That Is A Big ‘Fuck You’ To NBC
In case you missed it, the USGA announced today that Fox will carry the U.S. Open and other USGA events starting in 2015 running through 2026. When reached for comment, Johnny Miller called out the USGA for grabbing the cash offered by Fox instead of staying with a more reputable network crew that actually works other events during the PGA Tour’s schedule. To an extent, I think Miller is correct and I agree with him as I usually do. Johnny saying that off the cuff in the heat of the moment is honest and sounds a bit like sour grapes, but that’s exactly what it is. He’s not lying and he’s clearly pissed off. May be he should blame NBC for not paying the freight.
Fox did offer the most money, and the USGA took it. On one hand the Open, the Am, Women’s Open, and Senior Open on NBC had become a bit of a tradition since the peacock signed on for the broadcast rights in 1995. I’m sad to see that this will end in the next two years. On the other hand I think its exciting to see what Fox will bring to the table with regard to golf broadcasts. Remember when they got into hockey and the puck glowed on your TV? Ugh, that was god awful. As long as they don’t give us something as tacky and gimmicky as that I think we’ll be ok. Who’ll they’ll use to call the action and provide commentary is anybody’s guess. Any suggestions? I’m sensing Terry Bradshaw and Gus Johnson. That might make us yearn for Johnny and/or Chris Berman.
Why’d Fox take this leap? They’re starting a cable sports channel that is an attempt to rival ESPN and provide similar content and programming. They’ve already been very aggressive in snatching up college football rights and deals, now they’re dipping into golf. That’s simple enough, isn’t it? They see golf as a valuable asset to fill their downtime a few weekends in the summer and they know the demographic that watches golf is a loyal and strong one with plenty of purchasing power.
A few years ago Chad Campbell completed his 1st round of play in the Fed Ex playoff event in Boston when an official walked up and told him he had been disqualified. What had he done to deserve his DQ? Nothing, and that was the problem. Chad didn’t ever actually register for the tournament with its officials as required by the PGA, USGA, Masters, and PGA Tour and therefore was disqualified. The same thing almost happened to Phil Mickelson this week before FIGJAM came to his senses.
Per usual at the majors, Phil found a Tuesday money game partnering with Rickie Fowler to take on and beat Peter Uihlein and another former Oklahoma State golfer, Brooks Koepka. On Wednesdays at the majors, Phil goes off site to decompress and get serious about his practice. He typically visits an exclusive club in the vicinity of the host course and works on specific shots he’ll play Thursday through Sunday and talks strategy with Butch Harmon, Dave Pelz, and Bones. Knowing this, most of the golf journos and PGA staff at Oak Hill were shocked to see FIGJAM roll in late in the afternoon wearing shorts and flip flops.
Phil didn’t come to get something from his locker or roll putts, he merely showed up to register so he didn’t get a DQ. That would have been something. Can you imagine the British Champ not even being allowed to compete in the next major due to a technicality? I’m guessing his agent figured out the mental error or Bones said something to him during their practice session. Maybe next time Amy can pin a note to his shirt so he doesn’t have another brain fart.
More Fun And Games
I told you yesterday that Oak Hill is one of the few courses to have hosted a PGA, Ryder Cup, U.S. Open, U.S. Am, etc. Well, some fun loving golf nut created a little quiz via Sporacle to test your knowledge of courses that have hosted both a PGA and a U.S. Open. Yahoo’s Shane Bacon provided us with a link via Twitter:
Shockingly there are 21 of them. One no longer even exists (I still got that one). The quiz gives you 12 minutes to complete it. Type in your answer and the site will load it into the correct spot. I got 17 of the 21 correct so make that your goal and leave a comment below to tell us how you did.