Each week 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 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to get to it in the coming weeks. Here we go ...
@shanebacon I know you're probably tired of hearing it, but what do you think about Rory's bounce back win?— Ty Wright (@t_wright07) May 27, 2014
Bacon: I thought the way he played on Sunday, considering what he had to do and what the leader was doing at the time, was as impressive a round as he has played to date. Sure, you can point to that final round 62 at Quail Hollow in 2010, or any of the rounds he played at Congressional, but Rory needed this. He had never won a professional event on European soil, he was struggling to put four solid rounds together, and frankly, he needed the W.
Winning in that fashion will be a big boost for McIlroy moving forward, and I think that is the type of round that could push him to a third major win this year (I'm thinking Pinehurst or Valhalla).
@shanebacon how awesome would it be to watch Rory vs Adam Scott in a meaningful match play event?— Robert (@BobWhiteBalls) May 27, 2014
Bacon: You can have your dream match play scenario, I want these two contending for a major!
Last Sunday was great not only because of the way both these guys won, but how they were both able to pull off incredibly clutch golf shots down the stretch to put pressure on the rest of the field, and eventually win their respective tournaments.
Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy are the faces of golf right now (with Jordan Spieth sneaking his mug in the side of the picture), and these two are the guys we want to play well at Pinehurst and Hoylake in hopes of some dramatic Sunday finish where they have to battle for the title.
With the announcement that Tiger Woods will in fact be missing the U.S. Open, the pressure is now on the lap of Scott and McIlroy, especially if Phil Mickelson struggles as he attempts to win the career Grand Slam.
Rory versus Scott would be Tiger versus Sergio or Tiger versus Phil from years ago, and it would be the best case scenario for an upcoming major.
Trust me on this — if Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy were in the final group at the U.S. Open on Sunday, and it was even remotely interesting golf, the ratings wouldn't take nearly the dip that the Masters ratings did, because the final two hours or so was relatively boring.
All we need is something exciting to happen at the next major and all those people screaming that Tiger is the reason golf is boring will be forced to keep quiet.
@shanebacon Although the US did just fine without him in 2008, what's the minimum Tiger would need to do to make the Ryder Cup team?— Kevin Vedder (@vedderkj) May 27, 2014
Bacon: Honestly, the minimum would be simply to return to competitive golf.
The Ryder Cup might be a match between two sides, but it is also one of the most watched golf events of the entire season. Tiger Woods being there only helps to promote the event, promote the game and get eyeballs on the television.
If Tiger comes back sometime around the PGA Championship (when I'm thinking he returns), and can play through that and into the FedEx Cup events, I could see him making the team simply on his name alone, and trust me, A game or no A game, Woods is always a guy you want on your match play team, even if his record has been rusty at times.
@shanebacon Is there a logical reason why men's players aren't allowed to wear shorts on either the PGA or European Tour?— Adam Sarson (@Adam_Sarson) May 27, 2014
Bacon: Yes, of course, the logic is, "it looks unprofessional to golf in shorts."
How about that reasoning?!
The pants issue always comes up when the seasons turn to summer. Why would any logical person be out in 110 degree weather wearing pants?! If anything, you look less professional and more like a crazy person if you're out humping the hills of a humid golf course in pants covered in sweat stains.
Golf is obviously a traditional sport, and I can't imagine the PGA Tour deciding at some point that the players can wear shorts, but I know when they do you'll be seeing a lot more leg in professional golf, because nobody likes to be in pants when it's so hot that touching the wrong part of the golf cart will burn your hand.
@shanebacon post 2016, should Adam Scott's wins/time as #1 be looked at with a * after switching to an anchored putter amid the controversy?— Two Inches Short (@TwoInchesShort) May 27, 2014
Bacon: Oh look, an asterisk question! I haven't had one of those since Padraig Harrington was winning majors!
First, anchored putters are currently legal, so why in the world would we say that Adam Scott should be questioned once they become illegal? That would be like saying you owe a fine to the government for that beer you had last night because at one point alcohol was illegal in this country.
I get really, really frustrated when people call out Scott, or whoever, for using a long or anchored putter. These guys would wear a Hazmat suit on the course if it helped them save a stroke or two a round, and if something is totally and 100 percent legal on the PGA Tour, what is there to question?
Also, don't forget that Adam Scott won big, big tournaments in the past using a short putter (namely the Players Championship, arguably the hardest tournament on the PGA Tour to win). Once the switch is made, he will go back to something else and I'm sure he will be completely fine once he gets comfortable with it.
But I ask, with all my heart, can we please, please not start this now? 2016 is a long time from now, and I can't sit here and defend these guys for using golf clubs that are allowed in professional golf just because the USGA and R&A plan on ditching them in two years.