2013 Debut of Golf Channel's Spotlight Coverage of TPC Scottsdale's 16th Hole

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJanuary 29, 2013, 4:18 pm

While NBC delivers its award-winning coverage of the PGA TOUR at this week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, Golf Channel also will debut its 2013 “Spotlight” coverage at the tournament, featuring coverage of a three-hole stretch at TPC Scottsdale, which includes one of the most exciting settings in all of sports – the famous par-3, 16th hole.

While NBC is on the air live from 3-6 p.m. ET this weekend with traditional coverage, Golf Channel also will be on the air live with its Spotlight coverage, but focusing only on the challenging stretch that encompasses the 15th, 16th and 17th holes. The 15th hole is a par 5 that can be reached in two, making eagle chances well within the realm of possibility. The 16th hole is the famous par 3 – known as “The Coliseum” – which is completely surrounded by as many as 20,000 rowdy spectators and creating a raucous atmosphere akin to a football game. And, the par 4 17th hole can be reached from the tee, but several greenside hazards pose interesting choices for gambling pros. Golf Channel’s Spotlight coverage will conclude at 5 p.m. ET each day, when viewers will be directed to the final hour of NBC’s third- and final-round coverage.

“The NBC/Golf Channel partnership is creating new and innovative ways to cover the sport, and bringing more people to the game,” said Golf Channel President Mike McCarley. “Golf Channel’s Spotlight coverage has proven to be a coup for golf fans looking to get further inside the ropes at signature stretches of tournament venues – like TPC Scottsdale’s 16th hole, which features an atmosphere unlike anything else on the PGA TOUR. While NBC will continue to feature traditional coverage, Golf Channel’s Spotlight coverage provides a unique, but complementary, viewing experience showcasing the action from notable holes.”

The Spotlight coverage on-air team includes Brian Hammons handling play-by-play, Curt Byrum as lead analyst, Phil Parkin as the 16th hole tower analyst, and Jerry Foltz and Scott McCarron reporting from the golf course. NBC’s production, which will be overseen by Emmy award-winning producer Tommy Roy will operate side-by-side with Golf Channel’s Spotlight production unit led by producer Keith Hirshland.

“The Coliseum” at TPC Scottsdale 16th Hole:
Eight cameras will be dedicated to coverage of the 16th hole, capturing everything from golf shots to the colorful characters that completely surround the par 3. Spotlight coverage cameras will stay with players longer than typical television coverage, providing viewers a chance to see players’ reactions to shots, as well as experiencing the cheers – or sometimes jeers – players get from the amped up crowd as they walk the fairways. A camera positioned 120 feet in the air above the hole, as well as a Met Life blimp also will provide interesting vistas.

“Landing Zone” Graphic Predictions:
A new graphic technology titled “Landing Zone” will be featured during the Spotlight coverage, which will predict – while a ball is in flight – where it will land on or off the green. Viewers will see a split screen with one section showing ball flight while the other shows graphic representations circles on the green pointing to where the technology predicts the ball will land.

17th Hole “Speed Shot” Coverage:
As players attempt to drive the green from the 17th hole, a nearly 40-foot camera tower built on the hillside to the right of the fairway will provide “speed shot” coverage of a ball on its way to the green. The height of the camera position also will allow the viewer to be able to tell if a ball driven slightly left of the fairway will end up in the water or hang up in the rough staying out of the hazard.

WASTE MANAGEMENT PHOENIX OPEN – LIVE TOURNAMENT AIRTIMES

Thursday 4-7 p.m. ET (Golf Channel live traditional coverage)
Friday 4-7 p.m. ET (Golf Channel live traditional coverage)
Saturday 1-3 p.m. ET (Golf Channel live lead-in coverage)
Saturday 3-6 p.m. ET (NBC live traditional coverage)
Saturday 3-5 p.m. ET (Golf Channel live Spotlight coverage)
Sunday 1-3 p.m. ET (Golf Channel live lead-in coverage)
Sunday 3-6 p.m. ET (NBC live traditional coverage)
Sunday 3-5 p.m. ET (Golf Channel live Spotlight coverage)

Getty Images

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

Getty Images

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 Web.com 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.


CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


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."

Getty Images

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.

@tommyfleetwood_1

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.

Getty Images

Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.

"It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.

"This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."