Notes Tour to test miking caddies for television

By Associated PressMarch 24, 2009, 4:00 pm
Arnold Palmer InvitationalORLANDO, Fla. ' Phil Mickelson and caddie Jim Bones Mackay made for compelling television at Doral when they discussed the risk of Lefty hitting a right-handed shot on No. 12, and the club selection into the 18th green with a one-shot lead.
 
Now, the PGA Tour is curious if such dialogue is worth broadcasting.
 
The tour will be working with NBC Sports at the Shell Houston Open to determine if its worth putting a microphone on some of the caddies. The Houston Open will only be a test for the quality of the audio and whether the conversations are worthy of the telecast. None of the comments will be on TV next week.
 
The dialogue between Phil and Bones on the second shot Sunday at Doral is the type of stuff our fans tell us they want to hear more often, said Andy Pazder, senior vice president of tournament administration for the tour.
 
The concern is not what comes out of a caddies mouth ' there is a time delay for TV ' but the quality of the sound.
 
NBC Sports and CBS Sports primarily use a boom mike that a network employees carries on the fairway, but they often can only get to one player at a time.
 
Just like anything, were always striving to improve the qualify of the telecast, Pazder said.
 
But there could be logistical problems.
 
Putting a microphone on the caddie only works when the caddie is standing close enough to the player to pick up both sides of the conversation.
 
One improvement with such a microphone, however, is that television cannot get on the greens with the boom mikes to pick up a discussion of how a putt breaks.
 
And then theres the willingness of the caddies.
 
The topic was brought up last week at the tours annual meeting with the caddies. Some of them are concerned about being limited in what they say ' not during the shot, but the three hours of dead time during a round.
 
I know what theyre trying to do, and thats good, said Jimmie Johnson, the caddie for Steve Stricker. Im not worried about what comes out of the caddie. Im worried about what goes into the trailer.
 
His argument, one that several other caddies share, is that having a microphone will pick up everything they say during a four-hour round. None of that stuff will make the telecast, but they have no guarantee that something inappropriate they might say ' about someone in the gallery, another player ' could be leaked.
 
Most of us our aware when the big boom mike is around, and its usually when youre coming down the stretch. You know what you say is being picked up, said Mitch Knox, whose players have included David Duval and Daniel Chopra. But having a mike could be a problem.
 
MASTERS QUALIFYING: Davis Love III took last week off and moved up one spot in the world ranking to No. 47, giving a little more wiggle room as he tries to make it back to the Masters.
 
This the final week for players to finish in the top 50 to earn a spot at Augusta National.
 
Love missed the Masters last year, ending his streak of 70 consecutive majors. Right behind him in the world ranking is Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa, who has never been to Augusta National. Mathew Goggin is next at No. 49.
 
All of them will be playing at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where a missed cut could doom their chances of the top 50. The four players immediately outside the top 50 ' Richard Sterne, Stuart Appleby, Hunter Mahan and Soren Kjeldsen ' already have qualified.
 
Prayad Marksaeng is at No. 50 and did not qualify for Bay Hill, but he also has the ball in his hands. Prayad is competing this week on the Asian Tour ' in his hometown of Hua Hin, Thailand ' at the Black Mountain Masters.
 
The points they need to stay in the top 50 will not be known until the tournaments begin ' but it starts with making the cut.
 
A BREAK IN THE ACTION: Louis Oosthuizen tied for 20th at the CA Championship, earning enough world ranking points to stay in the top 50 and earn a spot at Bay Hill.
 
Step one is out of the way, he said.
 
The next step is getting to the Masters for the first time. Oosthuizen, a 26-year-old from South Africa, got into this position with a strong swing through the Middle East. He was runner-up consecutive weeks at Abu Dhabi and Qatar and tied for seventh at Dubai.
 
With a week off between Doral and Bay Hill, he practiced in Florida for a few days and then did what most visitors do in Florida.
 
He went to Disney World.
 
