Truth and Rumors: Golf Channel expands its programming, Miller/Poulter fued heating up, Tiger Slam set finally sold

Wednesday September 15th, 2010

Morning Glory?The Golf Channel has done a great job over the past few years
opening up its branding and getting all sorts of new programming into
its schedule. Nearly gone (but not forgotten) are the days when the easiest
way to cure insomnia, even in the middle of the day, was to turn on TGC and let the infomercials and dubiously produced swing tips wash over you. According to VP
of programing development Keith Allo, the network isn't resting on its recent accomplishments.Talking to Links Magazine's Tom Cunneff, Allo revealed at least one project in the works that could be a game changer for the network:

...We’ll also have a new morning show called “Dawn Patrol” that
will air from 7-9. We don’t have hosts yet, but it’ll be our version of
“Mike & Mike.” We have a third studio that we’re completely redoing
to accommodate the set. It’ll be grounded in golf but it will also
cover financial news, other sports. It will be a heavily guest-driven
show with people calling in, including players. It will have a real
immediacy. We’ll even do the weather. Our ticker will have more than
golf news. It’ll have other sports scores and the top line results from
the stock market the day before. It’ll be something that will service
our viewers so they have a reason to watch us. It’s one of the things
that’s been missing. We’ve been talking about launching it for two
years but ’11 seems right. I think it will be really popular.




It's Miller Time...Again called out completely punked Until this morning Tweet

The link on that Tweet? It brings you to the European Tour's rankings for Greens in Regulation, which Poulter tops with 75.9% of greens hit in his 12 rounds on the Euro tour. A stunning stat...sort of. As you may have heard, Poulter also plays a bit on the PGA Tour, where his GIR is a more modest 62.47% (good for 171st on Tour).
The joke of this entire "feud" is that there are two undeniable facts. First, Ian Poulter is an extremely good golfer (and Johnny Miller never said he wasn't). Second, Ian Poulter is (by PGA Tour standards) a terrible ball striker. Poulter is currently ranked 159th on the Tour in ball striking (a combination of driving accuracy, driving distance and greens in regulation), and it's no aberration--he has finished better than 164th only once in his career. The joke is that there's no reason for Poulter to be ashamed of this--he still managed to be 20th in scoring average (the only stat that really matters) last year, despite his poor ball striking stats. Still, I can't wait to see how Miller reacts to Poulter's Twitter assault, especially since he actually has the stats on his side. Slam Set SoldHere's an update on a weird story from a few months ago. You may remember the saga of Steve Mata, the former Titleist director of Tour operations who tried to sell the irons that he claimed Tiger used while completing the "Tiger Slam" in '00 and '01 (a claim Woods denied). The good news for Mata? He had the clubs at least somewhat authenticated and managed to sell them. The bad news? He didn't quite manage to get the $250,000 he was looking for. From foxnews.com:

It seems everybody at Nucci's Italian Cafe knows Steve Mata. He lives down the street. He comes here all the time.
Now might be a time for celebration, but Mata is subdued, thoughtful. He wonders about the future.
For a pricetag of $57,242.40, Mata just sold a set of 11 Titleist irons and wedges that once belonged to Tiger Woods. Mata says they were used by Woods to win the Tiger Slam in 2000 and 2001. Woods says otherwise, but a few touring pros have supported Mata's story.
Announcement of the sale, coming on Sept. 12 from Green Jacket Auctions, caught many observers by surprise. Mata was asking $250,000. It was widely assumed he would hold out for a six-figure bid (the name of the successful bidder was not released).
"It's time to put this behind me and move on," Mata said. "I need to find a job. I'm dedicated to golf. I'm a great employee. I know what I'm doing. I work hard."

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