Rory Reboots, Rebounds, and Re-enters the Fray

As Jimi said to Bill Graham, “How was that, [expletive deleted]?”

Rory played great. A fun round to watch. The coverage was pretty great today, too. Sure, we missed most of Rory’s birdie on a par-5, but that was so we could see Phil play one off the second floor of the hospitality suite. (Phil slowing down and swooping to his right to fist-bump the little kid was the quintessence of fan-friendly.  That kid will never forget this day.)

I do wish they’d showed a little more Jason Day (although he got a decent amount of coverage) and a lot more Patrick Reed. Good golf today.  Adam Scott stuck the ball close all day, but missed a lot of shortish putts. Setting up for a fun weekend. I wish Rory had made that birdie putt on No. 18, but, still, he’s in quite okay position.

I want to make a couple of comments about Rory’s pre-tourney press conference held earlier in the week.  I found it really annoying, not because of Rory, but because of the stupid questions. For one thing, Rory is coming off of three straight wins, two of them majors, and, yet, the first two questions were about Tiger Woods. The guys asking those questions — and I mean this as a simple statement of fact, not merely a way to insult them — need to find another job. Woods hasn’t won a major in over six years. Asking Rory what he thinks Woods thinks about something is like asking President Obama what he thinks George W. Bush thinks about something. Time to move on, guys.

Do you remember earlier this year when Graeme McDowell made some innocuous comment about Tiger Woods in response to a question, and the press made a mountain out of a molehill, and Graeme had to later clarify that he meant no insult. Do you remember Graeme’s not so subtle hint to the media, something along the lines of — a very, very loose paraphrase here, and as I interpreted it — “Guys, 90 percent of the questions you ask me are about Tiger Woods. I try to politely answer, but then you twist my words and try to created a situation. How about asking me questions about me and addressing your Woods questions to Woods?”

Back to Rory’s presser:  Someone asked him about about rivalries.  If he needed someone to have a rivalry with, and who it might be, after all there was Jack-Arnie and Phil-Tiger, etc. Rory answered, in a polite manner, but did astutely point out that Tiger and Phil really didn’t face each other more than three or four times.

The problems with that reporter’s question are many. First off, why is the reporter asking Rory a question that has nothing to do with Rory, really? That’s the kind of question Golf.com asks participants when they do a live blog of a major. Q: Does Rory need a “rival”? Can’t these idiot reporters find anything more substantive to ask?

Of course, Rory’s comment about Tiger and Phil not battling each other much on the course was not going near as far as he could have gone. For one thing, Mickelson didn’t win a major until, what, 2004 or so, by which time Woods had about seven. Woods and Mickelson’s rivalry, such as it was,  was always more a case of the media defining Mickelson as the anti-Woods, so they could show Mickelson too much, and hope that somehow justified showing way, way too much of Woods. Sort of, “Sure, we obsess over Woods, but, hey, we show Phil when he’s out of contention, too!”

Anyway, if the reporter wants to write an article claiming Rory needs (or doesn’t need) a “rival,” he should do it. But Rory’s opinion really doesn’t add anything. Rory is on the inside. Every tournament in which he contends is exciting to him. Whoever is closest to him is his “rival.” I doubt Rory sits around pining over, “Gee, willikers, I wish Rickie finished second to me more often.” Or, “If I don’t win, I always hope Rickie wins, so we could be rivals.  That would be so neat-o!” Those kind of media questions strike me as coming from guys who never really played competitive golf.

Here’s what I mean.  Remember the story about Ben Hogan? A young rookie playing with Hogan had a horrible day, hacking the ball all over the course. Afterward, he apologized: “Mr. Hogan, I’m sorry I slowed things down so much. I hope I didn’t distract you.” Hogan replied, “Oh, did you have a bad round today?”

Rory’s job is to play golf, not to write fluff pieces for inept reporters.

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11 Responses to Rory Reboots, Rebounds, and Re-enters the Fray

  1. Anonymous says:

    Media golf coverage is as bad as ever….I rarely watch the interviews, pre/post…I mean who cares…The questions are stupid and not thought out….We see all the dumb articles on these sports websites…..In some ways, I blame the golfers themselves though…..All they need to do is say they aren’t going to talk about another golfer—PERIOD…..After a few times of NOT answering their dumb questions, either the press conferences would get real short, or the media would make the adjustment………..I mean if ALL the PGA got together and agreed to ONLY talk about themselves, the media would have to learn about the other golfers as well….It would be a win-win…Not sure why the players MOSTLY sit back and take all the dumb questions….

  2. Anonymous says:

    I turned to the golf channel(as I was forced to by the Taliban), and Kelly stated that Rory is ‘Boy Wonder’ and Tiger Woods is Superman………….this was about comparing the two to each other and how Rory is making strides…

    • lannyh says:

      I truly think Tilghman is on Woods’s payroll. They had the IMG connection for a long time. She mentions him in at least half of her sentences. Gratuitous mentions, most times, that do nothing but distract. She needs to be fired. They have several more personable females at GC. Paige McKenzie would be good.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Mcllory has missed three 11 foot putts and one 9 foot putt in 9 holes so far today……..

  4. Anonymous says:

    Why, why, why, is the golf channel SOOOOOOOOOOO fascinated with showing people hitting on the RANGE, instead of showing shots on the course???? It’s so boring, and pathetic coverage…..actually showing a slow motion of Adam Scott on the range? How exciting—-not….

  5. Anonymous says:

    Oh the product placement continues…..NBC continues to show this ‘started as the #1 seed’ thing for the Fed Ex Cup…..The problem with that stat is that when Woods won it, all you basically had to do is to well in the regular season, and you won the Fed Ex….Remember both Woods and Singh didn’t even have to play in the final event to win the $10 mill……In other words, take Rory’s points this year, punch them into the ORIGINAL points format of the Fed Ex, and see how little Rory would need to do to win the $10 mill……Probably not much, as I recall the original format…

  6. Anonymous says:

    So NBC gets to show golf for a few hours before the REAL coverage starts….However, the more you watch this lame 2 hours of coverage, you realize it’s more about interviews, range/putting green shots, and then an occasional golf shot of who they are trying to prop up…..Now either they are limited in what they can show, or they really are trying to be as unentertaining as possible…

    • lannyh says:

      It’s hard to say what their goal is. I like the European Tour golf coverage where they calmly cover the event. I don’t mind the range coverage as a once-in-a-while thing, though.

      • Anonymous says:

        Exactly, the European tour if ALOT more interesting to watch, then what NBC puts out for their coverage……I LOVE the laid back approach, and the Euros aren’t sitting there wasting literally half hour of their coverage watching someone hit balls at the range(have to clock it next time)…….I actually think, they think, they are being creative with their coverage….When ofcourse it’s just not that interesting to watch anymore…….

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