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NBC Sports' Tommy Roy Produces President's Cup Broadcast

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PGATOUR.COM: This President’s Cup highlights many unique elements, including the green mile moving to 13-15. How does routing affect your behavior?

Roy: Kudos to the PGA Tour for changing the routing to ensure that these great holes are on air. As you can see in match play, it can end early. In a match play situation, you definitely don’t want his 18th to be the coolest hole on the entire golf course. They did a great job changing the routing so we can now broadcast these iconic halls.

PGATOUR.COM: How do you want the beauty of these particular holes, especially the lakes, to look? How can you show the uniqueness of the course with this kind of broadcast?

Roy: There are drones and planes. I think you get some very unique angles for this course. This is great. I love this golf course. Perfect for match play. Because with risk-reward holes, drivable par 4s and places where the water works, anything can happen. There are no boring holes on this entire golf course. All of them are unique, exciting, and really highlighted under match play conditions.

PGATOUR.COM: What’s new in this President’s Cup broadcast?

Roy: What’s new to us is that we have a captain’s cam. Both golf carts will have (point of view) cameras pointing at the seats of Davis Love III and Trevor Immelman. Usually I do interviews on the first tee after the first matches against both captains have teed off. In the meantime, there are many cases where one team wants to get off to a fast start and get a shot of the captain who did a very good job choosing and pairing picks for the day. He drives around the golf course in a golf cart, but it’s not easy to spot these people from a fixed camera position. Having these captain cameras lets you know where you are at all times.

PGATOUR.COM: What innovations have enhanced coverage of these international team events?

Roy: Technically, the miniaturization of all devices allows us to use more of them. More cameras, more angles, more replays of exciting moments. In the old days, camera cables were one inch long. It was about this size when I started. It takes four or five days just to run the cables through the six holes. Today, he can basically wire an entire golf course in a day. There are even more cameras and microphones. And audio is a big part of this, especially in halls where water works. Being able to hear the splash sounds just adds more emphasis to the moment, so I’m grateful that the technical experts in our business were able to do what they did.

PGATOUR.COM: Having covered these team events, are there any players that got your heart pumping or were you always focused on making sure you captured it?

Roy: Well, Tiger of course. Every time he played, he brought such passion. By the way, with Justin Thomas, I’m watching now how he played in New Jersey. He’s one of those players who can’t hit a good shot. For some reason, he hits great shots in these team atmospheres. It seems to be in his DNA. We were obsessed with it all, obviously Spieth, what he did, got into trouble and hit these miraculous shots out of trouble. It’s all great. Sangmoon Bae, when we were in South Korea (2015 Presidents for his cup) everything fell on him and it was a lot of pressure. He led the team while he was in his home country and it was great.

The best of all was (Ernie) Els from South Africa. When it came to that playoff (Tiger Woods smashing a tie in the 2003 Presidents Cup), I don’t think there’s ever been more pressure on a player in any event than when it was all riding him. And he’s making these putts. These putts were incredibly hard, breaking putts, sloping putts and breaking putts. He made them and Tiger was answering them. I had a feeling Tiger was going to answer that. It was Els who had to do these things, leaving the entire Presidents Cup in his home country to him. Then he took shot after shot and putt after putt until it was declared a draw. It was by far the finest golf I have seen him play in one of these events.

That was the rule, so it was down to just the two of us in the playoffs to decide that, but the great thing is that not only do we capture their exploits, but all of our teammates and the fans for what’s going on. It was to capture the reaction. The teammate finished the game and watched his final two games on the golf course, capturing the emotions before and after each one. These shots are hit. that’s another part.

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