Golf needs all the help it can get to be exciting on television, so televising this year’s Masters tournament in 3-D is a welcome addition. Augusta National will have numerous 3-D cameras placed strategically throughout the course, primarily on the back nine. Sony Electronics and Comcast are combining in the production effort.
However, the first national sporting event ever broadcast in 3-D will have a miniscule audience because only a few viewers have sets with 3-D capability.
For those who do, Cox will be the exclusive provider of the 3-D telecasts in Oklahoma. Beginning Wednesday, two hours a day of Masters’ 3-D programming will be available at no additional cost to Cox Advanced TV customers with an HD or HD/DVR receiver on channel 710. Customers also can access Masters content via the On Demand library on Channel 1.
For those who don’t have 3-D sets, Cox also will have demonstrations at its Edmond store, 3313 S Broadway, and Norman store, 1278 N Interstate Drive.
On Tuesday, I got a chance to preview the 3-D technology at the Cox store in Edmond. I was amazed at the effect, especially items that appeared to float in front of my face. Because the demonstration consisted of musical acts, I’m not sure how it will work with golf. I would expect the Augusta National terrain changes, especially the sloping greens, would be magnified and a bunker shot would be amazing.
As with any new technology, it will be a pricy endeavor at first. The required “active shutter” glasses alone cost $140 and the TV sets are $400 to $500 more than a regular HD set.
At least, if you’re like me looking to purchase an HD set, you might consider purchasing one that has 3-D capability. In the future, more and more sporting events will be getting in on the new technology.
In preparation for his return to golf at The Masters, Tiger Woods conducted interviews with ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi and the Golf Channel’s Kelly Tilghman on Sunday as he continues his public relations damage control. Here are excerpts from the interviews:
On why he got married:
“Why? ‘Cause I loved her. I loved Elin with everything I have. And that’s something that makes me feel even worse. That I did this to someone I loved that much.”
On the depth of his infidelity:
“Well, just one is enough. Um, and obviously that wasn’t the case, and I’ve made my mistakes. And as I’ve said, I’ve hurt so many people, and so many people I have to make an amends to, and that’s living a life of amends.”
On why he didn’t seek treatment before all the news broke:
“Well I didn’t know I was that bad….stripping away denial, rationalization. You strip that away and you find the truth.”
On the low points — the moments of having to tell his wife and mother:
“They both have been brutal. They’ve both been very tough. Because I hurt them the most. Those are the two people in my life who I’m closest to and to say the things that I’ve done, truthfully to them, is…honestly was…very painful.”
On what his measure of success will be at the Masters:
“Well, playing is one thing. I’m excited to get back and play, I’m excited to get to see the guys again. I really miss a lot of my friends out there. I miss competing. But still, I still have a lot more treatment to do, and just because I’m playing, doesn’t mean I’m gonna stop going to treatment.”
On the expected/hopeful reception from fans:
“I don’t know. I don’t know. I’m a little nervous about that to be honest with you…It would be nice to hear a couple claps here and there…but also hope they clap for birdies too (laughs).”
Golf Channel interview
On how did things get so out of control:“Going against your core values, losing sight of it. I quit meditating, I quit being a Buddhist, and my life changed upside down. I felt entitled, which I had never felt before. Consequently, I hurt so many people by my own reckless attitude and behavior.”
On going from becoming recognized as the greatest golfer in the world to becoming a punch line:
“It was hurtful, but then again you know what, I did it. I’m the one who did those things and looking back on it now with a more clear head, I get it. I can understand why people will say these things because you know what, it was disgusting behavior. As a person, it’s hard to believe that was me looking back on it now.”
On state of his marriage:
“We’re working on it and it’s a process that will remain private between her and I.”
On what his father would say to him if he were still alive:
“He’d be very disappointed in me. We’d have numerous long talks. That’s one of the things I miss, I miss his guidance, wish I could have had his guidance through all this to have him help straighten me up, I know he would’ve done it.”
On wearing a new bracelet:
“It’s Buddhist, it’s for protection and strength and I certainly need that.”
