What PGA Tour pros really think
Illustrations by Eddie Guy
Will Tiger Woods win a major this year? Will he still be competitive at Augusta National when he’s 60? Will Rory McIlroy eventually win the Masters to complete the career Grand Slam? Who’s the funniest player on tour? How often have you seen a player break a rule and try to get away with it? We posed these and other questions to 46 PGA Tour players, and their answers (and comments) might surprise you. Note: Some players didn’t answer all the questions. Might have been the ones about marijuana and performance-enhancing drugs.
You get to choose one tour pro to be on your side in a bar fight. Who are you picking?
Ernie Els: 27.5 percent
Jason Kokrak: 10 percent
Scott Stallings: 7.5 percent
Gary Woodland: 7.5 percent
Ricky Barnes: 5 percent
Tony Finau: 5 percent
Brooks Koepka: 5 percent
Grayson Murray: 5 percent
Shawn Stefani: 5 percent
Andres Gonzalez: 2.5 percent
Charley Hoffman: 2.5 percent
Dustin Johnson: 2.5 percent
Jamie Lovemark: 2.5 percent
Robert MacIntyre: 2.5 percent
Phil Mickelson: 2.5 percent
Rory Sabbatini: 2.5 percent
Vijay Singh: 2.5 percent
Henrik Stenson: 2.5 percent
Comments: “I’d probably pick myself because I’ve been in a bar fight.” … “I can definitely think of a few caddies I’d want on my side.”
Who is the funniest guy on Tour?
Tim Herron: 17 percent
Jason Bohn: 11 percent
Kevin Kisner: 11 percent
Pat Perez: 11 percent
Henrik Stenson: 11 percent
Chesson Hadley: 6 percent
Phil Mickelson: 6 percent
Boo Weekley: 6 percent
Lanto Griffin: 3 percent
Colt Knost: 3 percent
Russell Knox: 3 percent
Eddie Pepperell: 3 percent
Carl Pettersson: 3 percent
Harold Varner III: 3 percent
Johnson Wagner: 3 percent
Comments: “I can’t say myself; I still have some dignity.”
Will Tiger Woods win a major in 2020?
Yes: 60 percent
No: 40 percent
Comments: “I want to say yes, but I think the odds are against him.” … “I told my wife [before 2019] that he’d never win again. How good am I at predicting these things?”
Will Tiger be competitive in the Masters until he’s 60?
Yes: 46 percent
No: 26 percent
Don’t know: 28 percent
Comments: “Some guys, like Jack [Nicklaus] and Freddie [Couples], proved it can be done. If Tiger’s healthy, yes.”
Which major does Tiger have the best chance of winning this year?
Masters: 88 percent
PGA at Harding Park: 12 percent
U.S. Open at Winged Foot: 0 percent
Open at Royal St. George’s: 0 percent
Comments: “You would have to think he still has a chance in every major.”
Tiger has an eight-footer to win this year’s Masters. Do you take:
Make: 100 percent
Miss: 0 percent
Will Rory McIlroy ever win the Masters to complete the career Grand Slam?
Yes: 89 percent
No: 11 percent
Comments: “It’s not inevitable. Ask Ernie Els or Greg Norman.” … “Yes—one million percent.” … “He’ll win it when people stop asking if he’ll win it.”
If you had a tee time tomorrow at the course where you learned to play, what’s your best estimate of what you would shoot?
60-64: 77 percent
65-69: 20 percent
59 or better: 3 percent
70 or worse: 0 percent
Comments: “I wouldn’t break 60 unless I putted really well. But I can say that about anywhere I play.” … I wouldn’t be trying too hard.”
Eddie Pepperell was DQ’d last year after he ran out of golf balls on the course. How many do you have in your bag at the start of a round, and have you ever been close to running out?
Six to nine: 60 percent
10 or more: 40 percent
Comments: “Mac O’Grady used to have 18 balls and number them 1 through 18 to have one on every hole.” … I was close to running out once. I gave too many away and then hit two in the water at the last. I finished with one.” … “A lot of bad things might happen. I ain’t running out of golf balls.” … “I have three sleeves. If that’s not enough, I probably don’t belong out there.”
Best player of all time?
Tiger Woods: 70 percent
Jack Nicklaus: 30 percent
Other: 0 percent
Comments: “Until this time last year, I thought it was Jack.” … “Jack might have more records and has the major record, but Tiger played the best golf.” … “Why does it have to be either or? Why can’t we just say they’re the two best?”
Which season would you rather have?
One win, but it’s a major: 95 percent
Three wins, but no major: 5 percent
Comments: “Come on, we all want the major.”
Christina Kim turned in LPGA caddies for sharing club selection. Does that happen on the PGA Tour?
Never: 30 percent
Often: 4 percent
Rarely: 4 percent
Sometimes: 4 percent
Don’t know: 57 percent
Comments: “Everyone knows you can’t do that.” … “Happens all the time but really makes no difference.”
Have you witnessed someone break a rule and try to get away with it?
Yes: 52 percent
No: 24 percent
Not sure: 24 percent
Comments: “Too often, sadly.” … “It happens most often when they drop closer to the hole than they should after hitting into a hazard.”
What’s the longest time you’ve gone without swinging a club since you’ve turned pro, not counting injuries?
Several weeks: 36 percent
A week: 24 percent
Several days: 21 percent
A month or more: 19 percent
Which major would you most like to win?
Masters: 77 percent
Open Championship: 16 percent
U.S. Open: 7 percent
PGA Championship: 0 percent
What is the best major-championship venue?
