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Find the suit that's perfect for you. Go to Indochino.com and use code PODCAST for 10% off any purchase of $3.99 or more. That's 10% off $3.99 or more at Indochino.com. Code PODCAST. Yo, yo, it is the Zach Gelb show, coast to coast on CBS Sports Radio. Joining us, coming up at the top of the hour, in studio, NFL draft prospect, Hickey from your university, Penn State, Brendan Strange, who he's climbing up the draft boards. I saw that McShea had him mocked to the Chargers in the second round, and also Matt Miller had him mocked late in the second round as well.
And Hickey, we'll get to onsides offsides in just a second. But this draft is really deep when it comes to tight ends. I know for the most part, we really only talked about Dalton Kincaid and then also Mayer out of Notre Dame. And I think Kincaid's the best tight end in this draft class. Most people, I feel, believe that it's Mayer out of Notre Dame. But Daniel Jeremiah was on with this a few weeks ago.
He illustrated this point perfectly. This is one deep tight end draft class. And a guy like Brendan Strange, who a lot of people probably nationally don't know much about and didn't play his best ball in college. All with all these predictions and projections.
And you know the way that this goes in rocks and rolls. We've been talking about it in our conversation with Anthony Richardson when you have a position that's in demand because you've seen how many elite tight ends there have been in the NFL in the last ten years or so. And you know how much they could be used more than just blockers now and in the passing game. And you see people as electrifying as Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce, Kittle, Waller.
The list goes on and on and on. Mark Andrews. You know teams like to copycat. There's no doubt about that. And when you have a deep tight end draft class, these guys are going to be flying off the boards, especially in the first three rounds of the draft. And especially when you see the impact of a guy like Travis Kelce can have on an offense where even if you lose a top flight receiver like Tyreek Hill. I mean it helps out Patrick Holmes obviously. But the offense still does not really kind of fall off a cliff.
It's still one of the best. And you truly have a guy who's fast, big and strong. We have seen it's almost impossible to guard. You look at Gronk and Kelce. They're easily the teams. And the way I say this is people can say, oh, they're tight ends. But they're the number one passing option. Have both been the number one passing option for their quarterbacks. Like you look Brady with Gronk.
They were just you couldn't separate the two. And I know in Tampa it was different and Gronk was later on in his career. But the best wide receiver that the Pats had when Gronk was there was Julian Edelman. And as much as I like Julian Edelman, he's not someone that you view as your prototypical number one wide receiver.
And you're right, you hit the nail right on the head. Where this year you lose Tyreek Hill and going into this year, their wide receiving options aren't great. You know, they just lost Juju Smith-Schuster as well.
You still have Marquis Valdes scaling there. You have Kadarius Toney there. There's no must have receivers in Kansas City. But you have Travis Kelce as long as he stays healthy.
We all know the enormous production that he creates on a football field. And, you know, teams like to create that easier said than done. But when you keep on hearing about the freaks, athletic freaks that you have in this draft, tight ends are going to be a position where I just wonder where the conversation will be three, four years from now on how many of these guys end up making it. And you look too like there's shut down corners, right, that can take away maybe a number one wide receiver. For a tight end, with their size, with their speed, there's no player, one player that can really match up and stop them. And that's why, like I said, they've become so much more impactful and so much more important now in an offense. Take quarterbacks out of it. But the last few years, it really seems like receiver has been that position that has just flown off the board. When you look at Jamar Chase, when you look at Justin Jefferson and a whole lot of other guys as well.
I think this draft class outside of quarterbacks, it's really going to be the tight ends that we're going to follow probably the most, most carefully and most closely. Anyway, we've got five questions, five answers. Let's do that right now. We do it every Monday and Friday right here on CBS Sports Radio.
Rex Hoggard from the Golf Channel is going to join us coming up at 8.20 p.m. Eastern, 5.20 p.m. Pacific, so 20 minutes from now. But let's get to a little Onsides, Offsides. Hot take hickey?
Hit it! Zach's taking on the most polarizing issues in sports. Which side of the line of scrimmage will he end up on? Offside, defense number 69. It's Onsides, Offsides with Zach Gelb on CBS Sports Radio.
Alright Hickey, what do you got? Alright Zach, let's start with a little golf because Brooks Koepka has lit the Masters course on fire so far, posting a score of 12 under par halfway through the tournament. Now currently right now, he is three shots up on Jon Rahm who is in second place and four shots up on Sam Bennett.
