Sunday Quicken Loans Semi Live Blog

Final Wrap:  There’s a point where I can’t root against “The Unknown.”  If Rickie wanted to catch him early, fine, but I didn’t want to see Merritt collapse at the end.  Great life-changing performance, and a great champion, Troy Merritt!

Nice backdoor top ten by Justin Thomas.  Ollie Schniederjans beat Woods by a shot, but won’t garner enough of a point differential to make up much ground on Woods.  Woods will pick up an honest OWGR point or two.  Ryo finished 10th; a solid performance, but not what he wanted after the first two days.

4:00 pm  Lanny H Does It Again!!!

Yesterday, I wrote this:

You’d think the danged HOST of the event would grant an interview, or, frankly, go up in the booth for an extended chat with Nick and Terry.

Today, Tiger Woods is in the booth during the telecast!

11:00 am: I wonder if the Pay To Watch PGA Tour stream means they will do a Tiger Only broadcast every week.  If so, that would be great in that the networks could ignore Woods when he’s a non-factor.  If people want Woods, they can pay for the stream, and the networks can focus on the players in contention.

10:45 am: Twitter Tiger Tracker is covering Woods’s round for those who wish to follow.  It can be pretty funny when Woods plays poorly.  I wonder if it will return next year.  They really need to replace it with a GC Leaders Tracker.  By the way, both of Woods’s head-t0-head betting matchup players (that I saw, Bohn and CHIII) beat him by seven yesterday.

FYI: The Women’s British Open is on ESPN2.

9:30 am: Stray Thoughts

  • With “Altered Course” ending tomorrow, Golf Channel will be out of the reality show business.  What will this mean?  How will they fill up their prime time?  I hope they return to showing classic tournaments, and maybe a return to a Peter Kessler-style live call-in show?  Let us call in and ask about the “unknowns,” but also let us ask about Rock Ishii and Woods’s 2000 “dominance,” and, yes, Galea and Biogenesis.  Let us have golf programming for, you know, adults.
  • No mention of Ollie Schniederjans on Morning Drive this morning.  He’s making his second appearance as a pro and sits T-14, four back.  He played the Canadian Open and moved from #451 to #410.  A good finish this week, and he’ll continue to climb.  He started the year outside the top 1000.  Is he not worthy of discussion?  A top five would push him into the top 250 and likely lift him above Woods.  He’d already be near the top 100 if he had more starts (and maintained the same standard of play), as right now his divisor is 40 when he only has 8 counting events!
  • Does Morning Drive have trouble getting pros to appear?  Why don’t they have Tour pros regularly doing call-ins?  It seems like they’ll have a string of rookies appear in person on the show, but if an established player appears, you can be sure he is pushing a product or charity event.  Contrast to NFL and NBA players who call into national sports talk shows all the time.  They also call in to local sports talk shows, often those in the home market of the college school they played for.  They are very outspoken, too; I’m surprised at their willingness to address timely topics.  Also, I hear baseball players, including pitchers, call in at night after they played a game!  Why not have PGA Tour players do the same?  How much trouble is it to pick up a phone and talk for five minutes?
  • I don’t know why, but the player that reminds me of the old days the most is Johnny Miller.  When I see footage of Johnny Miller, I’m immediately back in golf’s Golden Age.  Maybe it’s because Miller’s period of top play was relatively short.

9:00 am:  A segment on the Senior Tour event.  I’ve said it many times: Senior Tour events are fantastic to attend in person, but I don’t have much interest in watching on television.

They play Hendrix’s version of All Along the Watchtower on the fadeout.  “There must be some kind of way out of here, said the joker to the thief.”  A subliminal message about the future of Morning Drive?

They return to talk about the Women’s British Open.  Very little talk about the Women’s Open this week, in the scheme of things.  I haven’t gotten very interested.  It occurs to me that it is probably on an alternate network.  Or is it not even being broadcast?  I’d watch a little of it if I knew when/where/if it was on.  Lydia Ko is in the hunt, so they have a solid storyline.  They seem to only like American Amazon Women With Blonde Hair.

