Day Four, Saturday: WGC Match Play Semi Live Blog

11:00 pm Update:  Well, that was interesting.  Let’s hope Nick and Gannon do the commentary.  I can’t believe NBC bailed on it.  I mean, they are they reason they started the rounds so late.  If the rounds had started earlier in the morning, the afternoon could have started earlier, and they could have played another hour or two.  Oh, well; it is what it is.  Finchem’s end of the TV contracts must say one thing:  How high?

I find it interesting that they’ll have to warm up fully to play perhaps one hole.  Then, one of them, play 18, or 36, more.

11:00 pm Update:  Wow, NBC isn’t even going to stay with this?  Hurry, Fox…

One intense match.  Might finish tomorrow.

10:35 pm Update:  Playoff time.  Both put their drives in the fairway.  Very intense match.

9:45 pm Update:  Seriously, what is NBC’s thinking?  They show Furyk 3-up with three holes to go.  Walking around, practicing his swing, lining up putts.  Then they switch to Rory and Casey, a competitive match, and give us the “while you were watching Furyk’s non-competitive match, this happened.”

8:50 pm Update:  What is it with NBC’s fetish with Woodland?  He’s up four freaking holes!  He ain’t gonna lose!  Let it drop to 2-up, please, before you inundate us with that.  Is it because Woodland is American?  So is Furyk, and he just won an event two weeks ago — and his match is all-square!  The commercials are becoming intolerable.  TBS shows fewer of them during a showing of “Iron Man” (or whatever), which is a 2-hour movie stretched to fit a four-hour time frame…

We see Casey hit an approach.  We see Rory hit an approach.  We have a three-minute commercial break.  We come back to a Players promo.  We watch Woodland putt.  We see Rory and Casey doing who the hell knows what who the hell knows where, but rest assured it was “this just earlier.”

8:30 pm Update:  Would it even be possible for NBC to be any worse?

First, Rory and J.P. are talking about how to play a hole from an adjoining hole’s green over some giant cypress trees.  Instead of letting us eavesdrop on that conversation, some idiot announcer talks loudly all over them.  Faldo would have said, “Hold on, let’s listen to them.”

Next, we get a five-minute rehash of the Keegan-Jimenez non-event — for what, the thirtieth time?

Then we get a US Bank “sports update.”  Followed a long promo of Tiger Woods sinking some putt he made a decade or two ago.

Oh, and commercials.  Plenty and plenty of commercials.  A shockingly high quantity of commercials.

After all these things, we get “this just earlier” treatment.  By the way, did NBC even show Rory and Casey putt on No. 6?  This is just horrible.  Four matches, one of which is a runaway, and NBC can’t maintain continuity?

And what’s the point of showing nothing of a hole and then saying, “Here’s Woodland to win the hole,” as he stands over and makes a three-footer.  Just say, “Woodland just won No. 12 to go 5-up.”  Don’t pretend you are covering it.  Same thing with showing Willett miss a four-footer, and then Fleetwood make a three-footer to win the hole.  You showed us NOTHING.  We can watch putts like those on the practice green.  Do you think showing guys raking their final putts in to the hole constitutes coverage?

This is honestly so bad some heads need to roll.  “Amateurish” is probably too kind.  Few are as golf-hungry as me, and I find this unwatchable.

7:00 pm Update:  Thoughts on Golf and Boxing, as Rory Prepares to Tee Off

I’m glad to see a boxing match getting a lot of attention.  I well remember Ali-Frazier and all the fights of that era.  I used to buy and read Ring magazine.

For all the hype, I honestly don’t think tonight’s fight comes anywhere near the excitement and interest level of the Muhammad Ali era.  And I think a lot of people would tell me that boxing was even bigger in the 1950’s.  Nevertheless, it’s good to see boxing getting the spotlight once again.

However, what is the rooting interest in tonight’s fight?  What draws people to one fighter and not the other?  I look at these four matches going on right now, and there are two of them which I care about a great deal.  I would like to see Tommy Fleetwood progress (even though I also like Willett).  And I would very much like to see Rory progress (and continue progressing).

It seems to me that the boxing match reached a tipping point and became a big deal because it was a big deal.  I don’t have a big point with this other than to say, if the fight were on television right now, and it were on for free, I still would not watch it.  I’d watch golf.  If I did watch any of it, it would only be because it was officially A Big Deal.

Something dawns on me: I forgot to watch the Kentucky Derby.  I would have if I had thought about it.  My mind is on golf.

5:30 pm Update:  Lanny H Golf is endorsing the following golfers for Saturday’s late matches:

  • Rory McIlroy
  • Tommy Fleetwood (the youngest man remaining)

I would also be endorsing Danny Willett, but, alas, he is playing Tommy Fleetwood.

Too bad about Rickie.  He played bravely to come back, but the stray shot on No. 18 did him in.  Would have been nice to still have him in the event.  But I’m a big Oostie fan, so it’s good to see him playing well again.

4:30 pm Update:  Rory breezing.  Will probably face Paul Casey in the afternoon round.  That worries me a bit, as Casey has been very solid lately.

24-year old Tommy Fleetwood advances.  Not to brag on myself, but…  well, read for yourself how I saw Fleetwood making this field well over a year ago.  By the way the article was entitled, “Why Jordan Spieth is Even Better Than You Think, and Other Monday Musings.”  Looks like I hit a couple of grand slam home runs with that piece.  But, like I said, I’m not bragging…

Speaking of Jordan Spieth, he is  lobbying for a change to the change.  If they don’t want straight match play, he suggests they do medal play prior to the final sixteen match play.  I wish they’d just go back to the old format.  No more top-seeded players made it through than any other year.  Perhaps fewer.  Twelve of the sixteen went 3-0.  Only 3 of 32 who lost in the first round progressed, so how much interest is retained in those guys, anyway?  Was all the idiotic confusion worth 10 percent of the first round losers advancing?

