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Devil Ball Golf

GolfTube: Piling on Westwood, slam dunks, and cutting coverage

Jonathan Wall
Devil Ball Golf

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Sizing up the TV coverage from the Shell Houston Open ... and away we go.

What is it about Lee Westwood that makes him an easy target for golf announcers? Is it that fact the he shunned playing full-time on the PGA Tour for Europe? Or is it because he's no longer the number one player in the world, and therefore can't hide behind the title of being the "best golfer on the planet"?

Whatever the case may be, it's clear the Golf Channel's Mark Rolfing and Frank Nobilo enjoy picking on Westwood. During Thursday's first round, they tried to to analyze his putting stroke. But as you can see, the conversation quickly turned to why Westwood can afford to putt poorly on the European Tour.

"Frank, you just think many times that Westwood's putter doesn't match up with the level of the rest of his game," Rolfing said in the middle of the round.

"It's almost like out of necessity that he hasn't had to putt well from playing more in Europe. When you come across to America, the quality of the greens, the depth of the field ... [poor putting] really does tend to show up more over here," Nobilo said.

The best part of the discussion, however, was that they made the comments just before the Englishman made his third straight birdie. Nice timing, guys.

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Dunk you very much

The Final Four is in Houston this week, so it only seems fitting that Paul Stankowski would give us a slam dunk from the fairway. Sure, guys hole-out from the fairway on a weekly basis during the tour season. But do they dunk it on a one-hop?

I doubt it. GolfTube doesn't have a shot-o-meter in place, but if I did, I'd rank this about an 8.5 on a 1-10 scale. The Golf Channel guys seemed to enjoy it, too.

Broken record, broken coverage

I'm tired of bringing this up, but the Golf Channel, once again, decided to leave Thursday's first round coverage early for Golf Central. Look, I have no problem seeing the highlights from the round, but I do have a problem with the network leaving coverage with their marquee group of Mickelson, Kim, and Westwood still on the course.

I know you can't drag the coverage out too long, but at least give the viewers a break. If you give us a marquee pairing we expect to see them finish their round. As I've said before in this space, it's not like you have the local or national news backing up to the coverage.

You can afford to go over the alloted time slot. Give it a try sometime.

Gimmie putts inside 12 feet?

Redstone Golf Club tried their best to turn the greens into Augusta replica's. That's nearly impossible due to the severe undulations at the famed course in Georgia, but Redstone gave it a great shot. But if you believe Johnny Miller's comments, they made putts inside 12 feet too easy.

"With these greens being, you know, you just can't hardly miss a putt on these greens. They're pretty flat around the hole and it's almost impossible to miss one if you knock it close," Johnny Miller said.

While Mickelson was lining up a four-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole: "This putt is so easy to read; it's just right center. It's not even worth looking at ... knock it in!"

And there was also this comment from Miller: "Inside 12 feet is almost a gimmie. It's so flat around the hole that you really can't miss a putt unless you really try."

From his comments, one would venture a guess that the greens in were pretty easy. Based on the scores that were posted on the weekend by Phil Mickelson, maybe Miller was onto something.

Harrington's five o'clock shadow

Wondering why Padraig Harrington was sporting the two- or three-day-old beard? NBC's Dan Hick and Johnny Miller had you covered with an answer during Saturday's third round.

"He brought blades but forgot his razor, so he hasn't shaved this week," Hicks said. "He did it Wednesday then woke up and realized he didn't have. But he thought if he kept playing the way he is right now, maybe he wouldn't shave."

"He cold buy one. There are about 200 drug stores in Houston," Miller said, his sarcasm meter clearly on the fritz.

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