Saturday, Day Three: Irish Open, Byron Nelson; Golf Channel Layoffs Discussion

7:05 pm Update:  I’ve been watching this young guy today, Jordan Spieth; if he ever learns to putt, he could dominate.  He’s had shortish birdie putts all day, but nothing is falling.

3:10 pm Update:  Looking better…  Looks like the Byron Nelson will finish tomorrow after all, providing the rain stays away as predicted.  I think they may get the full round in today.  We’re only three weeks away from the summer solstice, and Dallas is pretty far west in the Central Time Zone, meaning the sun will be up pretty late by the clock.  3:10 pm tee time for the final group.  I think they’ll get it in.

I got a kick out of amateur Austin Connelly’s interview and first hole coverage.  I hope they show him some more.  Guys like him so go against the golf media’s idiotic meme of “golf’s new athletes.”  In the future, pro golfers will all have Lebron James bodies.  Yeah, right.

What a crap day for golf…  Okay, I’m tossing in the towel.  I can’t find a single thing to keep me interested in golf today.  With Spieth unlikely to tee it up and none of my favorites anywhere near the top at the Irish Open, I give up.  Actually, I gave up when Fowler had a twelve-footer for eagle but three-putted.

The Silence of the Woods:  What’s that Sherlock Holmes story about the dog that didn’t back in the night?  Silver Blaze?  I’m reminded of that by the silence from the Woods camp in these days leading up to Woods’s next appearance at Memorial in five days.  The Golf Channel has been relatively quiet, and not even Kyle Porter has found anything worth mentioning.

Is it Nike telling Woods and Steinberg to cool it until Rory’s Irish Open is completed?  Is Woods injured again?  Playing like crap again/still?  Has the media finally turned the page?

Whatever the case, the dog that always barks in the night isn’t barking.

8:40 am Update:  The PGA Tour Twitter account’s most recent tweet was 9 hours ago.  The don’t feel the need to provide an update this morning?

8:25 am: On tap for today…  Irish Open live coverage begins in five minutes.  Fowler has teed off and is  moving in the wrong direction: +1 for two holes.  I’m not sure how the early weather will compare to the late weather, but some early movers include Pepperell and last week’s winner, An.  A lot will be determined by how the course plays for the leaders this afternoon.  Fowler needs to turn it around, to spice up the leaderboard a bit.  He’s not out of it by any means, but he’ll need to turn around today’s slow start.

In Dallas… what’s the weather look like…  well, let’s see, first off, players were supposed to resume incomplete rounds at 8:00 am EDT…  Looking at the radar, I can’t imagine that happened…  weather.com thinks it is going to rain until noon.  Lanny’s Call:  They’ll probably complete the second round today, so they can perform the cut, but I can’t imagine much beyond that.  Sunday and Monday look pretty decent in the forecast and might both be dry.  They may just go with a Sunday/Monday finish.

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34 Responses to Saturday, Day Three: Irish Open, Byron Nelson; Golf Channel Layoffs Discussion

  1. JoseyWales says:

    Lanny…I think the Golf Channel is undergoing some fundamental changes in philosophy and programming. They are moving more toward live events and away form junk like the Big Break. This week they announced the lay off of 30 employees in Orlando Hdqtrs. They see the handwriting on the wall that they can only milk the Tiger cash cow to a point and people get fed up. They hyped and promoted “25 Straight Days of Live Golf”…the NCAA women’s tourney….unprecedented for GC. Jimmy Roberts type canned stuff is on the way out. I see major programming changes coming.

    • lannyh says:

      You brightened my day. I will have to go read about the layoffs. Very interesting.

      I’m loving all the live coverage.

    • lannyh says:

      I just read a Golfweek article on the layoffs. That sounds promising. I’ve never been a fan of the Big Break stuff. In all the years they’ve shown it, I don’t think I’ve seen an hour of it, all combined. The serious documentaries (Payne, Arnie) are great, and I love rebroadcasts of old events. This really sounds encouraging.

      I have one idea I’ll give them for free. Remember the story about how the popular 1980’s television series Miami Vice came into being? Some guy wrote cops/MTV on a piece of paper. My idea for Golf Channel: classic golf tournaments/MST 3000.

      I don’t mean they should play it for gags, though. They could comment on things like the distances and debate whether golf was better before equipment got out of hand. (That might not be popular with advertisers, though.) They could comment on fan behavior. There are a ton of topics that would be of interest. They could do events from courses which are soon to host a major, so fans could learn (or re-learn) the courses prior to the event. Agronomy then vs. now. Show Trevino and how he would chat with the galleries. I’m not as big on Ferherty as some, but he’d be a natural for such a program. Chamblee and Nobilo for more serious criticism.

      Speaking of Nobilo, I’d love to hear him talk through a replay of Woods at St. Andrews, knowing what we now know about the Rock Ishii ball Woods was using.

      • Rockii says:

        Found a Reuter’s article where Nobilo is quoted as saying, “”Only a handful of guys had gone to the solid ball. The rest of us all thought a wound ball was better.”

        That doesn’t sound like guys didn’t have access. That sounds like guys thought it was inferior.

