Finally, here comes Wie
June 29, 2014
By Dan Daly
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Before I get to golf, I wrote last week about different “purists” in certain sports. Well, this week I learned something about the purist (or diehard) soccer fan…two things in fact.
First, it really annoys the diehard soccer fan that everyone in America jumps on the bandwagon once every four years and pretends to love soccer. Great news soccer dude, no one actually loves, or even really like soccer. We love America…and they just happen to be playing soccer. You’ve seen the Olympics right? Do you really think people care that much about swimming? The really good news for you is that when we lose here in the next game or two no one will even pretend to care about soccer in this country again for another four years. It’s all yours.
Second, the only thing soccer purist hates more than the bandwagon fan is the bandwagon fan that loves games ending on penalty kicks. I have learned that in order to be a true soccer fan you are required to take up more room on social media than a Kardashian showing your distain for games ending on penalty kicks. But more importantly you must belittle and patronize those that think penalty kicks are great. Newsflash soccer purist guy…penalty kicks are awesome. In fact, they are the only redeeming quality to your sport. Watching two teams play 120 minutes and score a combined TWO goals is not fun. Watching those same two teams score seven or eight goals in five minutes? Now THAT’S entertaining. But again, fear not soccer lover, we will all be gone for another four years before you can say “PK’s suck.”
On that note, there was a golf playoff this week at Congressional and it took place at the exact same time as the penalty kicks in the World Cup game so I’m guessing of the 500 people actually watching the Quicken Loans National on Sunday afternoon, about half of them flipped over for penalty kicks instead.
I said last week that the PGA TOUR was in trouble without Tiger, but even I didn’t realize how much trouble. I saw this week that the final round of the U.S. Women’s Open drew a higher rating on NBC than the final round of the Travelers Championship head to head. That has to concern you quite a bit if you’re Tim Finchem or more importantly the guys shelling over hundreds of millions of dollars a year to put the PGA Tour on TV. The Travelers drew a whopping 1.2 rating. I’m pretty sure Diners Drive-ins and Dives on the Food Network does a 1.2. Sadly I’m guessing with Tiger missing the cut at Congressional the Quicken Loans tournament won’t do much better.
So I’ll plays devil’s advocate and ask the question. Weeks Tiger doesn’t play or if Tiger continues to play like a 10 handicap (which I don’t think is going to be the case at all) and Michelle Wie finally starts to live up to the ridiculous expectations that were put on her as a teenager could the LPGA become more watchable that the PGA tour? I’m dead serious.
Again, if Tiger is playing and in contention that is obviously not even a debate. I’m talking Tigerless weekends on the PGA Tour against LPGA events where Michelle Wie is in contention. Wie is young, attractive, hit’s the ball a mile and everyone knows her story and likes her. She is the best thing to happen to the LPGA tour since Annika left. As I said last week, people like watching certain players more than the sport itself, that’s not my opinion, numbers back that up. Wie’s victory at Pinehurst drew a final round rating on NBC of 1.7. That was up 89 percent from last year’s 0.9 rating and as I said earlier, a higher rating that the PGA Tournament the same day. That is entirely the Michelle Wie factor.
In Annika Sorenstam’s prime when she was in contention the LPGA was getting ratings in the high 2’s and low 3’s so it’s not completely out of the question to think Wie can do the same thing. Obviously it’s one week and there’s a long way to go for Wie to become even remotely as relevant as Annika was but I’m telling you, if she can become even close to as dominant on the LPGA Tour as Annika was or as Tiger was on the PGA Tour there is a very good chance the LPGA will become more popular on TV than the average PGA Tour event.
Plus, if she continues to have post round celebrations like this one that involve getting hammered, twerking and filling up the US Open trophy with beer people will pay attention.
I know I certainly will.
How boring is the PGA Tour this year? Well, I just realized I spent 800 words of this article talking about soccer and the LPGA Tour. So, since we are at the halfway mark of the real PGA Tour season I wanted do a quick rundown of the top 9 (because it’s golf) stories of the PGA Tour so far.
9. Jimmy Walker winning three times by the middle of February and then disappearing faster than Jimmy Hoffa when the real tournaments started.
8. Patrick Reed taking over the title of FIGJAM by announcing that he was a Top-5 player in the world and then backing it up with some of the worst golf anyone has played on Tour since.
7. Rickie Fowler getting a new look, a new and improved golf swing and hopefully new and improved friends.
6. Martin Kaymer proving that he loves his parents more than anyone else on tour by winning The Players Championship on Mother’s Day and the US Open on Father’s Day.
5. Paulina Gretzky showing up on the cover of Golf Digest in yoga pants and causing the entire LPGA Tour to have an aneurysm at once.
4. The two most eligible bachelors on the PGA Tour, Adam Scott and Miguel Angel Jiménez, both got married in a matter of two weeks and in doing so killed the hopes and dreams of married men everywhere who were living vicariously through them.
3. John Daly proving once again that he is the single most exciting player of all-time off the course when he claimed he lost a mere $55 Million gambling.
2. Tiger on the shelf. In the 90 days he was out the PGA Tour saw its lowest rated Masters in 20 yearsand the lowest rated US Open ever. Total coincidence though.
1. Phil Mickelson. Despite having as many Top-10’s this year as I do, Mickelson was the story of the PGA Tour so far by ending up closer to a Grand Jury than the career Grand Slam.
I will be off next week celebrating America so I won’t be able to cover The Greenbrier Classic and the riveting story of Steve Stricker having his wife caddy for him but I will back in two weeks with the British Open Preview.
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