A message to my fellow Canadians – grow up – quit your yearly bellyaching and hand-wringing about whether or not CBS Sports will go out of its way this weekend to show how Canadian golfers are doing at the RBC Canadian Open at St. George’s GC in Toronto. Here’s a perfect example. http://bit.ly/9fQJkw The Canadian media are like a bunch of anxious stage mothers. Desperate to have their perfect baby out front and centre in the school musical. Never mind that their little precious couldn’t sing his way out of a paper bag. Give it a rest, Canada!
Ever since the CPGA Championship died in 2005 – a head-shaker in itself – the RBC Canadian Open is the undisputed national championship of our country. It’s one of only three national championships on the PGA TOUR. The United States Open and Open Championship (held last week at St. Andrews) are the others. I understand that Canadian golf fans are hoping their native sons do well, but why should an American network compromise (yes, that’s the right word) their coverage by bending over backwards to show how Canadian players are doing? They shouldn’t.
There are 18 Canadians at St. George’s this week. Included are 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir and four-time PGA TOUR winner Stephen Ames. And this is where the rub comes. For almost two decades, CTV handled coverage of the Canadian Open. Before that, CBC Sports had the gig. Then, three years ago, American television took over. The producer and director of the main network feed decide which players are shown when. It’s that simple. On Saturday and Sunday, they do that based on the leaderboard.
CTV did a very pedestrian job televising our Open. Frankly, it’s a tough gig when you only cover a handful of golf events every year. Golf Canada executive director Scott Simmons says he’s been “blown away” by CBS’ coverage. That’s not exactly a tall order when you’re following the benchmark set by CTV. For five years, I was fortunate enough to produce the annual official keepsake video of the Canadian Open. Let’s just say that the RCGA/Golf Canada has some very unique ideas about promoting the game and what looks good on TV. And when I say “very unique,” I mean “no clue.”
CTV showed more golf…but ten extra hours of guys who finish MC and T-53 isn’t exactly gripping sports television. For some reason, Canadian golf fans have decided (probably because we keep being told in the media) that the RBC Canadian Open is a première event on the PGA TOUR. It is not. It has not been for a very, very long time. To the touring pros, it’s simply another stop in another country where they speak English. That’s it. That, and it’s a pain-in-the-a— to get to from wherever they are.
I don’t care if they show any of the 18 Canadians this weekend. Know why? I want to see the best golf. If that’s a Canadian – great. If it’s not, it’s not. Here’s a concept…want some Canadian golf identity televised worldwide? Win some events, Canada.