Golf Central Patrick Reed Interview: So Golf Channel has Patrick Reed on for an interview. Question they ask: Do you think Tiger Woods owns red-and-black clothes on Sunday? Question they do NOT ask: You’ve not yet played any majors, but, having gone to school at Augusta State, how many times have you played Augusta National?
Young guys I’ll be watching in this week’s field: John Peterson (24), Jordan Spieth(20), Brooks Koepka (23), Peter Uihlein (24), Scott Langley (24), Harris English (24).
Other guys I’ll be watching: John Daly; Sang-Moon Bae; Nicolas Colsaerts (who has fallen from #40 to #105 just since last summer); Chesson Hadley (the 26-year-old finger-snapping who won in Puerto Rico last week).
Lanny H Golf: This is already the second-highest traffic month in our history — and it’s only the 11th.
New York Times Article on Reed, Poulter: Nice article from the New York Times in the wake of Patrick Reed’s WGC win. “Reed’s wife, Justine, said Poulter was particularly pleasant to Reed when they were grouped in a tournament last summer, before Reed was a tour winner. She said they would never forget how Poulter, despite his higher profile, treated Reed like an equal.“
Last Week’s WGC Television Coverage: There was one promising moment, but, alas, it was fleeting. The Thursday “pregame” hour seemed a satire; I think the hosts were told if they muttered a sentence without the word “Tiger,” they would be immediately terminated. It was a nice surprise when the live coverage began to find very balanced coverage. Even though Woods was on the course, he didn’t get an inordinate amount of coverage. I don’t know if that was intentional or the result of logistics, but after seeing the rest of the week’s coverage, I’d have to bet on the latter. After the rain delay, the live coverage reverted to “normal” — i.e., There is no Golf But Tiger.
Friday’s coverage was hilarious. Before round 2 began, round 1 had to be completed. Woods, who had played his first 14 holes in +6, finished round 1 with three birdies and a bogey. He then began round 2 with two birdies. This sent Golf Channel into a full-out tizzy, despite the fact Woods was still six or eight shots off the pace of the leaders. We got some wonderful “analysis” at this point. Woods, we were told, had never before played the redone Doral (due to last week’s injury), and so the first day was his “practice round”; now he had everything figured out and dialed in. He’d probably play the last three rounds in 59, 59, 59, by golly! “There are signs,” Gary Williams told us. It was as if Woods had “turned the switch.” Forget that Woods shot 75 and was T-41 or so, he had “turned the switch.”
Live coverage gave us what all true golf fans sick of. An example: After a “Back to Tiger in the fairway,” we saw Woods take four practice swings, tighten the velco on his glove, take two more practice swings, line up the shot, address the ball, and, finally, hit the damn thing. On the green, we saw him walk around the green lining up his putt, stand over his putt, then back off of it to check the line again.
Of course you never see any other player back off a putt or take practice swings in the fairway because they are shown on delay. In fact, many players were only shown at all when they hit a ball into the water. NBC/GC must think a ball going into the water is the height of drama because all week long, we say ball after ball after ball going into the water. Okay, the water and sloping greens/fairways was a story. Fair enough. But why do we only see other players when they hit a ball in the drink? Whenever you heard, “Here’s Matt Kuchar’s drive,” you knew it was (1) on delay, and (2) going into the water. You also knew whenever you heard, “Here’s Graeme McDowell with a 3-foot par putt,” that he was going to miss it. Otherwise, they would not show it. Only Tiger Woods gets covered, live, for short par putts. These are the reasons true golf fans like when Woods does not play or misses the cut.
“Breaking News”: For the first time in some 30 years, a “Breaking News” graphic actually contained breaking news. A GC graphic/scroll informed me Jason Day was withdrawing from the WGC Doral when it truly was a breaking story. Flip through your cable news channels; you’ll find either a “Breaking News” graphic at the bottom of the screen — containing information that is neither breaking nor news — or a commercial.