Great News!  Tomorrow is the season finale of Altered Course.  This means the end of all Golf Channel’s reality shows.  Yay!  More on that in a moment.

They conclude with a standing roundtable where they all make picks for the Quicken Loans.  The show ends.

8:45 am:  This segment begins with some kind of “psychology of Tour pros” thing.  I’m not sure of the point, but it does give Charlie a chance to joke about his past playing days.  I found it amusing and entertaining in the way in the way it is when Golic trades mild gibes with Greenie on Mike and Mike.  I’m sure it was scripted, but it came across as improvised, the kind of give-and-take you see on a show like Mike and Mike.

8:30 am:  After the break, I return to find Paige and Charlie analyzing a shot of Tiger Woods.  They continue and show some other players.  I’m not a fan of these morning drive tips.  They have entire shows devoted to improving your swing, so this seems to merely take time away they could be discussing up-and-coming players.

Okay, they just ran an uninterrupted clip of Lee Trevino, playing with Player and Nicklaus (and Miller?), telling a story about how he used to carry a .38 in his bag, and one day a guy saw it and asked about it, and then Player make another joke, and then Nicklaus said, “Okay, guys, back to golf.”  Trevino turns around, hits the ball after about five seconds — holing it from the fairway.

8:15 am:  The second topic was the Women’s British Open.  With Tiger Woods falling apart, suddently the PGA Tour event is an afterthought.  I wonder how the show would have gone had Woods shot 3-under instead of 3-over?  Rickie Fowler, who won the strongest tournament of the year to date, being one back doesn’t rate a mention in the first ten minutes?

So, they finally mention Rickie.  AFTER they mention Tiger Woods.

After the commercial break, they show Woods highlights, including an extended reaction shot.  Now, they go to a live-from-the-course report from Todd Lewis to discuss Woods.  They show more Woods highlights while Lewis repeats the meme about Woods “not carrying it from the range to the course.”  Then he tells us a human interest story about Woods going to the cookout of a “high-profile” player, and tells us Woods has undergone a personality shift from four or five years ago.  (Lack of steroids?)  All during that discussion, they ran Woods highlights.

Finally they show and discuss Rickie for about 45 seconds.  Merritt and Chappell get quick treatment, with no video highlights.  Okay, here come the video highlights.  Two or three quick ones of orange-pants-wearing Merritt.

Gary Williams mentions the tangerine togs Merritt was “rockin'” yesterday.  (That’s one of my banned words for golf reporters.  I’ll post the current list after the show.)

8:00 am:  Morning Drive starts, delayed 30 minutes by a live coverage overrun.  It looks like they have a full house.  Damon, Cara, Gary Williams, Paige, Charlie Rymer.

They start with three or four minutes of conversation about the Euro event that ran long.  Aphibarnrat will meet Howell in the finals, starting in an hour.  Wow, how long until they start talking about Tiger Woods, and how they are never going to obsess over him again?

7:50 am Update: Live Blogging Morning Drive

I will live blog Morning Drive when it begins.  I think today will be the day they announce they will no longer be carrying the water for Tiger Woods.  They’ll admit he’s 40 years old, his career was overhyped, and apologize for their past decade of obsession.  They will say they are embarrassed by it and assure us that the responsible people have been fired.  Stay tuned!

On the Range:  I keep hearing, “Tiger’s problem is he can’t take his swing from the range to the course.  He’s hitting it great on the range.”  But I wonder.  I remember a day at a major where they had Shot Tracker set up on the range.  Maybe it was the U.S. Open, because I remember Rory being one of the players.  Rory was hitting shot after shot with the same club, and they all had the same pattern, an ever-so-slight draw, every shot looking the same.  They switched to Woods and he was hitting the same club each time, too, but his patterns were substantially different each time.  Now, it’s possible he was mixing it up, hitting a low draw, followed by a higher draw, followed by a straight ball, all with slightly more/less draw/fade.  But, if that is the case, how would the golf writers know if he was hitting them like he wanted?

