Golf Central Live From The Masters Headlines More Than 85 Hours of News, Features & Masters-Themed Programming on Golf Channel, April 3-10

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMarch 28, 2016, 3:20 pm

Former Masters Champions, Including Nicklaus, Watson and Crenshaw Expected to Join Golf Channel’s Live From The Masters Set Location at Augusta National

Compelling Features Include a Look at the Effect Down Under of Norman’s ’96 Collapse; the New Generation of “20-Somethings”; and Watson’s Masters Farewell

2016 Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals from Augusta National Golf Club on Sunday, April 3; Premiere of ’86 Documentary on Tuesday, April 5 at 9 p.m. ET

Masters Week begins on Sunday, April 3, with live coverage of the 2016 Drive, Chip & Putt Championship National Finals, followed on Monday with the start of the network’s Golf Central Live From the Masters signature coverage. In total, Golf Channel will offer more than 85 hours of live news and themed Masters programming from Augusta National Golf Club and Golf Channel’s World Headquarters in Orlando. Nearly 60 live hours will center around Golf Central Live From the Masters news coverage, focusing on emerging storylines, analysis, features and guest interviews.

Golf Central’s Live From the Masters

Beginning on Monday, April 4, Golf Central Live From the Masters will help prepare viewers for the first men’s major championship of the year with nearly 60 live hours throughout the week focusing on emerging storylines, analysis, features and guest interviews. Guests scheduled to appear throughout the week are former Masters champions Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Ben Crenshaw and Raymond Floyd.

Anchoring Live From the Masters coverage from Augusta National Golf Club will be Rich Lerner and Steve Sands, alongside Brandel Chamblee, David Duval, Frank Nobilo, Notah Begay, Mark Rolfing, and John Feinstein. Todd Lewis will conduct interviews and reports on-site, while Tim Rosaforte and Rex Hoggard will offer insider perspective throughout the week. Kelly Tilghman and Ryan Burr will anchor the network’s live coverage from Golf Channel’s World Headquarters in Orlando, with Arron Oberholser, Jim Gallagher Jr., Michael Breed and Tripp Isenhour providing analysis.

Live From the Masters Scheduled Features (previews available upon request):

  • New Generation of “20-Somethings” Making Their Mark – A new generation has quickly taken shape on the PGA TOUR, as Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler have led the charge of “20-somethings” carrying the sport into its next era.
  • The Collapse of ’96 Felt Down Under – Twenty years ago, Greg Norman’s historic collapse was felt around the world, but the pain felt in his native Australia was by far the greatest. Adam Scott reflects on the emotions he felt in watching his hero falter down the stretch, and how Scott’s win in 2013 helped heal the wound of a nation.
  • Spieth’s Unmatched Prowess on the Greens – Nearly universally labeled as the best putter on TOUR by his peers, Jordan Spieth’s success on the greens is given a closer examination through the eyes of a marksman, a dart thrower, an archer and the best shooter in NBA history.
  • Watson’s Masters Farewell – The 2016 Masters will be Tom Watsons’ 43rd and final as a player. John Feinstein sits down with the two-time Masters champion to discuss his finest moments at Augusta National, and what it will be like to drive down Magnolia Lane for the final time as a competitor.
  • The Origin of Jordan Spieth – 2015 Masters champion developed a comfort level for the big moment well before he donned the green jacket last April. Playing several sports as a kid growing up in Dallas, he developed a flair for staying composed in pressure situations even at a young age. Friends, former coaches, teachers, and teammates look back on the signs that Spieth was preparing for golf greatness long before the first time he put himself in contention on a major Sunday.

Drive, Chip & Putt Championship National Finals: Sunday, April 3

On Sunday, April 3, 80 junior golfers from across the U.S. and Canada will gather at Augusta National Golf Club to kick off Masters week with the 2016 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals, airing live on Golf Channel beginning at 8 a.m. ET. In partnership with the Masters Tournament, the USGA and the PGA of America, the youth golf initiative highlights the 40 boys and 40 girls who have emerged from this past year’s more than 300 qualifying events. At 8 a.m., a pre-game show will introduce viewers to the stories behind each of the finalists, which will be supplemented with a series of dedicated features offering a closer look at several competitors across the eight respective age groups (Boys/Girls 7-9; 10-11; 12-13 and 14-15). Beginning at 9 a.m. ET, coverage will shift to join the competition in progress with the individual Drive, Chip and Putt skills challenges across each age group. Rich Lerner will handle play-by-play duties with Peter Jacobsen joining him in the booth as lead analyst. Reporting from the Tournament Practice Area and alongside the 18th green will be Charlie Rymer, Kay Cockerill, Michael Breed and NBC Sports’ Sunday Night Football reporter, Michele Tafoya. Steve Sands also will conduct interviews on-site. Past Masters champions and Tournament Invitees are expected to arrive at Augusta National during the telecast, interacting with finalists and conducting interviews to discuss the value of the youth initiative in helping to grow the game.

