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PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay (sort of): Notes from the Ballwasher

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PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay (sort of): Notes from the Ballwasher Empty PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay (sort of): Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:52 am

1).First, let's talk about Justin Rose's latest win, and a fine win it was, not to mention a sponsor's dream for "Zurich" as they sponsor the New Orleans tournament and employ Rose as an "ambassador", among others. After a patchy, to say the least, start to his year, Rose has now won on Tour for the 6th consecutive year; no-one has a longer current streak. Time for another Major.

2).Rose also nudges into 3rd place in terms of most post-war wins by Europeans in the United States. Current list:
8 wins: Garcia, McIlroy
7: Rose
6: Ballesteros, Faldo, Olazabal
5: Donald, Lyle, Parnevik, Pettersson

3).Imagine it was a late-night arrival at SFO for those MatchPlay competitors who played all four rounds in New Orleans, especially for Rose who presumably had winner's obligations following his win. Others included Bradley, Day, Horschel, DJohnson, Leishman and Wiesberger. Wonder if Westwood and others commuting from the Far East beat them in?

4).Streaks ending:
~Stricker finally missed a cut after a run of 36 consecutive cuts made. Kuchar now leads with 22.
~Freddie Jacobson's run of consecutive holes on Tour without a 3-putt was finally snapped at 542, by some way the best in the ShotLink era.

5).There are reports that the PGA Of America have chosen Kiawah Island as the venue for the 2021 PGA Championship. The logistics of getting spectators in and out of Kiawah in 2012 was apparently horrendous (not so bad at the War on the Shore though), so that has to be sorted. Perhaps they'll be using drones by then?

6).Difficult to think of a drone and golf without automatically imagining the ghastly, ghostly apparition of Donald Trump, host of the 2022 PGA Championship in New Jersey. Trump is busy tweeting racially combustible headlines about the situation this week in Baltimore. Isn't it just about time the USGA, PGA Of America and PGA Tour, all of whom are in bed at various of Trump's venues, stood up to the egotistical blowhard and told him racist twitterage is unacceptable and take their tournaments away from him?

7).Hopefully they'll also kick Steve Elkington off the Champions Tour again for his twittering commentary on the Bruce Jenner revelations.

8).And so to the MatchPlay, sponsored for one year only by Cadillac. They'll be playing at Harding Park, San Francisco, the venue of many pro events including the:
*2005 WGC:American Express Championship where Woods beat birthday (49 today!) boy Daly in a play-off - arguably the beginning of the end of Daly as a competitive force.
Those in the field who qualified for this week's MatchPlay include:
T3: Garcia, Stenson
T6: McDowell
T11: Donald
T15: Furyk
T18: Schwartzel, Clark, Poulter
T29: Mickelson, Scott
Plus: Jimenez, Zach Johnson, Westwood, Jaidee

*2009 Presidents Cup where Zach Johnson, Mickelson, Furyk and Mahan played for the USA, Scott and Clark for The Internationals.

9).No doubt the International Golfing Federations (known by the acronym Finchem) had little choice on this week's date, but let's just say it's a shame that it will undoubtedly reduce the buzz for The Players, and have the collateral damage of reducing the quality of the New Orleans and Charlotte fields. No opposite field event this year either, so the better among the Tour's rank and file will have the week off, those journeymen qualifying for neither the MatchPlay nor Players will sit down for a fortnight.
Dell sponsors next year's action, in Austin, Texas, with a late March date.  

10).Monday's "random draw" for the MatchPlay was a made for TV affair, no-one other than Golf Channel personnel in evidence, and it looked almost as if it was pre-recorded then edited to make it look live. Whatever.
It's ironic that the capitalist PGA Tour felt the need to change from a straight knock-out competition to the more socialist round-robin foreplay that we'll be enduring Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Whatever.
The Golf Channel certainly nailed their colours to the self-interest mast in their "Monday Scramble":
"Our only hope is that we don't get Joost Luiten vs Tommy Fleetwood in the finals and have to go back to the drawing board."
Whatever. Sure they meant Gary Woodland & Harris English. Berks.

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Post by ScottieD18 Wed Apr 29, 2015 7:11 am

I think the new format will make it harder for the top 16 to make the last 16. Previously a top 16 had to win twice. Now three round robin matches. If the seed wins all 3 games then that's 1 more win. If he loses one match then the guy that beats him only has to win 1 out of 2 other matches to go through because if 2 are tied the head to head result decides.