First time, Oosthuizen said. I went to Hollywood Studios and Epcot, and then I went over to NASA, which was great.
 
Now its back to work.
 
I checked in to my hotel and its right next to Universal Studios, Oosthuizen. This feels more like a holiday ' until Thursday.
 
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Former president George H.W. Bush has been selected to receive the PGA Tours Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding contributions to the tour through his work on and off the golf course.
 
Bush, the honorary chairman of The First Tee since its inception in 1997, will be honored May 6 at The Players Championship.
 
The 41st president previously has been honored with the Bob Jones Award by the USGA and with the Distinguished Service Award by the PGA of America.
 
He is the first recipient of the PGA Tour award who comes from outside the golf industry.
 
DIVOTS: Six players who were in Q-school last year qualified for the Arnold Palmer Invitational. While most chatter about Tiger Woods playing the Australian Masters focused on his $3 million appearance fee, one tournament official had another observation. Why cant he commit to us six months in advance? Chris DiMarco hasnt had much success at Bay Hill, and stopped playing after 2001. But his fortunes have turned and he had to use a one-time exemption for career money. He was the third alternate at Bay Hill, and only got into the field Tuesday when Andres Romero withdrew.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK: Thomas Aiken finished in a two-way tie for seventh in the World Golf Championship at Doral and earned $192,500. A week later, he finished in a two-way tie for seventh in the Madeira Islands Open on the European Tour and earned $26,221.
 
FINAL WORD: It wouldnt be my favorite thing to see a player do. ' PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, on Henrik Stenson stripping down to his underwear at Doral to play a shot from a pond.
 

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    Watch: Tiger 'drops mic' in long drive contest

    By Golf Channel DigitalMay 20, 2018, 12:44 am

    Tiger Woods is in Las Vegas this weekend for the 20th annual Tiger Jam charity event that benefits his foundation.

    During the tournament on Saturday afternoon, Woods challenged World Long Drive competitor Troy Mullins to a long drive contest.

     

    A post shared by TROY MULLINS (@trojangoddess) on May 19, 2018 at 1:25pm PDT

    Safe to say it looks like Tiger won.

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    Sunday showdown for Wise, Leishman at Nelson

    By Will GrayMay 19, 2018, 11:40 pm

    DALLAS – While the swirling Texas winds may still have their say, the AT&T Byron Nelson is shaping up to be a two-horse race.

    With a four-shot gulf between them and their closest pursuers, co-leaders Marc Leishman and Aaron Wise both stepped up to the microphone and insisted the tournament was far from over. That it wouldn’t revert to a match-play situation, even though the two men didn’t face much pressure from the pack down the stretch of the third round and have clearly distanced themselves as the best in the field through 54 holes.

    But outside of an outlier scenario or a rogue tornado sweeping across Trinity Forest Golf Club, one of the two will leave with trophy in hand tomorrow night.

    That’s in part because of their stellar play to this point, but it’s also a byproduct of the tournament’s new and unconventional layout: at Trinity Forest, big numbers are hard to find.

    Even with the winds picking up during the third round and providing the sternest challenge yet, the field combined for only 16 scores of double bogey, and nothing worse than that.


    Full-field scores from the AT&T Byron Nelson

    AT&T Byron Nelson: Articles, photos and videos


    There’s irony in a course called Trinity Forest offering a tree-less test, sure, but there are also no water hazards in play here. For the most part, players have been maxing out with bogey – and Leishman and Wise have combined for only six of those so far this week.

    If someone from the chase pack is going to catch them, the two sharing the pole position aren’t going to do them any favors.

    “I don’t really want to give them a chance,” Leishman said. “I’d love to go out and shoot a low one and make Aaron have to shoot a good score tomorrow to beat me, which, I fully expect him to shoot a good score.”

