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Sunday
Jun182017

Diaz: "Everybody loses when players don't come to the interview room."

After an opening 65, Rickie Fowler was asked by USGA officials to visit the interview room for a sitdown with writers and various television outlets. Instead, he kept his comments confined to various TV interviews and the "flash" area.

But as Jaime Diaz of Golf World explains, this was a precedent-setting move in line with the recent tradition of players increasingly staying out of the press center and distancing themselves from the press. Because of the player in question--and one who is traditionally media friendly--Diaz views this new precedent as dangerous.

But Fowler was the leader, and his decision to break precedent matters. Whether they like it or not, the game’s best players are also its most influential thought leaders. What they say at tournaments, and especially majors, can both inspire and deepen understanding of a nuanced game. Forfeiting such a platform ultimately hurts golf.

What’s worrisome is that players will take note of Fowler’s decision and start to emulate it. Indeed, through he first two rounds of the championship at Erin Hills, more than 50 players were interviewed in the flash area, but only one—Brian Harman (one of four players who tied for the 36-hole lead)—came to the press center to be interviewed.

It’s understandable in the current climate—which now includes journalists regularly considered to be putting out “fake news”—that agents and managers who handle the players see an opportunity for lessening media obligations. Perhaps Fowler’s decision was in part a test to see if anyone would notice.

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Reader Comments (20)

It's unfortunate, especially for any true journalists who would like to report, get a little insight and tell the story,
But there are so many gotcha, pot shot takers and the like that it has to be putting the players more and more on guard.
06.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterP Thomas
Just because that is the way it has always been done, does not mean that is the way it must always be done.
06.18.2017 | Unregistered Commenterbrianmdv
Another example of the "soft'' media. Bigger name athletes thank Fowler in other sports have avoided talking the media for years. Don't really want to hear how tough you think your job is because one guy won't talk.
06.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Pike
Good for Rickie. I caught two minutes of the DJ presser on Wednesday after his practice round. He was asked for the umpteenth time what it meant to be World No. 1. It was unbearable and not just because DJ is shy with the press. Interview the winner after Sunday. That's all we need.

On a related note, it's shameful that the press is harassing the Oregon State players at the College World Series about their absent criminally convicted teammate. Leave them kids alone!
06.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterSoro B
Never mind they could just file another "Will Tiger Win Another Major?" article or "Ten Best Uses For Your Lob Wedge" feature.
06.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterJames
Of the times I've listened to pros discuss their game after a round my understanding of the nuanced game has never been inspired or deepened by the comments.
Fowler's decision to not appear does not bother me in the least.
Sit, listen to the questions and answer with patience and a bit of respect for those writers who also hope to grow the game these pampered brats prosper under.

We have seen the damage that is done by using only social media and twitter to attempt to control the message and the news. The golden goose (Tiger Woods) is gone so beware the future!
06.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPitbull
Look no further than the Fred Funk incident to see why players are hesitant to do the interview room. The "gotcha" question is just around the corner. The media has done this to themselves.
06.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterSVP
Imagine not attending the press centre post-round at Augusta...
06.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterMatthewM
+5 SVP
06.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterVP
I'm sure it's tough for Mr. Diaz to understand that he is not as important as he thinks he is.
06.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBill Wilson
Whining baby journalists. Expecting free handouts and thinking they're owed a player to come in and write their story for them.
06.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterGolfin' Dolphin
Ask yourself a question: would you feel the need to talk to people who have previously asked you questions and then repeatedly with misquoted or taken your quote out of context, to the point that you get a bowl of troll bait every morning?

No. Me neither.

Twitter. Instagram. Facebook. Whats App et al.

Frankly, if you read the calibre of writing in the articles on GC and then read the comments, it shows just a sad, sad decline in standards by both the producers and the consumers of the written product.
06.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterCenter Cut
Perhaps the questions require some thought before being asked!
06.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTom Morris
Get use to the New way, just like golf itself is changing.
also while watching the Open, I cant believe how many tech/ camera people are on the course behind the players .
get the Hell off !!!!!!!!
06.19.2017 | Unregistered Commentersidvicius
Draw a line on a map bet the final green and the practice tee. Then draw lines to the press tent and the flash area. your answer will become apparant.
06.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterAL
Maybe, much like half the country, these guys hate the press and don't want to spend any time with them. They do not need the press. The press needs them.
06.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterMrs Havercamp
" and then repeatedly with misquoted or taken your quote out of context, to the point that you get a bowl of troll bait every morning"

Centercut, can you give a few examples of articles where players were misquoted?
06.19.2017 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
With so many of the golf "writers" and golf publications taking subdued political potshots, spouting political correctness, etc., why should the players, most of whom don't necessarrily agree with that type of writing to be interjected into their sport, bother to talk with them.

I have also seen interviews and then seen the written report of the interview and can't see any resemblence.

So much writer's opinion and shaping the interview to their liking. What ever happened to basic reporting.
06.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterLee
Ol Harv
I played a long time ago and not well enough to be anything close
To a regular in the press room. I actually had fun reading interviews on me to see how many things they made mistakes on. Now many times it was locals but the first time I got tv time they had a few facts wrong and they did a bio interview on me the week before! It certainly happens as well as out of context quotes. Sometimes it's a simple mistake. But in this day and age there is simply too much gotcha out there. someone earlier referenced the fred funk fiasco earlier as a great example
06.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterSmugprius

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