But the only asterisk is that Jon Rahm is only through nine holes. Unfortunate weather did cause a stoppage in play. We'll pick up tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. And a tree falling down. Two trees falling down right next to each other. Bang, bang.
Thankfully nobody was hurt which is obviously the most important thing. But Rahm at least halfway through round number two is three shots behind the leader. That is Brooks Koepka. Now Koepka did dominate a few years ago, 2017 and 2019. He won four majors in that span.
But none have been the green jacket. He has eluded them and he has played some poor golf in recent years but is healthy and is looking at the top of his game. Onsides or offsides, Brooks Koepka will win the Masters. Yeah I remember seeing him at the PGA Championship and he was dominating and it's like okay are you going to crumble and you never say a golf tournament is over when it's like one and a half rounds in. Some people may.
They have a Twitter account at Ryan underscore Hickey three. I'm not going to be one of those people. Like it would not shock me if Brooks Koepka does win because he seems like he's in a good place. But I like I had my four picks before this tournament started that I bet on. Just outright winners Roy McElroy won't make the cut. Then I had Victor Hovland.
I also had Jon Rahm and Kala Morikawa. I am not going to bet against Jon Rahm. So in golf when you're one and a half or for some two rounds in if you give me one player of the field unless that player is named Tiger Woods I will take the field for the majority of the time. So you say Brooks Koepka will win the Masters.
I will go offside. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has already made it known that his number one priority this offseason is to keep Kyrie Irving. Irving after being traded from the Nets a few months ago is an unrestricted free agent this offseason and since acquiring Kyrie the Mazz have gone in the tank eight and twelve with him on the court. Hate to see it.
And they are right now looking to miss the playoffs instead of trying to make the playoffs. Onsides or offsides the Mavericks should not re-sign Kyrie Irving. This is should not will.
Correct Amundo? Should not. Because they will re-sign him. But you asked me the Mavs should not re-sign Kyrie Irving.
Absolutely that's onsides. They should not re-sign him. It would be as if you made a horrible investment. And just because you put so much money into it already you then take out a loan to try to save what you put so much money in.
It makes no sense here to double down on this already horrible investment. It would be as if you bought this restaurant Hickey. And like you look at the restaurant and it's beautiful on the outside but then you get in the inside of the restaurant and there's cockroaches all around the restaurant. The chef doesn't know what he's doing. The food is horrible.
That's what Kyrie Irving is. It's beautiful on the outside but then when you get into the insides of it it's a disaster. So you bought the restaurant you went inside and immediately you realize this is a bad investment. Don't put more money into it to try to save it. It doesn't matter what you do here.
There's no way in saving this. Kyrie doesn't work. He's a great player but now he is a disaster anywhere he goes and he just ruins locker rooms. So yeah there's no way that they should re-sign Kyrie Irving.
Let's stick with the Dallas Mavericks because we have to. Yes. This team is just a disgrace. That they are. They have no direction.
They still technically as we speak to you 809 p.m. Eastern. Don't say they have a shot to make the playoffs. They're benching everyone. Are alive to make the playoffs yet they seem to not really care.
So in order for them to make the play in tournament get the 10th seed. You know what Hickey I'm going to interrupt you here for a second. Sure. I'm going to pull a Luka Doncic. I showed up for a quarter. I think I'm going to go grab some bench and leave. You could burp or host the show the rest of the way. You played a half.
You played a half so you've done more than Luka at this point. My hammies are getting tight. My vocal cords are getting a little tense. I think I got to go.
I think I broke my arm. Continue I'll stop being a jackass. So in order for Mavericks to keep their season alive and grab the 10th and final postseason spot they need to go 2 and 0 in their final two games. And need the Thunder bare minimum to at least go 1 and 1. So safe to say their season is on the line with two games left having to go undefeated.
It is a must win game for Dallas tonight. How great would it be if the Scrubs get the job done? I hope.
I really hope they do it. We like the replacements. You said Scrubs.
Why are you saying that word? Well because in this must win game to keep their playoff hopes alive the Mavericks have decided to sit down. Kyrie Irving, Tim Hardaway Jr., Maxi Kleba, Christian Wood and Josh Green all starters and or massive contributors for the Mavericks roster.
And a lot of it's like injury recovery or soreness. Come on. Right.