    While Leishman has been somewhat of a late bloomer on the PGA Tour, with only one win across his first eight seasons, he now has a golden opportunity to add a third trophy in the last 14 months. He has felt right at home on a sprawling layout that reminds him of a few back in his native Australia, and he’s part of a Down Under invasion on a leaderboard that also includes Matt Jones (-13) and Adam Scott (-9).

    While Wise briefly held sole possession of the lead, Leishman has seemingly held an iron grip on the top spot since opening his week with a blistering 61.

    “Before last year, I was a pretty slow starter. I always got off to a slow start Thursday, or I’d be fighting to make the cut and have a good weekend to slide into the top 10,” Leishman said. “Getting into that round straight away on the first tee rather than the ninth green or something, which sounds like a really basic thing, but it’s something I didn’t do very well until last year.”

    But as Leishman acknowledged, he likely can’t count on a stumble from Wise to help finish off a wire-to-wire victory. As the youngest player to make the cut this week, Wise is facing a challenge of taking down a top-ranked Aussie for the second time in as many starts.

    While he came up short at the Wells Fargo Championship, tying for second behind Jason Day, he remains supremely confident that he can put those hard-earned lessons to use this time around.

    “I feel like it’s a great opportunity,” Wise said. “It will obviously be a huge day for me. I feel like having one go at it already, I’m a little more confident going into it this time.”

    Even among the landscape of the Tour’s promising next wave, Wise stands out as a particularly young gun. Still only 21, he could feasibly be heading to Karsten Creek next week with his Oregon Duck teammates to close out his senior season with another NCAA championship appearance.

    But Wise turned pro after winning the NCAA individual title as a sophomore, and he steadily worked his way through the professional ranks: first a win on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada, then one last summer on the Web.com Tour.

    Now he’s poised to turn what he described as a “lackluster” season before his Quail Hollow runner-up into one that defies even his own expectations.

    “Absolutely, I am way ahead of the curve. It’s pretty hard to do what I’ve done at such a young age. Only a few have done it,” Wise said. “I feel like I’m getting some great experience for a kid this young. It’s only going to serve me well down the road.”

    An unpredictable Coore-Crenshaw layout will have one more day to star, and outside of Wise the top six names on the leaderboard have at least one Tour win to their credit. But after the two men traded punches on a firm and fast afternoon, it sure feels like the final round is shaping up to offer more of the same.

    For Leishman, it’s a chance to add another notch to some quickly expanding credentials; for Wise, it’s an opportunity to win on the one level he has yet to do so.

    “It’s golf, at the end of the day. If you play better than everyone else, you’re going to win,” Wise said. “That’s why I play it. That’s why I love this sport, and tomorrow is nothing different.”

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    5 thoughts from NCAA Women's Championship Day 2

    By Ryan LavnerMay 19, 2018, 11:35 pm

    The field is almost halfway through stroke-play qualifying at the NCAA Women’s Championship. Here are some thoughts on the first two days at Karsten Creek:

    1. UCLA is on a mission. Just a year ago, the Bruins were headed home from regionals after becoming the first No. 1 seed that failed to advance out of the qualifying tournament. This year, with the core of the team still mostly intact, the Bruins have opened up a five-shot lead on top-ranked Alabama and a comfortable 16-shot cushion over Southern Cal in third place. On one of the most difficult college courses in the country, UCLA has received contributions from all four of its usual counters – standout Lilia Vu shot 68 on Saturday, while Mariel Galdiano posted a 69. Freshman Patty Tavatanakit and junior Bethany Wu also broke par. This is a strong, deep lineup that will pose issues for teams not just in stroke-play qualifying, but also the head-to-head, match-play bracket.

    2. What happened to Arkansas? Riding high off their first SEC Championship and a dominant regional performance, the Razorbacks were considered one of the top threats to win the national title. But entering Sunday’s third round of stroke play, they need to hold it together just to ensure they make the top-15 cut. Arkansas is 32 over par through two rounds. The Razorbacks had shot in the 300s just once this season in the play-five, count-four format. Here at Karsten Creek, they’ve now done so in consecutive rounds.

