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Golftube: Rickie Fowler saves Jim Nantz from a potentially awkward moment

Jonathan Wall
Devil Ball Golf

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Jim Nantz should send Rickie Fowler a thank you note. — Getty Images

Sizing up the TV coverage from the Wells Fargo Championship ... and away we go.

Rickie Fowler had a lot riding on his birdie putt to win his first PGA Tour tournament. Little did he know he was also trying to help Jim Nantz save face from a premature call following the pinpoint wedge on the first playoff hole.

After stuffing the shot to within five feet, Nantz decided to make the call early, proclaiming Fowler's approach to be the best wedge shot of his career.

"Rickie Fowler, trying to get PGA Tour win number one, just hit the best wedge shot of his career. What did it look like from the blimp (switching to an overhead view)? It looked like a dart. ... [Quail Hollow is] the perfect place, it makes sense that this would be the place for him to get his first win."

The only problem with the call? Fowler still had to make the putt, setting up a potentially awkward moment if he missed. I understand trying to build things up, but to call it the best wedge shot of his life before the putt? One miss and it would've become a tournament footnote.

Call it a great shot if you want; but the "best wedge shot of his career line" would have looked silly had Fowler botched the putt and gone on to lose on the next playoff hole. It was a gamble by Nantz that paid off, and when you look at it that way, maybe that's why he's one of the best in the business.

Making sense of Rory McIlroy's hips

If you've ever heard Nick Faldo wax poetic about Rory McIlroy's swing, then you'd know he has an obsession with the kid's hips. It's gotten to the point where it's a little creepy. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that during Sunday's playoff, Faldo tried to make sense of McIlroy's huge bump in distance by talking about, what else, his hips.

"It's all to do with his hip action," Faldo said, after Jim Nantz noted McIlroy had plastered his 3-wood an incredible 339 yards off the 18th tee. "The tour average on their backswing, they're 30 degrees closed, and at impact they're 48 degrees open. Rory is 49 degrees closed on his backswing and 62 degrees open at impact. Do your math at that one, folks."

Since when did Faldo turn into CBS's mathematician? And, more importantly, how the heck did he get that data?

Analyzing Rory's three-year-old swing against his 23-year-old swing

I've always been a fan of the Konica Minolta Swing Vision camera; if you're going to break the swing down, then do it in a manner where fans at home can see what you're talking about. With that in mind, CBS had a little fun with the split-screen option on Saturday, showing some video of a three-year-old Rory McIlroy swinging next to his current swing.

I have to say, even back then the swing, as well as the follow-through, looked like that of a tour pro. OK, so that may be taking it a bit far, but you get the idea.

More Tiger Woods analysis

It seems like we can't get through an edition of GolfTube without mentioning Tiger Woods. After missing the cut at the Wells Fargo, you knew Dr. Nick Faldo would want to get a word in about Tiger's struggles. And while I don't always agree with what he has to say, his fix for Woods' recent issues makes total sense.

"What about Tiger, Nick?" Nantz said. "You got reports that he had the bugs worked out following Augusta, but that didn't appear to be the case."

"He said he more than worked it out; he said the swing was fixed," Faldo said. "We saw the problems at Augusta, he went from the range to the first tee on Thursday and hit snap-hooks off the first and second holes. ... Anytime he needs to fade the ball, and you saw it here on the seventh hole this week, he cannot do it. He comes over the top and comes outside of the golf ball and it goes left. And that for me, this has been going on for longer than he wants. There are a couple of shots he fears, and he can't figure them out right now. Everyone keeps talking about how well he's hitting it on the range. Get off the range and go practice just on the golf course; simulate those shots, because you need to hit those shots, and trust them, in actual situations.

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