Monday's "Battle of Bighorn" is big. Oh, it may be just another made-for-TV golf exhibition to Tiger Woods and David Duval, but to Karrie Webb and Annika Sorenstam and women's golf in general, it's big-time exposure.
ABC's live telecast from the Bighorn Golf Club in Palm Desert will begin at 5 p.m.
This is ABC's third Monday night golf special. Two years ago, Woods beat Duval at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, and last year Sergio Garcia beat Woods at Bighorn.
Monday, it will be Woods and Sorenstam against Duval and Webb in an alternate-shot, match-play duel. The winning team gets $1.2 million and the losers get $500,000, with some of that money going to charity.
Judy Rankin, who will work as a commentator on the telecast, said, "I was pleased when I heard about the format. This is wonderful for women's golf."
The LPGA will use the telecast for the debut of an advertising campaign called "Positively Amazing" featuring Webb and Sorenstam.
"This is a great opportunity to show just how talented and amazing they are," LPGA Commissioner Ty Votaw said.
The amazing thing about Monday's event is that Woods may not be the headliner. You've got a lot of focus on the two women, and Duval is coming off a British Open victory.
Producer Jack Graham said Duval's victory changes the focus of the show.
"You now have to do a British Open highlights package," he said. "And we'll have to freshen up the interview we did with David before the Open."
For "Showdown at Sherwood" in 1999, when Woods beat Duval, ABC got a 6.9 rating, second highest golf rating of the year. Only the final round of the Masters did better.
The "Battle of Bighorn" last year, with Garcia beating Woods on the final hole, got an even better rating, a 7.6, although that ranked only fifth best among the year's golf ratings.
The telecasts have had a little "Monday Night Football" flavor. Al Michaels will again join Mike Tirico, Curtis Strange and Rankin on the telecast. And as many as the last four holes will be played under lights.
Monday night, under lights. All that's missing is Hank Williams Jr. singing "Are you ready for some . . . golf?"
A Special Special
Fox Sports Net on Saturday at 10 a.m. will present an hourlong special on the Special Olympics of Southern California Summer Games, held last month at Long Beach State. The special, which will feature stories on several amazing athletes, will be replayed Sunday at 4 p.m. on Fox Sports Net 2 and several more times on both networks. Bill Macdonald and Leanza Cornett, a former Miss America, co-host the show.
Steve Young's retirement hasn't been ho-hum--new wife, a baby, part-time jobs with ESPN and ABC. And his life is going to get busier. ESPN announced Thursday that Young will become a full-time member of "Sunday NFL Countdown."
Location was a key factor in Young accepting the job.
"My folks live in Greenwich, Conn., and now we can spend more time out there with them," he said.
ESPN is located in Bristol, Conn.
Randy Moss will work as a commentator on the CBS and ESPN2 horse racing shows from Saratoga on Saturday at noon and 2 p.m., respectively.
No, not the Minnesota Viking receiver who this week got an eight-year, $75-million contract.
This Randy Moss, from Tulsa, Okla., has been a horse racing commentator for ESPN for two years. Before that, Moss was a horse racing beat writer for several newspapers. He got his start with the Arkansas Gazette at 15. He used to sneak into the races at Oaklawn Park in his native Hot Springs, Ark.
One of the highest-rated sports shows on cable television in Los Angeles in the last few months was "Hollywood Park Today" with Mike Willman and Kurt Hoover. So why is there no "Del Mar Today"?
A Fox Sports Net spokesman said there have been discussions about such a show, but nothing has been worked out.
That's a shame.
Another shame: No headway has been made in the Time Warner-Fox Sports Net dispute, and now Angel games are being blacked out.
So Time Warner subscribers will miss Saturday night's Angel-Baltimore game, Cal Ripken's next-to-last game at Anaheim. Sunday's game is not being televised at all because ESPN opted not to pick it up.
No surprise here: Besides featuring the Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers in a Christmas doubleheader, NBC will have the Lakers on the maximum 11 times during the 2001-02 regular season. . . . With Shaquille O'Neal, you just never know. He snubbed David Letterman--first agreeing to appear on Monday night's show and then backing out. Then he showed up on some half-baked cable cooking show and, presumably tongue in cheek, said he plans to retire in three years and go into law enforcement. He also made a surprise appearance this week at the Entertainers Classic street tournament in Harlem, grabbed a microphone and started announcing the game. O'Neal's appearance can been seen today at 5 p.m. on the NBA.com TV channel.