And it gets even better. Not only are they sitting those contributors and or stars. They've also announced Luka Doncic. He is going to play with a caveat. He's going to play the first quarter of the game tonight against the Bulls who are also setting everybody. And then Luka will sit after the first quarter.
Onsides or offsides. You agree. It makes sense in your mind that the Mavericks will bench Luka Doncic after playing the first quarter. I know they're honoring his country tonight and that's why he feels compelled to play. But Luka Doncic just the other day said that he will play as long as the Mavs have a shot to make the playoffs.
And I commended that leadership in a sport where it's like all load management and a bunch of nonsense. Now I could understand the strategy when you realize this team's got nothing and they just need the season to end so you may as well want to keep your pick. But it makes zero sense to risk Luka Doncic suffering an injury to have him play for one quarter. Like Hickey, he's only going to play like a minute, two minutes I would say. Do you think he's going to play eight, nine minutes of that first quarter?
I actually, I would say yes. I'm starting to think that Luka talked all tough the other day. And I know that, I just saw Jason Kidd said this is an organizational decision. Come on, this is a joke.
I don't even remember the question that you asked me. It makes sense to you that Luka's sitting after playing one quarter. No, no.
Either play him or don't. And this Mavericks organization is such a cluster. Who would have thought Jalen Brunson leaving would have derailed this team this year?
And don't get me wrong, I'm a big Jalen Brunson fan. But they went from being in the Western Conference Finals to now they're not even going to make the playing tournament. And if I'm Luka Doncic, I'm sitting around, the other day I said I'm playing.
Now I'm only playing a quarter. You have five guys that are out because of injury recovery and soreness. And the owner the other day, Mark Cuban, who I do like. The owner the other day comes out and says, oh yeah, our priority is to keep Kyrie Irving. I'm going to give Jason Kidd a vote of confidence. This organization doesn't know the difference between their elbow and their ass. It's crazy. And if I'm Luka, I'm sitting there and I'm saying, this is messy.
I'm a star. I've seen LeBron leave. I've seen Kevin Durant leave. I'm going to leave as well. And I don't usually advocate for players leaving. But I don't get how they're going to fix this.
And if their big grand plan this offseason is to double down on Kyrie Irving, Luka, say it with me. I want out. What a joke this is.
I don't even remember the question again. Hard to tell where you feel on that one, that's for sure. Let's go from one confusing team to another. From the Mavericks to the Baltimore Ravens. Because they obviously have a big mess in their hands on Lamar Jackson. And early this week at a NFL draft luncheon, Ravens GM Eric DaCosta said that the team is open to drafting a quarterback in the first round. Now the Ravens still have little to no clarity on the future of Lamar Jackson who did formally request a trade back on March 2nd. Baltimore currently, if they want to pick a quarterback in the first round, sit at pick 22. They have five picks total through the seven rounds of the 2023 draft. Onsides or offsides, the Ravens should draft a quarterback in the first round. Will they have Lamar still on the roster by the draft? Coming up in three weeks?
Let's say yes. Then no, not in the first round. I would wait until next year. Because you're at 22, who's going to be available at 22? You're going to have to move up to do so.
You're not going to be able to get younger shrouds, therefore I'm not interested. I would wait until next year and just trade Lamar Jackson or not match his deal this offseason if you don't want to bring him back. If the plan is to move on, which I think it is with the Ravens and Lamar Jackson.
You asked me if the Ravens should draft a QB in the first round, I would say offsides. And finally, earlier this week, the Bucks claim to be the number one seed in the East and will head into the postseason with the best record in the league. After winning the title two years ago, Milwaukee was bounced in the Easter Conference Finals by the Celtics last year. Speaking of those Celtics, they are right behind the Bucks chasing their tail and the Sixers as well. Those three teams, Bucks, Sixers, and Celtics, are three of the four most wins in the league. And the Sixers do have the eventual MVP winner in Joel Embiid on their side. Onsides or offsides? The Bucks have the most pressure on them to win the Eastern Conference.
It's offside and here is why. They've already won a championship. I do think that they will get back to the NBA Finals this year. But Boston has not won a championship with this core and they've been very close. The Sixers, you don't know if James Harden is going to be back on the team next year. There's some rumors that maybe he wants to go back to the Rockets organization. So I think there's more pressure on the Celtics first and then the Sixers. And then you have Milwaukee probably three because no one else in the Easter Conference has a chance to get to the NBA Finals.
