2021 PGA Tour

Sky Sports just showed a couple of shots from the other event going on right now in the Dominican Republic before switching back to the Match Play. Maybe that's the secret for making today more watchable: show two tournaments at once! (Although actually, the golf makes quite pleasant background noise for me while I'm doodling on my computer.)
 

cshea

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I realize there is a ton of down time, but NBC is basically running commercials interrupted by golf shots they don’t even bother with the consolation match whose sole purpose is to fill air time
 

Lupe Whalewatch

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Yeah, the coverage is bad. When the consolation group was on the first, apparently Kuchar played his third shot from just in front of the green into the bunker. They didn't show it live, and didn't even show a replay. I would have been interested in seeing how that happened. This is when the other group isn't even on the course yet.
 

johnmd20

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Yeah, the coverage is bad. When the consolation group was on the first, apparently Kuchar played his third shot from just in front of the green into the bunker. They didn't show it live, and didn't even show a replay. I would have been interested in seeing how that happened. This is when the other group isn't even on the course yet.
You know the coverage is really bad when there are a total of two golfers on the course and they can't figure out how to show them hit their shots.
 
The NLU guys had another interesting format suggestion for the Match Play event in their latest podcast: go back to a straight 64-player knockout with no group stage, but have consolation events which begin after each round for everyone with only one loss. They suggested a winner-takes-all prize fund for the consolation events, which I can take or leave, but here's how I would flesh this out:

Flight A: Championship (Hagen Bracket)
Flight B: Losers in Championship Semifinals (Palmer Bracket)
Flight C: Losers in Championship Quarterfinals (Hogan Bracket)
Flight D: Losers in Championship R16 (Snead Bracket)
Flight E: Losers in Championship R32 (Sarazen Bracket)
Flight F: Losers in Championship R64 (Nelson Bracket)

Day 1 (Wednesday): 32 matches (all in Flight A)
Day 2 (Thursday): 32 matches (16 in A, 16 in F)
Day 3 (Friday): 24 matches (8 in each of A/E/F)
Day 4 (Saturday): 16 matches (4 in each of A/D/E/F)
Day 5 (Sunday): 10 matches in morning (2 in each of A/C/D/E/F), 6 matches in afternoon (1 in each of A/B/C/D/E/F)

1st place (6-0 record): winner of A
2nd place (5-1): runner-up in A
3rd-7th place (5-1): winners of B, C, D, E and F (in that order)
8th-12th place (4-2): runners-up in B, C, D, E and F (in that order)
13th-20th place (3-2): SF losers in C, D, E and F (in that order, 2 tied for each of 13th/15th/17th/19th)
21st-32nd place (2-2): QF losers in D, E and F (in that order, 4 tied for each of 21st/25th/29th)
33rd-48th place (1-2): R16 losers in E and F (in that order, 8 tied for each of 33rd/41st)
T49 (0-2): R32 losers in F

I think this is a great idea which would guarantee everyone at least two matches (and all but the worst 16 players three matches), remove the convoluted group-stage calculations (and lack of incentive for eliminated players going into the final group matches), not exhaust the final four by making them play 72 holes over the weekend, not bastardize a match play tournament with a stroke play finale (which is the main flaw of my earlier "Option 2" suggestion), and keep plenty of golf for us to watch right to the end. You could also give Round 1 byes to the top however many players in the world if you wanted to; I wouldn't do that myself, but it would at least mean those players would definitely be on TV over the weekend in some form or fashion unless they go 0-2 on Thursday and Friday.
 
By the way, I think it would be just about possible to squeeze in a modified double-elimination format if the powers-that-be wanted to:

--Wednesday: 32 matches (0-0)
--Thursday morning: 32 matches (16 matches between players with 1-0 records, 16 matches between players with 0-1 records)
--Thursday afternoon: 24 matches (8x 2-0 vs. 2-0, 16x 1-1 vs. 1-1)
--Friday morning: 16 matches (4x 3-0 vs. 3-0, 12x 2-1 vs. 2-1)

Everyone now with a perfect 4-0 record gets a bye through to the quarterfinals. Meanwhile, you carry on with:

--Friday afternoon: 8 matches (8x 3-1 vs. 3-1)
--Saturday morning: 4 matches (4x 4-1 vs. 4-1)

Now the undefeated players rejoin the fray - with the advantage of having significantly more rest than the players with a loss - and it reverts to a straight knockout:

--Saturday afternoon: 4 matches (4x 4-0 vs. 5-1)
--Sunday morning: 2 matches (semifinals)
--Sunday afternoon: 2 matches (final/3rd place)

So if you want to win the event with a loss, you'd have to play a total of 9 matches in 5 days, but if you stay undefeated you'd only have to play and win 7 matches. I don't think this is realistic or desirable, but it would at least be possible to do it this way and ensure that everyone still playing golf has a chance to win the whole thing.

(And with that, I'll stop posting silly format ideas that don't have a hope in hell of happening!)
 

cshea

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That seems more convoluted that the current format and a nightmare for the casual fan to try and follow. P.lus you'd have to ask the sponsors to juice the $10.5 million purse to make these loser flights worthwhile for the players.

I don't really think there's much of a problem with the current format. It's always been an inverted tournament- the early round are the best from a viewing experience standpoint. That's just the way match play works.
 
