Friday PGA Championship Semi Live Blog

7:20 pm News Flash:  Woods playing next week at Wyndham.  Oh, joy.  Now, mark my word:  Golf Channel will lead with that when they start their Live From the PGA Championship at the top of the hour.  Well, they’ll WANT to lead with it, but it will probably be the second or third thing they mention in their opening tease.  It’ll be: Weather Delay, Spieth, TIGER AT WYNDHAM!!!  With plenty of analysis about “what this means.”

7:05 pm Reading Material While Waiting For Golf To Resume:  I stumbled upon this article about golf writer Stephanie Wei.  She’s got a weird background I did not know about.  Very privileged.  Part of NYC social party scene.  I’ve read about half of it so far; I will not be able to look at her the same again.  She’s written things other golf writers wouldn’t, but I can also see why some of them might have little patience for her.  Her prima donna actions regarding Periscope make a lot more sense now.

Here are two short excerpts:

On a Monday night in the middle of Fashion Week, Ms. Wei was in the two-bedroom apartment her mother bought her in the West Village.


For her 16th birthday, in exchange for promising to practice really hard, her stepfather bought her a BMW 323ci.

Yeah, I relate to that exactly zero percent.  Rickie Fowler hitting golf balls with his grandfather at the scrappy Murrieta Driving Range, I identify with.  Daddy buying me a BMW for “promising to practice really hard,” not so much.

They have a term for rich kids who move to the Village to live the wild life: Trustafarians.  I’ll still judge her on her golf writing, but I’ll view her differently, I’m sure.

6:45 pm Weather Delay  I’ll use the delay to mention how much I liked the live stream this morning.  Michael Breed, who normally drives me crazy, was really great on the live stream.  Also, there were remarkably few commercial breaks.  I went 3.5 hours without a single glitch in the stream, then I lost it and had to refresh the page.  That was it.  You got to hear a ton of caddy/player discussion.  Spieth did curse one time:  I very clearly heard a “dang it.”

There was a delay on a few holes, and it was actually nice to see the players milling about, and the announcers casually telling stories.  One of them lasted over five minutes.  I didn’t mind it one bit.

There was no jumping around between holes — where when you see a putt heading toward a hole, you try to quickly figure out who hit it so you can root for a miss or make.  Oh, and no “pieces.”  You know the type: “Joe was born on a farm.  Then something sad happened, yet he prevailed.”  There may have been one or two, but mainly the entire time was camera on the group, announcers talking about the hole.  Which meant, too, that you got MUCH better analysis.  On one hole — perhaps the first? — they were discussing how Rory and Jordan hit too far to give them a good number.  Then they said, well, the fairway is widest there, so maybe they liked that tradeoff.  I can’t say enough good things about it.

The PGA Tour live streams USED to be like this, but the last few times I saw them, they had as many (or more) commercials (with widely varying sound levels, so sometimes you would get blasted).  And they had set pieces, and “studio updates.”  It was as awful as the regular broadcasts.  But it used to be good.

The PGA is doing a far better job then the PGA Tour does.  (I assume they are different operations.  If not, then the Tour improved their stream coverage.)  I watched about four-and-a-half hours this morning, and I never got bored or annoyed.

5:08 pm Update  I like Jason Day and Russell Henley, but I still find myself basically pulling against the entire afternoon wave, to better help Rory and Jordan’s chances.

3:44 pm Update  Tiger Woods goes from bunker to bunker.  Greenside.  On same side of green.

Wound up with double bogey…

2:30 pm Update  TV coverage has begun, and I’m back on my standard machine, which makes typing much easier.

Here comes Tiger Woods!  Golf Channel is showing Tiger’s opening tee shot!  Yay!!!  Oh, no.  He yanked a three-wood left.  😦

1:26 pm Update Spieth Leads!!!

Yes, some of the afternoon guys will pass him, but he is well-positioned.  Rory T-14, and that after doubling a hole earlier today.

2:14 pm Update  Rory chips in for eagle, erasing double bogey!

11:37 am Update  Spieth birdies No. 18!  (his 9th hole of the day)  McIlroy doubles after stray approach into tall grass.  He will need a blazing back nine to get back in the hunt.

9:00 am Update  I made it.  I’m now a very slow — painfully slow — typist, but I made it.  I have the video stream up; some kind of Cajun-y music is playing.  Now the broadcast is beginning.

