Where are you on Peter Kostis’ position that reporters are there to report on the story as opposed to being a part of the story? I agree w/Peter wanting media to avoid getting dragged into controversy. If you saw Reed or anyone improve a lie/violate a rule, what would you do? [email protected]

This is a fraught issue. Just ask my friend and wingman Michael Bamberger, who reported a blatant Michelle Wie rules violation nearly two decades ago and still occasionally takes flak for it. Kostis is correct that it’s best for reporters to avoid becoming the story, but I think the sanctity of a professional tournament is bigger than that. If I witnessed a violation I would certainly report it … but probably from my burner under an assumed name, so as not to get dragged into a needless controversy. When a player breaks the rules they should pay the price, not the person (player, caddie, spectator, scribe) who happens to witness it.

How will the budding friendship of Bryson and Patrick bolster USA’s chances in the 2020 Ryder Cup and beyond, and how would you like to see either or both of them in the 2020 Olympics? [email protected]

This budding bromance is actually a huge development for Team USA. Both Reed and DeChambeau are so young and talented they are going to figure in many more Ryder Cups. Managing their, uh, quirks and finding willing playing partners figures to be one of the toughest tasks for every future American Ryder Cup captain. But if all that unorthodox mojo can be contained within one pairing, and if these spiky personalities can bring out the best in each other, well, a huge problem has been solved. As for the Olympics, I can think of a few more cuddly ambassadors to represent the Stars and Stripes. (Lolz.) But Reed and DeChambeau are each, in their own way, among the most compelling figures in the game. With golf still fighting for its place in the Games I’d rather have Bryson and PReed in Tokyo than some other blander, more boring Yanks.

Can and should the Tour suspend Cryson for his antics slamming down spike marks? He needs to be slapped several times by someone who he respects and the Tour needs to let him know his behavior isn’t acceptable. #AskAlan [email protected]

A suspension would be a stern reaction but I think it’s warranted. Every time pro golf goes to Mexico City or Saudi Arabia or some other far-flung destination we are force-fed pablum about how the players are growing the game. It follows that the all these new fans in golf-starved markets are watching closely to learn the mores and etiquette of the game. So the good people of Mexico City and far beyond have now been taught that when you make a terrible stroke and badly miss a putt the appropriate reaction is to smash up the green in absurd attempt to prove that the poor grass is at fault, not the player or his weird technique. In general, it feels like golf is at an inflection point, where we are being forced to examine difficult questions about the rule of law and the fundamental nature of the equipment and playing fields. Some things are worth preserving so I think the time has come for the Tour to take a harder line on player misconduct.


I think that I’m in man-love with Viktor Hovland. I think he’s going to be a European mainstay for two decades in the Ryder Cup. How worried are you now with him, Rory and Jon Rahm looking like dynamite? [email protected]

It’s impossible not to like this Hovland character. His game from tee-to-green is simply awe-inspiring and what a fun, fresh character he is. No doubt he’s going to be a force in the Ryder Cup. Rahm, too, even though his Paris debut was quite shaky until he outlasted a sore, stiff and exhausted Tiger in singles. And Rory is Rory — he has been spectacular and disappointing, sometimes during the same Cup. (His 11-9-4 record is solid but not commensurate with his all-world talent.) As I know from experience, it’s folly to predict the Ryder Cup too far in advance. Cornerstones crumble, heroes rise and fall, captains make inexplicable decisions (see Furyk, J.), unbeatable golfers drown balls at Augusta and never recover (Molinari, F.). But I can say with some certainty it’s going to be fun to watch Hovland for many years to come.

Does JT hurt himself by not keeping his reactions to bad shots in check? [email protected]

Every player handles setbacks differently. Tiger burns hot for a very short period of time, expelling the poison from his system but always getting back in the right head space for the next shot. Thomas has certainly had some Sunday implosions where it looks like he’s lost control of his emotions. But when he’s playing well he shows plenty of fire, too. Bottom line: it’s pretty hard to argue with 12 Tour wins, including a major, at the age of 26.

#askalan Why are there terms for better-than-birdie, like eagle or albatross, but there are no terms for worse-than-bogey? They are just called a double bogey or a triple; why not a pigeon or a cuckoo? [email protected]

Because making doubles and triples is already so painful do you really want the added insult of having to tell the officious scorekeeper in your group, ”Put me down for a dodo.”

What will Bryson serve at the 2021 past champions dinner in Augusta? Protein shakes? Kombucha? Will every asparagus stalk be the same length? [email protected]_Maples323

All excellent choices. One dessert we’re not likely to see: humble pie.

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