McCleery's TV Review

golfobserver copy.jpgPeter McCleery's review of NBC's telecast:
What ranked as one of the more boring TV golf marathons suddenly turned riveting in the last hour or so. Before that, Johnny Miller & Co. failed to explain for the most part exactly why Winged Foot was playing as difficult as it did. Was it the narrowed fairways? The slow, bumpy greens? Did it make sense for a course to play almost as difficult 32 years later as it did in the infamous 74 Open? We never got any answers from watching NBC or ESPN during the long four days of coverage.
NBC's big letdown was when Mickelson drove 70 yards left into the hospitality area on 18, NBC couldn't come up with a low-behind camera angle to reveal the exact nature of his predicament. It was a wild scene with Mickelson and his caddie warning spectators to move out of harm's way. We knew he was in trouble, but it wasn't clear what was in front of him or between him and the green. It came as a surprise, then, when Roger Maltbie told us he hit a tree with his second shot--we never saw the results (were was a blimp receive shot?), until Mickelson hit a similar, slashing third shot. With the tournament on the line, one would have hoped for a more revealing shot or multiple angles, but Mickelson was apparently so far off line that NBC couldn't scramble any better than the fast-fading runnerup.

The pictures were generally spectacular. Even the grand old Winged Foot clubhouse seemed to sparkle. None of the commentators stood out, but at times they could have said less and allowed us to eavesdrop on the players and their caddies' conversations.