Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hey, TNT: A little more new Tiger, a little less old Tiger

The Bald Truth

Some international golf experts have called 17-year-old Ryo Ishikawa, "the Japanese Tiger Woods." It sure would have been nice if TNT had let the rest of us judge for ourselves.

You'd have thought the Royal & Ancient's decision to pair The Japanese Tiger with The American Tiger (as well as Lee Westwood) for the first round of the British Open would have perfectly set up the cable network's Ryo-vs.-Eldrick coverage. 

You'd have thought wrong.  In TNT's camera eye, Ishikawa barely existed.

Even though young Ryo outplayed old Tiger just about all day, the fine folks at TNT seemingly went out of their way to avoid showing anything Ishikawa did.

On No. 16, after Woods and Westwood sent their approaches into the drink, did we then get to see Ishikawa expertly avoid the same fate? Nope. TNT switched to No. 1 for a look at has-been Ernie Els.

On No. 17, after Woods messed up to remain at 1-over, did we get to see Ishikawa make his birdie putt to go to 2-under? Nope. It was time to take a look at American Anthony Kim on the first hole.

Finally, on 18, after one more Tiger miss, the TNT people let us see Ryo make his par putt ... but probably only because network honchos knew they'd get a shot of Ryo and Tiger shaking hands.

Same pairing again for Friday's second round. If the results are anywhere near the same - or even if they aren't - it sure would be nice to get a decent look at this 5-foot-7, 140-pound kid's game.

The Choice

1. John Daly's green-and-yellow picnic tablecloth pants.

2. Ben Curtis' pink shirt.

3. Ian Poulter's Union Jack ensemble.

4. Miguel Angel Jimenez's ponytail.

I think I'll choose none of the above and go with Stewart Cink's delightfully shiny dome. 

The classics never go out of style!

The Balder Truth

TNT must stand for Tiger 'N Tom.

Given Tom Watson's incredible play while shooting a bogey-free 65 Thursday, it was easy to understand the second half of that.

It looked like the only mistake Watson - just two months shy of his 60th birthday - made all day came after his round: He predicted the dry, wind-free conditions at Turnberry would ensure that his 5-under score wouldn't be the low for the day.

Watson's mark held until right near the end, when Jimenez made a bomb of a putt at 18 to finish at 64. So Watson turned out to be accurate there, too.

The Quote

"The course is obviously defenseless." - Tom Watson


Right, Tiger?


Had to chuckle at this exchange between TNT's Ernie Johnson, one of the top announcers in TV sports, and Peter Alliss of the BBC ...

EJ: "Ian (Poulter) had been on Twitter and tweeted a picture of his outfit. You were twittering earlier today, were you not, Peter?

PA: No, I confess I was not. We've only just got gas at my house, so I'm not ready for the Twitter.

Hey, I'm with you, Peter. I'm not quite ready for the Twitter, either!

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