Arnie & Me Features Fan Videos Showcasing Adoration for Arnold Palmer, Premiering Tuesday, March 17 at 10 p.m. ET

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMarch 9, 2015, 4:05 pm

User-Generated Sequel Follows Critically Acclaimed Arnie, Which Became Golf Channel’s Most-Watched Original Production

 Arnie & Me Kicks Off Golf Channel’s Coverage of PGA TOUR’s Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard, Beginning Wednesday, March 18

Arnie & Me Sneak Peek

Celebrities & Pro Golfers Tell Their Arnie Story

Critics Hail Arnie

Golf Channel was overwhelmed by the fan response to its 2014 presentation of the critically acclaimed three-part television event, Arnie, which was described as “mesmerizing” by Sports Illustrated, “tremendous” by CBS Sports, and a “three-part epic” by Golf Digest. Therefore, Golf Channel invited fans of Arnold Palmer – affectionately known as “Arnie’s Army” – to submit videos that captured their personal stories, with the intent to create the fourth installment to Arnie, titled Arnie & Me, premiering Tuesday, March 17 at 10 p.m. ET.

The collection of stories featured in Arnie & Me is emotionally heartfelt and funny – in some cases both – and told from a soldier who, with his Army comrades, started “Arnie’s Army” to a Super Bowl MVP, Peyton Manning. They provide proof of the unique connection Palmer, one of the most beloved figures in the history of sports, has shared with his legion of fans over the years. Produced by Golf Channel Films, the hour-long special will be presented with limited commercial interruption, courtesy of presenting sponsor Insperity.

Arnie & Me was born from the tremendous outpouring of fans’ personal stories, which were interwoven within the overwhelming response to Arnie over the past year,” said Mike McCarley, president of Golf Channel. “This film brings many of these stories to life in a raw and unfiltered manner that allows fans to share their connection to Arnold Palmer.”

Arnie & Me producers sifted through more than a thousand videos that were submitted for the project, ultimately, deciding on approximately 40 stories to be featured, including:

  • While stationed at the Army base in Fort Gordon, Ga., in 1959, Edward Batta (Roseland, N.J.) was looking for a way to get out of duty, so he volunteered to hold the gallery ropes at the Masters. The press wrote about how the soldiers cheered for Palmer and, thus, began the legion of fans now known as “Arnie’s Army.”
  • As a youngster, Skip Manning (Denver, Colo.) captured the visor Palmer famously flung into the air after sinking the clinching putt at the 1960 U.S. Open. He became keeper of the visor until he later donated it to the United States Golf Association Museum.
  • William Murray’s (Long Beach, Calif.) father looked forward to playing in a pro-am with Palmer. So much so that he delayed needed surgery, fully knowing his decision could cause him serious health issues. Luckily, he received good news in the end.
  • Sandy Fenton (Thousand Palms, Calif.) humorously recalls her mother’s preference for keepsakes, including always carrying in her wallet a photo of Arnold Palmer and the family dog, but no photo of her.
  • Dan Callahan (New York, N.Y.) recalls being moved by the speech Palmer delivered to his Wake Forest University football team prior to the 2007 Orange Bowl.
  • While playing golf with his father at Latrobe Country Club, a young Eric Hegedus (Pittsburgh, Pa.) hit an errant shot that landed on an adjacent tee box where Palmer stood. Arnie took the time to coach him to hit what became Eric’s best shot of the day.

Arnie & Me also features stories from celebrities who recall special connections with The King, including star NFL quarterback Peyton Manning, Major League Baseball Hall-of-Famer Johnny Bench, supermodel Kate Upton, NBC Sports commentator Al Michaels, golfer and Golf Channel on NBC analyst Peter Jacobsen, Feherty host and golf analyst David Feherty, and PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. PGA TOUR pros Ian Poulter, Justin Rose and D.A. Points also reminisce about their children born at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies.

After the Arnie premiere in 2014, Golf Channel asked fans to share their photos, videos and anecdotes of their moments with The King via social media using the hashtag #Arnie, and thousands of entries poured in from all over the world. Golf Channel also will be showcasing some of the stories featured in Arnie and Me on social media via a video countdown starting Tuesday, March 10. On the day of the premiere, fans will be encouraged to share their thoughts on the stories and The King using the hashtag #Arnie. They also can follow @GolfChannel and the social conversation around Arnie and Me using the hashtag #Arnie or by visiting GolfChannel.com , which has a robust library of extended cuts of interviews.

Production on Arnie & Me was led by Golf Channel Senior Producer James Ponti, with oversight by Golf Channel Vice President of Original Productions Jay Kossoff. The Tuesday, March 17 world premiere of Arnie & Me will be preceded at 7 p.m. ET by an encore presentation of Arnie, which has been described as “mesmerizing” by Sports Illustrated, “tremendous” by CBS Sports, a “three-part epic” by Golf Digest, “what might be the most important project in Golf Channel’s 20-year history” by the Associated Press, and “the kind of biographical treatment usually reserved for U.S. presidents” by Advertising Age. The three parts of Arnie – produced by 13-time Emmy Award winner Israel DeHerrera – plus the final installment, Arnie & Me, features:

  • “Arnie & His Army” (7 p.m. ET)Part one recalls the people who influenced Palmer and instilled the values of integrity and human kindness that helped make him the man he has become both on and off the golf course, with special tribute to his parents Deacon and Doris.
  • “Arnie & His Majors” (8 p.m. ET)Part two remembers Palmer’s competitive career, his go-for-broke style and his ups and downs at golf’s major championships.
  • “Arnie & His Legacy” (9 p.m. ET)Part three delves into the legacy of Arnold Palmer and his influence on popular culture, which stretches way beyond the links.
  • “Arnie & Me” (10 p.m. ET) – A new, concluding installment featuring personal stories about Arnold Palmer.

Arnie & Me kicks off a special week, March 16-22, which also features pro-am, early round, and weekend lead-in live coverage of the PGA TOUR’s Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard on Golf Channel, weekend coverage on Golf Channel on NBC, and weekend Spotlight coverage focusing exclusively on Bay Hill’s challenging finishing stretch of holes on Golf Channel that complements NBC’s traditional live coverage. In addition, Golf Channel’s Golf Central and Morning Drive will originate from the Bay Hill Club and Lodge throughout the week.

Getty Images

Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

"Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

Getty Images

Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.



The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

Getty Images

13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

“An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”



Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

Getty Images

McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


“I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

“Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.