TIME TO TAKE THE 'AMs' OUT OF THE PRO-AM?
Van Sickle: How do you feel about the whole celebrity pro-am format? Love it, hate it or don't care, and why? Does CBS give ample coverage to the actual celebs, as opposed to corporate heads and CEOs? How much do you care about the pro-am team title?
Chamblee: The AT&T pro-am format is one of the best traditions on the PGA Tour. As a kid, I ate it up and I imagined the glamour and glitz was an every-week occurrence. As a player I felt like I was privileged to be in the company of so many talented and successful people. In a year-long melee of event after event, this event provides some levity and reminds us that golf is the one sport where every level of golfer can play together.
Gorant: Don't care much. It's sort of fun once a year, but don't think it should be the focus of the coverage. A few shots of comic relief from time to time is about right.
Lynch: I plan my year around it. I'd almost forgotten (since last year's broadcast made the same point) that Carson Daly played as a kid at Riviera. Pro-ams are worth watching for one reason only: to see which CEO is lying about his handicap then make sure you don't own too much of his stock.
Wei: Don't really care, but paid more attention this year than usual. I didn't see that much of the coverage because I was usually walking the course or elsewhere, but from what I saw, it seemed mostly like they showed corporate heads more than actual celebs. Thought it was impressive that Jordan Spieth/Tony Romo shot 29-under as a team. Romo is a scratch, so he didn't get any strokes like the others who finished well.
Ritter: In general, I don't like watching amateurs on TV, and I'm specifically thinking of Rock N' Jock basketball at the NBA All-Star game, and the celebrity slow-pitch softball game at the MLB All-Star break. But for one week a year, I admit that I like seeing celebrities and CEO duffers take on Pebble.
Van Sickle: I enjoyed the old Crosby Pro-Am when celebrities we seldom saw except in movies or on TV played. Other than Bill Murray, the AT&T doesn't attract much in the way of big celebs. I remember walking with Burt Lancaster and Robert Wagner at Cypress one day. Those were real celebs, unlike today's corporate powerbrokers.
Godich: It is what it is. I do enjoy it when an amateur gets thrown into the last group. Who wouldn't enjoy experiencing that just once?
Reiterman: I still love it. The PGA Tour has enough regular events, so this is a welcome relief. My only wish is that the list of celebs would creep up more into the A-list, and not the same CEOs and C-listers that seem to be featured every year.
Garrity: To me, it's the only pro-am that matters, and I wouldn't bar the amateurs from Sunday play. But I want it to be more like the old Crosby clambake -- fewer CEOs, more football coaches and crooners. As for the team title, yeah, I'm interested. Every tournament needs something to distinguish it from the same-old same-old.
Bamberger: The am in the pro-am is critical to making the thing work. I'd expand the definition to bring in celebs like Arnold and Jack and Gary, have them play on the celeb/am side. You need more walks of life. Even pols.
Morfit: I couldn't care less about the celebrity title, unless it involves someone like Bill Murray or Joe Pesci who play to the crowd and the camera. The Fortune 500 guys? Puh-lease. Nor do I care about the jocks, although it was interesting that James Driscoll had one of his better results (T9) playing with Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly. I texted Driscoll congratulations and asked if he'd gotten a pep talk, and he replied, "Oh, yeah. He set me straight."
Shipnuck: I like the idea on paper, but it never really works. It would take a much better crop of celebs with some actual starpower. The CEOs should only be shown when they really screw up - otherwise, no one cares. And the team title means less than zero.
Tell us what you think in the comments section below: Has the "Am" competition run its course at the Pebble Pro-Am?
ROCCO ROLLS ON CHAMPIONS TOUR! (ANYBODY CARE?)
Van Sickle: Rocco Mediate won in his Champions Tour debut. How excited are you about Rocco's arrival? Can his presence generate more interest on that tour?
Ritter: Let's say that Rocco's arrival has left me equally excited about the Champions Tour as I was before he got there.
Reiterman: I think Rocco's move to the Champions Tour adds another reason for us diehards to watch. But beyond that, I can't see anyone outside of the golf world being drawn in.
Van Sickle: Rocco is another familiar name who is going to connect with senior galleries. Senior tournaments are great fun for spectators and Rocco will be value-added for fans. But I think the seniors have their niche. Until Phil and Tiger hit that tour, not much is going to change.
Chamblee: I'm sitting with two avid golf fans as I am typing this, and I asked them this question. They both said they would tune in to watch Rocco. Their quotes: "He is never scripted," "He is not fake," "He always has something interesting to say," and on they went. He is good for golf, whether it's the PGA Tour or the Champions Tour.
Bamberger: Rocco's arrival on the Champions Tour is nice for Rocco. Who else would care, I don't know. Willie Wood interests me far more.
Garrity: Rocco will be a fan-pleaser, but he wasn't that big a star on the regular tour. The Champions Tour needed Johnny Miller and Greg Norman to embrace old-fart golf, and that didn't happen. They got Tom Watson and Fred Couples, fortunately.
Morfit: Rocco is a breath of fresh air for that Tour, as he was for the PGA Tour whenever he popped up and won a tournament. He smiles, he looks like he's having fun, he's a closer -- what's not to like? He's such a competitor, I could see him staying out there and reeling off four or five wins this year.
Wei: I think that's great and he'll thrive out there, but nothing personal, he won't make me carve out the time to watch the coverage, or suddenly attract droves more fans to the senior tour.
Lynch: A Sunday shootout involving Rocco Mediate, Tom Pernice Jr. and Bernhard Langer is exciting only to Rocco Mediate, Tom Pernice Jr. and Bernhard Langer. Right now it's a Tour with a faint pulse.
Gorant: More excited about Rocco's departure. What was the Shipnuck quote that drove him around the bend? "You had your moment, now get off the stage."
Shipnuck: Nothing can make me care about the Senior tour, short of Ben Hogan's ghost coming back and winning a tournament. And even then I'm not sure I'd care.
Tell us what you think in the comments section below: Will Rocco's arrival give a boost to the Champions Tour?