Since I was on the course and in the press room, I didn’t see much of ESPN’s presentation of the Ryder Cup Friday.
However, GeoffShackelford.com did, and he wasn’t pleased with ESPN running the Lee Corso-West Virginia commercial 18 times during the telecast.
To be clear, the mostly NBC produced pictures, sound and announcing from Friday’s Ryder Cup made the fantastic golf that much better.
Unfortunately, over the course of 11.5 hours, we were actually deprived of coverage.
We all know they have bills to pay, but showing a promo 18 times over the course of 11.5 hours? Obnoxious.
The primary atrocity committed by ESPN and the PGA of America was the call in three instances to leave live, thrilling Ryder Cup golf. Twice they showed a Scott Van Pelt narrated highlight package and most painful of all, an interview with PGA of America president Allen Wronowski that not a single person on the planet wanted or needed to hear.
John Strege in his Golf World review wrote:
ESPN began a recap of earlier play while two tight matches were still being contested, the second time on Friday that it broke from live play. At the conclusion of morning foursomes, with the afternoon fourballs already underway, it cut to Scott Van Pelt doing a 10-minute recap.
Golf Digest’s Stina Sternberg, via Twitter, reacted to ESPN’s miscue this way: “PSA: The Ryder Cup is still live, without highlights on rydercup.com and Sky online.”
Strege, though, had praise for Mike Tirico for the way he set up Tiger Woods’ final putt.
A remarkable day of golf came down to this, as told by ESPN’s Mike Tirico: “The U.S. will lead. It will either be five-three or five-and-a-half, two-and-a-half. And has been the case most of the last 15 years in golf, one guy standing alone and all eyes are on him.”