ESPN hates golf, loves Tiger Woods
Your boy Shanks took the lovely Mrs. Shanks to Las Vegas last week to celebrate a landmark birthday for her. Only good sense culled from many years of marriage prevents me from saying which birthday it was. We arrived at the Paris Las Vegas resort on Wednesday – it was delightful - and I hustled over to the sports book to peruse the odds on the Byron Nelson tournament which would start the next day. I made a couple of wagers, putting $50 apiece Ernie Els at 20-1 and Jason Dufner at 18-1 (oh, yes I did!). Well, we got all involved in the Vegas thing for the next couple of days and, to be honest, I nearly forgot about my golf bets. Nearly.
I picked up a newspaper Saturday morning and see that my man Dufner is in the lead at the halfway point and Els is within hailing distance. As I didn’t have Golf Channel available in my room, every so often I would monitor the ESPN scroll for updates. Nothing.
That afternoon I went down the sports book and watched the last hour and a half of the CBS telecast. Dufner lost, then recaptured the lead by the end of Day 3, so now the tournament has my full attention. I checked ESPN later that night and again Sunday morning to see what they had to say about it. Nothing again. They’re giving detailed results with video highlights of the women’s college softball tournament but somehow can’t spare a minute for a prestigious PGA Tour event. At this point I’m getting a little agitated.
On Sunday we had to fly back home to the DC area and that required us to leave for the airport at 2pm. We spent the last few minutes in the sports book watching the CBS telecast before hailing our cab. When we left, Dufner was on the 14th hole, a shot behind Marc Leishman, who had just birdied the par 5 16th. After checking in and going through the long lines of security, we didn’t have a lot of time before our flight, but I was able to check a couple of televisions for the final results. Problem was those TVs also had only ESPN (and no Golf Channel). I am left to surmise that since Golf Channel has partnered with NBC, ABC-owned ESPN won’t give any attention to golf unless they just can’t ignore it, such as when Tiger Woods is involved. Needless to say, I never saw a thing about results of the LPGA matchplay event either, which I am interested in. Now, if I had a jones for women’s college softball, then I would have been in luck!
Long story short, thankfully I had set the dvr to record the final round and didn’t find out until about 3:00am Monday morning that I had a healthy winning ticket to mail in.
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