I will stop short of saying the Saturday coverage of the L.A. Open by CBS was bad, but it fell well short of great. They confused and annoyed me when on No. 10 they were calling Goosen’s bogey putt a par putt, and Ryan Moore’s par putt a bogey putt. I am not sure they ever corrected the miscall of Moore’s putt. Quite odd, because they made a very big deal about Moore nearly jarring his tee shot only to see it roll off the green. Could they not count his shots from the side of the green? Anyway, such mistakes are bound to happen from time to time, so that’s not my real beef.
I suppose my main beef could be described thusly: Where the hell was Jordan Spieth? The guy is right in the hunt, but we saw next to nothing of him, or at least I never saw him when I was watching. Is CBS overreacting to the complaints that Tiger Woods was being shown instead of the leaders? Those complaints were that Woods, ten shots back, would be shown 80 percent of the time, and the leaders scarcely at all. Thus, “Show the leaders!” But let me offer some advice.
“The leaders” means guys with a chance to win. That does not mean to treat Saturday like it’s the final four holes on Sunday. There are about 20 guys on a normal Saturday who are in the process of positioning themselves for Sunday, or maybe shooting themselves out of things. To show Goosen and DeLaet’s every shot when there was such a tightly-bunched pack chasing them was premature. When Goosen was stretching the lead, yeah, it was time to start focusing on him unless he faltered. But he did falter, and yet, well, here’s a rule of thumb:
On Saturday, show the top 20 or so guys. It is okay to put a little more emphasis on the “stars.” On Sunday, focus on the top 10 on the front nine. When you reach the back nine, focus on the guys no more than two shots back, and show every shot of the leader, or leaders. You need to realize that, on the front nine on Saturday, barely half the event has been played. It’s very, very likely the 36-hole leader will not be the winner, and often he is not even in the hunt come Sunday afternoon.
That was my frustration. Is this caused by camera logistics? That’s hard to imagine in this day of cheap equipment. As well, the last few holes have stationary cameras. In general, the coverage was pretty decent. I don’t want to bash them too much. I really enjoyed the focus on the course. But Saturday is way too early to treat the tournament as if it has entered the homestretch.
The Amy Alcott interview was quite good. I made a mental note to see if she has written a biography, or a history of Riviera perhaps.
One other thing: They need to used the telestrater with some of the blimp shots. For example, I didn’t know the course well enough to follow their discussion of Sergio’s wayward (very wayward) tee shot that found a bunker a hole or two from the hole he was playing. I needed someone to mark the fairways and greens they were talking about. I never really got a feel for how off-target Sergio’s drive was.