’86 Documentary: Tuesday, April 5

Premiering on Tuesday, April 5 at 9 p.m. ET, Golf Channel Films will present ’86, chronicling Jack Nicklaus’ come-from-behind victory to secure his record 18th and final major in the 1986 Masters, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. The documentary will feature interviews with Nicklaus, his wife Barbara, their son Steve, daughter Nan, and oldest son, Jack II – who caddied for his father that week in 1986, – members of the broadcast team, fellow professionals, caddies, media members, volunteers and patrons present on that memorable Sunday.

For the film, Golf Channel invited fans to share their own accounts and memories of that fateful day via a “Where Was I?” page on for story submissions from those recounting their whereabouts as the action unfolded on Nicklaus’ final nine holes.

Morning Drive

Morning Drive will kick off each day of Masters Week with the latest news and commentary. Gary Williams, Charlie Rymer and Chris DiMarco will report live from Augusta National throughout the week, while Damon Hack, Cara Robinson, Lauren Thompson, John Cook, Phil Blackmar and Matt Ginella will be cover the latest news from Studio AP at Golf Channel’s World Headquarters in Orlando. Morning Drive will welcome a number of guests throughout the week to help viewers prepare for the first men’s major of the year, including Dr. Gio Valiante, who will discuss how those in the field go about mentally preparing for a major championship.

International Masters Week Programming

Golf Channel also will produce live international Masters news programming from its Orlando World Headquarters in both Japanese and Mandarin. The shows will feature live reports and custom content from Augusta throughout the week. These productions will complement the international distribution of Golf Central Live From the Masters, which is distributed to markets within Golf Channel’s worldwide footprint in more than 80 countries, 200 million households and 11 languages.

The Golf Fix, PGA TOUR Champions Learning Center:Monday, April 4

The Golf Fix will air on Monday, April 4 at 6 p.m. ET, and host Michael Breed will draw on his experience as an assistant pro at Augusta National to teach viewers how to attack the most difficult shots on the course. The show also will take a closer look at how Jordan Spieth conquered Augusta National in 2015, and what one can learn from his dominating performance. The episode also will focus on how to hit it higher in getting out of greenside bunkers, and how to putt on fast, undulating greens. And at 11:30 p.m. ET on Monday, April 4, a new episode of PGA TOUR Champions Learning Center will include formers Masters winners as guests with Mark O’Meara, Ian Woosnam, Bernhard Langer and Larry Mize joining host Dave Marr. The former champions of golf’s first major of the season will show viewers what they can learn from Jordan Spieth’s swing, and how it was effective in helping him earn a green jacket. And, they’ll share their own memories of Jack Nicklaus’ final Masters victory in 1986 in celebration of the 30 year anniversary of that memorable Sunday.

Digital Coverage will feature expanded coverage of the season’s first major, with Jay Coffin, Rex Hoggard, Ryan Lavner and Joe Posnanski reporting from on-site at Augusta National beginning with pre-event coverage on Saturday, April 2 and continuing through Sunday, April 10. Starting Thursday, April 7, will feature a live blog (7 a.m.-8 p.m. ET) featuring up-to-the-minute analysis, opinion and reaction to the latest news. Daily podcasts also will be featured on the site beginning Thursday, offering a wider spectrum on the day’s top storylines.


Masters Week Programming Air Times (all times ET):


Sunday, April 3

6-8 a.m.                       Morning Drive

8-9 a.m.                       Live From the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship

9 a.m.-1 p.m.              Drive, Chip & Putt Championship National Finals


Monday, April 4

7-9 a.m.                       Morning Drive

9 a.m.-1 p.m.               Drive, Chip & Putt Championship National Finals (Replay)

1-5 p.m.                       Golf Central Live From the Masters

5-6 p.m.                       Masters Highlights: 2014 (Bubba Watson)

6-7 p.m.                       The Golf Fix

7-9 p.m.                       Golf Central Live From the Masters

11:30 p.m.                   PGA TOUR Champions Learning Center


Tuesday, April 5

7-9 a.m.                       Morning Drive

9 a.m.-5 p.m.               Golf Central Live From the Masters

5-6 p.m.                       Masters Highlights: 1986 (Jack Nicklaus)

