Is the Golf Media is Growing Up? I made this comment during yesterday’s Semi-Live Blog:
Jordan Spieth is announced on the first tee and doesn’t even strike his drive before the announcers mention Tiger Woods. I think I’ll try to keep an informal count of the number of Woods mentions today.
They may have mentioned Woods a time or two more, but he certainly wasn’t mentioned as frequently as we’ve grown accustomed, and that led to a darn decent telecast. The crowning achievement, though, came on the first playoff hole, when an announcer repeated that same first tee stat, only this time there was no mention of Woods. I think they may finally be realizing how wonderful golf can be when they forego the contest of “How many times can I mention Tiger Woods in the next ten minutes?” Things won’t change completely overnight, but I think yesterday’s telecast showed an unmistakable trend.
Won’t Change Overnight: Speak of the devil… This week’s Tour Confidential begins with that first tee stat…
Spieth joins Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia and Robert Gamez as players since 1940 to win twice on Tour before age 22.
Here’s the thing: Who really cares about that stat? It’s obviously crafted as a way to mention Woods. First player since 1940 to win twice before age 22? The entire purpose is a Woods mention, a way to say, “Even if Jordan wins, Woods already did what he did.” So, why not something like, “Spieth is one of only a handful of players to win as a teenager since 1940. Rory McIlroy is another.” They could have even worked in Lydia Ko. Of course, the stat about winning as a teen lessens Woods, not Spieth, so they jettison it.
By the way, the Tour Confidential question about Spieth was, “Does he have the talent to win multiple majors?” Another way of saying, “Yeah, he won yesterday, so what? Tiger won multiple majors.” The emotional IQ of the golf media is on the level of a 10-year-old.
Speaking of 10-year-olds: Have you seen the episode of South Park where a girl beats up Cartman (the jerk kid none of them like)? He starts crying and tells his classmates they won’t think he’s cool now because a girl beat him up. They tell him, No, we never thought you were cool to begin with, that the fight won’t make any difference whatsoever in their opinion of him. Cartman tells himself they are lying and rationalizes they wouldn’t lie to him unless they thought he was cool. Anyway, I picture the golf media thinking the world considers them cool because they obsess over Woods, and if they stop, no one will think they are cool. When the fact is we never thought they were cool.
Jordan Spieth: Nothing but class. I liked how he said in a post-tourney interview that he was looking forward to the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii next year, and that he would move up in the OWGR and the FedEx Cup points standings, thereby helping out both the ToC and the “playoffs,” two events that could use a friendly shout-out once in a while. He also praised his caddy. I have to admit it’s kind of funny when the golf world gushes over a guy for… displaying civil behavior. Shows how far golf got off the rails over the past fifteen years.
The Copperhead Course at Innisbrook: They should consider playing a major here. Such a great contrast to last week’s mess of a course at Doral.
- Too many screamers in the gallery acting like the idiots back in the 2000’s. Hey, guys, screaming is no longer cool. (Well, it never was, but now there’s not even a shred of originality left.)
- The Ian Poulter hecklers; probably the same group of idiots.
- Too many commercials.
- I noticed this right off the bat yesterday: Too many “Jordan came up just short on his approach,” and, “Earlier Jordan found the fairway.” Another time they showed some pre-packaged highlights of O’Hair then cut quickly to Spieth who missed a birdie putt before I could even recall what he was doing. Maybe this win will improve coverage of Spieth, but the media has been “boycotting” Spieth so much this year that I wrote about it during the L.A. Open.
Woods Gone = Better Golf: Most would agree yesterday’s golf coverage was pretty damn great. Think how much it would have suffered had Woods been playing in this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational? That would have been mentioned every three minutes, with long speeches about it from every announcer, over and over and over. And the handful of tasteful promos for the event would have been an avalanche of the Worst of Woods video with gushing Meet The Golfdashians voiceovers.
OWGR Changes: Spieth to #6, Woods to #87. Justin Thomas is #83. Patrick Reed #15. Sean O’Hair moved from #400 to #188.