[PHOTO: Orlando Ramirez]
Collin Morikawa put on a masterclass in how to become a Golf Twitter icon during his pre-tournament press conference at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
While it had yet to be announced at the time, Morikawa was asked about the PGA Tour’s impending deal with the Fenway-led Strategic Sports Group, which was made official overnight (Australian time). The key points of the announcement, like just about everything else in golf right now, revolved around dollar figures.
As some have been quick to point out on social media, not much – if anything – was said about what the deal means for the actual fans of the sport. Will the best players meet up at the best courses more often? Will the TV product improve? They are two of the main sticking points among diehards and casuals alike.
Morikawa had similar concerns.
“Look, we’re playing for lot of money this week,” the two-time major winner said. “I don’t know what the final purse is or what the winner makes, but there’s a lot of money up for grabs and you can make a very great living. There’s a bunch of guys that made [more than] $10 million on the course last year and a lot of guys that made [more than] 5 million on the course. Like, that’s a lot of money.
“The way sports are going right now, they’re on the uphill, they’re on the climb, right? Football’s obviously the biggest. I think at the end of the day if we keep getting more eyeballs on golf – and that’s the biggest hurdle that we have to accomplish: how do we get more eyeballs on golf – I would hope to expect that more money’s pushed into this.
“We need to make golf more intriguing to the viewers,” he added. “How do we make broadcasting more approachable, how do we see more golf shots at the end of the day, right?”
That is, quite simply, all viewers are asking for. As many live golf shots – not two-foot putts – as possible. Even Morikawa notices the broadcast often lacks in that department, particularly in the first two rounds.
“I turn on golf on a Thursday – if I play early. I turn it on and I see three golf shots and I question why,” Morikawa said. “The reason why other sports are… people pay attention is because people see more, you can probably bet more. People like betting when you can watch it live, not watch it on ShotTracer.”
Nailed it. Except for the ShotTracer part. Golf punters may not love following it that way but they are still hopelessly addicted to following it that way.
Not surprisingly, Morikawa gained a number of new fans with these takes:
man of the people
— smalls (@StephieSmallls) January 31, 2024
— TJ King (@TheTJKing7) January 31, 2024
— Mike Jardine (@mjayjardine) January 31, 2024