As the PGA Tour begins its Florida swing this week, the 2019 season is fully underway. It got me to thinking, what are the five tournaments during the year I can’t miss on TV?
I usually try to catch some of each weeks’ tournament, be it on in my office while I am working, or I have it on in the front room while I am busy with my weekend “honey-do” list.
But there are a group of tournaments each year I spend plenty of time hunkered down in front of the TV, trying to catch as much as possible. It’s tough to carve that much time out of the day to watch golf, but for these five I make the effort.
Here is my list of my five favorite tournaments to watch.
1 – The Masters: This is an easy one and is leaps and bounds in front of every other tournament. There are many reasons for this to be at the top of the list. First, there are less commercials, meaning more golf to watch and thus allowing the viewer to get more into the flow of the event. Second, it’s just plays beautifully on TV. And third, you know where the pin placements are each day, so you know what the players need to do on each hole. The back nine is as exciting as it gets.
2 – The Players Championship: Just a fun tournament to watch as it means a great deal to the players. That and the final two holes provide arguably the most drama as any final two holes on Sunday. The island green on No. 17 tightens the golfer’s keister, only to be outdone by the pressure of the tee shot on No. 18. There is no chance to feel safe on those two holes unless you have a five-shot lead standing on the 17th tee. Always enjoy watching guys block the tee shot on 18 well right.
3 – Waste Management Open: I have written before that this tournament is a bucket list sporting event for any fan. It’s one thing to watch it on TV, but it’s another thing to be there and experience it. I think more tournaments need to be like this event in Scottsdale and indeed some, such as the Safeway Open are moving in that direction. Having sat in a suite at the 16th hole, I can honestly say you really can’t even begin to get a feel for the level of excitement by watching it on TV. Get to this event at least once and embrace the party! Having been there gives me a better feeling of the energy. Also, one of the best four finishing holes in golf.
4 – Ryder Cup/Presidents Cup: We’ve got one or the other every year and being an American homer, I always get up for these. Of course, the Ryder Cup has the history, as well as the fact we have been getting our heads handed to us often recently. I had the chance to attend the Presidents Cup when it was played at Harding Park and it was easily the coolest golf event I have attended. The sense of patriotism was awesome – both for the American and International team. I have been at Olympic events where people get whipped into a frenzy but it’s not often you get cascades of “USA, USA” chants at golf events.
5 – U.S. Open: I have written many times over the years that U.S. Opens can drive me crazy as I don’t really like watching professional golfers struggle to shoot par. If I wanted that, I would go out and play a round with my buddies! It is fun to watch once a year, golfers must think their way throughout their entire round. I think the U.S. Open requires more course management than any other tournament. This is the day and age of so many players hitting the crap out of the ball and chasing it down the course. Not so here. There is very little margin of error in the Open, putting pressure on the golfers unlike any other tournament.
By Dennis Miller