Thursday, July 27, 2006

Evian Masters - 1st Round

I’ll start with the players’ performances. Lorena Ochoa, Mi Hyun Kim and Shani Waugh all fired 66s to lead after Day 1. Karrie Webb is one shot back, with dozens of players (ok, actually only nine) another shot or two away. Karrie would have been in front, but she suddenly forgot how to hit a three-quarter lofted club on 16 and 17 and took bogey-bogey. Rosie Jones commented on TGC that Karrie’s tee shot on the par-3 17th was “the worst shot I’ve ever seen Karrie hit”. I imagine Rosie has seen Karrie hit a few over the years. It did remind me of many a tee shot I’ve played. Ochoa was -7 entering the final 4-hole stretch where many players “make hay” but off the tee at 15 she snookered herself behind a tree, had to pitch out and missed her par putt. Then she only parred 18th despite being pin-high in 2 on the par-5.

The usual suspects are lurking within reach – Annika, Creamer, Wie, and Pak are all with four shots. Laura Davies shot 68 to challenge Shani Waugh as Big Surprise this week, although I must confess that besides knowing that she’s Australian, I know nothing about Shani Waugh. Seon Hwa Lee’s 77 was a Big Surprise, too.

Now for the bitchin’. I understand why The Golf Channel airs this tournament on tape delay. I also understand why they take the video feed from the French TV network. But they could have at least tried to present the telecast as pseudo-live like they do the tape-delayed domestic tourneys. On numerous occasions I noticed Brian and Rosie telling us what/who we were going to see and I realized that unless they have the French network director’s audio in their ears (and also understand French – I’ll assume that audio would not be in English), there is NO way they would have known that so-and-so was putting for par. They were obviously doing voice-over with taped footage. I wonder how they worked up the fake surprise when Michelle Wie eagled 18?

Devil’s Advocate - Maybe TGC had people stationed at each hole giving the studio people info – but if you’re going to pay for those people to be on-site, why weren’t there any on-course reporters? I never realized how much info those guys give to a telecast until Evian Masters time rolls around and they aren’t around. Maybe the director didn’t tell Brian and Rosie what happens during each clip, only the hole and group, so they would be calling it “live”. I know recreated sports broadcasting has a long history (Ronnie Reagan did a lot of it in the ‘30s) but it’s time to put it away.

That’s enough. As I finish writing this, Round Two is well underway. I’ll try to enjoy tonight’s coverage, I hope you’ll do the same.

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