Some nits aren't worth picking. Here's one of them, from Phil Mushnick of the New York Post:
"TV can't help itself," he wrote in Friday's edition. "It continues to deliver the self-destructive, insulting message that if there's no Tiger Woods, golf ain't worth watching. Not even majors."
Its transgression? When television coverage began on Thursday, "three of the first four strokes shown -- even before we saw a leaderboard -- were made by Woods," Mushnick wrote.
An odd observation from a writer at a newspaper that placed Woods on its front page for 20 straight days last December. Presumably it did so for the same reason that TNT opened with Woods -- he's good for business.
From TNT's Friday telecast:
-- Good observation from Peter Kostis: "The PGA of America must have known something because Seung Yul Noh, Siman Khan and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano were all special invites and they are all on the first page of the leaderboard."
Noh is ranked 108th in the world, Khan 107th and Fernandez-Castano 111th.
-- When Phil Mickelson hit a fan with an errant shot at the 15th hole, Ian Baker-Finch, said, "As a player you always hate hitting someone in the gallery, don't you. It's an awkward feeling when you walk up."
Replied David Feherty: "It is, unless your ball has gone closer, in which case you get over it much quicker."
-- When Boo Weekley put a shot on the side of a steep hill, leaving him with a problematic shot, Feherty said this: "It's like, 'Doctor, I've broken my arm in two places.' 'Don't go to those places.'"
-- Oops. When it came out of a commercial and in response to fog on Lake Michigan, TNT played the Deep Purple song "Smoke on the Water," which, as old rock fans would know, was a song written about a fire in Montreux, Switzerland, started during a Mothers of Invention concert that burned down the building.
-- "A stentorian bellow came out of Nick Watney," Gary McCord said when Watney yelped as his birdie putt slipped past the hole on the par-5 fifth hole.
-- TNT turned its cameras to obscure club pro Keith Ohr, just as he stood on his toes on a precipice held up by railroad ties as he prepared to pitch his ball to safety.
"Oh, no, this could end really bad," McCord said at which point Ohr lost his balance and went down the slope, finishing with a leap to safety. "He stuck that landing nicely, didn't he?" McCord said.
-- Upon further review...maybe Augusta National has it right in limiting the Masters' television time to 3 1/2 hours on Thursday and Friday. The PGA Championship has gone to eight hours on each of the first two days (adding an hour a day because of the morning fog delays). Too much televised golf.
-- John Strege