6-7 p.m.                       Masters Highlights: 1996 (Nick Faldo)

7-9 p.m.                       Golf Central Live From the Masters

9-10 p.m.                     ’86: Jack’s 6th Green Jacket


Wednesday, April 6

7-9 a.m.                       Morning Drive

9 a.m.-3 p.m.               Golf Central Live From the Masters

5-6 p.m.                       Masters Highlights: 2015 (Jordan Spieth)

6-9 p.m.                       Golf Central Live From the Masters


Thursday, April 7

6-8 a.m.                       Morning Drive

8 a.m.-3 p.m.               Golf Central Live From the Masters

7:30-9:30 p.m.             Golf Central Live From the Masters


Friday, April 8

6-8 a.m.                       Morning Drive

8 a.m.-3 p.m.               Golf Central Live From the Masters

7:30-9:30 p.m.             Golf Central Live From the Masters


Saturday, April 9

7-9 a.m.                       Morning Drive

9 a.m.-3 p.m.               Golf Central Live From the Masters

7-9 p.m.                       Golf Central Live From the Masters


Sunday, April 10

7-9 a.m.                       Morning Drive

9 a.m.-2 p.m.               Golf Central Live From the Masters

7-9 p.m.                       Golf Central Live From the Masters

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DJ: Kapalua win means nothing for Abu Dhabi

By Associated PressJanuary 17, 2018, 2:55 pm

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Dustin Johnson's recent victory in Hawaii doesn't mean much when it comes to this week's tournament.

The top-ranked American will play at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship for the second straight year. But this time he is coming off a victory at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, which he won by eight shots.

''That was two weeks ago. So it really doesn't matter what I did there,'' said Johnson, who finished runner-up to Tommy Fleetwood in Abu Dhabi last year. ''This is a completely new week and everybody starts at even par and so I've got to start over again.''

In 2017, the long-hitting Johnson put himself in contention despite only making one eagle and no birdies on the four par-5s over the first three rounds.

''The par 5s here, they are not real easy because they are fairly long, but dependent on the wind, I can reach them if I hit good tee balls,'' the 2016 U.S. Open champion said. ''Obviously, I'd like to play them a little better this year.''

The tournament will see the return of Paul Casey as a full member of the European Tour after being away for three years.

''It's really cool to be back. What do they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder? Quite cheesy, but no, really, really cool,'' said the 40-year-old Englishman, who is now ranked 14th in the world. ''When I was back at the Open Championship at Birkdale, just the reception there, playing in front of a home crowd, I knew this is something I just miss.''

The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship starts Thursday and also features former No. 1 Rory McIlroy, who is making a comeback after more than three months off.

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Kuchar joins European Tour as affiliate member

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 2:52 pm

Months after he nearly captured the claret jug, Matt Kuchar has made plans to play a bit more golf in Europe in 2018.

Kuchar is in the field this week at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told reporters in advance of the opening round that he has opted to join the European Tour as an affiliate member:

As an affiliate member, Kuchar will not have a required minimum number of starts to make. It's the same membership status claimed last year by Kevin Na and Jon Rahm, the latter of whom then became a full member and won two European Tour events in 2017.

Kuchar made six European Tour starts last year, including his runner-up performance at The Open. He finished T-4 at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in his lone European Tour start that wasn't co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour.

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Hot Seat: Rory jumps into the fire early

By Randall MellJanuary 17, 2018, 2:11 pm

The world’s top tours head to desert regions this week, perfect locales for The Hot Seat, the gauge upon which we measure the level of heat the game’s top personalities are facing ...

Sahara sizzle: Rory McIlroy

McIlroy won’t have to look far to see how his form measures up to world No. 1 Dustin Johnson at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

McIlroy will make his 2018 debut with Johnson in his face, literally.

McIlroy will be grouped with Johnson and Tommy Fleetwood in the first two rounds.

Players like to downplay pairings early in a tournament, but it’s hard to believe McIlroy and Johnson won’t be trying to send each other messages in this European Tour event in the United Arab Emirates. That’s the alpha-dog nature of world-class players looking to protect their turf, or in the case of McIlroy, take back his turf.

“When you are at the elite level, you are always trying to send a message,” Trevor Immelman said about pairings during Tiger Woods’ return at the Hero World Challenge last month.

And that was an offseason event.

“They want to show this guy, ‘This is what I got,’” Immelman said.

As early season matchups go, Abu Dhabi is a heavyweight pairing that ought to be fun.

