Two U.S. Senior Open competitors spent last week at Chambers Bay in Washington as part of Fox’s inaugural broadcast of the U.S. Open.
Corey Pavin was in the booth and on the course, and he did wrapup shows. Jay Delsing was on the course.
The product was rough to start but smoothed out by the end of the week.
Pavin was polished and insightful considering his broadcast experience consisted of three tournaments 10 years ago and the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball last month.
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How did he feel he did?
“I’m not sure,” he said. “I leave it up to the producer to tell me. He seemed reasonably pleased.”
Pavin said Fox’s ability to capture sound, especially player/player and player/caddie interactions, was particularly impressive.
“I don’t think sound has ever been captured that well at a golf event,” he said on Del Paso Country Club’s practice green Monday, trusty Bullseye putter in hand. “The conversation between Dustin (Johnson) and Jason (Day) about whether Jason should putt out (on the last hole) ... For us as players, it’s just normal talk. A lot of people out there were interested in what was said and how we say it to each other.”
Fox, in its first year televising United States Golf Association events, will telecast the Senior Open. Natalie Gulbis will be in the booth.
High praise for Del Paso – Count Martin Courtois, caddie for Rocco Mediate, an early fan of Del Paso.
“Best setup of a major on the Champions Tour that I’ve ever seen,” said the veteran, in town two days ahead of his player to map the course. “After last week’s abomination (at Chambers Bay), it’s exactly what we need.”
The rough alongside the fairways has been brushed toward the green, Courtois said, which gives players a fighting chance. Notice how the rough is shiny from the tee, he pointed out, but dark green looking back from the green.
Courtois praised the greens, as well.
“Best surfaces we’ve putted on this year by far,” he said.
Instructor/qualifier stays busy – This week offers the chance of a lifetime for qualifier Mike Mitchell.
His focus will be divided nonetheless.
Mitchell, director of instruction at The Hideaway Golf Club in La Quinta, is also the instructor for Michael Allen, among the championship favorites.
“He’s the No. 1 priority,” Mitchell said. “This is not an opportunity I get very often, and I want show well. But I have to beat guys like Michael, and that’s a pretty tall order.”
The two started working together in 2002, not coincidentally the year Allen’s career took a significantly positive turn.
“The passion he has for the game, I’ve never met anyone that loves the game and has a passion for the game like Mike,” Allen said.
Mitchell and Allen have opposite starting times Thursday and Friday, which will allow the instructor time to work with the student and time to prepare to play himself.
“They will be long days,” Mitchell said. “But a lot fun.”
If both make the cut, let the real smack-talking begin.
Steve Pajak: (916) 326-5526