GolfTube: Sizing up the Open TV coverage

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

Nobody ever expected Tiger Woods to play a Fall Series event in his lifetime. If you know Woods' schedule, then you know he's predictable and calculated when it comes to choosing his events. Unlike guys on tour who are willing to take a chance playing another event, the former No. 1 sticks to a strict schedule each year.

But with the Presidents Cup only a month away -- and Fred Couples demanding some logged rounds -- Woods needed reps before heading to Australia. Suddenly, Woods' pain became the Golf Channel's gain.

You rarely see a Fall Series event get this much coverage, but for four days, the Golf Channel treated the Open like the Memorial or Bay Hill -- giving the tournament wall-to-wall coverage, and an additional hour of coverage during each round.

Considering Woods' affinity for playing the same events, we've never really had the chance in recent years to see how his presence influences smaller tour events. If the tour's still debating the one-in-four rule, the coverage this week would be reason enough to implement it in the future.

I doubt the will every see Woods in the field in the future, but based on the coverage he brought to the Fall Series event, you can see why every tour stop would love to have a Woods or Mickelson in the field, even if it was just once every four years.

You can be certain the Golf Channel appreciated the ratings bump during an otherwise quiet point in the tour season.

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Golf Channel's hot dog-less coverage

By now you've probably already heard about the Tiger Woods-hot dog throwing incident at the Open. While standing over a putt on the 7th green, a fan ran under the ropes, hot dog in hand, and started yelling "Tiger! Tiger!" as he approached Woods.

He never got close, but the incident, and the hot dog he was carrying at the time, blew up the interwebs on Sunday evening. By Monday morning it was a full-blow story. There was just one problem: nobody ever saw the moment during the telecast.

That's because the Golf Channel chose to not show or mention the moment on Sunday, also choosing not to ask Woods about the incident in his post-round interview. The Telegraph of London had video of the incident on Monday morning, but that quickly got taken down in a matter of hours.

Network golf coverage has shown streakers on television before -- including the famous 1985 Open Championship streaker -- so a guy running towards Woods with a hot dog seems pretty tame. That's why you have to wonder why the network chose to not mention the incident at all.

After showing a shot of Briny Baird hitting an approach shot, the network quickly went to Woods putting out on the 7th hole, and then to Kelly Tilghman in the booth -- never once bringing up the moment.

I understand not wanting to show video of the guy, but why not at least touch on it for a second at the end of the broadcast? Even if you consider yourself above the moment, you still have an obligation as journalists to report the whole story.

Rocco Mediate wired for sound

One week after Jonathan Byrd was wired for sound at the tour stop in Las Vegas, Rocco Mediate agreed to wear the mic at the Open. As the defending champion, you'd think Mediate would've passed on the opportunity.

But knowing Rocco and his personality, the mic seemed like a perfect fit. As usual, he provided a number of funny moments, including laughing at the lack of fans following him at the event, and questioning a decision to clap after he hit a poor shot.

"Why are they clapping?" Mediate said jokingly to his caddie. "They know that wasn't a good shot. I'm sure they know the difference between the two. I guess they're just being nice."

After suffering through the network's hit-and-miss coverage with the mic, I'm hoping this idea goes by the wayside in 2012. There really isn't a place for it in the weekly coverage. Some guys talk a little, while others choose to not say a word -- I talking to you, Davis Love III -- making it impossible to predict if a guy is even worth the mic.

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