So I do not think the Bucks have the most pressure on them to win the East this year. Rex Hager joins us next from Augusta as we will, I guess, recap what we've seen so far from the Masters. And still continue to preview the rest of round two which we'll pick back up tomorrow at 8 a.m. Eastern. Round two suspended at Augusta National for the Masters.
It will resume tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. Eastern. We had trees, unfortunately, going down today and bad weather as well. Supposed to be bad weather tomorrow. So we'll see what happens the rest of the way. But now joining us from the Golf Channel is Rex Hager.
Rex, appreciate the time. How are you? Cold and wet, but hopefully we are able to start tomorrow. Yeah, for tomorrow, when you look at the weather forecasts, what are you seeing? Because I know that you work for the Golf Channel, not the Weather Channel, but this is pretty ominous right now. I think all of us have been watching and it's just a lot of rain. And the good news is I don't see any more lightning, which is essentially what stopped play today.
But it's going to be difficult when you look at how much, I think it's like two inches, is projected. The harder part here is you have a lot, about half the field has to finish their second round. And I think they're going to start the second round at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning. And between the time that they had the first delay and the time that they called play for the day, the temperature dropped about 40 degrees. So it's going to be cold and wet and rainy.
It's going to be a difficult day. For a guy like Brooks Koepka, who's already through two rounds and he's your leader right now at 12-under, is that at all an advantage where he's already completed his two rounds, where tomorrow it's going to be a lot of stop and go and some guys are going to have to finish round two and then move on to round three? I think it'll be a huge advantage because you normally don't get sort of this weather draw. We talk about it all the time at the Open Championship when you have tee times that last essentially 12 hours. So you can have someone that tees off at 7 o'clock in the morning that gets perfect conditions, someone that tees off at noon that gets just awful conditions. But at Augusta in the spring, you normally don't have that.
But yeah, I mean, he was at home sitting on his couch watching the rain and the trees coming down in the cold and everything else this afternoon while everyone was struggling. The example that we gave earlier tonight on the podcast was Tiger Woods has to go back tomorrow morning, first thing tomorrow morning at 8 a.m., and hit the tee shot at 12. We all know how hard that tee shot is, again, in the rain, in the cold, in the wind. I don't know how Tiger's going to hold up. Like, if he has to finish up round two tomorrow and then go to round three and play 18 there, I just wonder how his leg is going to hold up throughout this.
It's interesting. He was asked early in the week about kind of what happened last year. And I think last year was almost a perfect storm on day one. It was warm. He played well.
We were all excited. And then Friday, he kind of held on and made the cut. And Saturday, a lot like it happened this year, the temperature dropped. It got cold. And he went out and he was asked about it early in the week and what happened. And he had just one more to answer, cold. And we know that his body isn't just going to hold up very, very well. We've seen him even on Thursday when it was perfect conditions.
It was warm. It's difficult for him to even walk around this golf course. So, yeah, it'll be clearly a tough, tough road. Were you surprised what you heard from Tiger leading up to the Masters this week just with his media availability? No, he's pretty good. I mean, I think he understands that this plays more than anywhere else. I think he appreciates it. I think this plays has defined his career so much. He won here to sort of start his run, his historic run in 97. And then, of course, what he did in 2019.
I think there was always going to be, he will always have an appreciation and respect for the traditions here. The last two days, what did you see out of Brooks Koepke, who's the leader right now? Healthy.
I mean, that really sums it all up. If you go back two years ago, essentially, he just wasn't healthy. He's had hip issues. He's had knee issues. We now know about him. He's talked about the surgeries.
He's talked about everything he's gone through. And the interesting thing is, we can sit here and talk about the difference between Liv Goff and the PGA Tour, but I was talking with his dad yesterday, Bob, and he brought up a point that said, look, if he was still on the PGA Tour, he would have continued to try to play through all these injuries. But now that he's on Liv, and it's a very limited schedule, consider that he played his last event last year in October, and didn't play another event for almost three and a half months. And it finally gave him time to get healthy.
