It’s here! Rory starts his 2015 American tournament play tomorrow. He has not played on American soil since last September 14, which is nearly six months. Even if you got up in the wee hours to watch Rory at Abu Dhabi and Dubai, you’ve had a nearly month-long wait. But, finally, that wait is over, and Rory is about to play three tournaments in four weeks. You’d think Golf Channel would be making a huge thing of this, maybe a “March is Rory Month” campaign or something.
Rory Replays: I didn’t realize this until too late last night to mention here, but Golf Channel is doing at least one good Rory thing this week. They are replaying the 2014 and 2012 Erstwhile Inverrary Classics; Rory won in 2012 and lost in a playoff in 2014 (the replay they showed last night); tonight’s replay will be the win in 2012.
Erstwhile Inverrary: Okay, “Erstwhile Inverrary” isn’t quite as descriptive as “L.A. Open,” “San Diego Open,” “Phoenix Open,” or “Bob Hope Desert Classic.” But this one wasn’t as easy. Maybe I should just give up and call it the Honda; after all it’s been called that since 1982. Maybe “Honda Inverrary Classic” would be okay. It was actually called that for a couple of years. You know, it was only the Jackie Gleason Inverrary for eight years. I’ll consider a change next year. Honda Inverrary Bear Trap Classic? We will rejoin this topic next week at the WGC Trump Classic.
Media Silence: The golf television reporters never tire of talking about Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, but you never hear them discussing the idea of Woods and Mickelson becoming television golf analysts. I guess they don’t want to give the network bosses any ideas. Hey, the Golfdashian Twins couldn’t possibly be any worse than the current crop of yappers.
Ryder Cup, Go Away: This is just plain tedious. First they announced that Davis Love III would be the pick. Then they announced there will be an announcement. Then they had the announcement This morning, Morning Drive opens with another discussion of the same Ryder Cup crap they’ve been discussing the past week. Oh, and then they showed a tweet or website comment from Tiger Woods about the announcement. First, the next Ryder Cup is a year-and-a-half away. Put another way… the Ryder Cup is eight majors away. Second: no one gives a shit about the Ryder Cup. It draws about the same television ratings as a decent regular Tour event. You don’t believe me?
NBC earned a 1.6 final rating and 2.2 million viewers for Sunday coverage of the Ryder Cup, down 58% in ratings and 60% in viewership from 2012 (3.8, 6.0M) and down 24% in both measures from 2010, the last time the tournament took place from Europe (2.1, 2.9M).
That’s from this article at Sports Media Watch. Toss out the European venues and focus on 2012. You couldn’t ask for a more exciting finish than that: No weather issues; Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in the field; massive promotion. The perfect storm for ratings.
And they pull a 3.8?
(The L.A. Open numbers are rather interesting for another reason. A No Tiger No Phil event of “nobodies” won by a “nobody” drew 80 percent of what a Tiger-Phil super-mega-hella-promoted Ryder Cup drew? That rather shakes up the golf media narrative, doesn’t it?)
Another thing — and this will tick off Mickelson fans — I don’t care what Phil Mickelson says about the Ryder Cup. Did Tom Watson hurt your widdle feewings? You’re a damned inside trader, and you need Tom Watson to change your diapers? Just play. Just hit the ball. Tom Watson has nothing to do with you and your teammates not being as talented as the Europeans. Lee Trevino had it right: your Ryder Cup record sucks, so shut the hell up. Also, look at the players on both teams. How many of them didn’t win a major until they were 34 years old? Seriously, Phil, if you have to talk, tell us the details about that Dean Foods stock tip you got.
Golf Channel Same Old, Same Old: Rory and the Honda Inverrary Classic are not mentioned until we are 16 minutes into the show. I mean, it’s not like the event starts tomorrow or anything. It’s not like it has 16 of the worlds’s top 25 players. It’s not like it’s the world number one’s American debut.