RBC Heritage

Harbour Town Golf Links


PGA Championship 2018: Wondering why Rickie Fowler's round was not shown on television? Here's your answer

August 09, 2018
PGA Championship - Round One

Stuart Franklin

TNT aired episodes of “Charmed” and “Supernatural” while Rickie Fowler was shooting 65 in the first round of the PGA Championship, which brought to mind another television drama, “Unsolved Mysteries.”

It is perpetually puzzling that in this age of 200-plus television channels and an Information Super Highway at our fingertips, we aren’t allowed to watch full coverage of the leader, and a popular one at that, of one of the four most important tournaments in golf.

TNT airs the first two rounds before CBS takes over on the weekend, and its broadcast did not begin until 2 p.m. EDT. By then Fowler had already concluded his round.

It did not go unnoticed, as the internet soapbox for the aggrieved, Twitter, demonstrated. A sampling:

The Masters does this, too, because, well, we don’t really know why it does this. But there is an explanation, probably unlikely to appease viewers, for why TNT does not start its telecast until 2 p.m. EDT, ending it at 8 p.m. EDT.

In the nearly 30 years that Turner Sports has been telecasting the first two rounds of the PGA Championship, it has always employed the same six-hour window. (Incidentally, its current broadcast rights contract with the PGA of America, negotiated in 2009, runs through 2019.)

So, Fowler’s and Tiger Woods’ rounds on Friday will be shown virtually in their entirety. Moreover, TNT will (and has done so before) extend its telecast past 8 p.m. EDT when necessary to provide full coverage of the news.

But back to Thursday morning. Though Fowler was not part of the two featured groups shown on PGA Championship Live on PGA.com, several of Fowler’s shots were shown and updates provided, as well as highlights on social-media outlets.

These might not be the answers the aforementioned aggrieved are looking for, but it will have to suffice.