Eight Teams Competing for More than $100,000 in Cash and Prizes

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJune 5, 2015, 6:18 pm

Eight Teams Competing for More than $100,000 in Cash and Prizes in Golf Channel’s New Competition Series, Altered Course Montego Bay, Premiering Monday, June 15

Teams will Compete in Extraordinary Layouts Exceeding 700 Yards, Requiring Daring Golf Shots While Racing Against the Clock

Series Inaugural Season – Altered Course Montego Bay presented by Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva – Filmed on Two Premier Courses in Montego Bay, Jamaica

 Video: Altered Course Series Trailer

Website: Altered Course Montego Bay Website

ORLANDO, Fla., June 4, 2015 – The traditional golf course layout will not apply to the eight teams competing in Altered Course Montego Bay, Golf Channel’s new reality competition series premiering Monday, June 15 at 9 p.m. ET. The series will require teams to navigate re-imagined golf holes in excess of 700 yards all the while traversing natural obstacles they encounter along the way.

Taking place in Montego Bay, Jamaica and presented by the all-new Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall and Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall Resort, this tournament-style competition series will feature eight two-person teams racing against the clock as they take on the twists and turns of these extreme golf holes. One Altered Course hole can incorporate upwards of three traditional golf holes, with the teams competing in a variety of formats, including alternate-shot and scramble. Teams will be scored on a combination of strokes and the time it takes them to complete the hole. Weekly eliminations will leave one team ultimately left standing as champion, pocketing a grand prize of more than $100,000 in cash and prizes.

Altered Course Montego Bay features a talented and diverse cast including professional and former collegiate golfers, siblings, best friends, sergeants in the United States Army and speed golf competitors.

 Camo Greens

Kaleb Nichols (26, Fort Carson, Colo. / Memphis, Tenn.) and Derek Williams (29, Fort Carson, Colo. / Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Sergeants in the United States Army and stationed in Fort Carson, Colo., both have served multiple tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Golf is their escape and their sanctuary.

 Canadian Ninjas

Kyla Inaba (28, Kelowna, British Columbia) and Eileen Kelly (27, Victoria, British Columbia) –  Teammates at the University of British Columbia (UBC), both are an inspiration to each other and grew to become best friends during college and following graduation. The two are known for their extreme fitness regimens and often joke that they are training to be ninjas.

 Frenemies

Amelia Ek (24, Cypress, Calif.) and Jada Patipaksiri (24, Cypress, Calif.) – Professional golfers on the Symetra Tour and mini-tour circuits, Ek and Patipaksiri have known each other since childhood and admit due to their competitiveness, they always have not been the best of friends. Ek hung up her golf clubs for a corporate job in 2015and is playing for Patipaksiri, who is attempting to achieve her dream of playing on the LPGA Tour.

 Georgia Boys

Shepherd Archie (25, Augusta, Ga.) and Wesley Yates (25, Atlanta, Ga.) - Best friends and college teammates while at Florida A&M University, Archie and Yates have ultimate goals of walking the fairways on the PGA TOUR.  Young and strong, they learned the game through The First Tee (Yates – First Tee of Atlanta; Archie – First Tee of Augusta). 

 Icelandic Duo

Alexander Gylfason (24, Reykjavik, Iceland) and Petur Petursson (24, Reykjavik, Iceland) – Having first met on the golf course while in college, the two have developed a close friendship over the years.  Following graduation, Petursson has focused his energy on competing on the mini tours, and is currently playing in the Nordic Golf League in Sweden – a feeder tour to the European Tour. Gylfason is a professional golfer and founder of Speed Golf Iceland.  In 2014, he became the first Icelandic golfer to compete in the Speed Golf World Championships.

 Serbian Sisters

Ariana Savich (23, Orlando, Fla. / Carmel, Ind.) and Milena Savich (25, Wesley Chapel, Fla., / Carmel, Ind.) – One of the more athletic teams on Altered Course, sisters Ariana and Milena Savich have experience in team competition - Both represented their father’s native country of Serbia in the European and World Amateur Team Championships, and Milena has a goal of representing Serbia in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

 Texas Hustlers

Chris Garcia (33, Austin, Texas) and Neal Williams (35, Arlington, Texas) – Best friends who met on the golf course, Garcia and Williams come from two different backgrounds and have overcome incredible odds off the golf course.

 The Twins

Anthony and Nick Capra (23, Advance, N.C.) – Twin brothers and recent graduates from the Professional Golf Management program at North Carolina State University, Anthony and Nick Capra are exactly alike and completely different at the same time. Both took up golf at the same time as kids, and know each other’s games inside and out. 