He went back to Claude Harmon, finally went back to some things that he was comfortable with, and we're seeing that version of him, that version that is, I called it a major monster earlier tonight. If Brooks wins, is the reaction Brooks is back, or is it more so, oh, it's a Liv guy winning? It'll be a Liv guy winning. I mean, and that's not entirely fair, because I think we should celebrate the fact that after everything that Brooks wins for him, and I'll go back to the Netflix series, I don't know if you saw it, but the episode that he was in, I was taken by the idea that at 30-something years old, the injuries were so bad he felt like he was washed, and that Liv golf was his best option, which is amazing to me, because you look at Tom Brady, he just finished playing football at 40-something years old, and this isn't a contact sport, but you get an idea of how debilitating those injuries were. Now he's come out the other side, and it should be celebrated if he is able to go on and win this week, and certainly it gets him that much closer to the career grand slam, but no. I think the general conversation on Monday, if he wins, will be, oh look, look what Liv golf did. Is that just a golf purist thing? Because, like, I'm a golf fan, but I'm not, like, a golf purist, and a year ago I was all worked up over Liv golf, but with how irrelevant it's really been and how it really hasn't done much outside of just taking the golfers away, I feel like my animosity for Liv golf isn't as strong as what it was a year ago. That's probably fair.
I mean, I'm with you on that. Like, look, I think a lot of people looked at Liv golf as this huge challenge, and I think the PGA Tour is going to look at Liv golf as this huge challenge. I said at the beginning of the week, and I really meant it, is that the idea that Cam Smith is not a top five player in the world, or Dustin Johnson isn't a top ten player in the world, or Burch Koepka isn't a top ten player in the world is ridiculous. Like, just because they've gone to Liv golf and they're not getting world ranking points anymore doesn't mean that they forgot how to be major champions, and I think Brooks just proved that. I know Jon Rahm is sensational with starting and then stopping and then having to resume tomorrow and play the entire back nine. Is that at all a concern, or after two rounds he's going to be right up there with Brooks?
It's not a best case scenario. He had just gone birdie birdie to get to nine under, and it seemed like Brooks was going to run away with it. He was at 12 under, and so just to get within three strokes I think was an accomplishment.
And it will be difficult, but we're talking about the guy that four putted the first hole yesterday and still ended up shooting seven under par. So he certainly has it in him, and I think when Jon's playing his best, it's going to be a great clash if it comes down to those two guys. When you look at Sam Bennett, what he's done has just been remarkable.
The amateur, what's the expectations the next two rounds? I mean, my colleague Ryan Lavner did a really in-depth and emotional piece on him, and I've learned so much about Sam this week. And just the fact that he's in this position I think is an amazing accomplishment first and foremost. But I was taken by not just his confidence, but there was a swagger to him tonight when he was in the media center that I just didn't anticipate from an amateur, someone who's in college. And when you're going head-to-head, and he was asked specifically, like, why do you think you can go head-to-head with Brooks Koepka? And he said, because I'm as good as he is. And you don't get that in any other sport. You don't have a college quarterback saying that I'm as good as Patrick Mahomes. That doesn't happen.
And golf is different, and I was widely impressed by that. The only thing I can compare it to is, like, when you get a 15 seed in the NCAA tournament that wins, and then they start talking big, and that they could go win the entire thing, but then you know eventually they go down in a Final Four or an Elite Eight. Do you think he could win this weekend? I don't even think, like, FAU is the comparison, right? That's the great comp in this situation, and I love that story. I don't even think that's a fair comp. Like, I don't know how you would even sort of put this into context, because, again, Sam Bennett is a very, very good player. He's a U.S. amateur champion, but he's done nothing on the pro level.
So, I don't even think you can compare a 64 seed beating a 1 seed in the championship. I think that that's even outlandish. Rex Hoggart here with us. So, I don't like to make much out of a photo, and I know he's getting up there in age for the sport, but Phil looks so just worn down earlier in the week, and I know he barely even spoke to the media, and then he's sitting there four under through two rounds, a 71 and a 69. What have you seen out of Lefty? Yeah, the photos weren't great, and I will say, I mean, he's lost a lot of weight, and certainly, you know, I'm not going to knock anyone that does that. I'm going to lean more into the idea that when he spoke with the media earlier this week, and by all accounts of what happened at the Champions Dinner, he just seemed reserved, and I think anyone that's ever watched Phil or been entertained by Phil or rooted for Phil, reserved is not the word that you would bring up, and I think it's kind of sad, because it feels like now that whatever's happened to him, whatever's transpired over the last year and a half, it's sort of just drained all of everything that was special out of him. Down deep, do you think he regrets going to live? I don't know if Phil regrets going to live.