Saturday night's Roy Jones Jr.-Julio Gonzalez fight at Staples Center is a TVKO $39.95 pay-per-view event. Announcing will be the HBO team of Jim Lampley, Larry Merchant, George Foreman, Emanuel Steward and host James Brown. . . . CBS will show the final stage of the Tour de France Sunday at 11 a.m. . . . Marion Jones will make her debut as a sideline reporter on NBC's telecast of the Phoenix-Sacramento WNBA game Sunday at 1 p.m. . . . David Neal, from Woodland Hills and USC, has been promoted to executive vice president of NBC Sports. Neal, head of Olympic production, will assume his new role after the Salt Lake City Games.
And now a good move by Channel 5: The station has put some Latino flavor back in its nightly sportscasts, hiring KABC radio's Jorge Jarrin as a regular fill-in for Tony Hernandez and newcomer Steve Grad. Jarrin began a five-night run Thursday.
(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)
What Los Angeles Is Watching
A sampling of L.A. Nielsen ratings for July 21-22.
Over-the-air Channel Rating Share Golf: British Open 7 3.8 13 Baseball: Dodgers at Colorado 11 3.7 10 Golf: Michael Douglas celebrity tournament 7 1.9 4 Golf: LPGA Big Apple Classic 4 1.3 4 WNBA basketball: Utah at Phoenix 4 1.3 4
Cable Network Rating Share Boxing: Shane Mosley vs. Adrian Stone HBO 2.9 6 Boxing: Martin O'Malley vs. Leo Dorin SHO 0.8 2 Auto racing: Winston Cup New England 300 TNT 0.6 2 Auto racing: NASCAR Craftsman Truck 200 ESPN 0.6 2 Baseball: Montreal at Atlanta FX 0.6 2 Auto racing: NASCAR Busch Grand National 500 TNT 0.6 1 Baseball: Chicago Cubs at Houston WGN 0.6 1 Drag racing: NHRA Mile High Nationals ESPN2 0.4 1
Over-the-air Channel Rating Share Golf: British Open 7 4.1 16 Auto racing: CART Harrah's 500 7 2.7 7 Cycling: Tour de France (tape) 2 2.4 6 Auto Racing: Le Mans Grand Prix of Sonoma 4 1.3 3 Golf: LPGA Big Apple Classic 4 1.2 3 Golf: Senior SBC Open 2 1.1 3
Cable Network Rating Share Baseball: Dodgers at Colorado ESPN 2.4 5 Auto racing: Winston Cup New England 300 TNT 1.7 4 Drag racing: NHRA Mile High Nationals ESPN2 1.0 3 Baseball: Chicago Cubs at Houston WGN 0.6 1
Note: Each rating point represents 53,542 L.A. households. Cable ratings reflect the entire market, even though cable is in only 63% of L.A. households.
Look Who's Talking
Sports figures to be featured on TV and radio, today through Thursday:
Maury Wills--"Up Close," today, 2:30 p.m., ESPN, 11:30 p.m., ESPN2
Shaquille O'Neal--Harlem street tournament, today, 5 p.m., NBA.com TV
Tina Thompson--"Players Journal," today, 5 p.m., Lifetime
Roy Jones Jr., Julio Gonzalez--"Rich Marotta's Neutral Corner," tonight (after Dodger postgame talk), KXTA (1150)
Andy Roddick--"The Late, Late Show With Craig Kilborn," Friday, 12:35 a.m., Channel 2
Jerry Rice--"The Life," Saturday, 7 a.m., ESPN
Darius Miles, Quentin Richardson--"NBA Inside Stuff," Saturday, 3:30 p.m., Channel 4
Dave Winfield, Jackie Slater, Ross Newhan--"Irv Kaze Show," Saturday, 6-7 p.m., KRLA (870)
Dale Jarrett, Ricky Rudd--"NASCAR This Morning," Sunday, 7:30 a.m., Fox Sports Net
Alexandra Stevenson, Lindsay Davenport, Goran Ivanisevic--"Topspin," Sunday, 10:30 a.m., Channel 2
Sugar Ray Leonard, Ponchita Bojado, author Don Crutchfield--"Ringside With Johnny Ortiz," Sunday, 8-11 p.m., KSPN (1110)
Bruce Sutter--"Up Close," Monday
JaRon Rush, Jelani McCoy, Jarvis Turner--"Southern California Sports Report," Monday, 10 p.m., Fox Sports Net
Dale Murphy--"Up Close," Tuesday
Magic Johnson, actor Morris Chestnutt, Baron Davis--"Sports Roundtable," Tuesday, 4 p.m., Fox Sports Net 2
Tommy John--"Up Close," Wednesday
Attorney Ed Masry--"McDonnell Douglas," Wednesday, 3-6 p.m., KSPN (1110)
Goose Gossage--"Up Close," Thursday