Monday Scramble: Masters in 3-D preview

Welcome to the Monday Scramble. You have only five minutes to read this story.

Speaking of time limits, we don’t really feel the need to dig too deep into the content of Tiger Woods’ Sunday (Surprise!) interviews, because that would only be like reviewing a movie trailer after you’ve already seen the movie.

So, just a few thoughts, and then we’ll move on:

• For those counting at home, the total of PGA Tour events that Woods has successfully overshadowed this season is now at two. Knowing the weather-delayed Transitions Championship was due for a late Sunday finish, Woods’ people should have thought at least 300 more times about rescheduling the airtime with the two networks.

photo

A screenshot of Tiger Woods, whose ESPN interview was aired March 21.

Tiger’s camp put a five-minute limit and 7:30 p.m. EST Sunday night embargo on the interviews (and kudos to CBS for declining to interview Woods under the restrictions), which makes us wonder two things:

  1. How difficult is it to agree to an interview with no restrictions? Nothing stopped Tiger from dodging several questions Sunday by playing the “That’s personal” card. What’s stopping him from saying “Thanks, I have to go hit balls now,” whenever he wants to stop talking?
  2. Why couldn’t the embargo have been made (or eventually rescheduled) for the same time Monday night, long after Jim Furyk, one of the Tour’s bigger names, was done celebrating his drought-killing victory over one of the best final-round leaderboards of the year in Tampa?

When asked his reaction to Woods’ interviews airing while he was putting out to win the tournament, Furyk said “Shoot, no one was watching me then.” (Except he didn’t say “shoot.”)

Of course, what followed that comment was laughter in the press tent, along with a more in-depth, politically correct, “I understand” answer from Furyk.

And so the Transitions champ lost to the Transgressions champ Sunday in a runaway, at least as far as TV ratings are concerned.

(Breaking news: The WGC-Accenture Match Play has just released this statement: “Join the club!”)

• We still don’t understand why ESPN and Golf Channel waited until about 45 minutes before airtime to promote their upcoming interviews, even after the Associated Press broke the news around 4 p.m. Perhaps it was just another stipulation of being able to do the interview. But what did any of those things accomplish?

Nothing, which as you know by now is the exceedingly-frustrating theme here.

• Because, really, what was the only new piece of information we learned Sunday? That Woods is now wearing a new Buddhist bracelet “for protection and strength.”

Couldn’t IMG have just Tweeted that?

• • •

So what then, you ask, is keeping us happy? The Masters in 3-D, that’s what.

Augusta National announced last week that this year’s tournament will be viewable on 3-D-capable television sets and computers, a first for any sporting event in the United States.

Still no word if this has anything to do with the following photo we found showing Ben Hogan (left), Herman Keiser (center) and Bobby Jones wearing what look to be 3-D glasses at the 1946 Masters.

Regardless, we know this whole 3-D thing is a huge game-changer. What will it look like?

Oh, probably something like this:

• • •

TWEET OF THE WEEK belongs to AP golf writer Doug Ferguson, who uncovered a supremely interesting fact about pace-of-play on the PGA Tour:

“Just found out that Tour players have access to a stat on who plays quickest. Brett Quigley trying to figure out the 11 guys ahead of him.”

Accordingly, we put our Scramble interns on the case and came up with the following piece of information that might explain how the Tour designates players according to their playing speed:

As you can see, any rumors that Ben Crane or J.B. Holmes influenced the list are absolutely false.

• • •

UPDATE: Michelle Wie signs with McDonald’s.

(Golfweek illustration)


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