I was less than impressed with the commentary. Next time I'll mute them and listen to some good music. Too much banal banter and little to explain to newcomers what is actually happening, along with some totally wrong comments. They kept stating that they always used full backspin, when we could clearly see times when they didn't. At least they didn't slow the matches down, so I'll give them that.
One thing you have to remember is this commentary isn't meant to be an instructional video. The skilled players know what's going through the participants minds and the beginners & mid-level players need to play and practice more to get an equal understanding...that's just my thoughts. Everyone should know how to compensate for wind and distance as there are plenty of videos and WGT threads explaining it all. Plus, these 4 guys were almost taking a stroll through the park all day as they rarely used the 45 seconds allotted to them for a shot. They play by rote. If you tuned in for an instructional video you would have been better off watching some of Mags' or Young's YouTube videos vs. this live stream. During live broadcasts you get instruction during "replays", not during the "live" call. Think about it. We don't get that luxury. Look at my wall...at least one WGT member said he learned from my comments. To me that's a good thing.
As for "always use full backspin"...they do when they map their clubs to their specific balls. Then during play that's their starting point for each and every approach shot. They then compensate based on the course, distance, wind, & pin location...whether it's uphill/downhill...sloping right or left...asking themselves if they need to hit long and come back to the pin...hitting full/partial BS, flat or even topspin to gain some yards after the shot hits the green...or whether or not they could hit the deadly accurate punch shot which takes away the wind as a factor. I've been playing since 2011 so to me, as each shot is unique, that's common sense, but, as play was fairly brisk this year, it was even easier for the elite players to compensate for those shot nuances as they play so many rounds per day and know every course inside out.
Totally wrong comments...yeah they happen...as they happen on every single professional broadcast on network TV. The major thing is "learning" from those mistakes to make the next event even better. And then Ned Michaels, the USGA talent, was superb in his pre-event prep and steered the ship. He was stellar! I hope he returns for future events.
Everyone who participated in the event, the 4 finalists, the WGT, TopGolf & USGA employees/announcer, plus all their spouses, are folks you wish you've known for a lifetime...
WGT put on a superb show and everyone from the company who were present are the most professional, wonderful, & down to earth people who truly care about us players and the game. The powers that be at WGT are more proactive about improving the game than you'd ever imagine. They are top notch all the way, and, trust me when I say this, are definitely planning for 2020 when flash goes away.
Player preparedness determined the victor
- Birchi - No practice on Friday night due to a late arrival flight into Las Vegas...and his travels started in Germany. Arrived on Saturday and sat at both gaming stations and played and played and played...also did so on various browsers. He took full advantage of the pre-game time to hone in his game on less than optimum equipment.
- Malini4life - He did the same as Birchi after missing Friday night due to a late arriving flight in from Canada. Came in with something to prove and really focused on his prep on Saturday. Definitely put his mark on WGT Golf with his stellar play vs. Young46. That errant putt on the 9th proved fatal as he carried some of those negative waves into the start of the B9 before he settled down again. He did his part to ensure we all now know who he is. GREAT JOB Ravi!!!!
- Mags - He practiced Friday and Saturday but not as much as Birchi or Malini. Once he figured out the meter issues on both machines with the browser he was going to be using he then took it easy. This is his typical routine though...he doesn't fret...he adapts and accepts the limitations set in front of him. Then in his semi-final match, not seizing the moment to go 3 up on the B9 gave Birchi the opening he desperately needed. That was pretty much it. Also, and I can't put a finger on it, his body language wasn't that of the typical Mags I know and love. I'm thinking it may have been some travel exhaustion. Hard to say, but I actually mentioned it to Ned and predicted his loss to Birchi because of it.
- Young - He came in the #1 seed and had his choice of gaming station location for both matches, so, he spent most of his practice time at that one machine. He warmed up on Friday and was in such a groove it was crazy. He literally couldn't miss the ding and his shots dropped in exactly where he wanted them. It was like he was in the comfort of his own home. That ended up working against him as he didn't practice as much as the others did from that point on. On Saturday he never could adjust to get back into the zone he had with the ding from the night before. It sort of reminded me of a team that goes to the Super Bowl for the first time...he went on vacation vs. continuing to devote his time to reaching his ultimate goal.
and while it would have been nice if the crystal trophy had stayed in the USA this time...it didn't...Birchi simply put on a masterful shotmaking display...the dude played lights out and kicked azz...no whining...just shot shaping hole after hole after hole...
and so...THE BEST player, under equal conditions, earned the "W". CONGRATS SIMON!