James Corrigan: Boomer's painful puns need some soothing by Alliss

View From The Sofa: US Open ESPN/Sky Sports
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When "Tiger Woods: The Musical" eventually hits Theatreland (it's scheduled for release sometime in between "Tiger Woods: The Pasta Sauce" and "Tiger Woods: The Fragrance") it promises to boast a spectacular climax. For his final number, our hero will stride on stage and, to the theme of Gloria Gaynor's seminal hit, will belt out, "It Is What It Is". As he does so, his fellow pros will stream in behind, joining him in golf's new anthem. There's Phil, there's Vijay, there's Ernie, there's Rory... it will go on and on. Of course, the opera will not be over until Colin Montgomerie sings.

How do I know all of this? Have I been approached to pen the score? No, the evidence has been provided at the US Open here in Bethpage where the Tiger Troupe have blatantly been staging their first rehearsal. As ever, Woods led the way replying "It is what it is" to a poor reporter who only wanted him to slag off the course. Instantly, Woods' chorus boys realised that here was yet another way for them to say something without saying anything. Soon the Long Island air was filled with "It is what is" as it replaced "stay in the moment, play each shot at a time" as the professional's stock response. Woods has a lot to answer for and plainly a cracking new method of not answering it.

All of which may or may not have been obvious to those watching on Sky Sports, which may or may not had to fill all of those rain-interrupted hours with brain-sucking player interviews. I say "may or may not" as, believe it or not, America does not have Sky Sports. Instead, this strange nation actually has its mainstream channels showing its mainstream sports. The BBC shouldn't worry – it will never catch on. And if it ever does, they merely have to employ Chris Berman as their mainstay host. That'll soon have the ungrateful sods pining for the Indoor Bowls from Blackpool, or even the Grand Prix from Silverstone.

One of the great myths about coverage of golf on television is the difference in quality between the US (very good) and the UK (very average). Although as far I can make out it is only Berman who makes this a great myth. Otherwise, Johnny Miller, David Feherty, Sir Nick Faldo, even, would make it a great truth. But Berman goes into bat for his counterparts across the pond. Or as they call him over here "Boomer". He is to golf what Linda McCartney was to salami.

Of course, American golf is much more raucous than British golf and the life that Miller and Co manage to inject into their commentaries and analysis makes it infinitely more exciting than the unashamed tension-Hoovers which are Peter Alliss and Co. Yet there is raucous and there is ridiculous, and Berman effortlessly screams his way past the former. Apparently the witty one-liner ("And here we are at the US Open where Dustin Hoffman is leading the tournament as Rain Man") and the pun-tastic nickname ("And there he is David 'Ground Control to Major' Toms") are his trademarks. Whatever, there is a time and place for such laddish nonsense, and it's not golf and it's not a major.

It made one hanker for the serene world of Alliss and the emotion was actually one of relief whenever it was time to return to the 18th green for Tiger's post-match comments. "It is what is." It isn't, by the way. Not nearly.

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