Ryder Cup All Over Television

By Associated PressSeptember 15, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Ryder CupBLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- TV viewers who became accustomed to the around-the-clock coverage of the Olympics should like this starting Friday: All Ryder Cup, all the time.
 
Well, not quite - there will be a couple of daytime hours from Friday through Sunday when NBC or the USA Network aren't televising the biennial United States vs. Europe competition, but not many.
 
The coverage stretches over 26 hours during the three days - enough time to show, for comparison's sake, nine average-length baseball games.
 
If the Masters is golf's version of the sprint, given the limited TV time Augusta National allows for coverage, then the Ryder Cup is its marathon. The USA Network will televise from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. EDT on Friday, as NBC will on Saturday. Sunday's coverage on NBC will be noon-6 p.m.
 
'It's become golf's greatest bit of theater in that the average guy really connects with this event,' NBC announcer Roger Maltbie said Wednesday. 'When you run up the flags and there's a nationalist aspect to it as well, the whole world seems to be watching. And to watch players squirm under that microscope and scrutiny ... adds another dimension to it.'
 
Even if it's NBC's Johnny Miller, a two-time Ryder Cup player, causing some of that squirming.
 
Four years ago at Brookline, Miller was especially critical of Justin Leonard's play Friday and Saturday, suggesting he was so bad he 'should go home and watch on television.'
 
Good thing for the United States he didn't. On Sunday, Leonard provided the Americans with one of their greatest Ryder Cup moments ever, rallying from a four-hole deficit with seven holes to play against Jose Maria Olazabal by sinking a 45-foot putt that secured the Cup.
 
Miller didn't apologize afterward for what some perceived as overly rough treatment of Leonard, and he all but said he won't do so again if a similar incident occurs this time.
 
'I'm just trying to give them a free lesson, or some free advice,' said Miller, the 1973 U.S Open champion. 'Most guys don't want a lesson on national TV.'
 
Maltbie, also a former PGA Tour player, said golfers shouldn't be distracted by what's being said in the booth.
 
'If your (Miller's) commentary becomes their direction for play, they're not paying attention to what they're supposed to be paying attention to,' he said.
 
Some Miller observations before Europe goes for its fourth Ryder Cup since 1995:
 
- Luke Donald, a 26-year-old from England, could be the surprise star for Europe despite ranking only 34th on the PGA Tour money list. He missed the cut in the British Open but won the recent Omega Europe.
 
'I really believe he's a great iron player and he's really had great success on the (amateur) Walker Cup team,' Miller said.
 
-The United States must do better on Friday, when Europe traditionally piles up points in foursomes and four-ball.
 
'On the first day, you have to put out your guns and get some winning patterns,' he said.
 
- Tiger Woods has a poor Ryder Cup record (5-8-2) because the Europeans are more aggressive against them than they normally would be in stroke play.
 
'In one match when you have a chance to play Tiger - and that's your one shot - I think a lot of people think in that one round, `I'm going to turn the turbos loose,' ' Miller said. 'Tiger is behind the 8-ball against those guys. They have a chance to make history and become heroes in their hometowns.'
 
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    Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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    Four back to start the day, Woods parred his first seven holes before pouring in his first Saturday birdie via this flagged iron from 139 at the par-4 eighth:

    Woods hit three more quality approaches at 9, 10 and 11 but couldn't get a putt to drop.

    The lid finally came off the hole at No. 12 when he holed a key 17-footer for par to keep his scorecard clean.

    One hole later, Woods added a second circle to that card, converting this 14-footer for a birdie-3 that moved him back into red figures at 1 under par for the week.

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    DOHA, Qatar - Oliver Fisher birdied his last four holes in the Qatar Masters third round to share the lead at Doha Golf Club on Saturday.

    The 29-year-old Englishman shot a 7-under 65 for an overall 16-under 200. Eddie Pepperell (66) picked up shots on the 16th and 18th to catch his compatriot and the pair enjoy a two-shot lead over American Sean Crocker (67) in third.

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    ''You can quite easily make a few bogeys without doing that much wrong here, so it's important to be patient and keep giving yourself chances.''

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    ''I maybe lost a little feeling through the turn, but I bounced back nicely and I didn't let it bother me,'' said the 27-year-old Pepperell, who hit his third shot to within four feet on the par-5 18th to join Fisher on top.

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    Uihlein fires back at Jack in ongoing distance debate

    By Randall MellFebruary 24, 2018, 4:32 pm

    PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Wally Uihlein challenged Jack Nicklaus’ assault this week on the golf ball.

    Uihlein, an industry force as president and CEO of Titleist and FootJoy parent company Acushnet for almost 20 years, retired at year’s start but remains an adviser.

    In an interview with ScoreGolf on Friday, Uihlein reacted to Nicklaus’ assertions that the ball is responsible for contributing to a lot of the troubles the game faces today, from slow play and sagging participation to the soaring cost to play.

    Uihlein also took the USGA and The R&A to task.

    The ball became a topic when Nicklaus met with reporters Tuesday at the Honda Classic and was asked about slow play. Nicklaus said the ball was “the biggest culprit” of that.

    “It appears from the press conference that Mr. Nicklaus was blaming slow play on technology and the golf ball in particular,” Uihlein said. “I don’t think anyone in the world believes that the golf ball has contributed to the game’s pace of play issues.”

    Nicklaus told reporters that USGA executive director Mike Davis pledged over dinner with him to address the distance the golf ball is flying and the problems Nicklaus believes the distance explosion is creating in the game.

    “Mike Davis has not told us that he is close, and he has not asked us for help if and when he gets there,” Uihlein said.

    ScoreGolf pointed out that the Vancouver Protocol of 2011 was created after a closed-door meeting among the USGA, The R&A and equipment manufacturers, with the intent to make any proposed changes to equipment rules or testing procedures more transparent and to allow participation in the process.

    “There are no golf courses being closed due to the advent of evolving technology,” Uihlein said. “There is no talk from the PGA Tour and its players about technology making their commercial product less attractive. Quite the opposite, the PGA Tour revenues are at record levels. The PGA of America is not asking for a roll back of technology. The game’s everyday player is not advocating a roll back of technology.”

    ScoreGolf said Uihlein questioned why the USGA and The R&A choose courses that “supposedly” can no longer challenge the game’s best players as preferred venues for the U.S. Open, The Open and other high-profile events.

    “It seems to me at some point in time that the media should be asking about the conflict of interest between the ruling bodies while at the same time conducting major championships on venues that maybe both the athletes and the technology have outgrown,” he said. “Because it is the potential obsolescence of some of these championship venues which is really at the core of this discussion.”