What will Tiger Woods talk about when he makes his public statement at 10 a.m. Friday? CBS golf analyst David Feherty talked about it on the “The Dan Patrick Show” on Thursday. Here are some of his comments:
Feherty on what his first question to Tiger would be tomorrow:
“So, how was your off-season?
Feherty on the curious timing of Tiger’s press conference (the same time as the Accenture Match Play – a sponsor who dropped him quickly):
“I don’t think he has that kind of streak in him. He just lets his golf clubs do his talking. I don’t see that. I think he’s just ready to get back in front of a camera and get it over with.”
Feherty on what Tiger might announce regarding his future in golf:
“I think he’s going to put his family first. It wouldn’t surprise me if he announces you won’t see him for a while.”
Feherty on whether or not Tiger will skip The Masters:
“I think he could quite easily. I think he could skip the year.”
Feherty on how Tiger will perform once he decides to compete again:
“There’s been a lot of talk about will he be the player he was? Hell, yes.”
The “Golden Bear” turns 70 on Thursday, and Golf Channel will celebrate the occasion with special Jack Nicklaus programming and features online at GolfChannel.com.
In honoring Nicklaus’ 70th birthday, GolfChannel.com’s team of writers and researchers developed a special tribute to Nicklaus titled, “You Don’t Know Jack: 70 Facts About Nicklaus.” Featured are little-known factoids about Nicklaus, including him passing out following the birth of four of his five children; being diagnosed with polio at age 13; co-authoring 15 books, and being one of the select few, nonband members to dot the “I” during halftime at an Ohio State college football game, his alma mater.
Special programming will air throughout the day. At 1 p.m. host Lauren Thompson will count down the top-10 Nicklaus highlights. The show will feature interviews with Arnold Palmer, Tony Jacklin, historian Martin Davis, Nicklaus’ son Jackie and Nicklaus. It will reair at 5:30 p.m.
“Planet Jack,” 6 p.m., is a two-part, Golf Channel special taking viewers on the ultimate road trip – a 12-day, eight-country, 25,000-mile journey with Nicklaus, offering an intimate look into his business life and showing how he is giving back to the game he loves.
“Golf Central,” 5 p.m., will provide extensive features on Nicklaus’ career, including a sit-down interview with Golf Channel Insider Tim Rosaforte and Rich Lerner.
From the archives of Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf comes a classic 1963 match-up between Jack Nicklaus, then 23 years old, and legendary Sam Snead, then 50 and the owner of a PGA Tour-record 81 wins. Filmed at Pebble Beach Golf Links in Monterey, Calif., the 18-hole stroke play competition pitted current and future greatness in Snead and Nicklaus, who was the reigning U.S. Open champion.
The match was filmed on Feb. 24 and came down to the final hole. It hasn’t been rebroadcast in any manner since 1963, until this Sunday, when it air at 1 p.m. on CBS.
Produced by PGA Tour Productions and digitally re-mastered to high definition, the one-hour special will feature an interview with Nicklaus regarding the match and his fondness for Pebble Beach, swing tips from both Nicklaus and Snead, mini-features on the two contestants as well as the golf course, and interviews with writers, television producers and fans who were in attendance.
Tiger boosts ratings
CBS Sports’ final-round coverage Sunday of the PGA Tour’s AT&T National, which saw host Tiger Woods win his tournament with a birdie at the 16th hole and pars at 17 and 18 to beat former OSU golfer Hunter Mahan by a stroke, scored an overnight household rating of 4.6, up 207 percent from last year’s 1.5/3 in the metered markets.
Sunday’s 4.6/11 was the highest rating for a PGA TOUR event (non-major) on CBS Sports since a 4.6/9 for the final round of the Buick Invitational (Jan. 27, 2008) and the highest rating for the final round of the AT&T National since the inaugural event in 2007.
CBS Sports’ third-round coverage Saturday earned an overnight household rating of 2.6, up 100 percentfrom last year’s third round 1.3 in the metered markets.
CBS has assigned its top team of Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg to the Memphis Regional to broadcast the South Regional games on Friday night: OU-Syracuse game at 6:27 p.m. and North Carolina-Gonzaga at about 9 p.m. It shows the network believes it’s the best set of games in the Sweet 16. North Carolina was ranked No. 1 entering the tournament and OU has the national player of the year in Blake Griffin.
