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The Technology Behind the U.S. Open

Techstination feature for Thursday, June 13, 2002

The technology behind the U.S. Open. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. It used to require big mainframe computers to keep track of the major golf championships. Not anymore. But Unisys is still the company that provides the scoring system for the U.S.G.A... ..and the behind the scenes data that makes the announcers on TV sound like they know a lot more than they do...

"They can tell you with great certainty that yesterday Tiger Woods scored a three on this particular hole and he's now shooting for a four. All that information's there available at their fingertips on the Unisys system."

David Fox is the director of global sports marketing for Unisys. The data is used by sports writers... and can be accessed on the Web worldwide as well. We hate to bring it up... but computers have been known to hit a double bogey from time to time... crashing when they're needed most. Fox says Unisys comes prepared for the worst...

"Obviously it's something that very rarely happens. I mean there are the occasional little glitch like we might lose a bit of power because a truck has pulled down one of our power lines or we've even found on occasion spiked shoes that golfer's use, you know, they can spike some of our cables. But everything we have there is all backed up. We have like the basic scoring system running on one server... but we have a sort of standby backup server ready to switch everything over just in case there are any problems."

The technology for the U.S. Open and other tournaments is provided without charge by Unisys... .as part of its marketing campaign. What the price tag is... the company doesn't disclose. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin