Sizing up the TV coverage from the FedEx St. Jude Classic ... and away we go.
Lee Westwood may have finished strong at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, but that didn't stop the Golf Channel's Peter Oosterhuis from having a critical discussion about his short game this week.
While it was his putter that seemed to be off early in the week -- and in a playoff defeat at the BMW PGA Championship -- Oosterhuis said it's Westwood's chipping and bunker play that worries him the most.
"Well the putter is usually good," Oosterhuis said. "When I say short game, I'm talking about his chipping and bunker play. It's not up to the standard of the rest of his game.
"I think overall the putting is OK. ... But the chipping is what I'm concerned about. It's never been as good as it should be for someone at his level of the game. But he's still been really successful, tee to green; he's been solid and usually good with the putter."
Usually good with the putter? Maybe someone should show Oosterhuis some footage of Westwood missing easy putts in the final round at Wentworth.
More follows ...
TPC Southwind changes
Harrison Frazar managed to capture the FedEx St. Jude Classic with a double-figure winning score, but as opposed to years past, both TV crews noticed the TPC Southwind course playing considerably harder this year.
"There was a time when we really expected people to go low here," CBS's Bill Macatee said. "Then they reworked the golf course and its become one of the toughest challenges on the PGA Tour."
"I think one of the big changes was the courses changing the greens to Bermuda grass; it's also now a par 70 when it used to be 72, and that makes a big difference on the par 5's," Ian Baker-Finch noted. "Tighther fairways, smaller greens, and [on Saturday] we have some tucked pins, and hidden hole locations. But that makes a big difference because when they tuck those pins, it's hard to get at the flags."
Baker-Finch and Macatee weren't the only ones noting the increase in course difficulty. The Golf Channel's Kelly Tilghman made a good point on why the tournament ratcheted the course difficulty level up a couple notches.
"With the U.S. Open just a week away, you can tell the course is trying its best to replicate some of those conditions. It's hard to mirror the setup, but the greens are running a little faster and the course playing a little tougher."
Just like the Shell Houston Open, that precedes the Masters, it would appear TPC Southwind is following suit by simulating major championship conditions.
Technology for the big guys
CBS is known for occasionally going overboard with the SwingVision camera during a round. While it's interesting to see Peter Kostis break down a swing, the use of the slo-mo on random shot going to a commercial break is a little much at times.
But in honor of Al Geiberger's 59 that he shot at Colonial Country Club in Memphis, Tenn., back in 1977, the network decided to break down "Mr. 59's" swing. At 6' 2", Geiberger was one of the taller players on tour, and with technology being so limited he had to conform to whatever equipment was available at that time.
Peter Kostis noted how technology has not only helped make the game easier for the pros, but for the taller players on tour, as well.
"Its changed it a lot for the taller guys," Kostis said. "Back in the day with the heavy steel shafts and 43-inch drivers, they had to scrunch down to about 5-foot-10 to hit the golf ball, now they don't. They 45- and 46-inch drivers. Technology has really helped the big guy."
Every week on the PGA Tour you're guaranteed to see two things when you turn on the television: male-enhancement commericals, and commentators talking about the FedEx Cup standings. With shipper acting as the title sponsor for the event in Memphis, the entire tournament week turned it a FedEx lovefest.
Aside from the usual commercials and FedEx talk, the Golf Channel made it a point to point out the FedEx standings and how close the four tournament finale was, even though we haven't reached the second major of the year.
The lovefest, while understandable this week, just seemed a little excessive at times ... kind of like the number of commercials you see in an hour period when watching televised golf on the weekend.
- Peter Oosterhuis