Its the Medias Fault
In the time Ive written this column Ive seen more responses from enthusiastic folks like you finding fault with the media than Id believed was possible. Never did I think Id escape the comments all together, but WOW.
When Michelle Wie made headlines for playing the Sony Open in Hawaii you screamed that the medias over-hyping this story, and ruining this young girls teenage years.
Just cover the men, you said. Shes not even competitive. Let her win something first!
Not So Recently
When Annika Sorenstam played at the Bank of America Colonial two years ago you fired away with high pitched frequency saying that its a mans tour ' let her play where she belongs.
This is nothing but a publicity stunt, you declared.
When John Daly made all of his personal news off the course, we needed to let him alone.
Its none of your business, you moaned.
When Tiger Woods plays and we talk about it, we talk about it too much. When he doesnt play and we talk about him, we slight the rest of the PGA Tour. If he hits a jaw-dropper of a shot worth praising, we cant help ourselves. If he plays poorly and leaves us questioning him, we hold him to an unfair level.
You guys go on and on about Tiger so much it makes me sick, youve cried. Enough already with Tiger ' hes not the only player out there.
No player causes more of a stir with fans of the game than Tiger Woods. And by my mailbag theres a distinct love him or hate him feeling toward this guy. You folks always have something to say - which is great.
But a strong faction (cmon... you know who you are) seems to feel that Tiger gets too much of everything.
Too much hype. Too much coverage. Too much conversation. Too much criticism. Too much money.
WellHeres what Id like people to realize ' or at least consider when talking about the golf media. Were not in the business of creating the story. But we are in the business of delivering the facts behind what you watch on television or witness in person at a tournament.
And many times what fans of sport (golf in this case) dont realize is how often they steer the ship when it comes to continual storytelling. Give yourself the credit. What we do is react.
And I hope youre sitting down when I tell you that this media type believes our collective group is not positioned on a pedestal unfairly shouting down about the triumphs of Tiger Woods. In my opinion (and isnt it great that we can all have them), we dont dictate policy as much as we follow it.
Yes, everybody who covers golf has their designated rooting interests. But when Brian Hewitt and I talk on the Sprint Post Game about us rooting for the story, we mean it. I have never said Tiger Woods is my favoritebut tell me he isnt golfs biggest ongoing story and Ill beg to differ.
Tigers story started with numbers. Low rounds shot at a very low age. Large numbers of tournaments won growing up. An historic number of amateur wins. A crazy number of wins early in his PGA Tour career. A mind-boggling number of consecutive cuts made. And an impressive number of majors to date.
Heres where youre to blame. Forget the wins for a second. If Tiger plays ' ratings go up. If ratings go up that means youre watching in bigger numbers. Numbers signal interest. Interest shows need. And your need triggers our conversation. Are we at fault for talking too much Tiger? Apparently youthats rightyouare asking for it.
In fact, lately Im beginning to wonder if were actuallydare I say partners in all of this Tiger Woods coverage.
Sure, our mission is to provide fair and balanced commentary. However, our business is also about serving the publics intrigue.
Tiger in the field provides intrigue. Tiger dominating provides intrigue. Players beating Tiger at his best provides intrigue. Tiger struggling provides intrigue. Players stepping on Tigers neck while he is down provides intrigue. Tiger re-tooling provides intrigue. Tiger regaining dominance provides intrigue.
Trust me when I say the rest of the PGA Tours members also follow his every move. Ive witnessed the chit-chat in locker rooms on Tour.
So all I ask is that the next time you see a dip in the ratings or a spike in the ratings. check to see if Woods is competing. The next time youre at an event stuck amidst galleries 6-deep just to get a peek, check to see if its Tiger on the tee. The next time purses go up on the PGA Tour, check to see who gets credit from the rest of the field.
Excess coverage is in the eye of the beholder. At least thats my take as I ponder thoughts of the PGA Tour this weekend without ol whats his name.
Email your thoughts to Kraig Kann
Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas
Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.
Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.
Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.
McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.
Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?
Memo to the golf gods:
If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?
Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?
It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.
With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.
It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.
We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.
We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.
Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.
Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line. Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.
We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors.
In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.
While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.
Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.
Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.
Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.
While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.
Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.
So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?
McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever
With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.
The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.
Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.
"I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."
McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.
But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.
"I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."
What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire
Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.
Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft
Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft
Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft
Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts
Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts
Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x