Are Golf Writers Even Talking About U.S Open Golf Leaders?
Saturday, June 16, 2018
I've harped on this a million time, but it is time for 1,000,001....do Golf Writers/Journalists understand that just because Tiger Woods is playing in a golf tournament, doesn't mean you ignore everyone else?
Thursday at Shinnecock Hills was a rough time for the entire field at the USGA's annual torture test of Goofy Golf, but if like me, you were unable to watch due to work obligations and are looking to find out who is in the lead---well, good luck.
There are stories about Tiger Woods. He shot a 78 and is largely irrelevant in competitive play--yet leading up to the tournament, all the hype was "Can Tiger win?"....
Uh, no. Not now. Not next year. Not in 2020....Tiger was a great golfer in the late 1990's and early 2000's. He's been largely tabloid fodder since then.
Next up---welp, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Speith---they all had a hard time too. Mickelson rocked a 1st round 77, Speith 78 and McIlroy an 80.
But alas, they too garnered more attention than anyone on the leaderboard.
And I say that knowing full well Dustin Johnson--one of the other young guns is tied for the lead after one round at 1-under par.
Golf journalists are doing the sport a GREAT disservice here. Yeah, sure, in most sports you pay the most attention to the biggest names. Which is why Sports Websites, ESPN and others often talk about the following: In the NFL--The New England Patriots or Dallas Cowboys. In the NBA: LeBron James and The Los Angeles Lakers. In Baseball: The Yankees or Red Sox...
You get where I'm going in the above list.
That's why Golf Journalists stick with the names instead of the stories. Golf is a game that requires stories. Interesting stories. Different stories. Entertaining stories.
But instead we get stories about Woods or Mickelson and do they have a chance to win...or breaking down THEIR rounds. Tiger is 42 years old and hasn't won a tournament since 2013, a Major Tournament since 2008. Mickelson--he's 47. If not for a tourney win in March of 2018, he too hadn't won anything since 2013.
Yet their appearance garners ALL the headlines.
The Golf explosion was launched with Tiger and to some extent Phil in the late 1990's. The explosion has since cooled---a lot. Golf for all but the most hardcore of fans is a TV timekiller on a weekend. There is nothing "Must Watch" about it any more.
Don't sit there and tell me it is because there are no compelling characters out there. We've got no way of knowing.
Paying respect to those who changed a game is great, honorable and should be done. But when those people are hanging on trying to extend their career and pocket another million or two, they should not get the lions share of attention.
The only way to develop new and intriguing personalities is to look for them. Keep pounding us with Jordan Speith and Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler stories. Tell us more about Jason Dufner and keep promoting him.
Until that happens, don't expect golf to ever rediscover its mojo. That mojo either left the building or is stuck in a tree on Tiger Woods property in 2009 and in that form---is never coming back...