The good contingent of Kansas fans in Oklahoma should get to see most of the Jayhawks game against Michigan State, following the conclusion of the OU game. Of course, they can get on the Internet and watch all the game at March Madness on Demand at NCAA.com.
Ratings for the first two rounds are up 6 percent from 2008, averaging a 5.4 in metered markets.
The other broadcast pairings:
West Regional, Glendale, Ariz., 6:07 p.m. Thursday, Connecticut vs. Purdue, about 8:30 p.m., Memphis vs. Missouri. Dick Enberg and Jay Bilas.
East Regional, Boston, 6:27 p.m. Thursday, Pittsburgh vs. Xavier, about 9 p.m. Duke vs. Villanova. Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery.
Midwest Regional, Indianapolis, 6:07 p.m., Louisville vs. Arizona, about 8:30 p.m., Kansas vs. Michigan State. Gus Johnson and Len Elmore.
Although Billy Packer has retired from CBS, he is still providing analysis on the NCAA tournament. Teaming with Bob Knight, his “Billy Packer’s Survive and Advance” airs at midnight Sunday on FSOK. A repeats airs at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Barkley’s hit list
Charles Barkley reveals his golf “hit list” on this week’s episode of “The Haney Project,” 8 p.m. Monday on Golf Channel. Philadelphia sports talk host, Howard Eskin, who is on the “Top 7,” has vowed to run around the golf course in his underwear if Barkley ever beats him.
The Top 7 are the people who have ticked Barkley off and wants to beat on the golf course:
1. Michael Jordan
2. Tiger Woods
3, Dave the Bartender, CHOPS Restaurant & Bar in Philadelphia.
4. Howard Eskin, sports radio personality for WIP-AM in Philadelphia.
5. Roy Green, former NFL wide receiver.
6. Seth Joyner, former NFL linebacker.
7. Jim Murphy, director of golf at Gainey Ranch Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.
NBA analyst Charles Barkley should have given up on golf a long time ago. Other superstar athletes would have. They wouldn’t put up with the frustration of playing and practicing, but only getting worse. They wouldn’t put up with the public ridicule about an unorthodox swing exposed to millions on television and across the Internet. They wouldn’t put up with repeated hits to their egos by friends and experts in the game.
But because he really loves the game — one of his only private respites in a public life — and truly desires to get better and help other hacks like himself, Barkley is putting his game and life on display in “The Haney Project,” a seven-part, reality series premiering at 8 p.m. Monday on Golf Channel (Cox 60).
Barkley’s quest is simple – to enjoy the game again.
“Golf is really the only thing I’ve failed in life at,” Barkley said. “On every level of basketball, I’ve been really good. This is interesting to me to let this side of me out there. It’s tough for me, but when I signed up for this I said to myself, ‘It can’t get any worse.’”
Longtime friends and golfing buddies Seth Joyner and Roy Green — who appear in the series — sympathize with Barkley, but also never miss an opportunity to poke fun. “He’s been suffering for a long time, but there’s no way in hell I’d get up on national TV if I had a swing like that,” said Joyner, former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker. “I hope he gets fixed, so I won’t have to look at that ugly-ass swing anymore.”
“I wouldn’t want anyone to see me with that swing,” says Green, a teammate of Joyner’s in Philadelphia, but better known as a star receiver for the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1980s. “It’s good that he won’t play with us anymore. It’s too painful – for all of us!”
Barkley says he’s taken hundreds of lessons and even got hypnotized. “All I got out of that was a good nap,” he said. He’s convinced Hank Haney is the answer. Haney has coached hundreds of golf greats over an illustrious career, but none greater than his current student, Tiger Woods.
“He’s a great teacher, but he’s a lot more intense than I thought. You work extremely hard and he gets on you pretty good. I was surprised by that,” he said.
During intense training sessions, Barkley easily hits more than 1,200 golf balls under Haney’s watchful eye. He’s also taken steps to improve his fitness through stretching and cardio workouts.
“He’s been as dedicated a student as I’ve ever had. He’s tried so hard and that’s what it’s going to take to get over the hump,” said Haney.