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Friday, February 2, 2018

Friday Four Ball: Attention is Good Right?

It's time again for another Friday Four Ball. Our selection of this week's four most interesting stories from the world of golf. Let's see what we have this week.

How Jason Day and Alex Noren took down Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson to become Golf Channel's most-watched telecast ever | via Alex Meyers for GolfDigest.com

According to the network, their "most-watched" number comes from "average viewers per minute" -- obviously higher during a playoff -- coupled with streaming views. That gave Golf Channel a total audience delivery (TAD) of 2.717 million average viewers per minute, which broke the previous record of 2.337 million for Golf Channel's lead-in coverage of the final round of the 2012 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

First of all, who is writing these headlines for GolfDigest.com? Any longer and it would have been an article all by itself!

Reading through the entire post, you quickly realize that this is a bit of a technical sleight of hand move when it comes to what "most-watched" actually means. That said, it was still a heck of a fun afternoon of golf to watch. It was a shame, from a fan's point of view, that the playoff carried over to Monday and lasted only one more hole from there. I was great to see Jason Day back on top after such a long time away from the winner's circle. Hopefully, this is a sign that Day will be back in the mix on a regular basis this season.

Fowler 'disappointed' by hecklers on 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale | via Jeff Ritter for Golf.com

“There was actually some rowdy fans this morning on 16, and I may be somewhat of a fan favorite, but they weren't holding back,” Fowler said. “I was a little disappointed in some of the stuff that was said and I don't want much negativity -- the normal boos for missing a green, that's fine, but leave the heckling to a minimum and make it fun, support the guys out playing.”

Rowdy fans on the 16th at the Phoenix Open? Do tell!

Actually, to be fair, I hear Rickie and completely agree with him. Keep it fun and this circus of an event can work for a few days each year on Tour. The problem is, as this beast has continued to grow, it's increasingly out of control.

The event is definitely a "love it" or "hate it" week on the schedule. Personally, I'm in the "hate it" camp. It's an amazing spectacle. A crowd of that size watching a single hole of golf is still hard to rationalize. Those attending are obviously having a great time. The players who embrace it also appear to be having fun as they can. There certainly is plenty of money being made from all of it. The event typically raises more money for local charities than any other on the calendar. But, it's all just become too much. A little bit of this sort of thing goes a long way. The Phoenix Open and its masses of "golf fans" have gone too far. At least for my taste.

Drunk Streaker Invades Waste Management Phoenix Open | via Elliott Heath for GolfMonthly.com

The Waste Management Phoenix Open always throws up surprises but this footage from yesterday’s Pro-Am is quite extraordinary.

It shows a nude man, who was later confirmed as drunk, prancing around on one of TPC Scottsdale’s fairways with no sign of any security approaching him for around a minute.

See my previous thoughts on the Phoenix Open above...

Brandel Chamblee has '2-minute' fix for Tiger Woods' driving problems | via Bill Speros for Golfweek.com

“I mean, I’m convinced, honest to God, if Tiger walked out here tomorrow, I would have Tiger driving the ball straight in two minutes. Two minutes. Two minutes. Because there’s no way he can’t do – all he needs to do is move three inches to the right in his backswing. That’s it. It’s game over from there.”

I'm sure Woods will be booking a lesson with Chamblee any day now.

I'm not saying Chamblee is wrong by the way. He knows more about golf than I certainly do. He may be completely correct. I also have to imagine that Woods is aware that his swing needs work. But, perhaps, he also realizes that his body can only do so much these days. Maybe, just maybe, Tiger Woods knows his abilities and limitation even better than Chamblee.

Did we really expect Tiger Woods would return and immediately be one of the greatest players in the world? I get that people want their hero back as quickly as possible. This is going to take some time.

The golf world, including Brandel Chamblee, needs to realize that this may be all Tiger Woods has in the tank right now. I don't think most people are ready to accept that. I doubt Tiger Woods is either. That's what's going to make this comeback effort one of the most interesting stories to follow in the history of the sport. Grab your popcorn.

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