Arnold Palmer Invitational: Semi-Live Blog, Thursday (running post)

5:34 pm Update

Did Rory just say he was going to go take a drug test?

I was glad he didn’t say anything about the greens being a little… unperfect?

5:00 pm Update

A bogey on a par-5.  Not what you want.  Disappointing, but if you look, most of the good scores were from the early players.  The greens do look a bit iffy.  Lots of hopping around out there.  Rory still under par.  Two holes to go.

4:15 pm Update

Rory could be doing better today.  Bad break with Rickie’s ball, questionable greens not helping his putting.  I think GC said he’s hit every green, for crying out loud.  Game looks decent, though.  This is his last event before Augusta.  Jason playing great.  Great approach shot to a risky pin, but then couldn’t convert the short putt.

3:45 pm Update

I hope that bad break didn’t throw Rory off his game.  Lost a shot at No. 11.  Oh, wait, Nevermind.  He didn’t lose a shot.  I got erroneous information.  Now, Rory is looking at an up-and-down for birdie to go -3.

3:25 pm Update

Really bad break for Rory.  He had an approach shot tracking, with an outside chance of going in.  It would probably have been a kick-in birdie.  Hits Rickie’s ball and ends up 7 feet from hole…  Ouch.  Still -2, and he could sink this one yet.  Nope.  He got robbed of one there.

2:55 pm Update: Birdie Time!

Rory moves to -2 with a birdie on No. 8.  Sits at T-21, with a booming drive on  No. 9 finding the fairway..

2:25 pm Update ::  Eagle Watch!  Eagle Watch!

Rory had to settle for par on the first par-5, but this time, he’s got a reasonable eagle putt.

Just misses.  Settles for birdie.  Moves into the top thirty, with twelve full holes left to play.

1:40 pm Update

Three holes, three birides.  Rory has reached his first par-5 of the day.  Eagle time?

1:30 pm Update

Two no-drama pars for Mr. McIlroy to start his day.  By the way, Kelly Tilghman went almost a full minute in today’s show before mentioning Tiger Woods, who isn’t playing, hasn’t been playing, and has no plans on when he’ll next play.

12:58 pm Update

Rory is off!  Puts his tee shot in the fairway and is looking at a 7-iron, I’d guess.  Maybe an 8-iron.

12:30 pm Update

Rory tees off in 20 minutes.   Get ready to rumble!!!

I have not had a television on, but the schedule is for Golf Channel pregame to start shortly after Rory strikes his first tee ball.  They should have some live look-ins.

9:30 am Update

Credit Where Credit is Due: The live stream this morning has been quite good.  Fairly limited commercials.  Good commentary.  Good continuity.  Volume level changes between coverage and commercials is reasonable. (Blasting commercials have been a problem in the past; I have shut off the stream many, many times in the past for that reason.)

8:20 am Update

Live@ announced they would go live at 8:00 am; they went live at 8:16 am.  They announced the group would be Scott, Koepka, Kisner; the group is Snedeker, Horschel, Stenson.  Calling these streams amateurish would be an insult to amateurs.

Truth is, these streams were better when they truly were amateurish.  Fewer commercials, less crap.  Just a live stream of the players making their way around the course; it was like being there.  Now they have “professional production” and it’s like standard crappy TV coverage, only with a lot of technical glitches.  I’ve griped about this before, yes, I know, but it really did used to be cool, three or four years ago.  It still beats nothing.

8:00 am Update

The stream is live now.  I think I’ll watch that rather than Morning Drive.  Actually, it appears it won’t be live until 8:15.  They are going through testing and setup now, which I doubt they know is being streamed.  I don’t know why they announce an 8:00 start, then push it back.  They are pretty lax about start times; they basically start when they feel like it.

Have you noticed Golf Channel, especially Gary Williams, is pushing the meme that “if Rory doesn’t win THIS week, it’s not his era,” or “he’s not putting his stamp on it” (whatever the hell that means)?  With Woods, they cheered him and obsessed over him no matter what he did.  Do you think when Woods had a streak of two majors going that they said, “This isn’t Tiger’s era unless he puts a stamp on it with a win this week”?  Hell, no.  They are doing everything they can to diminish Rory’s status.  It had to really stick in their craw that EA Sports made Rory their name and cover golfer.  But I don’t get Golf Channel’s attitude.  The Woods story changed dramatically in November 2009, and they have never made the adjustments.

7:15 am Update

If you are a fan of golf’s best players, Golf Channel is not the network for you.  Maybe I missed it, but I have not heard Rory’s name mentioned even once.  I’ve heard only the names of Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods.  That’s like turning on an NFL show in October to hear about Johnny Unitas and Brett Favre.

Matt Ginella is not bad, and he sometimes does interesting segments. However, many of his golf course segments are thinly-disguised infomercials.

6:55 am

Forty minutes until the first tee time.  Here we go!

Only six hours until Rickie, Rory, and Jason tee off.  I can’t see those three together without thinking of the first two rounds at the Masters in 2011.

There’s a live stream at this link starting at 8:00 am EST:  Adam Scott, Brooks Koepka and Kevin Kisner are the featured group today.  Tomorrow is Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Jason Day.

Golf Channel has Morning Drive from 7:00-10:00 am, then three hours of filler crap, then an hour of pregame at 1:00 pm, then live coverage starting at 2:00 pm, which is 1 hour and 4 minute into Rory’s round.

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25 Responses to Arnold Palmer Invitational: Semi-Live Blog, Thursday (running post)

  1. Sports-realist says:

    To say that Rory is DUE to start strong in the first round would be an understatement…..Remember he said he’s been fighting his iron swing, which has taken alot of his shots to the left….Thought he’d make a swing adjustment last few weeks, but he didn’t…Will he today……

  2. lotoya18 says:

    Hi lannyh, I am sports journalism student in london and I’m writing my dissertation on Tigers Woods effect on the game of golf and I was wondering if you would be available to do a brief interview with me to answer a few questions please via email, phone or skype whatever is best for you.