    3. The Player of the Year race is heating up. With a decent showing at nationals, Arkansas’ Maria Fassi should have been able to wrap up the Annika Award, given annually to the top player in the country. She has six individual titles, plays a difficult schedule and is well-liked among her peers. But through two rounds she’s a whopping 15 over par while spraying it all over the map. If the Razorbacks don’t survive the 54-hole cut, neither will Fassi. That’d open the door for another player to steal the votes, whether it’s UCLA’s Vu or Wake Forest’s Jennifer Kupcho. There’s a lot still to be decided.

    4. Stanford has steadied itself. One of the biggest surprises on Day 1 was the horrendous start by the Cardinal, one of just two teams to advance to match play each of the three years it’s been used to determine a national champion. They were 19 over for their first nine holes Friday, but instead of a blowup round that cost them a shot at the title, they’ve found a way to hang tough. Stanford has been just 4 over par over its last 27 holes. Andrea Lee made only one bogey during her second-round 69, Albane Valenzuela eagled the 18th hole for a 73 and senior leader Shannon Aubert – who has been a part of each postseason push – carded a 74. And so, even with its early struggles, coach Anne Walker once again has Stanford in position to reach match play.

    5. Karsten Creek is identifying the best teams. The top teams in the country want a difficult host venue for NCAAs – it helps separate the field and draws an unmistakable line between the contenders and pretenders. Only one team (UCLA) is under par after 36 holes. Fewer than a dozen players are under par individually. The dearth of low scores might not be the greatest advertisement for how talented these players are, but the cream has still risen to the top so far: Five top-10 teams currently sit inside the top 7 on the leaderboard (and that doesn’t even include last year’s NCAA runner-up Northwestern). This is all any coach wants, even if the scores aren’t pretty.

    Quick hits: Cheyenne Knight, part of Alabama’s vaunted 1-2-3 punch along with Lauren Stephenson and Kristen Gillman, shot rounds of 70-69 to figure in the mix for individual honors. The junior will turn pro after nationals. …  Arizona’s Bianca Pagdanganan made a hole-in-one on the 11th hole Saturday en route to a 68 that tied the low round of the day. She’s at 5-under 139, same as Knight. ... Defending champion Arizona State, which lost star Linnea Strom to the pro ranks at the halfway point of the season, is 35 over par after two rounds. … Play was delayed for nearly an hour and a half Saturday because of inclement weather.

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    Wise (21) makes Leishman (34) feel a little old

    By Will GrayMay 19, 2018, 10:55 pm

    DALLAS – With the final round of the AT&T Byron Nelson likely to take on a match-play feel, Marc Leishman likes his chances to close out another win – even if his opponent makes him feel a little old.

    Leishman, 34, shares the lead at Trinity Forest Golf Club with 21-year-old Aaron Wise, who was the youngest player to make the cut at the tournament’s new venue. The two men will start the final round at 17 under, four shots clear of their next-closest pursuers.

    Leishman played the third round alongside Wise and Brian Gay, and he originally didn’t realize just how fresh-faced his fellow co-leader is.


    Full-field scores from the AT&T Byron Nelson

    AT&T Byron Nelson: Articles, photos and videos


    “He’s a solid player for, I heard this morning he’s only 21. I didn’t realize that,” Leishman said. “I guess I was in high school before he was born, so that’s – I don’t know. You hear guys talk about that all the time but I’ve never said that, I think. Yeah, he’s a good player.”

    Wise won the 2016 NCAA individual title while at Oregon, and he opted to turn pro after his sophomore season. While he could have been capping his senior season with a return to the NCAAs next week, Wise is pleased with the career choice and remains eager for a chance to close out his first career PGA Tour win against a seasoned veteran.

    “I feel like I’m in a great spot for tomorrow,” Wise said. “I feel like I’m getting some great experience for a kid this young. It’s only going to serve me well down the road.”