Fox spent $1.2 billion dollars for the next dozen years to broadcast the US Open and three other USGA events. For the maiden voyage on Puget Sound, FOX did ok.
The amount of cameras used was impressive, which gave the viewer some new unique angles. It’s clear they have more access. The stationary camera at each tee box allowed them to use the ball tracer for every drive. The ball tracer was basically the FOX glowing puck from the NHL in the nineties reincarnated.
Thank goodness the water of Puget Sound was there, because the burnt out grass of the former rock quarry was not pleasing on the eye.
They used sound better than ever before. We heard conversations between players and strategy sessions with their caddies. We also heard some cussing.
The broadcast was blessed with the storyline of the difficulty of the course and Aussie Jason Day’s vertigo problems starting Friday. Like any network would, Fox milked the story. At one point I fully expected them to draw a spiral circle and spin it around to try and make us dizzy.
On Saturday, the on screen graphics could not keep up with updated scores. That was better on Sunday.
Anchor Joe Buck sounded tired at times.
Greg Norman was at 18 with Buck. He was helpful with inside information on Day’s health. After that, the Great White Shark came off as a cheerleader for his fellow Aussies and he did not do it a few times, he did it a lot. At one point, to counter Norman, one of the on-course reporters actually said “Come on DJ,” when referencing American Dustin Johnson when he made a putt. Embarrasing.
Also, camera people were confused. Instead of showing Jordan Spieth’s Dad while talking about winning the tournament on Father’s Day, it appeared they were showing his Uncle for several seconds before figuring out who Shawn Spieth was down the line.
There was great drama at the finish, but we did not get to hear from Dustin Johnson after he blew his chance to win and then tie the tournament.
At least Fox has more than a decade to work the kinks out.