8:40 am Update Lanny de la Renta

Spieth is dressed very similarly to yesterday.  Blue shirt, light hat.  Gray pants today, white yesterday.  Is that intentional?  Is Under Amour cultivating a defining, instantly recognizable look for Jordan?  We will continue our analysis this weekend.

Okay, now I’m swapping out machines.  Wish me luck!

Sleeping In:  Well, I didn’t really sleep in, but I got a late start.  I’ve been distracted this morning trying to get ready for the Spieth-Rory live stream using an alternate PC.  Call it an alternate-field PC.

I haven’t seen too much Golf Channel this morning, but I did catch a segment where a reporter (I think) was telling Golf Channel that Woods’s group was no longer the marquee group among fans, that he had been superceded by Spieth and Rory.  The GC yapper (Damon?) used that as a stepping stone for a long conversation about… Woods.

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66 Responses to Friday PGA Championship Semi Live Blog

  1. JoeM says:

    Why do I torture myself and watch the GC.

    1. Kelly T…….is there any chance they can get rid of her, dear god tiger slurper.

    2. Gary W…here we go again, Tiger hit shots nobody has ever hit, over and over, blah.

    3. Charlie Cheerleader Rymer…..Tiger didn’t miss a putt for 10 years during his day.

    Is there any chance we can get rid of most the GC slurpers…….who if any would you keep?

    • lannyh says:

      Sign me up! I’m with you.

      I would keep Nobilo, Chamblee (on probation), and some of the guys who do double duty broadcasting events as well as studio (Phil Blackmar). I would also keep Cara Robinson if she can be deprogrammed; she started off okay, but was quickly ruined by the GC culture of torpidity. (Torpidity? Where did that word come from? I never use it. I better look it up before I hit POST.)

    • lannyh says:

      I want to add Damon Hack to my list. I like his effervescent attitude. However, one effervescent person is enough. All the other bubbly people have to go.

  2. Ken says:

    Did the golf media expect Dustin Johnson to just curl up and die? They act like a difficult loss at the US Open might possibly leave him a drooling, mumbling vegetable. Or that the loss at the British Open is somehow damaging to him. He shot two good rounds and had a terrible weekend. That happens to a lot of players multiple times per season.

    And I like how a great opening round yesterday is proof to them that now all is well. It doesn’t indicate that anything is different. Maybe he’ll put together four good rounds. But he might go out and three putt the 18th on Sunday to lose. It’s just empty speculation.

    • lannyh says:

      Amen, and Amen. I heard one yesterday, something like, “Some would have been devastated and fallen apart, but DJ bounced back.”

      If they are going to say such things, they should name names of the crumblers, haha. To pick a guy completely at random, “Why, if that had happened to Koepka, he’d be a car salesman a month later!”

  3. Sports-realist2 says:

    ……The cut will probably be no worse than +3, so this should be the last day of Eldrick coverage for the year………..
    …..When you consider the HOURS spent by the golf media in between and during the week of the MAJORS, in trying to build up something that is NOT there anymore, it’s staggering…..
    …..I’d be willing to guess 40%-50% of coverage has been focused on one golfer who is about to miss his THIRD STRAIGHT MAJOR CUT, and has not won a Major in over 7 years or an event in 2 years….

    • lannyh says:

      Are you saying Woods trying to make the cut will get more coverage than DJ trying to win? That would be so unlike Golf Channel.

    • Ace says:

      Does anyone think just plain old embarrassment will ever set in on the Golf Channel? The over-the-top coverage of a player that is no where near being a factor in any event? The complaints about Golf Channel cannot be limited to those commenting here.

  4. Sports-realist2 says:

    So far the live video is playing for a few minutes, choppy like, then just going to a black screen…I have to refresh it….I’ve tried it 4 times, so it’s not a coincidence……How is your live streaming experience going?

    • lannyh says:

      It’s going great! No crashes. No lockups. Smooth playing.

      And the broadcast is great. Very limited commercials. Reminds me of the coverage three or four years ago. Also, the very few commercials are not played at volume 11.

      Typing on this machine, though, is torture.

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        so in between shots for you, it’s just showing them WALKING down the fairways? or is it going to commercial?

      • lannyh says:

        Walking down fairway, talking to caddy, etc. It’s like being there. I much prefer this. No hype, just coverage.

  5. Ken says:

    Hard to believe that there’s no live TV coverage until this afternoon. Maybe Fox getting the US Open is a good thing.