That seems more convoluted that the current format and a nightmare for the casual fan to try and follow.
It wouldn't be - you'd just put the A flight matches off last, the F flight matches off first and everything else in alphabetical order in between. Is that any tougher to follow than the current format in which each group is inserted seemingly randomly into the tee times for the day, and you have no idea which brackets are lined up across from each other?
P.lus you'd have to ask the sponsors to juice the $10.5 million purse to make these loser flights worthwhile for the players.
Would you? My assumption is that this would just be a different way of allocating the same prize money. And winning your consolation flight (whichever it is) would put you into the top 7 - big ranking points and a nice payday. (Actually, just make it a five-way T3, if that's the worry - or even a six-way T2, with everyone on 5-1 at the end of the week getting the same prize money.)
I don't really think there's much of a problem with the current format. It's always been an inverted tournament- the early round are the best from a viewing experience standpoint. That's just the way match play works.
Why do we have to choose between the weekdays being good and the weekend being good? Why not aim for both? (Certainly the TV people would want the weekend telecasts to be more watchable; you have to be the sort of loser who writes 1,000-word format proposals to not care whether the weekdays or weekends are better...) ;)
 

johnmd20

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Why do we have to choose between the weekdays being good and the weekend being good? Why not aim for both? (Certainly the TV people would want the weekend telecasts to be more watchable; you have to be the sort of loser who writes 1,000-word format proposals to not care whether the weekdays or weekends are better...) ;)
That's like saying, "Why is the NCAA basketball finals just one game? Why not aim for more games?" The reason you can't is because match play is a knock out tournament and as players get knocked out, they are knocked out.
 

terrynever

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I really enjoy that wind-blown golf course in Austin every year. Never saw a birdie in the Horschel-Scheffler final. They spent a lot of time hitting out of the woods. Let them suffer. All the interesting players got knocked out on Saturday and then on Sunday morning..

As @cshea said, way too many commercials.
 
That's like saying, "Why is the NCAA basketball finals just one game? Why not aim for more games?" The reason you can't is because match play is a knock out tournament and as players get knocked out, they are knocked out.
But it's not like that at all, because normally you don't watch multiple basketball games at once, and any one game flows with action that rarely stops. The quality of a golf broadcast is often directly related to the number of players who are hitting meaningful shots with little or no downtime between them.

In a normal tournament, Thursday and Friday and even Saturday can feel very boring because the finish line is so far away and it's hard to tell which shots are truly meaningful. In the WGC Match Play, that's not a problem on Wed/Thurs/Fri because the finish line is almost always close for someone, and so there's always someone in imminent danger of losing a match and/or being eliminated from contention...but on the weekend, it's the "little or no downtime" part which is the problem. So the trick is to try and find a format which eliminates the downtime while keeping as much meaning as possible. I think working toward a Sunday afternoon denouement in which one player wins the big prize, six other players finish tied for 2nd and five other players finish tied for 8th - with a much bigger disparity in money and ranking points between 1st and T2 than you currently have to increase what is at stake on Sunday (and a similarly big jump from T2 to T8 for the other Sunday losers) - is about as good as you can do in keeping both the volume of golf and the meaning of that golf relatively high.
 

patinorange

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I really enjoy that wind-blown golf course in Austin every year. Never saw a birdie in the Horschel-Scheffler final. They spent a lot of time hitting out of the woods. Let them suffer. All the interesting players got knocked out on Saturday and then on Sunday morning..

As @cshea said, way too many commercials.
It fascinates me that with four players on the course, they still have "playing through" commercials. They can't place the commercials during the numerous times there is no action going on?
I watch it on DVR anyway, and skip through all dead time, commercials, player interviews, FEDEX tournament updates, and players lining up putts. This lining up putts for 2-3 minutes or more is especially painful in match play telecasts.
Anyone for a shot clock on putts? Just kidding (kind of).
 
Never saw a birdie in the Horschel-Scheffler final.
The two players made only one birdie between them in the Final - Horschel's at the 5th. (Or two birdies, if you count the long putt that was conceded to Scheffler on the 2nd hole after Horschel had pulled his approach shot into the chasm and was guaranteed to make bogey or worse.) So you literally missed almost nothing in that regard.
 

FL4WL3SS

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Well he had the best odds to win of anyone in the field, so they kinda did say that.
It's actually now 11/1.

5/1 is a fair bet after one round of play if you think he's going to win.

It was all in good fun anyway. Since you inserted yourself into the conversation, I'll take 11/1 with you? What do you say?
 

johnmd20

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5/1 is not a fair bet if the actual odds are 11/1. In fact, it's quite unfair.

Math, man, it's a thing.
 
When I went to bed last night (UK time), Spieth had played I think eight holes and was four shots behind Cameron Tringale. Imagine my surprise to wake up and find that Spieth is now four shots ahead of Tringale, and tied with Matt Wallace for the lead. (Spieth played his last 10 holes in -6; Tringale was +2.)
 

jcaz

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Really impressive back nine for Jordan yesterday. Only really got out of position once on 17, got a drop and then knocked it 2.5'. I'm rooting for the guy to win again, this week or next.
 

E5 Yaz

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Watching Speith on the back nine is like watching the Patriots trying to score the tying TD/2PT against the Falcons. You think they're going to do it, but at the same time you're holding your breath.