By John Strege
Television ratings are the ultimate arbiter, of course, but if excitement counts for anything, golf is in good hands going forward, with or without Tiger Woods.
(Getty Images photo)
Jim Nantz made the case in a clever segue from a CBS promo he read, noting the Sunday night shows to follow on the network.
“’60 Minutes,’ ‘Big Brother’ and, time permitting, ‘Unforgettable,’” Nantz said with the leaders of the PGA Championship midway through their back nine. “What a lead in, that’s quite unforgettable in its own right. There have been a lot of doomsayers out there about the interest level and where golf’s going to be and future stars and all that.”
“There’s plenty of color,” his partner Nick Faldo said, “plenty of characters. It’s fantastic.”
“And plenty of talent,” Peter Oosterhuis replied.
I always go back to an Al Michaels line from the ninth inning of the remarkable game five of the Red Sox-Angels American League Championship Series in 1986. “If you’re just tuning in,” he said, “too bad.”
Nantz called it “riveting.” Faldo added “electrifying.”
On Twitter, Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee wrote, “One of the best majors I’ve ever seen."
On the golf course, David Feherty likened a Rory McIlroy fist pump (see photo above) to a Muhammad Ali punch, referring to one of Louisville’s most famous natives. Earlier, in his excitement, he said, “and down the stretch they come,” invoking a phrase no doubt heard from a Louisville landmark, Churchill Downs.
The real real race, alas, was against time, as nightfall encroached on what indeed was riveting and electrifying.