  6. DanishDude says:

    Why swap machines? Why not use both? .. just curious

  7. Kris says:

    It’s nice when the marquee group is current champions producing jaw-droppingly great golf instead of withered-has been embarrassing themselves. Why are you having so much trouble with the laptop keyboard? Is it one of those tiny laptops or is it just hard to get used to? If the live video doesn’t crash it, it’s worth it regardless.

    • lannyh says:

      It’s not tiny, but it is slightly smaller than what I am accustomed to. The bigger problem: I normally use a curved ergonomic keyboard, which took quite an adjustment period. Now a normal keyboard is a struggle.

      I might could move that keyboard (it is USB), but I gotta walk before I run!

  8. Sports-realist2 says:

    ……Well the afternoon coverage is going to suck, because of you know who….Quite possibly the last round of the year for their hero, so it will be easy to watch something else…..

    • Ken says:

      They had to give #278 a featured tee time. Ruins today for me. I won’t watch.

      • lannyh says:

        Oh, come on, guys. It won’t be that bad. They might show some good Tiger fist pump video. And maybe they will analyze his swing. And, if we are lucky, show his facial reactions after every shot.

  9. Ken says:

    Yang playing well. Is there a ten-shot rule here for making the cut? I was kind of hoping, for old time’s sake, that he’d be leading after today with Woods 11 back. Won’t happen though.

  10. Ken says:

    Low scores today. Hiroshi Iwata, a 34-year old Japanese pro, is -9 through 17. Birdie on 18 for the first major 62.

    Stenson -7 through 16.

  11. Sports-realist2 says:

    ……Yep Martin Kaymer who won this event last time, is under par for the round, and is in contention, doesn’t even exist today……
    ……Spieth has to be licking his golf-chops at this leaderboard NOT taking off.

  12. Kris says:

    I haven’t been watching long, but the coverage is decent in my opinion. Granted, I’ve only been half paying attention, but they’re doing a good job of keeping up with all the leaders and guys within 1, which is more than 10 people. Of course they’re showing Tiger, but there was a good 7 minute stretch where they didn’t, and so I’m pretty happy.

    • lannyh says:

      I agree. It’s not bad. Although, after this mornings almost commercial-less stream, there are too many interruptions. And I turn channels every time they run one of their grotesque anti-smoking commercials. No way they’d run such graphic anti-abortion commercials.

      • TruthTeller says:

        Don’t forgot the totally over run Rory Omega commercial.

      • Kris says:

        Those commercials are grotesque and way over the top. The best ones are where the person tells their horrid story and then in the end it’s like “now they’re dead at 43”. I’m almost tempted to start smoking in defiance of their awful PSAs. I didn’t know it was the PGA Championship’s fault. I’ve been subjected to those commercials for over a year it feels like.

      • lannyh says:

        Me, too! I’ll send them a video of me buying my first pack at the local 7-11.

        (As I typed that short message, TNT aired another one of them.)

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        Those commercials don’t work…..I mean sure, I’ve bought 14 Omega watches and 3 pounds of viagra and thrown away all the cigarettes…..but besides that…..

      • lannyh says:

        Yeah, but do you still get your tee times like a dinosaur?

    • Sports-realist2 says:

      …..I disagree about the coverage…..It’s more sucky than good…..
      …..Enough of the attempted MANUFACTURING of trying to make a FADING Eldrick apart of the story….
      ……Again this is for THREE STRAIGHT MAJOR CUT MISSES for Eldrick, so this isn’t a surprise anymore…

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        Jack was 52 when he first missed 3 cuts in a row….

      • lannyh says:

        Seriously? Don’t look for Golf Channel to mention that. Or for Justin Ray to tweet it.

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        1992 is when Jack missed 3 Major cuts in a row for the first time…..If you can, send Ray that stat….I’m sure his transmission will be breaking up……

      • lannyh says:

        I will definitely do it. Should I wait until it is official? Maybe I should phrase it as a question to which I don’t know the answer.

  13. Sports-realist2 says:

    It’s actually a pretty weak leaderboard…..Jason Day and Dustin Johnson seem to find a way NOT to win the big one……Spieth has to be the favorite right now…

  14. Sports-realist2 says:

    …..Couple reasons why Eldrick is playing at Wyndham…1. because he has NOWHERE else to play for the rest of the year…..2. because he wants to qualify for the Fed ex cup…..3. Because he’s hardly played this year….4. Nike has asked him to play, since they won’t see him for the rest of the year…
    …..This is the new Eldrick Woods—playing in po-dunk tournaments, and GETTING FREE guaranteed rigged points, when he doesn’t deserve to play, ONLY to try and build up Fex Ex points and standing…..He’s really looking SMALL….
    …..The problem with this logic is that he’s not good enough to win even the po-dunk ones….

