(Photo by Getty Images)
The immediacy of television is dependent on the cooperation of those at the controls, and they weren't particularly cooperative in the case of the Luke Donald scorecard issue on Thursday afternoon.
Twitter was abuzz over the possibility that Donald had signed an incorrect scorecard in the first round of the Masters, yet the CBS crew working the telecast on ESPN ignored any mention of it for more than an hour.
The first mention I saw came at 4:45 p.m. EDT. At 5:46 p.m., more than an hour later, Donald's wife, Diane, posted this on Twitter: "Just got off the phone with Luke, NOT disqualified. Thank goodness."
A moment later, Jim Nantz mentioned it for the first time, noting that Donald "possibly signed an incorrect scorecard. It's under review. That's all we can pass on at this point. For world number one."
Another 15 minutes passed before Nantz informed the television audience what Diane Donald had already informed her Twitter followers, that Donald "has not been disqualified."
Nantz then explained that when Donald's scorecard was transmitted to scoring it seemed to have shown he'd made a birdie on the fifth hole, when he had made a bogey. This would account for why the Masters.com scorecard showed him shooting a one-over par 73, when in fact he had shot a three-over par 75.
Donald, in fact, signed for the 75, not the 73.
Other than that, the first day of the Masters came off without a hitch. Or, as Golf Digest's Dan Jenkins, aka the Ancient Twitterer, noted on Twitter, "All in all, it shaped up as a good first day for people who never enter my mind."
Meltdown of the day
Henrik Stenson, leading at the time, wound up and slammed his club into the turf to the left of the 18th fairway after hitting a poor shot from the pine needles. We could not actually see the club hit the ground, but the thump came in loud and clear.
"He's not a happy camper. You can't do that at Augusta, dear boy," Nick Faldo said.
Stenson wound up making an eight there, which, "equalled the highest score in the history of the tournament at the 18th hole," Nantz informed us. It was the seventh snowman recorded there.
The answer is yes
The question is this: Would it have been too much to ask that Augusta National included Tiger Woods' group among its featured pairings that were shown live on Masters.com?
"Tiger's on the course. We'll see him in due time," Grant Boone, anchoring live coverage at Amen Corner for the website, said. Due time was a couple of hours later.
The boom mike picked up Bubba Watson after he launched his tee shot at the 13th hole and it was headed right. "Awww, shoot," he said. "Killed it, though."
They only missed by one
On ESPN's Sports Center, a few minutes before the Masters telecast was to begin, an introduction to John Brenkus' Sports Science noted that "Amen Corner represents holes 10, 11 and 12 at Augusta National." Moments later, the same holes were cited.
Amen Corner, of course, represents holes 11, 12 and 13 at Augusta National. Brenkus, it should be noted, got it correct.
Say what you mean
Peter Oosterhuis, as Ben Crane was standing over a putt, said that he's "very deliberate when he's over the ball."
Deliberate translates to painfully slow.
Hank Haney, responding to a question about Woods' opening round: "Great score w 2 penalty shots, needs to avoid The Big Miss"
Comment: Nice plug for his book.
Golf Digest's Stina Sternberg: "I love that you can look like Jimenez (middle-aged, pot-bellied, ponytailed) and be kicking the juniors' butts in the Masters. #golfisgreat"
Comment: Can't argue with that, especially the pot-bellied part.
-- John Strege