With every PGA TOUR official money event either beginning or airing in its entirety on The Golf Channel, the 10-person team will handle a full slate of 43 official events in 2007, including the first three events of the year. Viewers will first see members of the team in action on Jan. 4 during the first round of the Mercedes-Benz Championship from Hawaii.
A team of Golf Channel professionals ' who have lived and breathed golf for more than 10 years and understand its traditions ' former players and seasoned golf broadcasters makes for quite an impressive lineup, said Golf Channel Executive Producer Tony Tortorici.
Im excited about this opportunity for many reasons, and I cant wait to get things started, said Tilghman. All of us are looking forward to 2007.
The complement of talent, who are expected to play a variety of on-air roles throughout the year, will include:
Peter Oosterhuis, who in 1995 paired with Renton Laidlaw to host the Dubai Desert Classic ' the first golf tournament ever televised on The Golf Channel ' will continue as a Golf Channel mainstay and will don several hats, including 17th tower analyst and supporting the networks ample offering of studio shows surrounding its golf coverage.
Mark Rolfing, who has served as host for Champions Tour events on The Golf Channel, will reprise that role for numerous PGA TOUR events during the FedExCup season. With intimate knowledge of Hawaii golf, he also will serve as a tower analyst for both the Mercedes-Benz Championship and Sony Open.
Dottie Pepper will be expanding her tournament role with The Golf Channel. Already lead analyst for the networks LPGA Tour telecasts, she will serve as an on-course reporter for a select number of events, beginning with the Mercedes-Benz Championship and the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.
Rocco Mediate, current player and five-time PGA TOUR champion, will serve as an on-course reporter. Other than through his tournament play, Golf Channel viewers have enjoyed Mediates personable and entertaining manner as a featured player on the networks popular Playing Lessons With the Pros and Personal Lessons series.
Rich Lerner, ever-versatile and, along with Tilghman, one of The Golf Channels long-time cast, will assume several roles. He will provide play-by-play commentary for select tournaments and, as show host, he will set the scene for viewers at the beginning of PGA TOUR telecasts, as well as conducting player interviews and delivering his signature essays.
Frank Nobilo, who has lent his valuable expertise to The Golf Channel as former player with 14 worldwide wins, will serve as an analyst for select FedExCup season and Fall Series events. He also will continue to contribute as lead analyst for the networks Champions Tour telecasts, as well as studio shows.
Jerry Foltz will supplement his duties as lead on-course reporter for The Golf Channels Nationwide Tour telecasts and contribute in the same capacity for the first three PGA TOUR events of 2007, as well as other select events for the balance of the season.
Steve Sands, who has been a Golf Central reporter for PGA TOUR events, will continue in that role, but will become part of the networks Thursday and Friday telecasts conducting player interviews. He also will contribute to studio programs while covering tournament play.
During early-round, Thursday-Friday telecasts on The Golf Channel, the network also will incorporate the talents of CBS and NBC golf commentators into their team of broadcasters, making the overall mix of personalities seen on The Golf Channel a great combination of all the networks televising golf.
'The PGA TOUR is delighted with the strong talent team that The Golf Channel has assembled for TOUR telecasts next year,' said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. 'As the TOUR enters a new era in golf beginning in January, we're confident that The Golf Channel will offer compelling coverage of PGA TOUR events throughout the FedExCup season and the Fall Series.
The lineup for the Mercedes-Benz Championship, which begins Jan. 4 on The Golf Channel, will include Tilghman as play-by-play announcer, Faldo as lead analyst, Lerner as show host/reporter/essayist, Rolfing as 17th tower announcer, and Pepper, Mediate and Foltz as on-course reporters.
Extensive planning began the day we announced our new partnership with the PGA TOUR and were not only looking forward to pulling back the curtain on January 4 to showcase our team of broadcasters, but also the entertaining and compelling live tournament golf that will be delivered by an equally experienced production team, said Tortorici.
The Golf Channels 2007 PGA TOUR coverage will feature full, four-round coverage of the seasons first three events, as well as the seven Fall Series events following THE TOUR Championship and the tournaments played opposite golfs majors and World Golf Championships.
Also included will be early-round coverage of the entire FedExCup season, including the World Golf Championships, THE TOUR Championship ' the official end of the points season that will determine the FedEx Cup winner and provide what will be sports largest payoff ' and THE PLAYERS Championship, the PGA TOURs crown jewel.