I'm assuming there are no half matches because it's not stated in the rules and USA don't understand a drew.

On the positive we get 3 games from each player.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:01 am

Agree Scottie,
I reckon the jury's out on how this'll all work out, how motivated top players will be if they see the departure lounge (whether NetJets or Delta) in their near future.

For many of the players cash and various points currency may be an incentive; this is the pay-off structure:

http://www.worldgolfchampionships.com/cadillac-match-play/money-points-distribution.html

I used to love MatchPlay Wednesday; now not sure the TV coverage will recognize a pivotal match when it sees it. We can but hope. Fingers Crossed

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Post by SmithersJones Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:20 am

Good stuff as usual Kwini. Iain Carter seems to think that DJ has 8 winning years in a row? Nice article about Justin though.
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Post by ScottieD18 Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:29 am

Better if they accepted halved games and used hole difference to split ties after round robin.

Another problem with be following 32 matches each of the first three nights. Okay in previous Wednesday's when it was simple knock out, but now more skin in each game. So long as they show Rory I'm happy and that should be assured given no Tiger and Phill.

I just checked the Sky coverage. Starts 9 and finishes 3am. Really! I thought the PGA left the 50th State in January.

I hope the U.S. get plenty of Europeans in the later stages given their open biases for their good old boys.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:49 am

Smithers,
DJ has nine straight winning seasons but no wins in 2014 - I'm splitting hairs I know!
Haven't read the Carter piece, given up on him really but perhaps he's broadening his horizons with Woods irrelevant, if only temporarily.

Scottie,
I think Rors has one of the final tee-times . . . . Justin Rose opening the batting though.

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Post by pedro Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:37 am

At least the new Matchplay format isn't as daft as USGA's US Open wet fantasy about having sloped tee boxes and changing par on holes between rounds. What's next? Two cups per green?

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Post by GPB Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:29 am

The Slope tee boxes is not a USGA thing.  It is a Robert Trent Jones thing when he planned, designed, and built the course.  As I understand it, the slopes are only 1 or 2 degrees which amounts.  Which I think is about 2 cm in a for a typical golfer on a side slop and less for uphill and downhill lies

And what difference does it make whether a hole is a par 4 or a par 5?  The angst about a label that I am reading on other blogs is incredulous.  You could call it a par 10 and it wouldn't make any difference.  Its the same golf hole for everyone.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:34 am

pedro,
That's not the half of it, as there's a touch of your favourite sport administrator, the always corruption-free Sepp Blatter, about the selection of Chambers Bay in the first place.
According to GolfWorld:

" . . . . several amenities that were expected when Chambers Bay was awarded the US Open in 2008 - including special rail and ferry transportation, a clubhouse and a centralized ampitheater - never materialized. However, the USGA announced the late addition of ten more merchandise-center cash registers making it easier to shop rather than actually watch golf."

Rumours abound that the 2024 US Open will be held in Qatar. Whatever. Berks.



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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:39 am

Scottie, I saw somewhere in all the gumpf that all matches will be played to a conclusion no matter how long it takes.

On the sloping tee boxes; who cares? Surely it makes it closer to the types of courses we play. Finding a flat spot at our place means you should play the lottery later.

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Post by sirbenson Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:29 pm

http://www.pgatour.com/content/pgatour/company/2015/04/28/pga-tour-live-digital-subscription-service.html

This looks like a brilliant idea tbh!

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Post by McLaren Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:59 pm

Whats wrong with sloping tee boxes?

We have been accustomed to raised and perfectly flat tee boxes, but nowhere in the rules of the game is this specified as compulsory. A well routed course places tee's close to the previous green, and if that means a little slope then so be it. Why move so much earth just to create something that is quite unnecessary?

In the days of old you just started the next hole within a club length of the previous green, or something like that.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:09 pm

Several reports that Stenson is still nowhere near full fitness.
Hopefully it'll be a case of "beware the ailing golfer" as I have him winning this thing!

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Post by I'm never wrong Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:39 pm

sirbenson wrote:http://www.pgatour.com/content/pgatour/company/2015/04/28/pga-tour-live-digital-subscription-service.html

This looks like a brilliant idea tbh!

Is there a cost involved?

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Post by McLaren Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:54 pm

So McIlroy has no intention of reaching Saturday afternoon. He seems set on going to some boxing thing in Las Vegas.

http://www.pgatour.com/tourreport/2015/04/28/rory-plans-to-see-mayweather-pacquiao-fight-during-match-play.html
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Post by sirbenson Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:04 pm

I'm never wrong wrote:
sirbenson wrote:http://www.pgatour.com/content/pgatour/company/2015/04/28/pga-tour-live-digital-subscription-service.html

This looks like a brilliant idea tbh!

Is there a cost involved?

Good question, I hope not! It wouldn't surprise me if there was a cost.

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Post by golfermartin Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:12 pm

McLaren wrote:In the days of old you just started the next hole within a club length of the previous green, or something like that.


Mac

I used to be within 2 clubs lengths of the hole (there were no greens then). The ball was teed up on sand taken from the bottom of the last hole played! My reason for mentioning this is that it has always had me thinking that eventually golfers would need to lie on the ground to reach the bottom of the hole to retrieve the ball and then to get sand for a tee! Or did the keeper of the green put sand back in the hole?

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:23 pm

Unless I'm missing something, MatchPlay TV coverage doesn't start until 1.00 p.m. Pacific time, 9.00 p.m. in Whyteleafe.
Not very inclusive, no idea why they can't start earlier, but suppose I'll have to watch Leicester vs Chelsea first.

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Post by pedro Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:19 pm

GPB wrote:The Slope tee boxes is not a USGA thing.  It is a Robert Trent Jones thing when he planned, designed, and built the course.  As I understand it, the slopes are only 1 or 2 degrees which amounts.  Which I think is about 2 cm in a for a typical golfer on a side slop and less for uphill and downhill lies

And what difference does it make whether a hole is a par 4 or a par 5?  The angst about a label that I am reading on other blogs is incredulous.  You could call it a par 10 and it wouldn't make any difference.  Its the same golf hole for everyone.
Well it just sounds to me that the USGA wants to create some fuzz around the event. I agree that the par doesn't matter so why does the GA then care? It's like they want to emulate these modern avantgarde dogme movies with supposedly handheld cameras and natural sound, when everybody knows someone is shaking the cameraman and post producing bad sound.

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Post by CostinhaCaesar Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:51 pm

Good write up as usual Kwini.

It is so annoying that the coverage doesn't start until 9pm here in London. All US based WGC events should be restricted to the East Coast so that the times are more watchable in Europe. We're going to have the same problem with the US Open being at Chambers Bay this year too. Not good.

Does anyone know what type of player Harding Park will suit generally? Bombers or Ball Strikers?

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:01 am

Cheers Caesar,
Their goal is US "Prime Time" TV, but it's ridiculous that they don't cover the early matches. Rose will probably be in the bar by the time coverage begins. Pathetic.

You can see from the results at the AMEX ten years ago that, although Daly & Woods finished first and second, guys like Donald & Furyk played well also. I would say it suits "ball-strikers" more than pure bombers. Have become used to seeing the Seniors play the Champions Tour year-end Championship there, so looking forward to seeing how they set the course up for MatchPlay.

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Post by GPB Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:11 am

CostinhaCaesar wrote:It is so annoying that the coverage doesn't start until 9pm here in London. All US based WGC events should be restricted to the East Coast so that the times are more watchable in Europe. We're going to have the same problem with the US Open being at Chambers Bay this year too. Not good.

Because there are no Aussies and Asians in the tournament? Personally I like the West Coast tournaments, especially when I used to play golf.

The Open Championship starts coverage at Midnight for West Coasters.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:18 am

Caesar,
Here is an overview of the course:

http://www.worldgolfchampionships.com/cadillac-match-play/news/2015/04/28/tpc-harding-park.html


GPB,
Say what you like but there's no reason whatsoever not to begin coverage with the early matches, say at 9.45 a.m. PST.
Leaving it to 1.00 p.m. PST effectively reduces the amount of golf shown by a third, and eliminates some markets, as Caesar suggests. Understand your bit about Aussies & Asians but broadcasting the whole thing would give everyone a piece of the pie.

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Post by Shotrock Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:34 am

Fine write up per usual Kwin ... and nice to see Rose firing on all cylinders.

I wonder what Rory paid for his ticket? Cheapest seat going for $4k last I heard.

I look forward to this event and like the idea of no single round knock out.

