TNT has been justifiably criticized for its limited coverage of the first two rounds of the PGA Championship. In what feels like a TV deal from a bygone era, the cable network is on-air for only six hours for each of the first two rounds.
The Open, which is not played during friendly U.S. East Coast hours, was on-air from the first tee shot for 14 hours straight through the night. The U.S. Open has a similar 12-plus hour day on FOX. Assume this contracted coverage window, which missed Jordan Spieth’s opening round on Thursday and will miss Rory McIlroy’s second round on Friday, to be addressed and corrected in the next PGA media deal.
Now that we have the caveat out of the way – it’s not all bad. TNT has done some cool things, in my opinion, to juice up its coverage, however limited. The production has been loaded with technology – TrackMan on every hole, which is more the result of CBS – the weekend TV partner – increasing its commitment to this year’s coverage. TNT has also mixed in different personalities and talent, which is always good in an industry with a relatively static roster.
One of those new personalities for Friday will be NBA finals MVP Andre Iguodala. The Warriors star won’t be playing professionally anytime soon – he’s not quite the stick of his teammate, Steph Curry. But he does love the game as much, and now he’s getting involved with the coverage of the final men’s major of the year.
Officially, Iguodala will be a “special contributor” and appear on-air throughout the 1-7 p.m. ET broadcast and then provide social media coverage too.
Iguodala told the AP that he’s currently a 12.3 handicap:
“Right now, I’m the lowest I’ve ever been,” Iguodala said. “I’m at a 12.3. I’ve been between 85 and 89 for two weeks straight. I just hit my ball well and I have that one bad hole that keeps me from 82. I’m feeling really good about my game and the season is right around the corner to ruin it again. I’m going to try to enjoy it while it lasts.”
Here’s his swing from the pro-am at the Safeway Open in Napa last year:
Iggy is a golf nut who spends most of his offseason working on his game. He adjusts his workouts around his golf schedule and memorably got over to Augusta National with Steph after winning their first title. Like Steph, he’s also got some slick stamping on his wedges:
I’m into the move by TNT – if stars from other sports love golf, let’s showcase that. We don’t have to go crazy and put him out there all the time in an uncomfortable spot, but bringing Iggy in for some coverage will freshen up the broadcast in places. This and the fantastic Ric Flair promo to kick off the week yesterday have been great ways to mix in new personalities.
Source: SB Nation Bay Area
Featured Image: Getty Images
Inset Image: SB Nation Bay Area