It sounded as though CBS was covering a coronation, and maybe it was. Anchor Jim Nantz used "in his prime" in the past tense referring to Tiger Woods, and his partner Nick Faldo spoke of Woods "in his day."
Sunday was clearly Rory McIlroy's day and we won't know for a while whether this is his era, too, but he gave a strong hint with his record eight-stroke victory in the PGA Championship, his second major at a younger age (albeit by months) than Woods won his second.
Accordingly, McIlory's "virtuoso performance," as Nantz called it, repeatedly was juxtaposed with a younger Tiger Woods, to wit:
-- Nantz, with McIlory on the 15th hole and leading by five: "The Wannamaker Trophy is all but Rory McIlroy's. He's starting to do what Tiger formerly would do to the field. Leave them in the dust."
-- Paul Azinger, via Twitter: "Rory releasing club like a man without a care in the world. Tiger hanging on like he's afraid of plugging a fan walking down the left side."
-- CBS' David Feherty: "Having watched him the last few years I've seen him play some of the most magnificent shots, the quality of the shots that he hits, only Tiger can equal that kind of thing."
-- Faldo: "Now Rory's doing what Tiger used to do to everybody else, isn't he? Tiger was so different. Tiger was twice as good as anybody else in his day. He was supersonic. He tried to act like a normal guy. Now he's a normal guy trying to be supersonic."
-- And the coup de grace, from Nantz: "Wearing fittingly a red shirt. That of course was always Tiger's powerful color on Sunday. The red belongs to Rory today."
McIlroy's phenomenal appeal notwithstanding, ESPN sports business reporter Darren Rovell posed an interesting question: "Here's another test as to whether the masses care about golf's future or just Tiger. TV Ratings watch for tomorrow."
Rule 13-4c under assault
The two-stroke penalty that Carl Pettersson received for violating Rule 13-4c on the first hole evoked a lively debate.
Feherty mystifyingly suggested that amateurs should be held to higher standards than professionals. "It's important to note that there was nothing wrong with the ruling he was given, but there's a general feeling among professional golfers that that's just a bad rule," Feherty said. "It's fine for the amateur game, but for professional golfers, no harm, no foul."
Webb Simpson took to Twitter to air his grievance with the ruling: "Watching replay and just saw Carl Pettersson's penalty- ANOTHER rule that doesn't make any sense!!!! 2 shots?!?! You kidding me???"
Golf Digest's Ashley Mayo took the common sense route. "Regardless of how silly Rule 13-4c might seem, it's a well-known rule that Carl (and ALL golfers) need to understand," she wrote on Twitter.
Here's what Rule 13-4c, Ball in Hazard, Prohibited Action, says: "Touch or move a loose impediment lying in or touching the hazard."
Golf World contributor John Huggan, meanwhile, found a way to tie the ruling, made by a PGA of America member, to the notorious commute time in and out of Kiawah Island each day. "So, let me see if I understand this...we're letting the clowns behind this week's traffic system make rulings?" he wrote on Twitter.
Why doesn't CBS have a rules expert standing by to explain rules questions to viewers, the way the NBC does with U.S. Open telecasts?
McCord was discussing the prickly pear that attacked Tiger Woods right of the 15th fairway Sunday morning.
"You never know what's out there," he said. "We've got alligators on one side, prickly pear on the other."
"Maybe it will spur him on," Ian Baker-Finch said.
Norman on Tiger
Greg Norman appeared in the broadcast booth during the TNT part of the telecast on Sunday and had this to say about Tiger's putting:
"When I watched yesterday on television... you could actually see a fundamental error that he had in his setup. Every putt he hit was a little bit left. I've seen him do it in the past."
Golf Digest's Dan Jenkins: "Kiawah doesn't deserve Rory, but we do."