USGA & FOX: For all the talk about Fox Sports being a newcomer to golf telecasts when it gets the U.S. Open starting next year, USGA executive director Mike Davis looked at it another way. In an interview with Sports Business Journal, he said the Fox crew could devote more time to the U.S. Open and other USGA events.
“What’s neat about this is they can focus on our events,” Davis said. “It’s not 30 weeks a year where they’re doing golf and the U.S. Open sneaks up on them. They plan on taking their announcers to the site months in advance to learn the golf course, and I’ll be there with them to take them through what we’re trying to do. … While there may be a new group, in some ways they’ll be more knowledgeable than what we’ve seen in the past.”
That last comment might not go down easily with the NBC and ESPN crews, which feature the likes of two-time major champion Johnny Miller, two-time U.S. Open champions Curtis Strange and Andy North, and former U.S. Women’s Open champion Dottie Pepper.
Fox Sports thus far has hired Mark Loomis as their executive producer. Loomis brings plenty of experience, having previously worked for ABC Sports at the British Open and other tournaments.
DIVOTS: Jim Herman never had a card like the one turned in Thursday in the Farmers Insurance Open. He shot a bogey-free 66 on the North Course at Torrey Pines. It also was a birdie-free 66. Herman made three eagles and 15 pars. … Phil Mickelson has played in every Phoenix Open dating to 1991. … Yani Tseng won the Taifong Ladies Open on the Taiwan LPGA Tour last week for her first victory since March 2012 at the Kia Classic on the LPGA.
STAT OF THE WEEK: For the second straight year, American players have won at least the first 10 events of the PGA Tour season.
FINAL WORD: “It’s still putting the golf club on the golf ball. And the end of the day, that’s still what you have to do.” - Rickie Fowler describing his work with Butch Harmon.