Jacksonville Sports Day

SEELY: Fox Coverage of U.S. Open Improved

Enough said about the USGA’s performance at the U.S. Open. Let’s talk about other performances, most of which were a lot better.

For starters, Fox. Last year’s Open was a debacle. Their announcers were unsure, the production values were poor and the network never really got into the crappy course (Chambers Bay, out in Oregon.)

Someone did a lot of work in the off-season and they produced a good show this time, deftly working around the multiple rain delays and doing a very good job on the rules controversy.

Joe Buck obviously heard the criticism last year and improved. Paul Azinger and Brad Faxon are to golf what Darrell Waltrip is to stock car racing.

Two issues: 1) golf is supposed to be a classy game and we don’t need football-field bimbos to spice thing up. Please leave Holly Sonders home next year. 2) The on-screen leaderboard is inadequate (only 5-7 names) and misleading. On the first two days, you didn’t know if a player was in his first or second round, and you didn’t know if he teed off at 1 or 10.

Thus, when a score appeared saying the player was on the 12th hole, he could have been on any of four of HIS holes: 3, 12, 21 or 30.

You don’t have to go to Oakmont to get the feeling that it’s a great club. It was evident on television that the club responded beautifully at all the problems that were tossed their way due to the weather. You also got the feeling that they should have left a few trees.

Let’s mention the players. The rain caused almost everyone to have to get up before sunrise three days in a row. The golf was good. Do not be fooled by the scores; Open courses are tricked up and parred down.

Other thoughts:

• Renovation of the University of Florida’s basketball arena (they should have torn it down, but that’s another story) meant some home basketball games had to be played elsewhere this year and we got two of them. Great! Real basketball, not the minor league stuff that we get from JU and UNF. It’s rumored that the Gators have schedule Arizona. Maybe we get that one! (The next sound you hear is a balloon deflating…ssssssst.) We get Belmont and Mercer, two teams that no-so-long-ago were here as members of the conference with JU and UNF. Sssssssst.

• Don’t know if the Jags’ top two picks, Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack, are any good on the football field, but they’re two of the brightest young men we’ve seen come through here in recent years.

• Might start thinking that Jacksonville’s Jonathan Papelbon has seen the last of his big-league career. Another injury, and that arm has thrown a lot of pitches in 12 major league seasons, plus the minors and Bishop Kenny.

• The real boss of NASCAR and Daytona International Speedway, Lisa France Kennedy, is a Jaguar season-ticket holder.

• Not many NCAA championship people at Jacksonville U. so men’s lacrosse coach John Galloway stands out. He has two rings from his goalie days at Syracuse.

• Only one of the U.S. Open qualifiers from the Sectional at Timuquana made the cut. Jacksonville Beach’s Tim Wilkinson tied for 61st and made $23,968.

• Just got a Fox News alert that Nick Young and Iggy Azalea called off their engagement. If you already knew that, please don’t come back to this site.

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