There was something retro and really fun about following Brett Avery's live hole by hole account of Michelle Wie's quest to qualify for the U.S. Open. You'll get the same old time vibe by checking out this photo gallery from GolfDigest.com.
It's funny that PGATour.com had the best coverage of Wie's quest today while GolfDigest.com tried three different links to scores (Met, TGC, ESPN), SI had nothing but AP stuff and USGA.org kicked the day off with its annual rehash of its merchandising success story (and scores only updated after each nine holes).
Golf Channel and Rich Lerner came through with an excellent wrap up show that you would hope they might do every year for the Sectionals, and not just the times Michelle Wie tries to qualify.
But it was Avery's hole-by-hole account, and his (Bernard) Darwinian obervations that stole the show. Not only because it allowed us to get a feel for this unique event in golf history via the Internet, but Avery and the Tour may have ushered in a new era in golf coverage. With the length of a golf round and the spread-out nature of a course, no other sport lends itself to a writer using a Blackberry type device (I'm pretty sure these were written accounts) to contribute real time blog updates.
It wasn't perfect. You had to refresh the page instead of the page doing an automatic refresh like a typical PGATour leaderboard, but that's a minor detail they can work out. Imagine a similar on-course blog at a major where the writer follows the last group and offers supplemental online coverage for viewers at home wondering what went on with a ruling or what Tiger was saying to Stevie when they appeared to not agree on something.
Still, it requires an observant writer willing to take a few changes, and Avery, the former Golf Journal editor who covered the rise of Tiger Woods, was more than up to the task of putting Wie's historic run into perspective.
We can only hope PGATour.com will send Avery to Winged Foot so that web readers can get such a unique, inside-the-ropes account and that other golf news organizations will experiment with this novel form of reporting.
For a distinctly old school summary of the events, here's Dave Anderson column in the New York Times.
For final sectional results, check out this USOpen.com link.