Friday, February 09, 2007

Instead of Bill Murray, we get Sidney Lowe

Consider this fair warning -- if you were planning on sinking into your favorite golf-watching chair Saturday with something cold and wet to keep you company -- you're going to be disappointed unless you're excited about watching the N.C. State-Georgia Tech basketball game instead of the third round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

The golf tournament is being bumped off WBTV (Ch. 2 on your local cable outlet) by the Wolfpack and the Yellow Jackets on Saturday.

Trading Phil Mickelson, Bill Murray and Pebble Beach for Engin Atsur and Paul Hewitt is a bad deal.

As much as I like golf -- hint: I might know Pierre Fulke if he walked into the room -- there are some tournaments we don't need to see. But Pebble Beach is one that absolutely needs to be seen.

Before you light up the switchboard at WBTV this weekend, it's worth knowing two things -- the final round will be seen as scheduled on Sunday and the local station can't switch the golf to another cable station.

Shelly Hill, director of marketing and programming at WBTV, said the station is bound by contract to air certain ACC games that were chosen before the PGA Tour broadcasts were set. When the station realized the overlap (this isn't a new thing), it contacted CBS officials so the network might move the golf to another station in the viewing area. That's all WBTV can do, said Hill, who understands the frustration of golf fans.

CBS didn't choose to offer the golf on another outlet so, if you really want to see Bill Murray and George Lopez and Andy Garcia and all the real golfers -- not to mention all those panoramic shots of Pebble Beach that never get old -- you're going to have to catch the highlights on The Golf Channel.

The good news is the golf won't be bumped off any more this season.

And, who knows, maybe the State-Tech game will be better than you think.