      • lannyh says:

        Right, they didn’t know about the advances Rock Ishii made. By the next year on Tour, they did, and they all played the ball.

        Now comes the part where you’ll say, “Nothing illegal about using that ball. Tiger was just smart.” No one said it was illegal. I’m just pointing out that his “domination” at Pebble Beach and St. Andrews, and win at the PGA Championship, were due to the fact that he played a ball no one else was playing (or had access to) in the case of players with golf ball sponsorships.

        No cheating. If it were cheating, they’d revoke them. No cheating, but they are tainted victories. To paraphrase someone or other: Let the legend shrivel.

      • Rockii says:

        I’ll also point out that the same article referenced Stuart Appleby going to a solid core ball in ’95.

        From the article,
        Stuart Appleby was one of the first pros to use a solid ball, back in 1995, and says it was immediately obvious how much more stable and consistent it was in its flight.

        Seems the technology had been around for a little while. When TW dominated with it, the other players decided to pay attention.

      • lannyh says:

        You just can’t accept the facts. Solid core balls have been around a long time, but they sucked. They were okay for amateurs (and more durable), but they weren’t consistent enough for the PGA Tour players. Rock Ishii labeled his new ball “transformational.”

        And Appleby isn’t even mentioned in the article I posted.

      • lannyh says:

        Do you not remember what huge deal it was when the Pro V1 was released? Avg Tour driving distance took a big leap.

      • lannyh says:

        I don’t mean to be a jerk, but at some point, you just have to accept that he was playing a ball the other players didn’t have until the following year.

      • Rockii says:

        No, he was playing a ball nobody else wanted to play.

        Besides, at the end of the day it comes down to putting so all these distance and accuracy advantage claims are all bullshit anyway.

      • lannyh says:

        You are in denial. You can look at the PGA Tour stats and see average driving distance took a big jump in 2001. And Rock Ishii just invented the ball in 2000. Woods didn’t even have it until he was in Europe at the Euro PGA Championship. He first used it at Memorial. It was brand new!

        You can choose to pretend Woods didn’t have a big golf ball advantage the second half of 2000, but that’s all it is, pretending.

      • Rockii says:

        “Rock Ishii just invented the ball in 2000″…..Really?

        What about the solid core technology that was around in 1995?

        Fact is, there are guys that can hit it 350+ all day long that can’t break 80. In 2000, Tiger was top 3 in both putting average and scrambling. All that distance must have been a huge advantage.

        Just like Rory enjoys his huge distance advantage.

      • lannyh says:

        Again, the two-piece solid core balls were not consistent enough to use on the PGA Tour. Rock Ishii made them consistent. That was his “transformational” contribution.

    • lannyh says:

      I wonder if Golf Channel’s move away from Woods is an early warning that the Biogenesis is about to hit the fan…

      Or maybe something is about to come out regarding the Vonn split which is not flattering for Woods.

      It’s odd that Nantz just did a promo for Memorial and never even mentioned Woods.

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        I noticed that too Lanny, it showed Jack talking to an Asian player, when they would have normally showed Eldrick…..I also noticed when they showed NOTABLES, they put Woods on the very bottom of the list……Now IF there is something going on behind the scenes, why would that affect how NBC/golf channel/CBS plugs and pushes their USUAL guy?

        IF Steinberg is able to tell the networks to LAY LOW with the Eldrick coverage, for x-reasons, doesn’t that say how RIGGED these networks have become? Did all the network heads get together and have a GOLF REALITY PURGE MEETING? Since both CBS and NBC seem to be ignoring Eldrick for the Memorial—-‘so far’ being the key phrase……

        I’ve never bothered checking the golf channel ratings with their shows vs the golf events, but I don’t watch most of their programming, and all their PREGAME is just like watching paint dry…….They are well overdo to change formats….Does it say WHICH 30 employees were removed? Were these from their side-shows? Hopefully they fired Steve Sands and realized all these interviews are stupid—-we can only hope..

      • lannyh says:

        Haha, I wouldn’t bet on Sands getting canned; they need his insightful questions. (Justin Thomas has a great comment I’m going to write up soon from the recent NLU podcast interview.)

        It sounded like the reality show stuff. They said Big Break was going on hiatus, and they even mentioned this Alternate Course thing they’ve been promoting so much lately. They said they would air it, but it would be examined for cost effectiveness, too. Here’s the link.

        You know, it was not that long ago that the golf media went all ga-ga when Woods “released his schedule” — which basically was a promo for Greenbrier, if you ask me. I think that was pre-Vonn split. They were still all on-board then, it appeared. But, this lack of Woods promo’ing right now is, frankly, unprecedented.

    • Rockii says:

      Final word. You are putting way too much emphasis on the performance of a golf ball. Whether a player hits it 250 or 300, the name of the game is getting it in the hole and that comes down to putting.

      I’m no tour player but I’ve had my share of par and under par rounds…..and I’ve done it with everything from Pinnacle’s and Top Flite’s, all the way up to your Pro V1’s and damn near everything in between. You and Nobilo are giving way too much credit to the golf ball.

