Is the HOF in Zach Johnson's future?
Talk about (another) weird week in golf. The second straight PGA Tour playoff event finishes on a Monday (this one wasn't planned), the LPGA lengthens its major season to five but shortens the tournament itself to 54 holes, and Tiger Woods gets embroiled in another rules controversy.
And that's not even mentioning how Jim Furyk carded the sixth 59 in PGA Tour history at the BMW Championship!
Our scribes tackle those topics and more in this week's edition of Four-Ball.
1. True or false: Zach Johnson will be enshrined in the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Michael Collins, ESPN.com senior golf analyst: False. As much as I love Zach, I don't see him winning four more times and another major, because that's what I think it would take.
Farrell Evans, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Johnson has 10 wins, including a Masters. He needs at least another major or five regular wins to warrant serious consideration for the HOF.
Bob Harig, ESPN.com senior golf writer: False. The low Hall of Fame standards notwithstanding, Zach is going to need at least six or seven more wins or perhaps a combination of majors and WGCs. A big ask.
Kevin Maguire, ESPN.com senior golf editor: True. Right now, Johnson is 37, with 10 wins including a major. I'm of the belief that the bar will be lowered on qualifications to get into the WGHOF when comparing stats during the Tiger Woods era. That being said, the Iowan still has some work to do to earn that lifetime achievement award.
2. The 54-hole Evian Championship as a major: a welcome addition or too forced?
Michael Collins: Forced! And I love the fact that even Mother Nature slapped the event in the face. Money does not equal major, just ask the Players Championship. What's next, an LPGA sixth major that's only 54 holes?
Farrell Evans: Too forced. The Evian was one of the LPGA's best events before it was deemed a major. So unless the sponsors made major status a prerequisite for their support of the event, I don't think it needed much change.
Bob Harig: Forced. Five majors is one too many, and then to have it shortened to 54 holes makes it worse. Obviously there were some difficult circumstances there, but no way that happens at the U.S. Open.
Kevin Maguire: A little bit of both, actually. I'm OK with another major (especially since it's outside the U.S.) and it's not like the LPGA has had only four majors for nearly 80 years like the men. My issue is the 54 holes. Does Augusta National chop off 18 holes of the Masters due to bad weather? How about the USGA taking a quarter of the golf out at the U.S. Open? Trimming the number of holes at the Open Championship due to rain is downright laughable and I can't see the PGA of America doing it, either. I know weather reports were terrible in France, but if it's important enough to call it a major, then you stick it out no matter what.
3. After Jim Furyk's 59 on Friday, we got to thinking ... which will happen first, a 58 on the PGA Tour or 62 in a major?
Michael Collins: A 58 is coming. I talked to some players about it when I was caddying and they all thought it was in the near future.
Farrell Evans: A 58 could easily happen at one of the easier tour venues. It's less likely that someone will shoot a 62 on the tougher setups in majors. But if it happens, don't be surprised to see it come at the Masters or the PGA, where birdies are generally more plentiful than at the other majors.
Bob Harig: A 58 is coming first, simply because there are more opportunities. We've seen a handful of players this year have a go at 59, and it's just a matter of time before a 58 occurs as well.
Kevin Maguire: The 58 will be the first to fall. It's not even a mental thing. The PGA Tour sets up its courses every week and if it wanted to make them ridiculously easy, it could (and sometimes does). Granted, someone still has to go out and make a ton of birdies, but I just don't see a 62 at a major because no course hosting a major wants to be remembered as the one that allowed some guy to go crazy low. They want their course to be a stern test. And yes, egos will get in the way of a 62.
4. Thumbs up or thumbs down on the Tiger Woods 2-shot penalty in Round 2 at the BMW Championship?
Michael Collins: Thumbs up, especially after what happened on the LPGA this past week where no one saw the infraction. Integrity matters in this ridiculous game that has 167 too many rules. Does it matter whose ball it was? No, it just fuels the feud between Tiger lovers and haters.
Farrell Evans: Tiger violated Rule 18-2a. No one is saying that he intentionally broke a rule. But we shouldn't make rules decisions based on intent.
Bob Harig: Thumbs up. Ultimately, the rules officials are the final authority. The circumstances were unfortunate, the penalty harsh, and evidence not at all conclusive. But the rules official believed the ball moved, and in the end, that is what matters.
Kevin Maguire: Thumbs down. I've watched the video 50 times and while I'm 100 percent sure the ball moved, how do we know with absolute certainty that it didn't slide back to where it was originally (which is Woods' argument)? I'm not saying it did, I'm just saying that with that camera zoomed in so far you can see if there are scratches inside the dimples, there is no conclusive proof if the ball did or didn't return to its original position from that low-angle view. And in that case, about 99 percent of the time, the rules officials side with the player. Not this time apparently.