PGA Tour Confidential: The secret to U.S. Presidents Cup success, Man of the Match awards, and NBC's tape-delay blues

Keegan Bradley, Phil Mickelson and Fred Couples
Kohjiro Kinno/SI
Members of the American team and their wives watch the final Sunday singles matches at the Presidents Cup. NBC Sports decided to show the final day on tape delay because the matches started early to avoid heavy rain forecast for the late afternoon.

5. NBC Sports decided to show the Presidents Cup Sunday singles on time delay on NBC at noon rather than show the matches live on Golf Channel starting at 9 a.m. Did this decision take away from the stature of the event?

PASSOV: It strikes me as bush league. If the Presidents Cup were truly the stature of the Ryder Cup, it all would have been live, regardless of weather woes wreaking havoc on scheduling.

SENS: It didn't diminish the stature so much as it underscored it. Plus, from a fan's perspective, I'm not sure it's such a bad thing. It allows for a crisper broadcast of an event that would have a lot of agonizing lulls if it were shown live.

VAN SICKLE: NBC didn't have a choice. It couldn't pre-empt its regular schedule for some dang golf and the weather forecast wouldn't permit the event to finish if the original tee times were used. I don't think viewers who wanted to watch the show were put off. Does anybody remember which Tour events were shown tape-delayed after the fact? Besides, one network in particular is notorious for showing shots on a tape-delayed basis and not telling viewers. Very few shots are actually live. There's a big difference, of course, between being delayed 90 seconds and three hours. I think we can live with it. As for stature, what stature?

GODICH: What was NBC supposed to do with those six hours of programming to fill? That said, if you didn't know the outcome, even as the matches started to tighten a bit, all you had to do was look at the clock to determine how things were going to play out.

WALKER: NBC Sports let the PGA Tour down. The players donated a week of their time -- for free -- to showcase the game to an international audience, and with three broadcast networks -- one devoted entirely to golf -- NBC Sports refused to show the event live. They don’t deserve to have the U.S. Open.

RITTER: They've been doing similar Sunday tape-delayed coverage all year during the rain delays. I guess it made it feel like a run-of-the-mill Tour event, which is unfortunate. More importantly, has there ever been a season on Tour with more weather delays than this one?

BAMBERGER: The culture now is for live everything, real-time everything. They should have shown it live on GC.

6. Predict the score if Europe played the Internationals.

VAN SICKLE: Europe 19, Internationals 15. Play it in Australia, and I'll take the Internationals.

GODICH: We'd get about the same score as we saw this week. I don't see Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia getting all that excited about beating up on the Internationals.

BAMBERGER: Internationals 20, Euros 14. Euros play with so much emotion, anti-American emotion. Playing the Internationals, for the Europeans, what's exciting about that?

WALKER: I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Internationals beat the Europeans easily, maybe Internationals 18.5 to Euros, 15.5. Something transformative happens to the Europeans in the Ryder Cup, and it wouldn’t be easy to replicate in another event.

SENS: Internationals by a nose, a largely irrational pick that I'll rationalize by saying that the Europeans would have a let down (no American team to get fire up for) and the Internationals would play without the pressure of feeling like they HAD to finally win.

RITTER: Europeans by 4, and double it in Scotland.

The PGA Tour Confidential debate continues Monday on our new weekly show hosted by Jessica Marksbury. Tweet her your questions @Jess_Marksbury.

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