CBS analyst questions 'distracting' player mics after Rory McIlroy hooks 4-iron

Paul Azinger reckons players being mic'd up on PGA Tour coverage is 'a bit of a distraction' after Rory McIlroy hit a wayward shot shortly after joining the live coverage.

Ben Smith's picture
Mon, 27 Mar 2023
CBS analyst questions 'distracting' player mics after Rory McIlroy hooks 4-iron

Rory McIlroy needed convincing about this Phil Mickelson idea that has been warmly received by golf fans on PGA Tour coverage. 

We're talking about the players being mic'd up on the course and chatting to the CBS broadcasters for one hole during their round. 

Max Homa was the first to test the waters. Rickie Fowler, Tom KimKeith Mitchell and Billy Horschel followed.

During his early morning warm-up at the Players Championship, England's Tyrrell Hatton also got involved. 

McIlroy previously said he needed convincing about the idea. Jon Rahm had no interest. Justin Thomas? He said no. 

Thomas previously told media:

"I would not wear a mic, no. That's not me. What I talk about with Jimmy and what I talk about with the guys in my group is none of anybody else's business, no offense."

But Thomas was the first player to get involved in BagCam during the Valspar Championship. That was comical, according to Lefty

It appears that McIlroy is now fully convinced and behind the concept. He put the AirPods in during the WGC Match Play

McIlroy discussed his new driver set-up and the 'old flame' Scotty Cameron he has put back into play during his match against Xander Schauffele.

The Northern Irishman was playing the par-5 6th at Austin Country Club when he explained where he stood with the new chief:

"Yeah, I just got a ton of confidence with it. My bad habit with my swing is I sort of let the club fall behind me in transition, so I feel like with the shorter length shaft, I'm able to keep the club a little bit more in front of me. Which means that I have all the confidence in the world to release it down the line."

Watch McIlroy's segment here:

It's interesting that before McIlroy joined the live broadcast Paul Azinger noted the concept could be at the player's detriment. 

McIlroy hit his second shot left, giving the advantage to Schauffele on the hole. 

He said: 

"Yeah, I think putting the ear pods in can be a bit of a distraction. That's always the challenge for the guys that have agreed to do that." 

Explaining what happened, McIlroy said:

"Just the wind was off the left, [I was] trying to just hit a little bleeder 4-iron in there, and I just double-crossed it." 

McIlroy lost the hole to Schauffele, but won the match. He lost to Cameron Young in the semi-final but defeated Scottie Scheffler in the third-place playoff. 


Some thoughts...

I've got to be honest, I've not been overblown by these segments. It's pretty cool I guess, but I wouldn't miss it.  

The aforementioned Homa previously suggested they might try having players mic'd up with no live footage, then releasing it later on. 

That might be better, if there was a particularly dramatic moment. 

What have you made of this? Do you like it? Tweet us your thoughts. 

Take me to more news!