Maybe they mean he is hitting drive after drive without a big right miss, or a big duck hook.  But that isn’t that odd, even for casual golfers.  If I hit ten drivers in a row on the range– and I’m a very pedestrian golfer — most of them are good.  I get into a rhythm, and even with my awful swing, I get loose and start smacking them pretty good (by my standard).  But on the course where you hit a driver about once every 15 minutes, with putts and chips and irons in between, I miss big, wide fairways.

There’s been so much false information about Tiger Woods, I’m skeptical.  Combine that with what I saw on Shot Tracker, and I’m very skeptical.

Feeling Sorry:  Someone said yesterday they couldn’t help feeling sorry for Tiger Woods.  I replied that I didn’t feel sorry for him, and I stand by that.  He brought most of his problems on himself, and in the scheme of things, he’s better off materially than most of us can even imagine.

However, I do feel sorry for some of his fans.  For instance, I saw a black kid with a black man, who had obviously taken the boy to the tournament.  They were, not surprisingly, following Woods.  At first, I assumed the guy was the kid’s dad, but he looked a little older, so I decided it was more likely his grandfather.  Either way, I thought about how they were probably all keyed up about Woods being in the hunt, and they discussed it the night before, and they discussed it that morning, and as they drove the course, etc.

Anyway, I do find myself feeling sorry for those guys.

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48 Responses to Sunday Quicken Loans Semi Live Blog

  1. Sports-realist2 says:

    The CULT Channel is at it again ey?
    –Ofcourse there isn’t enough alcohol in the world, for me to watch Charlie Rymer for more than 2 minutes at a time…
    –Even if these Morning Drive guys were at a bar talking, they’d still be the MOST boring people in the room..
    —Eldrick is back to his LIMITED coverage on Sunday, being mostly done when the MAIN coverage starts….As the heavens open up, and the light shineth down, Eldrick is chipping out of the parking lot on the 18th, for the greatest double bogey the world has EVER seen…

    –The PROPAGANDA, and it is propaganda of the so called ‘RANGE to the COURSE’ nonsense, only works for a few rounds….You can’t keep using that tournament after tournament…..
    OR maybe Eldrick is the most amazing RANGE hitter, we’ve ever seen…..We really should just cancel the PGA event and just award the WINNER of the RANGE……Since world rankings no longer matter, no longer should the events themselves, and RANGE TIME should earn you OWGR points…..

    • lannyh says:

      Don’t give them any ideas. Soon, they’ll have judges on the ranging scoring the players. Williams and Tilghman and Hack will be holding up “10” cards for Woods every week.

      Headline: “Tiger Woods wins 19th major with near-perfect 9.97.”

    • Bird says:

      “Since world rankings no longer matter, no longer should the events themselves, and RANGE TIME should earn you OWGR points…..”

      I like that idea.
      I’m waiting for my range credit, too. A couple of Grand Slams (One in one year!).

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        Yeah, if you work really hard, you MIGHT get the ‘Calendar Range Grand Slam’ all in the same year……

    • Frodo says:

      Rymer must be the biggest arsehole on earth

  2. Sports-realist2 says:

    Well the circus sideshow is almost over…..The Cult Channel(formerly known as the golf channel) doing their usual, “well if he only hit 12 more fairways, hit 9 more better wedge shots, and hit 3 less balls in the water”…………..And if I had wings, I could, well you know…

    • Ken says:

      I wonder how many guys are like me. I love playing and watching golf. But if there’s a chance of having to watch them obsess over Woods, I don’t turn it on. Didn’t watch any of it yesterday. Will probably tune in later today. I can’t stand him and the fawning over him.

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        Well the cult channel is totally disrespectful to the rest of the golfers….They usurped the LEADERS announcement of their, to just show a pointless Eldrick birdie(yes an actual birdie)…..
        These people are disgusting…There is a reason why there ratings are getting lower and lower….