Now, to work on the "biases" of the good old boys, and better understanding a "drew" ... Rolling Eyes

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:39 am

Unconfirmed reports that Calvin Peete has died at the age of 71.

The most successful African American on Tour until 1997.

Great golfer who was unerringly accurate (if short) and won 12 tournaments in a seven-year span including the Tournament of Champions, when that meant something, and The Players Championship, when it wasn't overshadowed by the WGC MatchPlay.

Hi Sr,
But what does that last line refer to?

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Post by Shotrock Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:43 am

Kwin - Scroll up in this thread ... a mention of the US bias to "good old boys" and the US not understanding a "drew". Lots to work on.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:50 am

Ah, well. The draw did look "edited"!
Grumpy's idea that they should at least draw Champions League-style was a good one, given that they were determined to "seed" it.

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Post by CostinhaCaesar Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:41 am

Thanks Kwini. Baased on the assertion that Par will be a good score i'm thinking maybe Furyk has a good chance, especially if the win at Harbour Town has banished the demons of the last few years.

GPB, of course there are Asian and Aussie players in the field, but more than 85% of the field are made up of Americans, Europeans and South Africans so an East Coast venue would allow all of those time zones to watch some golf at a reasonable hour. I like West Coast tournaments as well, Riviera and Peeble Beach are two of my favourite events all year. It's just that with this particular event starting on a Wednesday it means more days where i'm zombie like at work due to the late nights.

With regards to the Open Champship point, we only have one time zone in the UK so not a lot of options with regards to playing time. Finchem had countless East Coast course options to pick from.

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Post by McLaren Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:50 am

In general we get pretty lucky in the UK with respect to PGAT viewing times. I practically never watch the European tour as it is on during working hours or at the weekend it competes with social life and much more interesting sporting events.

Being able to watch golf in the evening, especially in the summer after a late round of your own, is just perfect.
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:59 am

If it's in Wikipaedia it must be true.
Calvin Peete's death, that is.

If ever there was an example of someone who overcame physical (always played with a bent arm as it was broken as a child and never correctly re-set) and economic/cultural hardship to succeed at sport, Calvin Peete was your man. Plus he didn't take up the sport until his twenties.

Wouldn't have made much of a "first impression" for McLaren as the scrawny black kid with the broken arm scuffled around Genesee Valley Park close to Downtown Rochester.
But a measure of his success can be found in the margins of his 12 victories; 2 by 7 strokes, one by 6, two more by 5, only one by one shot.
2-0 in Ryder Cup singles and had a two-match record (64%) most of his successors would kill for.
Led the Tour in driving accuracy ten years running.
Made the cut in all eight Masters he played and only missed the weekend twice in 25 Majors, one of which was a w/d. 3rd and 4th in 80's PGA's.

Most unlikely golf will ever see his like again.

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Post by LadyPutt Thu Apr 30, 2015 2:15 am

I appreciate that 9pm is a bit late to start showing coverage of a tournament that starts about 3 hours earlier (UK time) but have those complaining not got the facility to record and then watch the following day? That's what I'll be doing - so I can whizz through the adverts, leaderboards and boring shots of trees, rocks, lakes etc as well as turgid chat in the studio and at the Skycart!

Sad news about Calvin Peete (if it's true) - always enjoyed watching him play in my formative golf years.
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Post by navyblueshorts Thu Apr 30, 2015 2:15 am

Shame about Peete. Remember him well when watching the Masters.
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu Apr 30, 2015 2:51 am

Tiger fans will be agog to know he's published his summer schedule!!!!
Players, Memorial, US Open, Greenbrier (complete with mega appearance fee no doubt), Open, Quicken Loans.
He's not qualified for the Bridgestone , but would presumably play if exempt, plus the PGA.

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Post by sirbenson Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:07 am

Do people like that they have changed it to a group format for the first three days?

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Post by sirbenson Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:20 am

http://www.golfdigest.com/blogs/the-loop/2015/04/anthony-kim-spotted-in-las-vegas.html One of the biggest wastes of talent in all of sport!

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:38 am

Perhaps Rory will see AK at the fight!

I prefer straight knockout . . . .

One thing occurred to me about the round-robin format: If previous PGA Tour experiences are anything to go by, there must be an even chance that at least one competitor will withdraw, whether due to injury, ill-health, family emergency, bad play, grouped w/Kevin Na, the whole gamut. What happens to his match?

