I couldn’t help but notice that the Dallas Morning News wasn’t at the Masters this year. That means they wouldn’t have had a staff byline piece from Augusta if Dallas’ very own Jordan Spieth had won the tournament.
As it is, his second-place finish at the age of 20 was a big story in its own right. Yet the Morning News ran a Spieth story from Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Augusta.
I am not trying to knock the Morning News. There are plenty of big-city papers that no longer staff the majors. Budgets are tight, and it is expensive to send writers on the road.
However, the Morning News situation is different.
The Morning News used to be big time into golf. They sent their golf writers (Jeff Rude, Phil Rogers, Brad Townsend, Bill Nichols) to 10-15 tournaments per year, maybe more. No newspaper in the country matched the Morning News’ coverage on the pro tours.
And with good reason, considering Dallas and the state of Texas produce so many champions, starting with Hogan and Nelson and now with the up-and-coming Spieth.
Again, I bring this up because during my 12 years of covering the Masters, the Chicago Tribune only was granted two seats in the media center. A few times we tried to send a third person, but were turned down. Other papers received the same treatment.
This irked me because the Morning News, sitting in the row in front of us, always had three seats. When I asked why, I was told the paper had been “grandfathered” in for its seating.
Last week, other outlets sat in the Morning News’ seats. It should be noted that the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram also wasn’t at Augusta.
I’m not trying to single out the Morning News. However, it is a striking statement about the current state of newspapers and their coverage of golf. It isn’t a priority anymore.
Given what Spieth did at the Masters, it will be interesting to see if the Morning News staffs future majors. He is going to win a major sooner and later, and when he does, it will be a big story, especially in Dallas.