by Kevin Sylvester
I love golf, I love playing golf, and I love calling golf shots for PGA Tour Radio. But I have to admit that love was tested Sunday, during the third round of the Dell Technologies Championship. It was a miserable weather day at TPC Boston in Norton, Mass. That might be a tad harsh, but at times, the weather sure was.
I thought I was prepared, and the PGA TOUR makes sure we have the right gear for the elements. Rain suit-check. Umbrella-check. Water proof golf shoes-check. Technical support-check. What more did I need? Patience. It was going to be a long day. Just in case I didn’t know that, Matt Kuchar reminded me as we crossed paths on the 4th hole. “You’re in for a long one today”, the calm and cool veteran exclaimed. He was right.
The rain slowed everything down, not just the golf ball. Players take more time to think about shots, look at their putting lines, and just trying to stay dry. Grips are wiped down seemingly before every shot (how do the caddies keep the towels dry?). The walk up the fairways is slower, the TV crews are have more maneuvering to do to get in place or stay out of the way. It’s a challenge.
I was okay for the most of the day following Jon Rahm, Paul Casey, and Adam Hadwin. They were the final group, and it was impressive seeing the nice rounds Casey and Hadwin put together. Rahm struggled with three bogeys on the back nine. But this isn’t about them, this is about me!
As I mentioned, I was okay for the most of the day, but that turned on the 14th hole. The rain appeared to have let up and I told Bill, my volunteer driver (he was a great help), that I didn’t need the umbrella anymore before I walked up the hole. That was a mistake. As soon as he left, it started to pour. It was the hardest it had rained all day. Even with the rain suit, the downpour was taking its toll. I mentioned this before Rahm started his putt from 45 feet for birdie (he would go on to 3 putt for bogey). Mother natured listened. The rain soon let up to a light mist again, and it stayed that way for the final four holes. An easy finish into the New England evening.
Shame on me for wavering. It was challenging, but not impossible. When our broadcast was completed, I grabbed a bottle of water with my colleagues and we went through the day. We all commented how tough it was to track our groups, and stay focused. But we all agreed that it was the type of day you learn and grow from in the job as a golf announcer. And we also agreed that it would have been easier if we were playing!