Highlights, lowlights from PGA's TV coverage
A look at some of the highlights and lowlights from final-round coverage of the PGA Championship by TNT and CBS:
• 8:58 a.m.: The CBS crew can barely contain their excitement as Tiger Woods birdies No. 13 to get to -1, five shots off the lead.
• 9:17: “Oh, boy. Oh, my goodness,” Gary McCord moans as Woods blocks his drive way right on No. 15. “That’s the closest we’ve had anyone to the ocean this week,” anchor Jim Nantz says.
• 10:17: Third-round play ends. TNT host Ernie (“EJ”) Johnson says final-round play will begin at 11:44 a.m. Until then, Johnson says, we’re going to be showing you some of what has gone on already. That means more Tiger highlights. I’m kind of bummed that TNT isn’t switching to the “Falling Skies” rerun that was supposed to run in this time slot.
• 10:18: TNT’s Vince Cellini asks Woods how he likes the long final day. “That’s why we lift all of those weights, run all of those miles is to be fit and ready for these things.” Cellini: “You’re looking good. Keep lifting, man.”
• 10:20: EJ and IBF - that’s Ian Baker-Finch, to the acronymically challenged - begin discussing Tiger’s play so far this week. I start surfing the political talk shows to see what people are saying about Paul Ryan.
• 11:06: TNT runs a retrospective of the late Jim Huber’s essays. I recall criticizing Huber’s interviews with players, but I do miss his essays. Here is his take on Woods: “Perhaps we must look deep within his eyes. Since we can’t cut open his heart or peer into his soul, the eyes will have to be the door through which we climb to discover what it is that makes Tiger Woods so indomitable. There is warmth there, where there is so much fire. And how ironic that there is a coldness to them, a frozen focus that sees only the direction of his drive, the shape of his iron, the path of his putt.” That’s good stuff.
• 11:13: It’s genuinely touching to hear the TNT crew, particularly EJ and Cellini, reminisce about Huber. “You’d hear one his essays and think, ‘Why couldn’t I think of that,’ ” Johnson says. “That was such an easy way, and such a simple and effective way to say it, but only Jim knew exactly how to do that.” Cellini chokes back tears while sharing a story about about a handwritten letter Huber sent him in 1999 after the death of Cellini’s father. “He said all the things that I hoped that a father would feel about a son. That was Jim’s gift - that he knew how to say just the right thing at just the right time.”
• 11:59: TNT’s Bill Kratzert: “With these hole locations, I kind of see a 65 out there. I really do.” Nice call, Billy: Seung-Yul Noh shot 65, and there were three 66s.
• 1:54 p.m.: EJ says the coverage on PGA.com will feature Tiger Woods’ group. This raises an obvious question: Why is PGA.com not following McIlroy and the final group on the final day of a major?
• 2:45: Nice job by CBS cameras picking up the conversation in which Carl Pettersson is informed by rules official David Price that he is being assessed a two-stroke penalty for his second shot on No. 1.
• 3:09: Pettersson makes his third consecutive birdie. “He just comes back like the Norse god of thunder,” David Feherty says.
• 3:19: A friend had the same reaction as me to the Omega watch ad that seemingly ran during every commercial break. That reaction: Huh? The ad’s tagline is: “Growing the game around the world.” How, exactly, does a watch brand grow the game?
• 4:08: CBS cameras pick up a rules official telling Pettersson that because his ball was moved by a spectator, he has to pick it up and put it right back where it was in the rough. Fans around the world (and Pettersson, I think) roll their eyes at oddities of the Rules of Golf.
• 4:18: After another fabulous up-and-down by McIlroy on No. 9, Feherty says simply, “That is greatness!” Nice line - simple, concise, on point.
• 6:24: When McCord recalls McIlroy’s comment that he didn’t like playing links golf, Faldo says, “I also think what he said was ridiculous. . . . I played a practice round with him at Carnoustie one day and he put the waterproofs on. I thought it was the best golfing I had ever seen with a set of waterproofs on. It was so fluid, so powerful. So for him to say he doesn’t like rough weather is outrageous.”
• 6:36: In a post-round interview with Peter Kostis, Woods says his problems Saturday were because “I came out with the wrong attitude, I was too relaxed.” Faldo isn’t buying it: “I was surprised by that. . . Tiger was the master of setting the right intensity for the day. To say he came out too relaxed?”