HICKS COLUMN: It's a tough job, but someone has to do it ...
Kiawah Island — So Tiger Woods is taking questions at the PGA media center Tuesday afternoon, and there's this sign above the reporters' heads.
It says, “No cellphones, autographs, applause.”
Now there's something you'll never see in a statehouse pressroom.
You would figure that professional sports journalists would be offended by the very notion that they are fans or can't be hard-hitting reporters like the guys in news.
But then you hear some of their questions.
Tiger, are you disappointed you haven't won a major lately?
Tiger, have you been watching the Olympics?
Tiger, which game piece do you prefer when you play Monopoly?
There are politicians all over this state banging their heads against a wall, wishing that these golf balls were lobbed at them on a daily basis.
Work hard, play hard?
Don't let anyone tell you otherwise — the PGA puts on a good show.
You can stand around watching guys practicing their putting inside a fence, like a petting zoo for animals with some really rocking corporate sponsorship deals.
But when they are plunking away on the driving range, those signs with their names on them are just as likely to help these sports reporters as they are the fans. Because those guys have it easy.
The media center is a huge, air-conditioned complex set up for cable networks, foreign correspondents and newspaper folks. They can sit at comfortable tables while volunteers carry them stats and the latest news. Why, it's easier than Facebook.
Don't feel like walking 40 feet to the interview room? Well, there's a TV in the press room — we're talking IMAX-sized — showing reporters what's going on just behind their backs.
And if you do make that walk and get tuckered out, there's the massage chair and table for weary word herders. It's only $1 a minute ... on someone else's expense account.
Of course, that just gets the professional journalist in the right frame of mind to ask golfers such probing questions as this gem, posed to Luke Donald:
Do you think you'd be better known if you won a major?
But cut them some slack. That media dining center couldn't have had more than seven different kinds of ice cream.
It's in the hole
Fact is, everybody gets treated well at a major golf tournament.
Come on, it's golf — a rich guy's sport. Even the caddies get a hospitality suite. It's a Cinderella story.
But the people who bring it into your living room are not only getting to watch it, they are having a pretty good time doing it.
And some of them do it quite well. One of the few questions that didn't force an involuntary rolling of the eyes from Woods came from The Post and Courier's Tommy Braswell about “up teeing,” which is actually about golf.
Woods actually said, “Great question.”
And it was. Especially given the competition.
Eat your heart out, Nikki Haley.
Reach Brian Hicks at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @BriHicks_PandC.