GolfTube: Sizing up the TV coverage of the Deutsche Bank

Charley Hoffman seemed to be playing for a lot more than a paycheck on Monday. After burying the field with a birdie barrage, Hoffman put on his other game face -- his Ryder Cup game face -- when he entered the NBC tower to discuss his round.

The final round of the Deutsche Bank was all about FedEx Cup points, but Hoffman made it extremely clear that he was playing for something else -- and that was a Ryder Cup spot.

While he wasn't even in the discussion prior to this week, his final round 62 vaulted him into contention. "If I can shoot 62 in the playoffs, I'm pretty sure I can play well in the Ryder Cup," he told NBC's Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller after the round.

Don't be fooled by the surfer hair and shades -- Charley Hoffman's got game. But does he deserve a Ryder Cup spot?

Johnny Miller seemed to think so, proclaiming late in the round that "Corey [Pavin] should ask for [Charley Hoffman's] number."

Corey certainly has his number on file. Whether he decides to pick up the phone and make the call to one of the hottest players on tour remains to be seen.

Weather Rejects

Both NBC and the Golf Channel spent a portion of their broadcasts discussing Corey Pavin's potential Ryder Cup selection, yet it was Frank Nobilo's argument regarding two European Ryder Cuppers that received the most play.

During the Friday telecast, Kelly Tilghman asked Nobilo if he thought Montgomerie's decision to leave Justin Rose and Paul Casey off the European team was due in large part to there being so many good players at his disposal this year.

Instead of taking the easy way out and agreeing, Nobilo posed his own conclusion: "I actually think he's going over there with a bunch of players [that can play] in poor weather, because that's what they're expecting to get in Wales," Nobilo said. "[Paul Casey] lives in Arizona and Justin Rose [lives] in Atlanta, and both have played extremely well in good weather."

While all for playing conspiracy theories, I find it hard to believe he'd leave two great talents off the team just because they couldn't play in rainy conditions.


Try as they might, NBC and the Golf Channel will never be able to sell a television audience on the late-round drama surrounding players on the cut line for the next FedEx Cup event.

Names like Chalmers, Rollins, Glover and Romero don't exactly get the heart pumping during a final round. Most could care less if one of them misses the cut for the BMW Championship.

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Big Jinx

Jason Day can place the majority of the blame on Johnny Miller for his mundane finish on Monday. Miller started the final round telecast by gushing over Day's game: "Is there a better player out there with as good a package of power and swing?" Miller asked, to no one in particular, prior to Day's tee-shot on the third hole.

He went on to laud the 22-year-old for having the best swing on tour ... until he fanned his shot off the tee, forcing Miller to admit: "Maybe I spoke too soon."

Day was never the same after those comments, as he went on to bogey the hole and finish in a tie for second.

Is Johnny Miller a jinx? I'll let you decide.

Got Tiger?

Hurricane Tiger -- not Earl -- was Friday's biggest story, as the world number one hacked his way around the TPC Boston course. His play was so bad, in fact, that Kelly Tilghman and the rest of the Golf Channel staff started giving updates on Woods' FedEx Cup ranking. Excessive updates, in fact.

It's understandable to mention it a couple of times during a three-hour telecast, but wondering aloud if he would "make a move on the leaders," when he was nine or ten shots off the lead, killed the story.

And to top it off, it was only the first round. The tour obviously needs Woods to draw viewers, but mentioning his position in the standings every five minutes borders on excessive.

The Weekly Woods update

Steve Sands gave some insight into the practice sessions between Tiger Woods and Sean Foley during Friday's telecast. Sands mentioned that Woods and Foley were working eight hours a day in Florida, thereby allowing Woods to head straight to the tournament with more than enough feedback from their sessions.

The most interesting note, however, was that Foley won't be staying with Woods during the tournament weeks, choosing instead to head home and record Woods' televised round. Foley then goes over the footage and pinpoints the trouble areas they need to work on. No wonder we're seeing increased coverage of Tiger Woods the last couple of weeks.


• Woods made an interesting comment after Saturday's round to the Golf Channel's Sands regarding the use of his new swing in windy conditions: "I'm still getting used to the new swing thoughts, but it's getting better. I still find myself going back to my old swing in the wind. It's something I'm continuing to work on when I'm at home."

• The Golf Channel had the cameras out on the course early on Saturday, recording most -- if not all -- of Tiger Woods' round. They used the coverage in a well-done highlight package of his round -- one that ended prior to the network coming on the air -- that gave viewers a chance to see the highlights of his six-under 65.

• NBC showed a nauseating number of Ryder Cup commercials, with Michael Jordan doing the voice-over. While the promo ad was cool the first and second time, it started to get old around the ninth time -- or was it the nine hundredth? -- they showed it during Monday's final round broadcast. We get it -- you're airing the Ryder Cup.

• Credit to Sands for asking Brandt Snedeker during his post-round interview on Saturday if going off the back nine played a part in his 7-under 64. Snedeker confirmed that it did: "I was able to get that difficult stretch of holes from 10 to 14 out of the way early, and it really seemed to work to my advantage."

• Roger Maltbie made an interesting find during Sunday's third-round telecast. He had the cameras take a slo-mo shot of Brandt Snedeker's hands, noting how he took his left thumb off the grip during the takeaway, only to put it back on moments later.

• Golf Channel rolled out the CDS Tech Center on Friday, a computer than was placed on the 4th and 18th holes on Friday and Saturday to measure the club head speed, ball speed and carry for all the tee-shots. While the technology was fairly basic, it did add another wrinkle to the coverage. You have to wonder if the Tech Center will be rolled out on a full-time basis next year.


"His FedEx Cup truck is lost." -- Johnny Miller, commenting on Matt Kuchar's stretch of bogeys on Saturday that moved him out of contention.

"I think Corey [Pavin] should ask for [Charley Hoffman's] number." -- Johnny Miller, commenting on Hoffman's final round 62 that vaulted him into the Ryder Cup discussion.

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