Augusta National: 74 percent
Old Course at St. Andrews: 13 percent
Pebble Beach: 8 percent
Muirfield: 5 percent
Who has the best-looking wife/girlfriend on the PGA Tour?
Richelle Baddeley (Aaron): 22 percent
Kristy McLachlin (Parker): 17 percent
Dowd Simpson (Webb): 17 percent
Allison Stokke Fowler (Rickie): 13 percent
Melissa Jones (Matt): 9 percent
Gabby Woodland (Gary): 9 percent
Ashlie Reed (Nate Lashley): 4 percent
Ashley Perez (Pat): 4 percent
Annie Spieth (Jordan): 4 percent
How important is it to you to win an Olympic gold medal?
Like winning a nonmajor: 50 percent
Not as important as winning a nonmajor: 42 percent
Like winning a major: 8 percent
Comments: “Eventually that’s the fifth major.” … “Not quite a major, but better than any other event.”
Should the Players Championship be considered a major?
No: 78 percent
Yes: 22 percent
Comments: “Only if all past Players champions are credited a major.”
Favorite hole at the Players Championship?
Par-5 16th: 30 percent
Par-3 17th: 25 percent
Par-4 18th: 20 percent
Par-5 second: 5 percent
Par-4 fourth: 5 percent
Par-5 ninth: 5 percent
Par-5 11th: 5 percent
Par-4 12th: 5 percent
Least favorite hole at the Players Championship?
Par-3 17th: 30 percent
Par-4 12th: 22 percent
Par-4 18th: 22 percent
Par-5 ninth: 9 percent
Par-4 sixth: 4 percent
Par-4 seventh: 4 percent
Par-3 eighth: 4 percent
Par-4 10th: 4 percent
Comments: “Seventeen is the best and the worst hole.” … “Eight is one of the worst par 3s I’ve ever seen.”
Do you miss Johnny Miller?
No: 67 percent
Yes: 33 percent
Comments: “Is yes and no a good answer?”
Do you miss Gary McCord or Peter Kostis?
Yes: 51 percent
No: 49 percent
Would you miss Brandel Chamblee if he were off TV tomorrow?
No: 61 percent
Yes: 39 percent
Comments: “Two years ago, I’d have said yes. But he’s gotten way better and backs up his opinions with good stats.”
Do you like the idea of fans being able to hear what you and your caddie are discussing as you prepare to play a shot?
Yes: 8 percent
No: 92 percent
Comments: “I’d be OK with it—no one can understand my caddie’s accent.” … “I’m afraid they’d hate me because of all the swear words.”
Name a course that has never been the site of a U.S. Open but would be a good test.
Pine Valley: 18 percent
Spyglass Hill: 8 percent
Cypress Point: 5 percent
Muirfield Village: 5 percent
Point O’Woods: 5 percent
Quail Hollow: 5 percent
Sand Hills: 5 percent
Harding Park: 2 percent
L.A.C.C. North (2023 site): 2 percent
Pinehurst No. 4: 2 percent
Quaker Ridge: 2 percent
Seminole: 2 percent
TPC Sawgrass: 2 percent
Trump Bedminster: 2 percent
Yale: 2 percent
Don’t know: 33 percent
What current player would make the best future commissioner?
Stewart Cink: 12 percent
Charley Hoffman: 12 percent
Davis Love III: 12 percent
Phil Mickelson: 12 percent
Paul Casey: 6 percent
Jim Furyk: 6 percent
Peter Malnati: 6 percent
Mark Wilson: 6 percent
Don’t know: 28 percent
How often are you recognized off the course?
Often: 37 percent
Occasionally: 34 percent
Rarely: 17 percent
Never: 11 percent
Comments: “It kind of depends where you are. At home is more often than on the road.”
Which shot would make you more nervous?
Ryder Cup opening shot: 93 percent
Six-foot putt for bogey to win a nonmajor: 7 percent
Comments: “Heck, any length putt to win would make me nervous.”
Does CBD help a golfer?
Yes: 25 percent
No: 19 percent
Don’t know: 56 percent
Is marijuana performance-enhancing in golf?
Yes: 8 percent
No: 4 percent
Don’t know: 88 percent
How prevalent are performing-enhancing substances on Tour?
A little: 7 percent
Don’t know: 93 percent
What percentage of amateurs you see in pro-ams are playing clearly inferior equipment?
Most: 24 percent
Some: 8 percent
Not many: 8 percent
Don’t notice: 60 percent
How often do you watch PGA Tour events on television on weeks when you’re not playing?
Not too often: 42 percent
Fairly regularly: 33 percent
Never: 14 percent
Almost all the time: 11 percent
Comments: “I’ll watch every minute I can.” … “The kids have it on, so more than I would like.”
Who will win the Ryder Cup this year at Whistling Straits?
U.S.A.: 60 percent
Europe: 37 percent
Tie: 3 percent
You have to choose where to play your last round. Which do you pick?
Augusta National: 62 percent
Old Course at St. Andrews: 14 percent
Cypress Point: 10 percent
Pebble Beach: 10 percent
Loch Lomond: 4 percent
How often does a pro-am partner tell you a golf joke you’ve never heard before?
Rarely: 60 percent
Never: 40 percent
What’s more embarrassing?
Hitting a shank: 67 percent
Four-putting: 33 percent
Comments: “A shank is way worse. Now you don’t know where the next shot is going to go.” … “Shank by far. Sometimes a four-putt might be four good putts.” … “I’ve done both.”