Lets Fix the Battle

By Kraig KannJuly 29, 2005, 4:00 pm
Did you watch it? The Battle at the Bridges. Tiger Woods and John Daly taking on Phil Mickelson and Retief Goosen. Ive had a few days to sit and think about Monday nights event, and have come up with a spin.
 
Ultimately it was a 5 and 3 victory by Mickelson and Goosen ' if you stayed up long enough or stayed with it long enough to see its conclusion.
 
The ratings say you probably didnt. The rating was a less-than-healthy 3.9, which is down 5 percent from 2004 and down a full two points from the 5.9 prime-time rating in 2001.
 
Lets not overcomplicate things. Rating points mean millions of homes and millions of dollars available for advertisers and millions of potential dollars to professional golf in future advertisers.
 
Let me first say that I had no problem with the selection of the four men involved in the event. I enjoy watching Woods whenever I can. Mickelson, too, hits shots we would all like to take to the course. Daly is Daly. Hes entertainment, and hes good fun and hes good golf. I admire Retiefs ability. Goosen is a pro in every sense of the word.
 
I also have no problem with the concept of taking the PGA Tour to prime-time television for an event to showcase our sport, and to showcase the best talent the sport has to offer. A good window of opportunity as I see it.
 
HOWEVER
 
Prime-time means entertainment. Entertainment should come first, not second, not third and certainly not last. (which is where I saw it.)
 
The ABC Sports gang gave us everything they could. But it wasnt enough.
 
Tiger gave us some good shots, a couple of monstrous and majestic drives, a few smiles and the same stone-faced bit of intensity that were used to seeing. But its not a tournament. Its an opportunity.
 
Daly gave us a few smashing drives, a few good shots and a nice interview with Ian Baker-Finch about the family he helped after lightning tragically struck at the 1991 PGA Championship. Daly seemed tired, period.
 
Mickelson seemed like the player who was trying to jump-start the entertainment. Unfortunately, nobody caught on. Phil, perhaps like no other player, understands the proper mix of smiles and spectacular flop shots, but Monday night was a flop ' even in victory.
 
Goosen is Goosen. He doesnt talk much unless talked to. He doesnt laugh much and he isnt going to rile up the gallery with a megawatt smile. His shot-making is his strength. His steadiness and sense of calm is great for majors, but not what the PGA Tour needed in its window of opportunity.
 
Im sure we could sit here and come up with many other formats and many other pairings that could have or might lead us to a better night of television. Desperate Housewives ratings? No. A good night of television for the golf enthusiast? Yes.
 
There are a couple of hundred professionals who wouldve killed for the chance to win a spot in front of America on Monday night. On the PGA Tour, a couple dozen might have embraced the idea of showman before show-stopping golf. It is my belief that Woods, Daly, Mickelson and Goosen could still find a way to hit their shots with nearly the same skill if they spent every moment before and after the shot doing an impression of Cedric The Entertainer.
 
Simply stated, if you cant get the Big Four (and a competition that really matters) . just dont give us the Big Bore.
 
Trust me, we would have gotten a much better show out of a match-up between
Neal Lancaster and Tim Herron versus Tripp Isenhour and John Maginnes. And if we had seen that, the PGA Tour, while maybe not showcasing its best stars, would have shown us depth and a disdain for the boring.
 
Sell me on your thoughts, sell me on your match-ups, sell me on your formats. Maybe prime-time television will be listening.
 
Email your thoughts to Kraig Kann
Getty Images

Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


Masters victory


Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


Man of the people


Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


Departure from TaylorMade


Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


Victory at Valderrama


Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
Getty Images

Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.