Sizing up the TV coverage from the Waste Management Open ... and away we go.
TPC Scottsdale co-designer Tom Weiskopf has never been one to mince words. So when he took to the booth to talk about the state of the game during the first round of the Waste Management Open, you knew he'd have something interesting things to say.
From Jack Nicklaus beating Tiger Woods in a head-to-head battle to the reasons behind adding so many risk-reward holes at the end of the course, Weiskopf was a quote machine.
But his most interesting comments had to do with the changes he'd make to the game of golf: "Honestly, we need to make the hole bigger. Think about it this way: we've got 26 million people defined as golfers by the national golf foundation, but 92 percent of them cannot break 90," Weiskopf said. "It's a very difficult game; it's a slow game; it becomes even slower watching these guys. They've slowed the game down and take so much time. I think we need to somehow find a way to make the hole bigger."
Taking a shot at the current pace of play while also coming up with a way to make the game more enjoyable for the casual golfer? I think Weiskopf gets two points for that answer.
It's just too bad the Golf Channel crew didn't ask him to expound on how big he'd make the hole, or if that change would really speed up the pace of pace of play for the average amateur.
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More awkwardness? More awkwardness
I thought last week's Jim Nantz-Tiger Woods interview was awakward. But after watching what transpired at this week's Waste Management Open, I can confirm that Phil Mickelson and David Feherty have leapfrogged the previous week's winners.
After taking some time to chat after Saturday's round, Feherty asked Mickelson for his Super Bowl prediction. Simple enough. He ended the interview by wishing Mickelson good luck the rest of the weekend. At least that's what Phil thought he was doing.
But Feherty obviously wasn't done. He then proceeded to ramble on about the weather in Dallas and the fact that he had to root for the Steelers because his daughter was marrying a guy from Pittsburgh.
Phil stood there, not sure whether he if could get away or not. Things got even better when Nantz started talking into Feherty's mic, asking him to tell Phil about how he correctly predicted the winner and score from the Giants' upset win over the Patriots.
"I know Phil can't hear me, but tell him about your prediction from a couple years back," Nantz said.
Feherty tried to relay what Nantz said into his headset to Mickelson. It was a mess, as he fumbled over his words with Phil looking as confused as ever, never once saying a word.
He just smiled. It was one of those moments where you almost had to look away. Two weeks, two super-awkward interviews. Is that a new record for the golf networks?
Talking about 16th hole
As expected, both the Golf Channel and CBS crew had a lot to say about TPC Scottsdale's cauldron, better known as the 16th hole.
The Golf Channel's Brandel Chamblee had a really funny story about the hole: "I haven't played it when it was full enclosed, but maybe fifty-percent enclosed. But you always started thinking about the hole on the driving range. You know, I got booed there once, and my son couldn't believe it; he was crying and I told him ‘they boo everybody.'"
Gary McCord also had some interesting comments about the hole, including a story about Tiger Woods' hole-in-one at the 1997 tournament: "I had a buddy outside who lived five miles away, and he was doing a barbeque that afternoon," McCord said. "He called and told me after Tiger hit that shot that he could hear the roar. Pretty incredible."
What makes "Two Gloves" tick
"Two gloves," as he's known on tour, was a great interview. A tour journeyman who was wrapping pipes for a living before he made started playing golf professionally, he had some fantastic things to say during the five minute Q&A.
But the best part of the interview was Jim Nanzt's follow-up question to why Gainey thinks he's an oddball: "I don't think people have to say it. I just think, the way I go about it with the two gloves and hitting it more like it's a baseball. You know, I play a mix between baseball and golf out here with my swing. I'm not like other guys out here who are ranked 10th or 20th in the world ... and I'm ranked 350-something. But I don't really care about that. I just feel really lucky to be out here on the PGA Tour trying to make the most of the opportunity."
Ogilvy's injured finger
Geoff Ogilvy made his return to the game this week after taking some time off to let his wounded finger - he gashed the finger on some coral during the week leading up to the Hyundai ToC -- rest for a couple of weeks.
But as Golf Channel's Brandel Chamblee noted, the injury still doesn't look like it's fully healed: "I'm a bit surprised at his form. I had a chance to look at the cut on his finger, and it's nasty. It still has to hurt."
I guess we should be even more impressed that he contended this week in Scottsdale.
Swingin' for the fences
After talking about all the moving parts in Tommy Gainey's swing, CBS finally took some time to break things down, with the help of SwingVision, during Sunday's broadcast. After Gainey compared his swing to that of a baseball player, the network did a swing comparison showing the similarities between Gainey and St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols.
It was an interesting decision to show Pujols in the clip, but it made a lot of sense after you saw how alike the two swings really were.
Great choice by CBS to start Saturday's broadcast off with Billy Mayfair's near-miss on the par-3 16th hole. Best of all was that he almost made the shot while wearing a Pat Tillman Arizona State jersey. ... CBS took a couple of minutes to interview players on their predictions for the Super Bowl, and most of the players they interviewed (Bryce Molder, Boo Weekley, Chad Campbell) all seemed like they had enough knowledge of the game to be in the booth for the big game. ... Like the famed 17th at TPC Sawgrass, CBS decided to show most of the action from the rowdy 16th at TPC Scottsdale during the weekend. It was a smart move considering the fan reactions make the hole a must-watch. Why not camp out on the hole and chronicle the action? ... Jim Nantz asked for early Augusta predictions from Faldo and Feherty. Faldo picked Martn Kaymer; Feherty picked Tiger Woods; and Nantz picked Dustin Johnson.
"It's so easy, a caveman could do it." CBS's Gary McCord, commenting on Lucas Glover's caveman-esque beard.
"Wecome to the cauldron of chaos, where everyone here is Simon Cowell." Gary McCord's comment about the wild and crazy 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale.
- TPC Scottsdale
- David Feherty
- Tom Weiskopf
- Tiger Woods