    • Ken says:

      I’d prefer not to see him again. But if he wants to figure out his game, he should be playing more tournaments.

      This is the right way to try to regain status. Not 18 player travesties and begging for OWGR points.

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        …..But as Lanny has pointed out many times, WHY would you release this presser now? In the middle of a MAJOR….Oh, because he’s missing the cut(most likely), and wants attention…….
        ….The one other thing I pointed out, is that Woods may need the money, as silly as this sounds….. Steinberg trying to get exemptions for free money on the silly tournaments to me is a RED FLAG….. There is more going on behind the scenes than is being told…

      • lannyh says:

        In fairness to Woods, he had to commit by today (Friday) if he was going to play next week.

      • lannyh says:

        Though I don’t mean to minimize the attention-seeking aspect of not completely stepping off the stage just yet. I think Nike probably had some input, as you suggested earlier.

      • Ken says:

        I agree with the Nike thing. For all that money, he hasn’t played much. But is his game good publicity?

      • lannyh says:

        I’ve wondered that about the new TW Driver Nike brought out. No way his driving is a good avert for that green driver! Here’s what they wrote at their website:

        “Nike’s new Vapor Speed driver designed and built to Tiger Woods’s specifications will be available for purchase for the first time in limited quantities.”

        It became available last June. It must be flying off the shelves…

    • Ken says:

      Golf Channel’s mobile app, even though I have notifications turned off, sends them anyway. Of course they sent out the Wyndham notification.

      Odd. I didn’t get notified of Greg Owen’s plans for next week. Or Will Wilcox. Just #278.

  15. TruthTeller says:

    Jordan does something as well or better than Tiger and that is chip and putt. At Tiger’s prime he was the best. Jordan is the best at it now.

  16. Sports-realist2 says:

    What would be hilarious is if Eldrick misses the cut at Wyndham…..What’s the math on this now Lanny, besides a win at Wyndham, can he get into the Fed Ex with any other finish next week?

  17. Sports-realist2 says:

    …..Jason Day was in the ‘zone’ Friday…..The weather most likely helped the other golfers……Day looked like an 11 under finish was a real possibility….He still has a relatively short putt for birdie when he starts tomorrow, but I’ll be surprised if he is in that same ‘zone'(aka Dustin Johnson after the 2nd round of the British and Jason Day in another Major)……
    ……Day will have to get up early tomorrow, golf 4 full holes, then take a break for about 4 to 5 hours and start all over…..That usually doesn’t make for a great recipe…..
    …..Last year’s 2nd round leader was 8 under, so that looks like that will at least be matched by someone, if not broken by the completion point….
    ……Spieth has gotta love his position though….The most he will be out of the lead is around 4 strokes going into Saturday….But Spieth will be well rested and not have to start, stop, wait, and start again…….Advantage on paper, goes to Speith over Day…..

    • lannyh says:

      Yeah, Day was playing great. Unfortunate for him that he had to stop, and that today he’ll have to go out twice. However, on the plus side, a soft course might yield some birdies this morning; it seemed like the drier, harder conditions had more of an effect on the difficulty yesterday afternoon than the wind did.

  18. Jason says:

    That’s a weird article about Stephanie Wei. I didn’t know that she was an uber-privileged socialite, but clearly she is. Good for her I guess. What really strikes me as odd is why that blogger/journalist would even consider writing an in depth piece on her. Outside of serious golf fan circles, she’s pretty small potatoes.

    Do you think his editor paid much for the Stephanie Wei expose? Is she a big deal and I just didn’t know it? I did cut the cord on cable some time back…maybe I am just really out of touch.

    • lannyh says:

      Oh, that’s quite an old piece, written in 2008, predating her entrance into golf journalism. I think she was just sort of a social butterfly hanging with the fashion crowd.

  19. Jason says:

    yep, I was quoting him:) I had also been drinking a bit though. Do regret saying his crass comments were funny.

    • lannyh says:

      Well, don’t be too hard on yourself. I have some old articles here where I compared Golf Channel to the Nazis. Some might maintain that went over the line.

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