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        I RARELY watch the golf channel 1-2:30 show anymore, esp when Eldrick is playing, because unless you like Eldrick, you will NOT care for the coverage…..It’s totally centered on one golfer who won’t factor….It’s just NOT interesting…..
        Like I’ve said before, do the FAIR WEATHER fans really tune in to the golf channel to watch this? I doubt it….Fair weather fans just look at a leaderboard, and don’t see him anywhere, and change the channel….
        And my gosh, the half hour in between the cult channel and a major network’s coverage might as well be called the “Eldrick Show” when he plays….I can’t believe Fair Weather fans turn into that either……So those ratings, for that half hour, I would think, would be EXTREMELY low…..

      • lannyh says:

        My guess would be that they think those fair weather fans are flipping channels and hear “Tiger Woods,” and they might wonder, “Oh, is he in contention?” They might get a person to stay tuned and even sit through a battery of commercials while waiting to find out.

      • lannyh says:

        I don’t think they care if I watch. I watch so much golf, anyway, that I’ve seen every commercial twenty times, and I am past the age where my buying decisions are much influenced by ads, anyway. I think they love the 18-49 demographic.

        But when Woods is “in the hunt,” I turn it off. It’s been a pretty long time, though, since I had to do that.

        I really do sense a change. Of course, they can’t continue to focus on a guy whose best result in two years is T17. And people are really starting to get interested in Jordan Spieth. He’s guaranteed to be ahead of Woods’s major pace for the next eight majors.

        I think everyone is getting tired of Woods. Some probably enjoy going to websites to “choose a side and argue,” but CBS can’t have more than two or three Tiger Only types still showing up.

        I monitored the Twitter Tiger Tracker a little bit today, and that guy made like the bare minimum of tweets, and he got very few replies to the ones he wrote. It’s almost like picking any random middle-of-the-pack golfer and agreeing to all obsess over him.

    • lannyh says:

      Yeah, and the thing is, any golf fan knows, you can say those things about every round of golf by every player. If I could replay my triple-bogey holes, I might have a single-digit handicap. You can take any of the “unknowns” who will tie Woods this week, and go over their results, day by day, hole by hole, and show how they are “almost there.”

      • Bird says:

        Excuses have always been a part of Messiah’s arsenal, as they are for most golfers, amateur and professional. Most of the greats, however, were above fish stories and processes. They either kept shortcomings to themselves or were perfectly frank about them.

        Early career, it was that Messiah didn’t have his A-game.

        Mid career, poor scores were freaks of nature. There was no question that his superiority would rule the day, injuries or no injuries. Heaping helpings of narcissism was well known by now.

        Late career, before and aft the wife’s short-iron attack, the downfall on all fronts was increasingly apparent. A one season respite of regular tournament wins was but a talented athlete’s last gasp.

        Glutes, reps, processes, no longer matter.

      • lannyh says:

        Great point about early Woods and his A-game. The meme was that if Woods had his “A-game,” he would win. No thought was given to the fact that you can have your A-game and get bad breaks and not even come close. Golf is a game of luck and percentages, in addition to talent.

  3. GolfPro says:

    There is definitely something to the Range to Course idea. One of the last events Tiger played they showed a split screen of him on the range and him on the course. Swings barely resembled each other. When you see him on the range, things are smooth; “effortless” if you will. On the course? It looks forced. Has a “trying to guide it” look.

    • Ken says:

      I’ve never talked to anyone who claims to hit it as well on course as they do at the range.

      Anyone can get into a range groove, hitting ball after ball with no pressure.

      • Bird says:

        Transference can often happen on the first two or three holes for a relaxed in-tune player.
        It’s possible for an older player to be relaxed for that period, but then attention deficit and demons more-often-than-not become the enemies. It’s no longer a process. It’s something more sinister.

  4. Sports-realist2 says:

    rickie fowler doing his disappearing act….

  5. Sports-realist2 says:

    Can we have an event without a playoff?

    • TruthTeller says:

      Just did.

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        This course doesn’t seem to have a lot of teeth in it….It has a few water holes, but the rest reminds me of a difficult public golf course….

      • lannyh says:

        I have to agree. I liked the visuals on TV: the bucolic locale with trees and water. And it has some pretty heavy history. But the holes didn’t knock my socks off or anything.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Who is this Tiger Woods guy everyone refers to ? Wasn’t he popular in the late 90’s ?