So there will be no easing into the new year for McIlroy after taking off the last three months to regroup from the stubborn rib injury that plagued him last season. He is coming off a winless year, and he will be doing so alongside a guy who just won the first PGA Tour event of 2018 in an eight-shot rout. Johnson’s victory in Hawaii two weeks ago was his fifth since McIlroy last won.

“Mentally, I wasn’t in a great place, and that was because of where I was physically,” McIlroy said of 2017. “I feel prepared now. I feel ready, and I feel ready to challenge. I feel really good about where I’m at with my health. I’ve put all that behind me, which has been great.”

Sonoran Smolder: Phil Mickelson

Mickelson will turn 48 this summer.

His world ranking is sliding, down to No. 43 now, which is the lowest he has ranked in 24 years.

It’s been more than four years since he last won, making him 0 for his last 92 starts.

There’s motivation in all of that for Mickelson. He makes his 2018 debut at the CareerBuilder Challenge in the Palm Springs area this week talking like a man on a renewed mission.

There’s a Ryder Cup team to make this season, which would be his 12th straight, and there’s a career Grand Slam to claim, with the U.S. Open returning to Shinnecock Hills, where Mickelson finished second in ’04.

While Mickelson may not feel old, there are so many young stars standing in his way that it’s hard not to be constantly reminded that time isn’t on his side in these events anymore.

There has only been one player in the history of the game to win a major championship who was older than Mickelson is right now. Julius Boros won the PGA Championship when he was 48 back in 1968.

Campaign fever: Jordan Spieth

Spieth’s respect in the game’s ranks extends outside the ropes.

He was just selected to run for the PGA Tour Player Advisory Council’s chairman position. He is facing Billy Hurley III in an election to see who will succeed Davis Love III on the Tour’s Policy Board next year.

Spieth, just 24, has already made Time Magazine’s list of the “100 Most Influential People.” He made that back in 2016, with the magazine writing that “he exemplifies everything that’s great about sports.” Sounds like a campaign slogan.

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CareerBuilder Challenge: Tee times, TV schedule, stats

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 1:10 pm

The PGA Tour shifts from Hawaii to Southern California for the second full-field event of the year. Here are the key stats and information for the CareerBuilder Challenge. Click here for full-field tee times.

How to watch (all rounds on Golf Channel):

Thursday, Rd. 1: 3-7PM ET; live stream:

Friday, Rd. 2: 3-7PM ET; live stream:

Saturday, Rd. 3: 3-7PM ET; live stream:

Sunday, Rd. 4: 3-7PM ET; live stream:

Purse: $5.9 million ($1,062,000 to winner)

Courses: PGA West, Stadium Course, La Quinta, Calif. (72-7,113); PGA West, Nicklaus Tournament Course, La Quinta, Calif. (72-7,159); La Quinta Country Club, La Quinta, Calif. (72-7,060) NOTE: All three courses will be used for the first three rounds but only the Stadium Course will be used for the final round.

Defending champion: Hudson Swafford (-20) - defeated Adam Hadwin by one stroke to earn his first PGA Tour win.

Notables in the field

Phil Mickelson

* This is his first start of 2018. It's the fourth consecutive year he has made this event the first one on his yearly calendar.

* For the second year in a row he will serve as the tournament's official ambassador.

* He has won this event twice - in 2002 and 2004.

* This will be his 97th worldwide start since his most recent win, The Open in 2013.

Jon Rahm

* Ranked No. 3 in the world, he finished runner-up in the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

* In 37 worldwide starts as a pro, he has 14 top-5 finishes.

* Last year he finished T-34 in this event.

Adam Hadwin

* Last year in the third round, he shot 59 at La Quinta Country Club. It was the ninth - and still most recent - sub-60 round on Tour.

* In his only start of 2018, the Canadian finished 32nd in the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

Brian Harman

* Only player on the PGA Tour with five top-10 finishes this season.

* Ranks fifth in greens in regulation this season.

* Finished third in the Sentry Tournament of Champions and T-4 in the Sony Open in Hawaii.

Brandt Snedeker

* Making only his third worldwide start since last June at the Travelers Championship. He has been recovering from a chest injury.

* This is his first start since he withdrew from the Indonesian Masters in December because of heat exhaustion.

* Hasn't played in this event since missing the cut in 2015.

Patrick Reed

* Earned his first career victory in this event in 2014, shooting three consecutive rounds of 63.

* This is his first start of 2018.

* Last season finished seventh in strokes gained: putting, the best ranking of his career.

(Stats provided by the Golf Channel editorial research unit.)