ON SUNDAY AT 4 P.M. Eastern Time I tuned in to final-round coverage of the Honda Classic. This is pretty typical for me. I’m a lot like the guy who tunes in to the final quarter of an NBA game. I’m most interested in the back nine on Sunday, especially from 14 or so to the clubhouse. Besides, most weekends I’m just not able to invest long hours in front of the tube (unless it’s the Masters or U.S. Open or British Open or Ryder Cup). If I could devote that much time to golf viewing, then my daughters would already be at college and I’d be pondering my Medicare prescription plan.
I read this morning that some people were miffed about the tape-delayed coverage of the final round. As Mostly Harmless pointed out, this has been the case for most of the last decade at Palm Beach Gardens. The sun sets at around 6:30 p.m. in early March in Florida. Tournament organizers want to make sure the event concludes on Sunday. NBC has other obligations and wants to stick to the normal 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. time slot.
It had no impact on this armchair golfer. I wasn’t online so I didn’t know ahead of time that Rory Sabbatini held off Y.E. Yang to win his sixth PGA Tour title. I try to unplug on Sunday, a digital day of rest.
I was totally ignorant as the gentler, kinder “Sabo” survived the Bear Trap and his orange friend, Yang, to claim a one-stroke victory. I thought I was watching live television when Rory tearfully told Dottie Pepper how much he looked forward to Maui in January. (I, too, would shed crocodile tears if I could go to Hawaii in the dead of winter.)
I watched the Jackfest (Jack Nicklaus in the booth with Johnny Miller and Dan Hicks). That was nothing new. Johnny and Jack are like my golf uncles. I feel like I’ve heard every one of their stories many times. (Which must mean I’m really old.) It’s like a golf family reunion with Uncle Johnny and Uncle Jack.
Those shirts threw me, though. Johnny and Dan were wearing polo shirts adorned with Golf Channel logos. I know about the new partnership between NBC and Golf Channel. And I’ve seen the “Golf Channel on NBC” tagline. But I guess I still don’t get it. Not entirely. I certainly didn’t expect to see Johnny Miller and Dan Hicks wearing blue Golf Channel shirts.
Maybe I need to re-read that Golf Channel press release.
−The Armchair Golfer