Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dear Golf Channel

Hey there, Golf Channel!  Lovin' your extra coverage of the LPGA Lotte Championship and of course I'm totally psyched that Ai Miyazato's tied for the lead at the halfway point. 

I couldn't help but notice, though, that it took awhile for the commentators to come up with things to say about Ai-sama.  Maybe tomorrow you might want to have them mention the following things:

  • Ai-sama's 65 today was her 1st sub-70 round in her last 10 starts, a huge slowdown from earlier this season, when she broke 70 in 9 of her 1st 12 starts.  Even so, she's still 2nd in scoring average and 2nd in birdies per round, both to Ya Ni Tseng.
  • Speaking of Tseng, she twice robbed Ai-sama of wins already this season. (Highlights welcome.)
  • Ai-sama didn't finish out of the top 6 in her 1st 4 starts (despite struggling health-wise at times in that run).
  • She just recently broke the $6M barrier in career earnings and is on a wins and winnings pace that's comparable to the likes of Paula Creamer and Suzann Pettersen.
  • Coming from Okinawa, and winning 15 times on the JLPGA, she's pretty used to playing in the wind and definitely used to island golf.

So, yes, please keep talking about Ai-sama as one of the best on tour without a major, but why not get some stories from her on the driving range about some of these topics?


Tony Jesselli (Tonyj5) said...

To tell you the truth, I thought it was really strange that we never got to see Jiyai at all, either day. She has been among the leaders the entire time.

The Constructivist said...

I agree. I didn't have time to watch the entire coverage, so I couldn't tell if they showed any Inbee, but I didn't see her when I was watching it.

Did you see that Jee Young Lee was -5 through her 1st 10 holes on Wednesday and then fell apart the rest of the front (her back)? I wish they would at least mention who had hot rounds/starts at the top of the coverage, even if they don't have highlights. Mariajo Uribe's career low round yesterday deserved at least an early shout-out!

Awsi Dooger said...

Can't agree at all. The commentators are always more than fair and complimentary to Ai, including Judy Rankin saying it's hard to imagine her messing up with a swing like that. Jerry Foltz has emphasized during several tournaments that his friends came out to an event and followed Ai's group because they considered her putting technique the best in the or woman.

Most of the stats you cite are message board material, not the type of thing stressed during TV coverage. Yani's stats and streaks would fill the entire three hours every day.

Ai has received a pass so far on her weakening performance in majors. The commentators occasionally mention she's the best not to win one but I've literally never heard about the number of missed cuts in comparison to other premier players, or to Ai's standard in regular events.

The Constructivist said...

Not saying they're not fair or complimentary--they are. I wasn't writing this post to criticize what they do say during the coverage. I really was trying to be helpful. Me, I'd rather hear "message board material" than jokes about the size of her putter (or, for that matter, the color of Ji-Yai Shin's hair). The fact that Ai is now 1 for 11 in her most recent events when it comes to breaking 70 should be something they're bringing up--it shows she's more likely than not to leave the door open to those chasing her.

Her duels with Tseng, similarly, are worth mentioning. I accidentally erased the last round of the tournament she was leading with less than 12 holes to go--the one where Ya Ni roared past her. That's surely relevant to someone with a 3-shot lead heading into the final round.

So instead of polite comments and repetitive praise, I, too, would love to see some real analysis of why she plays the KNC so badly and what's kept her from closing the deal this year, along with some discussion of what it's going to take for her to break through.

The Constructivist said...

I mean, the basic point I was hinting at through those stats is that Ai-sama is the closest thing Ya Ni has to a regular challenger in 2012. Heck, if a few putts had fallen differently, we'd be talking about Ai's 2 wins and asking whether she was going to be able to keep it going and reel in Ya Ni in the Rolex Rankings....

The Constructivist said...

Oh, and the basic stats question I'd ask is why she hits so many fewer greens than she ought to, given how good a position she usually puts herself in off the tee. On a course like Ko Olina where the chipping is challenging, missing greens can be another thing that keeps the door open to her lead chase pack.