KRISTEN KENNEY TO HOST: NBC Sports pit reporter for the Red Bull Global RallyCross series, Kristen Kenney will host the inaugural season of Altered Course.

GRAND PRIZE: The teams are playing for more than $100,000 in cash and prizes.  The winning team of Altered Course Montego Bay will receive the following:

  • $15,000 in cash from Skechers GO GOLF and Skechers footwear for life.
  • $10,000 in cash from MusclePharm and a trip to MusclePharm’s Sports Science Institute.
  • A five-day, four-night stay at any Hyatt Zilara or Hyatt Ziva all-inclusive resort.
  • Free golf for life from GolfNow
  • $25,000 in cash

SERIES INAUGURAL SEASON AND HOST COURSES: Altered Course’s inaugural season takes place in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Filming commenced in February at the all-new Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall and Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall Resort, with the competition staged at two of Montego Bay’s premier courses, White Witch and Cinnamon Hill.  Altered Course Montego Bay presented by Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva will air for eight consecutive Mondays, concluding Monday, August 3.

ABOUT GOLF CHANNEL

Golf Channel is a multimedia, golf entertainment and services company based in Orlando, Fla. Serving the most-affluent audience in all of television, Golf Channel – co-founded by Arnold Palmer in 1995 and now part of NBC Sports Group – is available in more than 200 million homes in 81 countries and 11 languages around the world. Exclusive partnerships with the world’s top tours allow Golf Channel to feature more live golf coverage than all other networks combined, as well as a programming schedule distinguished by golf’s highest-quality news, instruction and original content. Golf Channel’s digital platforms, headed by GolfChannel.com, are the leading golf destinations on the Internet, delivering unmatched coverage of the world of golf. Fans are able to enjoy 24/7 live streaming of Golf Channel content through Golf Live Extra and select programming is simulcast via SiriusXM’s PGA TOUR Radio. In addition, Golf Channel connects the world to golf through a wide array of digital and lifestyle services including Golf Channel Mobile, a comprehensive app covering golf’s latest headlines, scores and analysis; GolfNow, the world’s largest online tee time booking platform and golf course technology partner, which includes the GolfNow Mobile App, featuring on-course GPS tracking, in-round scoring and game tracking; GolfAdvisor.com, a golf course ratings and review portal for golfers, by golfers; a North American network of  Golf Channel Academy instructional facilities; and Golf Channel Am Tour, the world’s largest amateur golf tour.

 

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McIlroy gets back on track

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 21, 2018, 3:10 pm

There’s only one way to view Rory McIlroy’s performance at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship:

He is well ahead of schedule.

Sure, McIlroy is probably disappointed that he couldn’t chase down Ross Fisher (and then Tommy Fleetwood) on the final day at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. But against a recent backdrop of injuries and apathy, his tie for third was a resounding success. He reasserted himself, quickly, and emerged 100 percent healthy.

“Overall, I’m happy,” he said after finishing at 18-under 270, four back of Fleetwood. “I saw some really, really positive signs. My attitude, patience and comfort level were really good all week.”

To fully appreciate McIlroy’s auspicious 2018 debut, consider his state of disarray just four months ago. He was newly married. Nursing a rib injury. Breaking in new equipment. Testing another caddie. His only constant was change. “Mentally, I wasn’t in a great place,” he said, “and that was because of where I was physically.”

And so he hit the reset button, taking the longest sabbatical of his career, a three-and-a-half-month break that was as much psychological as physical. He healed his body and met with a dietician, packing five pounds of muscle onto his already cut frame. He dialed in his TaylorMade equipment, shoring up a putting stroke and wedge game that was shockingly poor for a player of his caliber. Perhaps most importantly, he cleared his cluttered mind, cruising around Italy with wife Erica in a 1950s Mercedes convertible.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


After an intense buildup to his season debut, McIlroy was curious about the true state of his game, about how he’d stack up when he finally put a scorecard in his hand. It didn’t take him long to find out. 

Playing the first two rounds alongside Dustin Johnson – the undisputed world No. 1 who was fresh off a blowout victory at Kapalua – McIlroy beat him by a shot. Despite a 103-day competitive layoff, he played bogey-free for 52 holes. And he put himself in position to win, trailing by one heading into the final round. Though Fleetwood blew away the field with a back-nine 30 to defend his title, McIlroy collected his eighth top-5 in his last nine appearances in Abu Dhabi.

“I know it’s only three months,” he said, “but things change, and I felt like maybe I needed a couple of weeks to get back into the thought process that you need to get into for competitive golf. I got into that pretty quickly this week, so that was the most pleasing thing.”