  7. Sports-realist2 says:

    Bill Mcatee sounds like he just found an old potato chip behind the couch, with his response to Merritt sunk the 25 foot birdie putt….and mcatee can’t quit getting eldrick’s thingy out of his mouth……

    • Sports-realist2 says:

      so Merritt wins and right after the short interview, it’s back to talking about how Eldrick DIDNT win again……i hate macatee or however u spell his name…

  8. Ken says:

    And the last thing they say before signing off: “Tiger Woods played earlier today and shot 68.” How is that at all relevant to the situation? So f**king annoying.

  9. Bird says:

    “This course doesn’t seem to have a lot of teeth in it….It has a few water holes, but the rest reminds me of a difficult public golf course….”

    My feeling, too. I think the land it sits on would make better housing.

    • Ken says:

      i was at the Presidents Cup the last time it was played at RTJ. Pretty course. Obviously not all that difficult for the pros, but way above average difficulty for your typical weekend player.

  10. Kris says:

    On Golf Central they talked about Tiger going to the cookout again and how great it is that he was just one of the guys. Why won’t they say who hosted the cookout? It was almost a joke how many cookouts Luke Donald hosted when he won all that Miyazaki beef and no players or caddies were shy about saying they went. Players hang out and have dinner together all the time. I don’t understand the secrecy surrounding Tiger.

    • Sports-realist2 says:

      It’s like the networks/announcers are acting as parents who are trying to get their ‘backwards’ son to ‘fit in’ to stuff…..It’s beyond bizarre…..Remember Eldrick was called THE GEEK in college…..Personally he seems socially BACKWARDS…..
      I have to believe the MOST of this SUDDEN attempt to ‘fit in’ is an attempt at ‘image rebuild’ by Steinberg and Nike…..Since he isn’t the golfer he used to be, he’s now a ‘back slapper’, ‘happy go lucky’, let’s hang out together…………..Uh, sorry, not buying it…Faker than a 3 dollar bill…..
      Woods actually visiting the booth looked awkward…..No I didn’t care to listen to it(as I hate most interviews anyway), but it just seemed like Eldrick was given a note to go to the principal’s office, and so he showed up…

      • lannyh says:

        Good analogies. They are attempting image rehabilitation.

      • Ken says:

        He was socially extremely awkward in college and in his early pro days. He would attempt to joke around with reporters and other players and the result was typically immature, lewd, racist jokes. When this became somewhat known publicly, the Woods camp of course claimed a vendetta against their man and Nike put him on a very short leash. This was around the same time that Nike told Tiger that he’s not “cablinasian,” he’s black. There was more money in him being black.

      • Bird says:

        Urkel.

    • lannyh says:

      Yeah, it’s odd.

    • Ken says:

      It speaks volumes about his personality when the media has to make a big deal out of him being “just one of the guys.”

  11. Ken says:

    If Tiger is just one of the boys, why doesn’t he head to Reno this week? It’s a real tournament with real OWGR points. If he wants to get back to WGC events, here’s a good way to start.

    No, playing the off field event in Reno would be beneath His Highness.

    • Sports-realist2 says:

      Yesterday the announcers were talking about him MAYBE playing at lesser events to try and quality for the fed ex cup, as he’s 185th or so, and needs to get within the top125, but that’s wishful thinking….
      If ONLY 5 of the top 50 golfers were in this field, and you STILL finidhed around 20th place, what would happen if you added the other 45 top players to this leaderboard? I think we know…
      CBS doing their usual “WELL THE REAL BIG STORY IS”, instead of talking about the winner….But I think we all know WHY they are doing this….RIGGED $$$$$…The Cult Channel is rigged, the networks are rigged, Bill Macatee sucks balls, ect, ect, ect…

      • Ken says:

        What you said about Miller reminding you of “the old days” kind of hits me too. It probably is because he faded from prominence fairly quickly. He was mostly retired before 45 due to health and putting issues, and rarely attempted the senior tour. Most of the highlights that you see from him he’s wearing some hideous plaid pants. His swing, with a lot of sway and leg movement, also has an old-fashioned look to me.

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