Friday, May 04, 2007

SemGroup Championship – 1st Round

Nicole Castrale (-4 67) holds a one shot lead after the first round of the SemGroup Championship. Brandie Burton, Angela Stanford and Karin Sjodin are tied for second place with seven players tied for fifth at -2.

Castrale’s bogey-less round featured four birdies, three on the front nine. Despite being allowed to lift-clean-place in the fairway, the players had trouble going low on a course saturated by recent rains. Only 21 rounds under par (71) were recorded. Among the scores were:

Se Ri Pak 69
Lorena Ochoa 70
Morgan Pressel 70
Paula Creamer 70
Natalie Gulbis 70
Sherri Steinhauer 70
Seon Hwa Lee 71
Pat Hurst 71
Juli Inkster 71
Mi Hyun Kim 71
Ai Miyazato 71
Julieta Granada 71
Stacy Prammanasudh 72
Shi Hyun Ahn 72
Jee Young Lee 73
Cristie Kerr 74
Jeong Jang 75
Brittany Lincicome 77

ESPN’s coverage today included a nice recorded segment on Morgan Pressel’s win at Nabisco and a subsequent interview with her in the booth. They spent at least ten minutes total doing this while they could have been showing GOLFERS PLAYING LIVE ON THE FREAKING COURSE!! I like Morgan Pressel fine but they don’t have to do stuff like this. They have the technology to squeeze the live action into a box (with graphics detailing the player, their current score, and the hole they are playing) while they show the interview in another box. Or they could give us the audio to the interview with the live action on full screen. Airing a recorded package and then conducting an in-depth player interview with the tournament in progress is just stupid. If the producer of this telecast thinks that’s what we really want, then tomorrow they should open the broadcast by interviewing a player who has finished, then take one player from each group as they finish on 18 and bring them up to the tower to talk with Terry, Judy and Andy while us simple-minded viewers watch the scores roll by on the ticker.

Maybe I’ve got this all wrong. The sponsor pays ESPN to air this event. Maybe the sponsor (and the LPGA) want the audience to see more of the players “up close and personal” instead of just on the course. If that’s the case, they need to sponsor a weekly show (they could call it “Inside The LPGA Tour”) to recap previous events or get to know players and leave the limited amount of airtime during tournaments to actually showing the tournament. Or maybe they just decided that since ESPN is here this week, this is the time to
start “pushing” Morgan Pressel into the mainstream public eye.

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