Golf Channel Tabs Champions Broadcast Team

By Golf Channel Public RelationsDecember 4, 2006, 5:00 pm
Champions TourORLANDO, Fla. -- The Golf Channels broadcast team for the 2007 Champions Tour season will be a mix of familiar and new faces that will make their debut Jan. 19 at the MasterCard Championship at Hualalai in Kaupulehu, Hawaii.
Mark Rolfing and Frank Nobilo will serve the host/analyst for both the Mastercard Championship at Hualalai and the following weeks Turtle Bay Championship. Rolfing has served as host for several Champions Tour events on the Golf Channel while Nobilo made his debut as lead analyst on Champions Tour telecasts in 2004.
For the majority of events in 2007, Brian Hammons - who is an original member of the Golf Channel on-air team - and Nobilo will serve as the host/analyst team.
In addition, Dave Marr III and Mark Lye will also handle play-by-play and analyst duties, respectively. Lye is entering his fourth year as a member of the Champions Tour team and will continue to provide on-course analysis when he is not competing or serving as lead analyst. Marr will continue his on the couch interview sessions when he is not hosting the telecast.
Adding insight and expert analysis is a team of on-course reporters that have extensive tournament golf experience from both sides of the ropes. They include:
Billy Ray Brown, a newcomer to the Golf Channel who has worked numerous PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and LPGA events for ABC and ESPN.
Donna Caponi-Byrnes, an LPGA Hall of Famer who has been a mainstay on Golf Channel Champions Tour telecasts.
John Mahaffey, who joined the Golf Channel in 2004 after winning 10 times on the PGA TOUR including one major, the 1978 PGA Championship, and the 1986 Players Championship.
Brandt Packer will orchestrate the production as producer for all Golf Channel Champions Tour telecasts. Packer has worked for ABC Sports as the lead producer for the majority of the networks golf events in 2006.
We are excited about the assembled Champions TOUR team and the product that we will deliver to our viewers at the MasterCard Championship in January, said Tony Tortorici, vice president, Production & executive producer for the Golf Channel. The team has vast knowledge as well as insight that will lend itself to an informative and entertaining viewing experience.
As a part of the Golf Channels umbrella agreement with the PGA TOUR, the network remains the exclusive cable television home of the Champions Tour through 2021. In 2007, the network will provide all rounds of 22 Champion Tour events and early round coverage of four other tournaments.
The Golf Channel (, co-founded by Arnold Palmer, is available in more than 100 million homes throughout the United States, Canada and Japan through cable, satellite and wireless companies. It features a programming schedule that includes more live golf coverage than any other network ' an extensive blend of golf competition from around the world ' as well as news, instruction and original specials. In addition to being the exclusive television home of the Nationwide Tour, European Tour and Canadian Tour, the Golf Channel is the exclusive cable home of the Champions Tour and televises other competition from the LPGA Tour, USGA, PGA of America, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour of Southern Africa.
Beginning in January, the Golf Channel will embark on its 15-year agreement as the exclusive cable television home for the PGA TOUR. The networks annual coverage will feature early-round coverage of the entire FedEx Cup season, including the World Golf Championships, THE TOUR Championship and THE PLAYERS Championship, the PGA TOURs crown jewel. In total, early-round coverage of 30 events will air on the Golf Channel.
Also included in the package will be 13 full, four-round events beginning with the seasons first three tournaments ' Mercedes-Benz Championships, Sony Open in Hawaii and the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic hosted by George Lopez ' and the seven official money events following THE TOUR Championship. The network also will provide full coverage of three tournaments played opposite golfs majors and World Golf Championships.
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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

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Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.