  3. lotoya18 says:

    1. What did the emergence of Tiger Woods do for the game of golf?
    2. Was Woods the driving force behind making golf the big money enterprise that it has become today or was he just lucky to come along at the right time?
    3. The way sport as evolution in this new media age where everything is more accessible, there is a new market that was created and is driven by televisions contracts and online broadcast. Would Tiger be able to have the same effect worldwide without these different avenues being able to him?
    4. Does the color of his skin make him more appealing to the everyday man in a way that golfers before him lacked?
    5. Can the game of golf survive without Tiger Woods?

    • lannyh says:

      1. I don’t really have an answer to that one. It’s my opinion that he did far less for the game than expected when he burst onto the Tour in 1996.

      2. For certain, right place, right time. All sports money went up. When I did some comparisons last year, I found the Wimbledon actually went up substantially more that the major golf events in the 17 years since Woods came on the scene. Woods had some effect, but it was relatively small. NASCAR prize money, for example, went up more than golf money. Pro football (NFL) prize money was up as much as golf prize money in the Woods Era. I imagine an exhaustive stuff would show Woods has a small effect. I want to say Deadspin did something on this. I know I got the NASCAR information from something I read online. That should be easy to find. But in no way would I personally say Woods was the “driving force.” That’s the “conventional wisdom,” though.

      3. I’m just guessing/speculating, but I’d say yes. For one thing, online in 1997 wasn’t anything like it is now, and you can’t get much more famous than he was then. Also, a guy like Muhammad Ali got about as famous as you could (as did the Beatles) well before the Internet. As I think about it, you might could make a case that stars became bigger before the Internet since there wasn’t so much diffraction (diffusion? not sure I used the right word there).

      4. Again, answers to these questions are mainly opinions, right, at least coming from me. I mean, I don’t have any exhaustive research such as interviews of “everyday people.” I think any time there is something “different” about a star, it probably adds to their appeal/notoriety. Like Michael Sam in the NFL; he got way more attention than he would have had he not been gay. Tiger Woods was a great player, regardless, but his skin color added to his fame/media coverage.

      5. Of course. But you really have to define “game of golf” and “survive.” When people say “golf will die,” they primarily mean, “My corporation won’t make as much money.” Has nothing to do with the “survival of golf,” just whether or not those corporate execs will make money off their stock options or not.

      So, I’m glad to have answered, but the only one I feel like I helped much on was #3, and maybe a little on #5.

      Anyway, I hope that helps. Don’t hesitate to ask whatever you want here. Others might have better answers/info than I do.

      • lannyh says:

        “NFL prize money” should have been “NFL salaries and franchise values.”

      • lotoya18 says:

        Thanks for answering my questions, and yes your opinion is exactly what I’m looking for. I can assure you like is not a prank and if you like I could send a copy of my work when I complete it in May. I do have other questions that I would like your opinion on but on a more private platform. I don’t know if it’s possible we could send messages on here to each other? I’m not a wordpress pro let me know. And no I don’t live in Nigeria and wont required any card details lol. I actually live in West Kensington, London not too far from the queen I might add.

      • lannyh says:

        If you, or anyone else, has a question for me, these comment sections are the place to ask.

      • lotoya18 says:

        Ok cool no problem I will be in touch. Enjoy the rest of your evening.

  4. JoseyWales says:

    Lanny, I’m surprised you didn’t realize this guy is yanking your chain.

    • Sports-realist says:

      Eldrick fans are usually the lamest, so if it is a prank, life goes on…..

    • lannyh says:

      Well, that was my assumption, but I don’t mind answering questions, so no harm in playing along. And if it were legit, I’d be an a-hole to get bent out of shape.

      And, no, I wasn’t about to send my credit card number to get a million dollars from a Nigerian bank.

  5. Sports-realist says:

    Obviously Mcllroy fixed his iron swings from his last appearance–at least today anyway…..If he plays like this the rest of the round, he will probably win……..-2 could have easily been -4 or -5….Alot of short putts missed….

    • lannyh says:

      I would concur. He didn’t get any breaks, and the putts just didn’t fall. The greens seem to be incredibly slow by PGA Tour standards.

      • Anonymous says:

        I remember hearing somewhere that the speeds are are around 10.5 this week instead of the usual 12+. The greens are going to be replaced in a few months so they aren’t being maintained like in years past.

      • lannyh says:

        Ah, I did not know about the stimp numbers. Interesting. I knew something was up when they said, as Rory stood over a putt, “Players are having trouble hitting this downhill putt hard enough.”

  6. BigTimeTimmyJim says:

    Re the Rory Era post in the 8am update, I think it has everything to do with people, the media specifically, comparing Rory to 97-05 Tiger. In 7 years on tour Rory has 9 wins, 4 of which are majors. In Tiger’s first 7 years he had something like 30 wins and 6 majors. Putting it like that, it’s pretty easy to see the struggle.

    But that’s why it’s tough to compare “era’s”. Rory is clearly the man now but he doesn’t win at the clip Tiger did and so the media has failed to ditch the “yeah, but…..” conversation

    • lannyh says:

      Okay, but that was like a lifetime ago. It’s 7 years from Woods’s last major. In two years, it will be the 20th anniversary of Woods’s biggest moment (for non golf fans, at any rate, and probably for many golf fans).

      I’m not disagreeing with your analysis, just saying that there has to be an expiration date on this All Tiger All The Time crap.

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