Weekend Plans With CBS Golf Dir Steve Milton: Covering Bethpage
This week’s PGA Championship at Bethpage Black on Long Island is CBS Golf Dir STEVE MILTON’s 44th major, so the veteran TV man knows a thing or two about covering history in the making. "There’s something new every year, but the experience serves me well." Milton and his team are coming off a TIGER WOODS victory at The Masters, and like most golf fans, he’s hoping this weekend can somehow prove a worthy follow-up. He caught up with THE DAILY before Thursday’s first round to dish on his strategy for the weekend, how he spends his time away from the game and what it was like to see Woods earn another green jacket.
AUGUSTA RECAP: We’re always there in the moment. Doing what we do, you never really see it. There’s just too much going on to appreciate exactly what’s happened. But after his drive at 17 found the fairway, you do say out loud to yourself, ‘Tiger Woods is going to win The Masters.’ Hole 18 was more of a coronation -- we knew he was going to walk up as the champion and that’s when it became a lot of fun. The patrons chanting his name, and then when he walks into the arms of his children. That was the most enjoyable part, and I couldn’t even put into words what happened after that.
ON THE TEE: I was at Bethpage earlier last week Monday-Wednesday and the buzz was incredible. It obviously has a lot to do with Tiger winning the Masters, but Long Island is a golf place. The people love their golf, and there’s a lot of dedicated folks to the game. Tiger was out there too. He was hitting his tee shot on 16 and five or six cars stopped along the road. The guys get out and in their N.Y. accents they’re yelling out to him, ‘can’t wait to see ya next week.’ One of those only-in-N.Y. moments.
DAILY AGENDA: We got the last flight out of Dallas Sunday night into LaGuardia after the Byron Nelson. We got to the hotel about 1:30am. Then it was morning meetings Monday and hit the ground running. Major weeks are always challenging. Monday-Wednesday you have time to exhale. Wednesday night we threw a dinner for a few of our longtime camera and video operators who are retiring this year. Then it’s an early call Thursday and Friday. I’m on the ground by about 7:30am, nothing crazy. I’m usually in the trucks around 9:30 to start keeping track of things. Then we’re on the air with Turner for 6 hours. Saturday your best players are in the final groups and you’ve got your storylines. Then you have some marquee players that could be several groups ahead who you have to think about covering. That’s when you have your show ponies come out and you can really establish what the next couple days will be. Thursday and Friday is jockeying for positions and not losing the tournament. Once moving day comes on Saturday, and we’re on CBS, that’s when things really get dialed in. This year my wife will visit me toward the end of the tournament and we’ll drive back home Sunday night. We live up on the North Shore. It’s week 7 of a 9-week run for us on CBS so it’ll be nice to come home and spend some time together. That’ll be my decompression.
IN THE MEANTIME: I can’t get too far away from golf, I like watching it. We did move about 2 or 3 years ago and got a house that needs that constant attention. I’m a do-it-yourselfer. I had to rebuild our deck and I can’t just sit still. I always like working on the house and making it look nicer. It’s something my wife and I can do together. We like our walks on the beaches too, but I’m a tinkerer. It’s what makes me happiest.
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