After Golf Channel’s first- and second-round coverage of the Northern Trust Open from Riviera Country Club today and Friday (noon to 3 p.m., repeated at 5:30 p.m.), CBS brings in its crew for the last two rounds (Channel 2, Saturday, noon to 3 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 3:30 p.m.)
Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo are in the big tower. Peter Oosterhuis calls at 17, Gary McCord is in his familar spot at the par 3 16th, with Ian Baker-Finch at the 15th. David Feherty and Peter Kostis are roaming the course for celebs sitting under Boggie’s Tree or whatever other hot spots.
Says Kostis on Japanese teen sensation Ryo Ishikawa making his PGA Tour debut this weekend: “I have not seen him play in person and not many Americans have. It’s the first time he is playing over here. He’s going to be on stage as there will be a huge contingent of Japanese press following him around. Ishikawa is another in a long list of kids like Rory McIlroy and Anthony Kim who are the next generation who grew up with Tiger Woods as their idol. At 17-years-old, he was six or seven when Tiger came on Tour. It will be interesting to see how they react and play, and the style of play, especially since Tiger is their role model.”
As for the performance of defending champion Phil Mickelson, Kostis says: “The only thing consistent about Mickelson’s game right now is his inconsistency. Clearly he didn’t put enough time in preparing in the off-season. It seems like he would have found some answers. He is changing equipment almost weekly and it’s hard to really develop your golf swing when you always have different sets of iron and clubs in the bag. You need to pick something and stick with it.”
Along with Mickelson, Kostis says he hopes to see Ernie Els and Vijay Singh – “the staples of our Tour haven’t played worth a darn this year” — make some kind of move.
“We need some veterans to step up and challenge the young guys,” Kostis said. “Kenny Perry did in Phoenix, but the big names have not showed up.”
Rain may show up, as usual, on Sunday. Be prepared.