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:43 am

Interesting trivia stat on driving accuracy:
Only four times since PGA Tour stat's began have golfers hit 82.6% of fairways in a given year. Each time by Calvin Peete.


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Post by kwinigolfer Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:51 am

OK, On the first tee, "From 'Ook, England, Justin Rose".

Cool in San Fran, temps in the fifties, should reach mid-60's, may be breezy but definitely dry!

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Post by sirbenson Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:00 am

I presume the player(s) who hasn't played the player who has W/D gets a win or maybe they bring in an alternate? Obviously if it happens in the knockout stages no alternate is brought in!

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:11 am

That's all very well but suppose, say, McIlroy loses to Dufner and all of a sudden the Duf finds out that Amanda wants him back and he scoots off to Alabama.
That's not fair on McIlroy if Horschel and Snedeker then get two free wins.

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Post by sirbenson Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:28 am

That's life haha!

As a tennis fan too, when they have the season ending championships (top 8), they have group stages in that event and they usually bring an alternate in the case of a withdrawal in the group stages!

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Post by sirbenson Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:32 am

Chambers Bay looks a spectacular course....I see some players are moaning already about it haha!

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Post by sirbenson Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:40 am

Needless to say it won't take you too many guesses as to one of them!

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:08 am

Ah well! At least he has an early lead on Simpson.

If reports are correct, lack of good spectator logistics will cause a greater problem than sloping tee boxes. Though the statement by the USGA that "there is no way, no way that a player would have success here at Chambers Bay unless he really studies the golfcourse and learns it" is arrogant and asking for trouble.
Almost as if the USGA want to trick up the course.
Advantage to Jordan Spieth who has competed there and his caddie used to work there.

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Post by sirbenson Thu Apr 30, 2015 6:10 am

Poults is getting thrashed at the moment.

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Post by GPB Thu Apr 30, 2015 6:13 am

kwinigolfer wrote:

GPB,
Say what you like but there's no reason whatsoever not to begin coverage with the early matches, say at 9.45 a.m. PST.
Leaving it to 1.00 p.m. PST effectively reduces the amount of golf shown by a third, and eliminates some markets, as Caesar suggests. Understand your bit about Aussies & Asians but broadcasting the whole thing would give everyone a piece of the pie.

Believe it or not, the networks still have to pay cameramen, and spotters, and announcers, and directors, and producers, and people in the truck.

The PGATour never starts coverage at 10 am for tournaments of the East Coast, why should they change things up just because it is shown on the West Coast.

Golf Channel etc are in business to make money, and not to broadcast PGAT golf tournaments whenever pro golf is being played.

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Post by pedro Thu Apr 30, 2015 6:19 am

McLaren wrote:So McIlroy has no intention of reaching Saturday afternoon.  He seems set on going to some boxing thing in Las Vegas.

http://www.pgatour.com/tourreport/2015/04/28/rory-plans-to-see-mayweather-pacquiao-fight-during-match-play.html
Maybe he misunderstood something when he heard the knock out stage is in the weekend.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu Apr 30, 2015 6:43 am

GPB,
If Golf Channel can't make a profit showing Golf why the hell don't they let someone else have a go?
Alternatively, compress the tee-times; no reason whatsoever to legislate for ten minutes between twosomes when they have a regular diet of 9 minutes between groups for threesomes.
Whichever way you look at it, Poulter and Rose have their work cut out for them.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:24 am

Does anyone else think how they're showing the scoring online is crap?  Wouldn't it be better to see the first match out at the top or the bottom?  Seems unnecessarily complicated to me.

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Post by GPB Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:32 am

kwinigolfer wrote:GPB,
If Golf Channel can't make a profit showing Golf why the hell don't they let someone else have a go?
Alternatively, compress the tee-times; no reason whatsoever to legislate for ten minutes between twosomes when they have a regular diet of 9 minutes between groups for threesomes.
Whichever way you look at it, Poulter and Rose have their work cut out for them.

Who said they weren't making a profit?  I said there goal was to make money and for whatever reason, this is the model that they have determined that makes them the most money.

Would I like to see more golf?  Sure.  But I see the coverage as "half-full" rather than "half-empty".  I am grateful for what we do get to see.  I remember the 1970's where we only got two hours of coverage on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

When does the PGAT have a "regular diet of 9 minute" increments for threesomes?

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