I think there are plenty of players over there that have had buyer's remorse for whatever reason, and we can kind of go down the list, but certainly in Phil's case, I feel like at 50-something years old, and if the reports are true, I don't know how much money he was offered, but if it is nine figures, which, you know, we can sit and wrap our mind around that, I mean, look, he wasn't going to make that playing golf the rest of his career, so I've always been in the mindset that I'm not going to question someone making a financial decision for their family, even if it's Phil Mickelson. Wrapping up with Rex Hoggard, I was actually feeling good about Rory McIlroy. He's one of my four picks to win it, and man, I couldn't be more hung on that one.
Five over, we'll miss the cut. I know this has been the one that he's not been able to win, looking for that career grand slam. We all know how he finished last year and just came up short. What happened to Rory these last two days?
You and I both picked Rory McIlroy, and you and I both are kind of in the same boat right now, because he's going to make the cut. I was shocked by it, because physically, and I'll go back to the mass play championship two weeks ago, there was everything physically that he could possibly do that would point to, oh, this has got to be the year. He was hitting the ball absolutely perfect. He was driving it like he does when he's winning major championships by eight strokes. He was putting it well. Tiger Woods said earlier this week that he will win a Masters. It wasn't that he could or he might, but he will, which Tigers take. I talked to Butch Harmon, the famous swing coach, just yesterday morning, and it was like, yep, Rory's going to do it.
This is it. This is the year he's going to break through. The idea that everything was there physically and everything was angling in that direction kind of reinforces the idea that I think we've all kind of been toying with.
This is a mental hurdle. This has nothing to do with his ability to play that golf course and his ability to hit golf shots, that it's just going to be difficult for him to overcome this. I was shocked, and it's only going to get harder for him because we all know how important this is for him.
It's going to complete the career at Grand Slam. Clearly the conditions are bad today, but you being there, and I could only see it on Twitter and on TV. You see the trees falling down. It's amazing, and thankfully no one did get hurt or injured, but how did you kind of describe just seeing all that weather unfold today? It was pretty amazing, and it didn't feel like, I mean, we were obviously caught off the golf course.
We were in the media center, but you have a really good view of everything outside from that fabulous media center. It didn't seem that bad when the trees fell down and they stopped play, but certainly as you pointed out, it was scary. It was very, very frightening. What got me is from the second they pulled us off the golf course, and it was probably in the low 90s. It was very, very warm and humid. By the time we went back outside less than two hours later, the temperature had dropped 40 degrees.
It was amazing. I mean, it's just one of those things about this area, and it'll only make, again, I'll go back to tomorrow. It'll just make tomorrow so demanding. What are your expectations for Spieth the rest of the way, five under through two rounds? He knows how to play this golf course, so I would imagine he's going to make another run. It's going to be difficult when you look at the guys in front of him because I can't imagine, certainly Jon Rahm is going to go backwards, and it doesn't look like Brooks Kefka is going to go backwards. And I would say the same thing about Scottie Scheffler, the defending champion, and I kind of had him and Rory as my co-favorites.
They could both. They're both going to make the cut, and I'm sure they're both going to have very, very good weekends, but it's going to be an uphill climb if they have any chance to contend. If you had to kind of guesstimate what the score's going to be that wins it, where do you kind of throw that at? Well, it's interesting now that Brooks is at 12 under par, and someone brought out that the only other player that's 10 12 under par through 36 holes is Greg Norman, so you can connect whatever dots you want there with Liz Goff.
But I think the funny thing is, probably somewhere close to that, but I wouldn't imagine it's going to get much lower. Again, the golf course will be soft, so you'll have that going for you, but it's so long and it's so difficult now. I think 12 under is a really good winning score. It's kind of shocking, and it just shows how great he's been when you look at Scottie Scheffler 1 under for the tournament. It's like you almost just expect to see his name in the top three for all these tournaments. He is, I think he's dead last in the field in putting, and so when I picked him and I said that to our colleagues, and I did not see that coming, like of everything that he's done well, and you look at, and I kind of compared it to last year leading up to this, he defends his title in Phoenix. He wins the players championship, so he's actually playing better in theory than he was last year coming into this. You talk to him, and he was at our awards banquet for the Golf Writers Association of America on Wednesday night, and I spoke with him at length, and it was that confidence level was through the roof.
He was much more confident than he ever was coming into this last year because he's done it. He has a green jacket, and for him to do that, it's pretty surprising. What's the future of Live Golf? Clearly they threw all this money, the Saudis, at these golfers, and a lot of them took it, some big names, but there's been no results, it feels like. What's the future of Live Golf, Rex?
