Jordan Spieth won. He got a check for $1.8 million and has two majors this year, both before the age of 22.
After those facts, which of course are the ones that that really count, we are left with side issues some of which occupied the media prior to the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay such as how the rookies at Fox Sports would do. Would the technical marvels used in televising football be seen as adding or detracting from the show and would the broadcast team be able to handle the pressure of a national open?
The answers to both questions are a firm “yes,” though not without mistakes and problems. Overall they did just fine.
And best of all were Joe Buck and Greg Norman the marquee names heading up the on-air team. Buck is a professional and was able to do his job without falling into the bunker of pontification. Some, such as Jim Nance do sounding as though they are handing down the word to the great unwashed.
Corey Pavin, U.S. Open Champion in 1995, following key groups each day had to be prompted at first to talk about the circumstance of the shot a player was facing though he got better by Sunday’s round. He finally got it into his head he was the one with the best view of what was going on and we wanted to hear what he had to say.
Greg Norman didn’t surprise me at all with his comments and analysis. He always has had no trouble applying his formidable talent to a situation either as a player or businessman and golf analysis seemed to be a natural for him. Tom Weiskopf didn’t contribute anything, remarkable or otherwise, except perhaps giving the impression he was running to be voted “master-of-the-obvious.” For the next go around Fox might think about cutting Weiskopf from the line up and giving more time to Brad Faxon or even Julie Inkster.
The biggest question for golf fans is not how ESPN/ABC will do covering the British Open, this being their last year, nor how CBS will do at the PGA Championship in August, but whether Spieth can win both and complete the grand slam.