (for instance, Tiger Woods is currently 29th in the standings).
But, you asked, and I'll give it my best shot.
For the Europeans I think Stephen Gallacher is a sneaky pick to make it to Gleneagles. The winner of last week's Omega Dubai Desert Classic, his second in a row, not only has some momentum on his side after that victory, but he's a Scotsman, meaning even if he doesn't qualify I could see Paul McGinley pick him as a solid representative from the host country.
On the American side I'm going to go with Harris English. The long-hitting English would be a dream partner for a lot of players simply because he can boom the ball out there past almost anyone in the field, and his play has been really consistent in this wraparound season of 2014 (one win, four top-10s in eight starts).
Also, having an American named English playing the Europeans in Scotland sounds too good to be true.
Bacon: For a golf fan, this has to be one of the most fun questions to answer. I ask friends about this a lot just because it usually leads to some great conversation and some serious debate amongst buddies.
My thing is, I think this question has two parts.
If I was simply going to answer, "Who would I play a dream round of golf with" at this stage in the game, my answer would be a bit personal. I would initially pick my dad and my uncle Doug, two of my favorite people on the planet and two of the funniest men I know (one of my uncle's favorite quotes on the course deals with the 90-degree rule - "You are always 90 degrees from something" as he drives all over the course). For the last, since this is completely hypothetical and totally unrealistic, I would go with my granddad. He passed away before he ever got to see me golf and my family always tells me that he would have absolutely loved golfing with me and watching me play junior tournaments and I think playing 18 holes with him would have really, really been special (plus I've heard he was a pretty good stick so maybe we could have rolled my dad and uncle for a few greenbacks).
If I was going to go a bit more celebrity with my pick, I would start with Stephen Curry. Curry is my favorite basketball player on the planet, a kid I've followed since his days at Davidson, and I've heard he's a really, really solid player which would be fun for me to go at him with a few bucks on the line.
I think after him I would go with Peter Jacobsen, a guy that would be fun to watch play and a man that has more stories than a Shel Silverstein collection.
My final pick is a tough one. I've tossed around the idea of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. The thought of Kate Upton joining our group is definitely enticing, as is talking Arizona hoops with Lute Olson for 18 holes, but the person I think I would snag for our final spot is Stephen Colbert.
I have absolutely no idea if Stephen Colbert golfs, or if he even knows what golf is, but I think the combination of him with Jacobsen for an entire round of golf would be something nobody would ever see again. Plus, even if he came out of character it would be interesting to see how he went about things.
Now, your pick ... give us your dream foursome in the comments or hit me on Twitter with who you would golf with if you had one last round to play.
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