I spent the better part of the day, unfortunately, and this is sort of the reality that I live in, writing about lawsuits, and filings, and court hearings, and everything to do with Live Golf and the antitrust lawsuit that's going on right now. And unfortunately, it'll kind of hinge on that, just because of the way the system is set up, that the PGA Tour is going to protect their product, and they're going to lean into the fact that they have rules and regulations that keep their players from playing both tours, and as long as they do that, it's going to be difficult for Live Golf. Even paying nine-figure bonuses for players to come over and play, for them to continue to get those top players, because it doesn't become financially viable at some point. So, I really argued earlier this year that it's going to be product versus product, and you mentioned it. Like, would you rather watch, last week, Bruce Kefka winning in Orlando at the Live Golf event, or would you rather watch the Texas Open?
It's going to be difficult to imagine a scenario going forward where the majority of people want to watch Orlando and Live Golf. When Brooks eventually says, okay, I want to go back to the PGA Tour, I know it's one thing to talk big now, they'll accept them back, right? I don't know.
That's a really good question. I actually wrote a story at the Random Players Championship week, because there were a lot of rumors, about Brooks, actually, about maybe wanting to come back. And the kind of the theme of the story was, is there a path back, and if so, what does it look like? And I was taken by the idea that the vast majority of players I talked to about this, said that, yes, there should be some sort of path back, and we'll get varied about what it should look like. There's obviously going to be some sort of suspension, and some sort of fine, and some sort of penalty. But the one person, Jay Monahan, the commissioner of the PGA Tour, that I asked about this, he's still dead set against it.
So, I don't know how it happens in the current environment. Rex, appreciate it. Hopefully you stay dry, because that means we'll get through this weekend. Thanks so much. Thank you.
There you go. Rex Hager from the Golf Channel joining us, as we, I guess, recap parts of day number two from Augusta, as play was stopped, and hopefully it will resume tomorrow, early in the morning. One of the things I wanted to say about Brooks Koepka, and I asked him if Brooks Koepka were to win this weekend, is the reaction Brooks is back, or is it more so, oh, a live guy won it? And he said it's not fair, but he thinks, that's a guy that covers the sport religiously, that the majority of the conversation on Monday would be that a live golfer won it all.
And I don't know how you feel on this, but let me just say, I disagree. And maybe it's because Rex is fully entrenched in the golf community, and he does a great job, and he's probably more of a golf purist, and is more of the P1 guy. But for you and I, like I love golf, I play a ton of golf, I'm not good at it. I watch the four majors, I watch like a few other tournaments as well. If it's in the area, I will go up to Cromwell, Connecticut even, to go watch the Travelers sometimes.
I will, if it's ever at Bethpage Black, go to Long Island. Like, if it's in the area, I've been to Oranamec, out in Pennsylvania, for the BMW Championship. So I'm good with going to golf, I'm good watching golf, and playing golf. But I'm not a golf purist. I'm not a golf snob. And a year later, like don't get me wrong, I don't like live golf. I'm not a fan of live golf.
I don't even know where to find it. The ratings are so low, where if you look up, everything would hit you in the face, and everything that is in front of you. But I would think that if on Monday, we're here celebrating Brooks Koepka winning a green jacket, the reaction would more so be, especially with how many people watched the Netflix documentary, and Rex is right, it painted like his career was over, and it was basically done by him, I would think the reaction would be more so Brooks is back, rather than, oh it's a live golf guy who won it all. I'm 100% with you, and I think, I don't know if it's because watching the coverage so far through the first two days, I've never really heard even the word live a lot, and obviously Brooks Koepka being at the top of the leaderboard for... That's not intentionally. Well, but I'm saying it does, not hearing that, not drawing attention to this quote-unquote rivalry, not having, even in golf, when you're not really seeing other golfers on the course, they're not going head-to-head against each other in terms of a one-on-one shot competition, they're not pushing each other as they walk by, like, I think also you're right in terms of there's not a lot of animosities, because they're so irrelevant, where it's like, okay, you took your money, but no one cares about you, no one knows who you are anymore, it's like, that's kind of almost you losing out, I just don't think that the animosity a lot of people, even golfers felt last year, I think a lot of it's dissipated. Well, it's also like time heals all wounds, and I know it's only been like a year, but the majority of people that left are the guys that are going over to live golf, and there's already been some buyer's remorse now, and don't get me wrong, you're getting that money, but there's some guys that are like, oh, I want to come back to the PGA one day, right?
