Sunday, July 20, 2014

Shot chart from ESPN Sunday Open Championship telecast

I tracked the strokes shown on ESPN during the final round of the British Open. With the lead group teeing off at 9:40am ET, I started the tracking at 9:00 to provide a similar time frame to the shot charts of the Masters and US Open from earlier this year.

ESPN showed all but one stroke by winner Rory McIlroy, skipping a tap-in putt on #3. ESPN televised all but 4 shots for each of Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia. Partway through the front nine, the network settled into a pattern of focusing almost exclusively on that trio who occupied the top three spots on the leaderboard for most of the day. During the tracking period, ESPN devoted 72.5% of the on-camera strokes to these three and spent a lot of air time showing them walking at the expense of other golf action. The only other player to be covered for more than 9 shots was Dustin Johnson.

ESPN showed a total of 269 strokes during the tracking period which ended at 1:26pm. This worked out to only 1.01 shots per minute which was noticeably less than the Sunday coverage of the other majors. ESPN showed only 18 golfers during this period and covered more than one stroke for just 12 players. The highest finisher not shown was Charl Schwartzel who tied for 7th.

The complete shot chart:

PlayerShots shownFinishPairing
Rory McIlroy70 (of 71)11
Rickie Fowler63 (of 67)T21
Sergio Garcia62 (of 66)T22
Dustin Johnson19T122
Adam Scott9T54
Victor Dubuisson7T93
Robert Karlsson7T125
Angel Cabrera7T1918
Jim Furyk645
Shane Lowry5T914
Marc Leishman4T58
Phil Mickelson4T2318
Edoardo Molinari1T73
Graeme McDowell1T97
Francesco Molinari1T1515
Matteo Manassero1T194
Jimmy Walker1T268
Thomas Bjorn1T2626
Charl Schwartzel0T76

Note: The Pairing column reflects the tee time groupings in reverse order, so 1 =  final pairing, 2 = next-to-last, etc.

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