‘Driven’ prepped for head-on collision between OU, OSU

DRIVEN-- Season: 1-- Pictured: Rickie Fowler and Oklahoma State -- (Photo by: Jessica Danser/Golf Channel) Jessica Danser/Golf Channel

‘Driven’ prepped for head-on collision between OU, OSU

Digital Edition

‘Driven’ prepped for head-on collision between OU, OSU

The second episode of “Driven,” Golf Channel’s reality series that follows the Oklahoma State and Oklahoma men’s golf teams, airs Monday at 10 p.m. ET.

We’re beginning to get to know the players better, along with the relentless level of competition on these deep rosters. In the midst of a historic team winning streak, we see Oklahoma State junior Hayden Wood get bumped from the lineup in favor of freshman Austin Eckroat. The Cowboys don’t miss a beat, as they continue to pummel opponents.

The biggest personality on the show is OSU freshman Matthew Wolff, who seems quite comfortable in the spotlight. With his big game and distinctive swing, he could be the breakout star of “Driven.”

Golf Channel and Rickie Fowler, who partnered on this project, have made a calculated gamble that the season will end in a showdown between the two schools at the NCAA Championship later this month. For the sake of “Driven,” let’s hope that happens. Getting a glimpse inside the two programs is cool, but as with any reality series there needs to be conflict and resolution. The only way that will happen is if the Cowboys and Sooners settle their differences on the course.

Johnny Miller underwhelmed … again

Johnny Miller is underwhelmed by the PGA Tour’s efforts to add excitement on the short par-4 12th at the Players Stadium Course. He made that clear during third-round coverage of the Players Championship after Jon Rahm drove the hole with an iron, the ball coming to rest 15 feet behind the front pin location.

“I think this hole has gotten a little too easy, Gary (Koch),” Miller said. “I know I’m not supposed to say anything like that, but I can’t help it.”

“That’s never stopped you, Johnny,” anchor Dan Hicks said.

“It’s just gotten too darn easy. Guys are hitting irons on a par 4 onto the green.”

“Yeah, 280 yards is probably a little short. I would agree with that. But it will be great tomorrow when the pin goes back.”

Contrary to what Miller said, this is exactly the sort of thing he and his colleagues should be discussing. It was one of the rare moments during the weekend when I perked up and started typing notes into my computer. The networks pay a fortune to the PGA Tour; they shouldn’t have any reservations about critiquing the architecture, the players, Tour policies or anything else.

As for the 12th on the Players Stadium Course, it’s been redesigned and then tweaked some more. My impression is that it’s great fun for the amateurs who play the course throughout the year, but still seems to be the weak link in the layout for the Tour pros.

Chip shots

With Tiger Woods back in the hunt, I suppose we should expect the networks to resort to their old tricks. For example, Brooks Koepka was in the clubhouse Sunday at -11, but as soon as Woods got to -11 on the fifth hole, NBC leapfrogged Woods above Koepka and other players on its leaderboard. In the world of golf, I suppose that qualifies as fake news. … David Feherty had this advice for viewers: “For the amateur out there, take your 60-degree sand wedge, throw it in the nearest water hazard and get yourself another hybrid club – something that’s actually useful for you.” … NBC did a really strong job capturing audio between Webb Simpson and caddie Paul Tesori, who apparently answers to the nickname “The Mayor.” That’s great, but it sure would be nice if NBC also made a similar effort to capture audio from other players and caddies. The players and caddies, in the heat of competition, always are more interesting than the announcers watching from a distance. … NBC continues to lag behind its competitors in the use of tracer technology. Tracers belatedly are becoming a routine part of the PGA Tour viewing experience, yet NBC continues to cherry-pick a few tee shots on which it uses tracers. That might be OK at the Shell Houston Open, but not at the “fifth major.” … Here’s a rhetorical formulation we could do without: “That’s not what he was looking for.” I heard that a number of times when we saw poor shots at The Players. Viewers understand when a player hits a bad shot; it’s the announcer’s job to try to tell us why it was bad.

Must-see clip

When I watch a feature story during a golf tournament, I often ask myself: Is that a story I would like to have told? If it is, I inevitably feel a slight pang of envy. This also serves as my way of gauging whether the story was good enough that it merited stopping live tournament coverage for a few minutes to tell it.

I can report that I feel envious of Jimmy Roberts for having told a wonderful story about Caleb Remington and his new bride, Tiffany. If you missed it, do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to watch it. Gwk

Latest

More Digital Edition
Home