Final Update: Golf Channel’s Dumbest Ever
I have heard this three or four times now… Golf Channel saying, “If Jordan Spieth weren’t 12 shots ahead of Woods, and Hoffman not 7, the buzz would be about Tiger being in the hunt.” Talk about grasping at straws. Sad, but funny. They are in Monty Python skit territory. Would you like some Tiger with your Tiger? Or, He’s not 12 shots back, he’s pining for the fjords.”
When Woods was playing so well in 1997, do you remember how the golf media being consumed with who, if Woods weren’t leading by so much, the “buzz” would be about?
Not to mention that Rory is tied with Woods, and Rory is going for three majors in a row.
7:15 pm Update: It’s on!!!
If they play twosomes, Sergio and Tiger will be paired!
5:00 pm Update: ALERT ALERT ALERT!!!
50-50 chance of Sergio and Tiger being paired tomorrow!
Woods might be playing with another of his “good friends” this weekend. It depends on if there is a one-man shift (when all is said and done). If one guy moves up (from -2 to -3), or one guy moves down (from -3 to -2), they would be paired. If two move, they won’t. If three move, they will. And so on.
Hack Attack: Damon Hack, on Morning Drive, informs the world that Tiger Woods’s chipping yesterday was “shockingly good.” Was it because of the chip-ins? Holing shots from bunkers? The Dubuisson-like saves from cacti? What exactly was shockingly good about it?
Golf Media’s Worst Nightmare? Woods wasn’t competitive, but neither did he throw up on himself. How the hell can the media make a mountain out of that molehill?
CBSPN: Faldo and Nantz are ESPN?
Shout, Shout, Let It All Out: Was there any screaming at all? I remember hearing a few “nice shot” comments — after actual nice shots. But I don’t recall any tee box idiots screaming, or any greenside idiots screaming. I’m going to deliberately monitor today.
Ernie Els, Weather He Can Win: With the weather threatening to interrupt play, Ernie Els has a great draw, with today’s early tee time. He will almost assuredly get his entire round in today, and might remain dry for most of it. I suppose, on the other side, you could say wet greens might be more receptive than they are right now. An aside: Ernie took the time to stop numerous times to sign autographs on his walk to the first tee.
SI/Golf Live Blog: I found it very disappointing. They moderate the comments, and they do so in a bizarre manner. Here’s my take on their moderation:
- Sergio looked like he farted after that shot. (approved)
- Farted? More like dropped a load in his pants. (approved)
- LOL — It must really stink now. (approved)
- Do you think the media short-changed Rory on the amount of pre-tournament coverage he got? (deleted)
- Does Sergio fart in Spanish or English? (approved)
- LOL (approved)
I expected a place for fans to interact with the media (rosy remembrance?), but it is more a place for low-brow people to exchange “wit” with other low-brow people. As if there aren’t already enough places on the Internet for that.
Crayon-Toting Golf Media: On one level, I understand what they are trying to do. They are trying to “introduce the characters” and make them memorable to the public in the manner of a novelist or screenwriter. But I don’t think golf fans, in general, are as stupid as other sports fans; we’re capable of more nuance and subtlety. We’re several levels beyond I-Love-Tebow vs I-Hate-Tebow. Anyway, let me not stray off-point here.
The golf media tries to neatly summarize “useful” golfers with one or two tags. One example: Rickie Fowler is fancy clothes; kids like him; to a lesser extent nowadays, extreme sports. That’s pretty much it. For “hard reporting” on Fowler, it’s “always competes in majors; inveterate top-five finisher” (based on last year).
Consider Spieth: Somehow, our wonderful golf media decided these things about him: he lacks distance; he has no particular strong suit, he’s just solid all-around. There are a couple of problems with that. Spieth is not a short hitter. I pointed out a few days ago that a Tour Insider participant compared Spieth to Zach Johnson (who truly is a short hitter). The host at the SI/Golf live blog yesterday referred to Spieth as a short hitter. Problem is, Spieth is in the top 25 percent of PGA Tour pros in driving distance.
As for the solid, all-around game meme, that’s true to the extent that Spieth has no glaring weakness. However, there’s been a lot of discussion right here about what a spectacular putter Spieth is. (Gary Player, on Morning Drive today, labeled Spieth’s putting “spectacular.”) Spieth ranks 5th on Strokes Gained Putting. Rory was 3rd in long-driving last year (he does not yet have enough drives this year to be ranked), and that’s damn near all the media talks about.
Anyway, the main point is how the golf media doesn’t do any research or thinking for itself. They just repeat ad nauseam what someone else said or wrote or tweeted. Even when it’s wrong.
More From Gary: Gary Player gave the best interview ever. He has such a matter-of-fact demeanor, with honesty the only arbitor. If I can find a replay of his interview online, I’ll transcribe it. His comments about rolling back the ball (“slow the ball down,” I think is how he put it) were what jumped out. It’s such an obvious solution to many of golf’s ills, but it won’t be addressed due to the stubbornness (I think that was his word) of the powers-that-be. I really hope I can find this interview online, either as video or a transcription.
He also said, apropos of both Spieth and slowing the ball down, “straightness in golf not being rewarded in golf the way it should be.”
Tiger vs Tebow: What happened more recently, Tiger Woods won a major, or Tim Tebow won a playoff game? It’s no contest. Tebow won the playoff game in 2012. Woods last won a major in 2008. As much of a “needle mover” as Tebow was — that playoff game drew nearly double the television rating of the 1997 Masters — NFL reporters were able to move on. Also, needle-mover that Tebow was, the football media was certainly unafraid to criticize him. Obviously, the golf media could learn a lot from them.
The Cut: I hope Spieth goes low again today, to limit the cut to the top 44 players. There’s a better chance the “distraction players” won’t be around for the weekend. Nothing against Woods, but I really don’t want Masters weekend marred by, “The leaders are flying under the radar because we, the golf media, AKA ‘the radar,’ refuse to discuss anything but Tiger.”
Huff and Puff: Have you ever seen a four-year-old pick up something “heavy”? He will puff his cheeks out and make a great show of how much effort he is expending to accomplish this great feat. Compare to Woods’s dramatic displays every time he hits a ball out of heavy rough.