A Masters Day in Studio

By Kraig KannApril 6, 2007, 4:00 pm
Six hours of coverage on Day 1 of the 71st Masters Tournament. And my guess is that it doesnt quite feel like enough.
 
The anticipation for Rd. 1 was so big. and not just for those of you at home. When Mike Ritz and David Marr began updates Thursday morning at 9 a.m., the Noon Live From the Masters gang was prepping in our newsroom, and just when that show kicked in, there was another meeting to get ready for the 7 p.m. edition of Live From the Masters.
 
Its hardly a small cast. Producer Matt Hegarty and director Rick Monte handle the early 'Live From'.. and Lead Producer Eric Saperstein and Director Eric Rutledge handle the prime-time 'Live From' broadcast.
 
The on-air folks included Inga Hammond, Vince Cellini, Frank Nobilo, Brandel Chamblee, Brian Hewitt and myself. Two hours before air-time we are huddled in our newsroom discussing Hegartys rundown of ideas.
 
That hardly includes the meetings on-site at Augusta where Rich Lerner, Kelly Tilghman, Steve Sands and Scott McCarron, among others, were preparing for their part in the show.
 
Our start time was four hours prior to network coverage which is actually dictated by your interest at home. Fact is, you all have watched each and every year with such enthusiasm for this major that we continue to add hours and manpower and shows.
 
So how does it work? And who helps guys like Vince Cellini and myself and the ladies like Inga and Kelly sound knowledgeable?
 
Long before you see us at noon, there is a collection of some 40 people getting ready behind the scenes. Our lead producer Eric is not only overseeing the days entire coverage and assigning folks to various projects, but hes also working on a variety of statistics and video highlights to best assess the days play at Augusta National.
 
Saperstein is the boss, but he has help coordinating tapes from various folks who watch and keep a running log of every shot shown on television that day. There is a person (Bret Brilliante) whos sole job is to provide a reel of shots for countless players we might talk about. So when Brandel Chamblee discusses Brett Wetterich, Bret Brilliante has him covered.
 
There is a highlights producer (Chris Datres) whose job is to put together the best two minutes of highlights from the day, and then add a few shorter versions we might use later in the coverage. Another person (Mike Mc Eown) edits what we call re-teases which lets you know whats coming up in the next few segments.
 
Alex Byrd is responsible for putting together interview segments from the leaders that come in from Augusta National. Reed Burton is one of our new additions at GOLF CHANNEL. Hes our research man who supplies on-air folks like myself with statistics and brings that information to our folks who put the graphics together that you see on the air.
 
The tease is what you see at the beginning of the show. One man's job which takes hours to produce. Chris DeCelle is responsible this week. Did you see Arnold Palmers ceremonial tee shot on Thursday? Amy Rogers edited that together. And if you saw Rich Lerners Championship Journal it was Richs writing but Ben Elishas effort to match the pictures to the words that brings it home on television.
 
Those are just some of the names in the newsroom on this day and of course there are so many more whove been working for months on features that will only see a few minutes of time this week
 
And the folks in the studio - behind the camera ' are putting in long hours prepping cameras and lighting among other things long before the show kicks off at noon.
 
Ken Garren is the leader of the most personable team Ive worked with in my television career. No less than 12 people handle cameras, lighting and audio. No chance of doing it without guys like Howard Schain, Jeff Kozak, James Murphey and Jonathon Renuart who handle technical production and camera operation. Derreck Beauregard was in charge of audio, and had help from Steve Specht, Jim McCabe and Rick Alexander.
 
The noon edition or early edition of 'Live From...' is a blend of informative chaos. Truth is that while we all do our homework and bring countless articles and handwritten notes and media guides to the set, once the first tee ball is struck, we react to whos doing well and whos not.
 
Scorecards and updates are constant, and there is always a producer and or director talking in my ear about whats coming next. If Inga and Vince and I do our jobs well, you dont notice. Its actually our technical directors Gary Ruchlin, Richard Rothhaus and Alex Tallon who push the buttons as directors Monte and Rutledge bark out the signals.
 
So it's four hours from Noon to 4 p.m. before network coverage. Then a 30 minute or so breather to grab a bite to eat (while watching the coverage) before another meeting among our producers, hosts and analysts to assess the days play and get ready for our prime-time 'Live From.' Before you know it were on the air again.
 
Features on Arnold Palmer as the ceremonial starter came your way. Jeev Milka Singh was in the spotlight in prime-time. Of course theres plenty good banter about the favorites like Woods and Mickelson, Els and Singh. And certainly there is a collection of interviews with the leaders and reaction to all of the days biggest stories.
 
But our goal - and we talk about this all the time ' is to bring you a feel inside the ropes, and to keep you informed about all the players who seemingly have a chance or at least a good story to tell.
 
And if weather is the story.. weve got that too, as Stephanie Abrams joins us from the Weather Channel.
 
Its a daily thrill ride that comes four times a year (six if you include the Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup).
 
I arrived just after 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, and finished our nights 'Live From' coverage at about 10 p.m. In between, meetings and a nose to the computer reading wire stories and various newspapers to get ready for showtimes, I was a guest on three radio shows around the country discussing round one.
 
Its just after 11 p.m. on Thursday night, the make-up is off and the bag is packed. Its time to head home, catch some sleep and wake-up ready to do it all again.
 
Round 2 comes quickly. And truth is, the anticipation of the next day and what may or may not happen is what gets me excited.
 
As you can see, Im hardly alone. We do it together and I hope youre enjoying the coverage!
 
Email your thoughts to Kraig Kann
 
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    Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

    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.

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    Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

    By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

    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.


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    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?

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    McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

    By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

    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."

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    What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

    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