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        So then by that logic, why did Eldrick use that NEW ball at all then, SINCE as you say, it doesn’t make much difference…Point is it had to make a BIG difference or Eldrick wouldnt have switched…Remember many of the courses had not upgraded to catch up to the equipment till the early 2000’s…..Since PGA players don’t use the wound ball anymore, we know there was a substantial difference in distance and feel….If it didn’t, then no one would have switched….
        This could be the similar argument of ‘WHY DO PROS NO LONGER USE THE TRUE WOODEN CLUBS INSTEAD OF THE METAL CLUBS anymore?’ After all Jack and Arnie used TRUE wooden clubs and had alot of success…..

  2. JoseyWales says:

    The Golf Channel is at a crossroads with Tiger Woods. When one person has dominated your coverage for 20 years, it will be difficult and painful for them to get off the gravy train and take a new (sensible) approach to covering golf.

  3. JoseyWales says:

    The Golf Channel staff who were fired worked in programming…specifically the pre-recorded programming such as Big Break. “The Big Break” show has been suspended.
    Keep your eye on Morning Drive to see if changes are in the works at that venue. That show has lost its verve and has become tiresome.

    • RealityTV says:

      Like all reality tv, the first handful of seasons (up to say 4 or 5 at the most) are actually pretty decent. And then it’s all down hill from there. Admittedly, I watched the first few seasons of Big Break as it was pretty good but after a few seasons, it plummeted.

      Speaking of Big Break, Tommy Two Gloves anyone?!

      • lannyh says:

        You know, I didn’t know Tommy Two Gloves had been on Big Break for quite some time. Same with Matt Every. To be honest, I didn’t like them as much once I found out. That’s not fair of me, I know, because golf is a game where you have to prove it on the course no matter how much publicity you might get.

      • RealityTV says:

        Interesting. Two Gloves was actually on two seasons. First time around he was cut early. Second time he won. And now he has a PGA tour victory. F that guy.

      • lannyh says:

        I want to take credit for the nickname Tommy Two Gloves. This is my take…

        The golf broadcasters always referred to him as Two-Gloves Gainey. I thought Tommy Two Gloves sounded better because it was similar to Tommy Tutone (867-5309). I started writing that here at this website. The rest is history.

    • lannyh says:

      Good description of Morning Drive. I think Kuselias, whether or not he was the perfect fit, added an edge to the program that is completely gone now. I remember him saying that he felt Rory was the best player in the game, not Woods, and that was quite some time ago. At the time that was a bit of a rebellious thing to day. They really need an anti-Woods guy, although, in reality, Woods isn’t relevant enough any more for that to work as effectively as it would have five years ago.

      I’d like to see some guys who harbor strong opinions and aren’t afraid to ruffle feathers. Not “being controversial” for the sake of being controversial, but someone who doesn’t walk on eggshells. And for it to be okay for there not to even be a “majority opinion.” They don’t all have to kiss and make up. Can they not have ONE guy who blasts the equipment manufacturers?

      • RealityTV says:

        Also interesting. You dislike TW in part because of his womanizing ways and yet you like Kuselias who had similar womanizing tendencies.

      • lannyh says:

        That’s grasping at straws. I never saw a Kuselias family Glamour Photo shot (including the fluffy dog!) or Kuselias doing an Accenture commercial where he was reading a bedtime story to his daughter. And I seem to have forgotten the “I am Eric Kuselias” ad campaign.

        Woods apologists are the kings of “this is exactly like” for things that are hardly alike at all.

      • RealityTV says:

        So Tiger is at, say, level 20. Kuselias is at, say, 10. So he’s good to go.

      • Kris says:

        Kuselias would always talk about his family like they were still together during the front 9. The only reason he ended up at the Golf Channel was because he got canned from ESPN for sexual harassment. Now he’s married to Holly Sonders who is at least 15 years his junior. He’s a disgusting human being. I thought he was an ignorant blowhard before I knew anything about his past. I should have known he had a shady past when he agreed with the PGA Tour’s decision not to announce fines and suspensions. I was glad when he got demoted to a basement in Connecticut. However, comparing Tiger Woods and Erik Kuselias is like comparing rotting apples to rotting oranges, though. Kuselias is small potatoes compared to Woods.

        They ruined morning drive when they turned it into a “Today Show” style morning show. Back when it was a radio show style show it was full of dissenting opinions and random fun. Essentially, it went mainstream and they were no longer allowed to be individuals. They need to downsize morning drive and bring back the 19th hole. That was the only place to hear honesty on the Golf Channel. If they really are starting to ignore Tiger Woods, I can’t wait to find out the reason.

      • lannyh says:

        Thanks. I’ll go read his version. I wish his website allowed comments, but I guess they are going in another direction.

  4. Sports-realist2 says:

    Level 20? Level 20 what….Eldrick seems like a really dull person…Seriously..He likes to screw, golf, and screw(paraphrasing blazing saddles)….After that, he probably stares at the wall…..

  5. Anonymous says:

    It’s kind of hilarious watching these guys walking around with water and mud up to their knees on their pant legs.

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