So, he decided to combine both.
Lye, a former PGA Tour player who won the 1983 Bank of Boston Classic, is a Golf Channel analyst for the Champions Tour and has been a staple with the network since its inception. He turned 50 late last year and is eligible to play on the Champions Tour. This year he is playing 13 events and broadcasting 13 events.
But this week, he is playing the Royal Caribbean Classic (TGC, 1:30 & 8 p.m. ET)in Key Biscayne, Fl. ' while wearing a microphone.
They (The Golf Channel) gave me a choice: either the heart monitor or the microphone, Lye said with a laugh. And I figured, just for the sake of not getting that thing off the charts, we better stick with the microphone. Because Ill be a little antsy out there ' very tough golf course, so the heart rate might jump up a little bit.
Lye has been practicing diligently at his home in Bonita Springs, Fl. He played well in his limited appearances last year, actually tying for 27th in the Senior British Open. He has been broadcasting at The Golf Channel since early 1995, and actually survived a brief scare with cancer last year. But he is well along in his recovery and anxious to return to the Champions Tour tee box.
Lye has an early tee time Friday morning in his first round and the tournament will not yet be on the air while he is playing, but a special package relaying his thoughts as he plays will be broadcast. The Golf Channels vice-president of production and executive producer, Tony Tortorici, explained the decision to hook Lye up to a microphone.
Our goal at The Golf Channel is to bring our viewers inside the ropes, said Tortorici. We cant think of a better way to do this than to have one of the players in a championship of this caliber miked.
And who better than our own Mark Lye, with all his years of broadcasting experience? We really want to hear his pre-shot thoughts, everything he is thinking about in his mind ' and he can put all those thoughts and emotions to words as the tournament progresses. It will really be a great benefit to our viewers, the manner in which a skilled player attempts to play the game at one of the highest levels of competition.
Lye will concentrate fully on his play, but golf fans will be able to mull over with him his options.
During the play ' some of my play, well be able to go over touchy situations, said Lye. My caddie, Adrian, who is from Scotland ' if you can understand him, well be talking about what well be deciding on some of these critical shots.
Lye realizes he is going to do something that has never been tried on the Champions Tour. The Golf Channel has done it at various times on the other tours, but never on the Champions. Does Lye feel like hes entering uncharted territory?
I think so, and Ill probably PUT it in uncharted territory! Lye said, again with a laugh. So I hope we have some good conversation for this golf course. Im not so sure that were ready for prime time, but well see how it all works out after Day 1.
Lye conceded that his personal game still is a little rusty.
Right now, Im not rolling my potato real well, he said. Well see how it goes, but on a scale of 1 to 10, Id have to give myself about a 7. So, Ive kind of set myself up for failure. But Ive seen stranger things happen.