It’s a bank holiday in Ireland but the Monday Takeaway doesn’t rest on its laurels, not on US Open week anyway… I had prosed on scribing about the gratuitous use of clickbait by the major golf media outlets, covering the Tiger incident last week. I’ll just briefly address it, as I did find it annoying. It’s okay to report the incident and the details, but was the release of the videos really relevant? Park your opinion of his aside for a moment, and ponder this. Had it been Palmer or Nicklaus, would any video have even surfaced? Whatever Tiger does is headline worthy, The Memorial took place over the weekend in Ohio; with the laid back Jason Dufner emerging the winner. It’s a hard one to judge, as over the course of three days, he was utterly phenomenal, yet encountered a disaster of a moving day. He broke the course record for thirty-six holes, entering the weekend fourteen below, but preceded to bomb on Saturday with a five over round.
I saw on one of Jack’s social media accounts that he sought to console the Duff after the third round collapse, but that was met with the rebuttal of “I still have a chance to win the tournament”. That he did on Sunday, shooting a 68 to see his way past Aniriban Lahiri and Rickie Fowler, who surged up the rankings with his 65 on the Sunday. Another solid outing for Shane Lowry, who continues to show good form of late. He finished up in a tie for fifteenth, eight shots behind. He carded above par for the final day to miss out on a top ten finish, but this is much improved from the course of the last year or so.
There are the little niggly mistakes that seem to creep in on Sundays that he needs to eliminate if he wants to get back into the winners enclosure. Sadly, Padraig Harrington was a little further off the pace, and on top of that failed to qualify for the US Open. As if things couldn’t get any worse for him, he was injured in a freak accident involving an amateur at a corporate event. He got a smack on the elbow, ruling him out for about two weeks, but he should be back to tee it up in France, swinging up to Portstewart for the Irish Open and on to The Open. The main focus of my ire this week has been the coverage of Tigers recent travails. Before I say any more, as much as I love Big Cat, I am not an apologist. I think sadly, that the career was dead in the water before all this, and no triumphant return was ever going to be on the cards. This is nobody’s fault but his own, sadly, and it is down to him and him only to resolve the issues that he has. I imagine he has a small trustworthy network, and they are trying to push him in the right direction. On the basis of recent events, they may need to save him from himself, but that’s not what I want to take to task. The coverage by major and minor news outlets is what I would have come to expect.
Celebrity gets caught being naughty, gets exposed, pilloried and embarrassed under the watchful eyes of the public. We’ve seen it before with the Paris Hiltons of this world, but never the greatest player in his respective game. What I’m disappointed in was outlets like The Golf Channel and their ilk, not only showing the infamous mugshot, but the police dashcam video. For a reputable media outlet to brandish this as their banner headline act left a sour taste. I’m not one for letting people off the hook, but to use this as clickbait and to increase viewership reeked of distasteful journalism. It feels like tabloid journalism, and you can be sure had it been Palmer or Player that none of this would ever have seen the light of day. Tiger is enough of a pariah without adding to it.
If you want to parody it, why not leave it to late night chat shows and their opening monologues. Sports networks are meant to be above all that, especially when they want to be seen as examples of good journalistic principles. In this age of fake news, we don’t need it extending to a sport we enjoy.