As a rule it is tough to take a newspaper seriously when they run headlines like "Big Ten extends it brand with new network," but Michael Hiestand does feature some interesting stuff in his Wednesday column. First, some slightly different (higher!) ratings for The Barclays...
Last week's first-round playoff action — The Barclays on CBS — didn't suggest postseason golf is a gimme putt. Sunday's final round drew a 2.1 overnight — translating to 2.1% of 56 urban TV markets. That's up just 5% from ABC's final round last year, when the event was in June. Saturday's third-round drew a 1.7 rating — even with last year.And then he talks to Johnny, where the real fun starts.
But lead analyst Johnny Miller suggests, "Everybody needs to cool their jets and see how it plays out. I think it will grow on the public and even on the guys in golf. If the players look excited at the end, people might say it's pretty good."
What an endorsement. Thankfully, Johnny hasn't cooled his jets...
Talk about being cautiously optimistic. Miller says back in his playing prime, he "wouldn't have been thrilled" to play four consecutive late-season events — which this year are followed by NBC's Presidents Cup and, next year, by NBC's Ryder Cup. "The public might not understand, but that's a lot at the end of the year."
So, here's Miller's modest proposal — "which won't make me too popular with the PGA or NBC" — for tweaking the format: Allow players' scores to be counted from just two of the first three playoff tournaments.
And that's why Johnny will never be commissioner.
This is just plain ridiculous.
This year's playoff field will be whittled down to 30 for the fourth and final event, meaning it might not end up that star-studded. Miller has a nit to pick with that: "I don't see why they need to go under 70."
Might not be star-studded? The system makes it nearly impossible for the stars to miss it!