Look, we all know this was designed to keep Woods and Mickelson on TV.  (In the case of Mickelson, to get him to even enter.  Which it didn’t do.)  I give up.  Just have those guys trot out on the 72nd hole, make a putt and do their first pumps.  We’ll all just pretend they won.  Okay?

3:05 pm Update:  Nick Faldo and Terry Gannon are doing the coverage for this round!  Yeah!!  We won’t have to suffer through more of NBC’s ridiculous he-said-he-said nonsense.

2:40/2:55 pm Update:  Rory wins the first hole!!  (actually, it was the second…  he’s now one-up after three)

8:00 am: Lanny H Golf is endorsing the following golfers for Saturday’s early matches:

  • Rory McIlroy
  • Danny Willett

We would support Matsuyama, but he is facing Rory McIlroy.  We would support both Grace and Fleetwood, but, alas, they are facing each other.  The groups and matchups this year were particularly disappointing, with many of my favorite European Tour players placed together in the group stage, and now in the same bracket.

Don’t forget you can watch the replay of Rory’s incredible comeback against Billy Horschel this morning.  Yesterday’s broadcast is being repeated for the next 1-1/2 hours, leading up to Morning Drive.

Quick Rant:  Spotted a USA Today article entitled, “Jordan Spieth admits Rory McIlory is still the king of golf.”  “Admits” is the wrong word, as it has the connotation of earlier denial or coverup.  Jordan wasn’t running around claiming he was “king of golf” (whatever the hell that is).  Which of the following two headlines sounds nefarious?  “Senator Says Son Goes to Harvard.”  “Senator Admits Son Goes to Harvard.”

Quick Rant II:  I’m watching the Match Play replay this morning and can confirm NBC/GC show NONE of Rory’s 14th hole other than Rory’s missed par attempt.  He had just pulled to one back on No. 13, and then NBC just stops covering him so they can show Keegan and Jimenez’s irrelevant bitchfest.  Incredible.  It’s like showing two fans arguing in the stands during the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl.  NBC/GC needs to issue an apology.

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26 Responses to Day Four, Saturday: WGC Match Play Semi Live Blog

  1. Sports-realist2 says:

    Combination of the 24/7 coverage of each INDIVIDUAL sport, and the HEADLINE!!! I GOT A UNIQUE HEADLINE!!! really makes sports reporting/pregames more and more uninteresting to me….The Spieth headline is just another example of twisted reporting………..I really don’t care if some players call another player a bad word or flips his club or throws the ball somewhere…..This stuff has been going on since sports began, but the media shows every outburst, and acts like they’ve invented something new………..I loathe the MICROMANAGEMENT of players/coaches these days…..

  2. Jason says:

    This was an attempt by GC to bring a bit of WWE flare to the game of golf.

  3. Jaybird says:

    Rory/Woodland Final? Yes please.

    • lannyh says:

      Really? I’m not a Woodland fan for a shallow reason. He is the poster boy for “golf’s new athletes” (which I think is a bunch of bunk), and I’m sick of hearing the golf media push that narrative.

      • Jaybird says:

        Woodland is a Kansas boy as am I so that’s the biggest reason I pull for him.

  4. TruthTeller says:

    Nike getting some TV time this afternoon!

    • lannyh says:

      I hadn’t thought about that, but now that you mention it there have been a lot of swooshes, and not just from Rory. UA has ruled the roost of late, so this marks a turnabout.

  5. TruthTeller says:

    Game 7 of the NBA Western Conference first round will be on at the same time as the fight. I’ll be watching basketball and not just because it’s free.

  6. Sports-realist2 says:

    I guarantee you no one at the network wants Paul (one PGA tour win) Casey to beat Mcllroy….

    • lannyh says:

      Yeah, same with Westwood over Spieth. With Rickie out, if Rory exits, who are they going to push?

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        really surprised Rory hasn’t worked out a backup swing for his iron shots….So far it just seems like he tries an abbreviated draw swing, instead of a full draw swing….And why can Furyk SUDDENLY play match play, when he’s sucked time after time in Ryder Cup….

  7. Sports-realist2 says:

    i will never buy a cadillac after all there bizarre commercials….very poor taste..

  8. TruthTeller says:

    Not much excitement overall as the three matches that have been completed were all 4 up with something to play or worse.

  9. Jaybird says:

    Dick move by Rory not giving that 20 incher.

    • Sports-realist2 says:

      not really, I’ve played plenty of match play style events….It’s a strategy…if you can make the other person mad about having to make a short putt, it can make you focus on being mad, instead of playing proper golf…Plus you’ve seen a few of those missed in this event…..

  10. TruthTeller says:

    Rory has this in the bag; and the media rejoices.

  11. Sports-realist2 says:

    Ok, these sports updates can kiss all of our behinds…..

  12. TruthTeller says:

    Miller says they can’t play beyond this hole due to darkness and on cue Casey sprays it right giving Rory the win. Too funny.

  13. Sports-realist2 says:

    How many putts can Rory leave out to the right? Up hill only 6 footer, just hit it harder and take out some of the break…..

    • Sports-realist2 says:

      First hole at 6:45 a.m., you start on a par 3….

      • lannyh says:

        It’s going to be weird. Last thing like this I remember is when Paula Creamer (I think it was) played (the same hole) about five times until it got dark. They reconvened the next morning, and she lost on first go-round. It was a weird playoff hole in that the pin was in a sucker location, so neither woman wanted to go for the pin. So they aimed for center of green and had an easy two-putt.

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