Presidents Cup: Telecast from N.J. did not leave viewers in N.Y. state of mind

PGA: The Presidents Cup-Day One Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Presidents Cup: Telecast from N.J. did not leave viewers in N.Y. state of mind

PGA Tour

Presidents Cup: Telecast from N.J. did not leave viewers in N.Y. state of mind

Some thoughts on Day 1 TV coverage of the Presidents Cup:

Earlier this week I was listening to a former colleague discuss his lack of interest in the Presidents Cup. He planned to be at Liberty National, but he wasn’t looking forward to it.

That crossed my mind as I was watching Thursday’s play. By the standards of New York-area sports crowds, Day 1 seemed a bit muted, as if even the crowd was sort of ambivalent.

“It wasn’t as loud as I thought for the first day here in New York,” Branden Grace said after his foursomes victory with Louis Oosthuizen.

One would expect the Liberty National galleries to find their voice by the weekend. We got a hint of that at times. On-course reporter Jerry Foltz noted that the crowd booed when the Internationals didn’t concede a gimme to Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar.

“The New York-New Jersey crowd getting into it,” replied Tom Abbott. “That’s kind of what we wanted.”

Wind well illustrated

The wind kicked up on Day 1, and the NBC/Golf Channel crew generally did a good job of illustrating the wind conditions on each hole. The one exception was on No. 10, a short par 3 where players struggled just to hit the green with 8-irons. We could have used more graphics showed wind direction and speed there.

Scroll wanted

I know I sound like a broken record during every team event, but the Presidents Cup coverage cries out for a scroll that regularly updates the status of matches. Otherwise, viewers will be forced to go to a second screen to find that information.

Not all putts created equal

There was an interesting graphic near the end of play, as the final foursome was playing the last hole, with the match all square. It showed that Jason Day and Marc Leishman had an 18-foot-8-inch par putt, while Phil Mickelson and Kevin Kisner had a 7-foot-4-inch par putt. Based on that, the graphic indicated the Americans had a 47 percent “win percentage,” while the Internationals were just at 7 percent, and the halve percentage was 46 percent.

Anchor Mike Tirico told us those percentages were based on data gathered over the course of the year. The problem, as we’ve noted here in the past, is that not every putt is alike; a straight 18-footer might be easier than a sidehill 7-footer.

Oh, Canada?

I’m of the opinion that too much is made about pairings at team matches. I’m probably in the minority on that, but so be it. That said, I think Brandel Chamblee made a good point after the Day 1 matches.

“The worst putter on (the International) team is Si Woo Kim, and he played,” Chamblee said. “And Adam Hadwin is the best putter on the International team, the very best – one of the best putters in the world. I would have thought Adam Hadwin would play all five matches, no question about it. He fits with everybody.”

If you were listening closely, I’m pretty certain you could have heard a hearty “Amen” echoing southward from our friends in Canada.

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