It's even been a conversation that we talked about with Rex in regards to Brooks Koepka already. So it's almost as if since they're out of sight, it's kind of like out of mind, and I did think at the time that live golf would actually be good for the PGA Tour because it was going to create these rivalries, and really Rory McIlroy was the one that carried the PGA Tour flag, and I loved it, and I used to not like Rory, because I was a Tiger guy, and when Rory comes onto the scene, and Tiger's an absolute mess, it seems like Rory's starting to take over the sport, and the last year, year and a half, how Rory fought back I respected, I wanted to see Rory win the Masters, and complete the career grand slam. Now it's not going to happen because he missed the cut, and we'll see if he ever wins a green jacket, but really, now a year later, I don't go into this tournament and really think about live golf that much because of how irrelevant it is. This weekend became a story a little bit because Phil Mickelson didn't talk to the media, and he just did some interviews off to the side, but he didn't do the traditional media availability on Tuesday or Wednesday, whatever it was, and he wasn't looking all that great in that photo, he looked stressed out and things like that, but I don't think live is as big of a story now, or even close to being where it was last year, where if we had a golfer on, all you do is talk to them about live golf. I remember we had Xander Shoffley on, and I said to him, I go, Xander, everyone has these articles that you're going to live golf, I go, you said that you're not, why should we believe it, things like that, and now he hasn't left, but a year ago, that's all, we had Harry Higgs on, we had Xander Shoffley on, Will Zalatoris, whoever the golfer was, it was all live, live, live, live, live, live, that's all he talked about. If Brooks wins, I would hope, Picky, that the story is, wow, Brooks is back. Now you could say, well, he's back to what extent. You won't see him outside of the, like the three other majors this year. So that is part of it, but really for Brooks, his standards has always been, and it seems like his care has always been, just for the majors anyway.
That's the thing, I think my emotion if he wins is more frustration, because I'm a Brooks fan, I like him a lot, he's my favorite golfer, I want to see him more, and it's just like, it's almost like a tease of, he, if he wins the Masters, it's, oh, this, he's back, but then it's like, oh, well. Well, you can see him more, you just got to go out of your way to find him. Yeah, go to CW11, I think, is where we got to go.
I was going to say Comedy Central. So it's just like, you're never going to see him again outside of the four majors, so it's just like, it's more frustration, you can't see them more than a frustration of, oh, I hate live guys, it's more of, oh, I hate the fact that I can't watch them, maybe outside of four times a year. Remember with hockey, and we're both big hockey fans, remember when they, they, they went to versus, or whatever that was, like years and years ago, and it was like impossible to find, because like now you have so many channels, or, or people are cutting the cord, I don't, and, and you have all these apps and everything, it's easier to find, but like, back in the day, even though it seems stupid, when you had a number that was up so high, it was like, oh, I can't find this, because you didn't remember what the number was, and then you had to like, you know, you know, just throw like 200 something, and then just try to, to go up from there on the channels, that's what it is like now. It's an inconvenience to find live golf. Even if you wanted to, it's just like an inconvenience to do so. But it's also like, they don't really give you a reason to watch. There's no motivation they have, they already got paid, it's like a team event more than an individual event, it's just like there's no, like, exciting golf to watch in general. I do think though it's a golf purist thing. That's what it comes down to, I guess it's who you ask, I think the golf purists will be like, ugh, a live golf guy won, ooh, this is big, this is big, but I think for guys like us, who we like golf, but we're not golf snobs and golf purists, The casuals. Yeah, we're the casuals, you know, we're the degenerants that, that show up and, and drink a few beers, and, and sit there and scream, bah, bah, boo-wee, or Annika Stormstam does the trapeze. Yeah, the New York crowd, some of the golf purists, I like the New York Northeast crowds.
Dude, I went to Waste Management, okay? I've actually, at Bethpage Black, did the Happy Birthday song for Phil Mickelson with the entire crowd, dude, I think that was at Bethpage Black. But, they were just singing Happy Birthday to sing Happy Birthday to Phil Mickelson, who knows? I don't think it was actually his birthday when it happened now, recalling it, but, like, that's the type of fan I am. I like to have fun. And for me, that story would be Brooks being back more so than, ooh, an all high and mighty live golfer won, ooh, we should shame him. Brandon Strain joins us next in the studio.
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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-07 22:46:08 / 2023-04-07 23:05:29 / 19