The sense of relief afterward was palpable. McIlroy is entering his 11th full year as a pro, and deep down he likely realizes 2018 is shaping up as his most important yet.

The former Boy Wonder is all grown up, and his main challengers now are a freakish athlete (DJ) and a trio of players under 25 (Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm) who don’t lack for motivation or confidence. The landscape has changed significantly since McIlroy’s last major victory, in August 2014, and the only way he’ll be able to return to world No. 1 is to produce a sustained period of exceptional golf, like the rest of the game’s elite. (Based on average points, McIlroy, now ranked 11th, is closer to the bottom of the rankings, No. 1928, than to Johnson.)

But after years of near-constant turmoil, McIlroy, 28, finally seems ready to pursue that goal again. He is planning the heaviest workload of his career – as many as 30 events, including seven more starts before the Masters – and appears refreshed and reenergized, perhaps because this year, for the first time in a while, he is playing without distractions.

Not his relationships or his health. Not his equipment or his caddie or his off-course dealings.

Everything in his life is lined up.

Drama tends to follow one of the sport’s most captivating characters, but for now he can just play golf – lots and lots of golf. How liberating.

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Crocker among quartet of Open qualifiers in Singapore

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 2:20 pm

Former amateur standout Sean Crocker was among four players who qualified for the 147th Open via top-12 finishes this week at the Asian Tour's SMBC Singapore Open as part of the Open Qualifying Series.

Crocker had a strong college career at USC before turning pro late last year. The 21-year-old received an invitation into this event shortly thereafter, and he made the most of his appearance with a T-6 finish to net his first career major championship berth.

There were four spots available to those not otherwise exempt among the top 12 in Singapore, but winner Sergio Garcia and runners-up Shaun Norris and Satoshi Kodaira had already booked their tickets for Carnoustie. That meant that Thailand's Danthai Boonma and Jazz Janewattanond both qualified thanks to T-4 finishes.


Full-field scores from the Singapore Open


Crocker nabbed the third available qualifying spot, while the final berth went to Australia's Lucas Herbert. Herbert entered the week ranked No. 274 in the world and was the highest-ranked of the three otherwise unqualified players who ended the week in a tie for eighth.

The next event in the Open Qualifying Series will be in Japan at the Mizuno Open in May, when four more spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs. The 147th Open will be held July 19-22 in Carnoustie, Scotland.

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Got a second? Fisher a bridesmaid again

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 1:40 pm

Ross Fisher is in the midst of a career resurgence - he just doesn't have the hardware to prove it.

Fisher entered the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with a share of the lead, and as he made the turn he appeared in position to claim his first European Tour victory since March 2014. But he slowed just as Tommy Fleetwood caught fire, and when the final putt fell Fisher ended up alone in second place, two shots behind his fellow Englishman.

It continues a promising trend for Fisher, who at age 37 now has 14 career runner-up finishes and three in his last six starts dating back to October. He was edged by Tyrrell Hatton both at the Italian Open and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in the fall, and now has amassed nine worldwide top-10 finishes since March.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


Fisher took a big step toward ending his winless drought with an eagle on the par-5 second followed by a pair of birdies, and he stood five shots clear of Fleetwood with only nine holes to go. But while Fleetwood played Nos. 10-15 in 4 under, Fisher played the same stretch in 2 over and was unable to eagle the closing hole to force a playoff.

While Fisher remains in search of an elusive trophy, his world ranking has benefited from his recent play. The veteran was ranked outside the top 100 in the world as recently as September 2016, but his Abu Dhabi runner-up result is expected to move him inside the top 30 when the new rankings are published.

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McIlroy (T-3) notches another Abu Dhabi close call

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 1:08 pm

Rory McIlroy's trend of doing everything but hoist the trophy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is alive and well.

Making his first start since early October, McIlroy showed few signs of rust en route to a tie for third. Amid gusty winds, he closed with a 2-under 70 to finish the week at 18 under, four shots behind Tommy Fleetwood who rallied to win this event for the second consecutive year.

The result continues a remarkable trend for the Ulsterman, who has now finished third or better seven of the last eight years in Abu Dhabi - all while never winning the tournament. That stretch includes four runner-up finishes and now two straight T-3 results.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


McIlroy is entering off a disappointing 2017 in which he was injured in his first start and missed two chunks of time while trying to regain his health. He has laid out an ambitious early-season schedule, one that will include a trip to Dubai next week and eight worldwide tournament starts before he heads to the Masters.

McIlroy started the final round one shot off the lead, and he remained in contention after two birdies over his first four holes. But a bogey on No. 6 slowed his momentum, and McIlroy wasn't able to make a back-nine birdie until the closing hole, at which point the title was out of reach.