Golf Channel to Deliver More Than 30 Hours of News and Tournament Coverage of the 2016 East Lake Cup, Mon-Wed, Oct. 31-Nov. 2

By Golf Channel Public RelationsOctober 26, 2016, 5:20 pm

Nation’s Current Top-Ranked Programs (Vanderbilt Men and UCLA Women); Reigning NCAA National Champions (Oregon Men and Washington Women); and Nation’s Top-Ranked Amateurs Headline Elite Field of Golf’s Future Stars

Eight of the Nation’s Top Programs to Compete in Expanded Three Days of Competition at Renowned East Lake Golf Club

Men: Oregon, Texas, Illinois and Vanderbilt

Women: Washington, Stanford, UCLA, Duke

Free General Admission and Public Parking for the East Lake Cup;

School Mascots in Attendance on Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 31-Nov. 1

Website: East Lake Cup

 

Eight of the nation’s top-ranked golf programs will convene to compete in the second-annual East Lake Cup presented by Hewlett Packard Enterprise collegiate match play championship, Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 31- Nov. 2 at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Ga., airing live on Golf Channel and benefitting the East Lake Foundation.

The elite eight team field will be headlined by the two reigning NCAA national champions (Oregon men and Washington women); the two current top-ranked programs in the country (Vanderbilt men and UCLA women); and the 2015 East Lake Cup men’s champions, Illinois. The field also will feature the top ranked collegiate golfers in the country, including Oregon’s Wyndham Clark and Stanford’s Andrea Lee [based on Golfstat and Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings].

PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS: The men’s division of the East Lake Cup will include the 2016 reigning NCAA National Champions University of Oregon; runner-up University of Texas; the 2015 East Lake Cup champion University of Illinois, coming off a school-record nine-tournament-win season; and Vanderbilt University, currently the top-ranked program in the country with three top-five finishes – including one win – thus far in the 2016-17 season.

The women’s division will feature all four teams from the 2016 NCAA National Championship semifinals, headlined by reigning national champions University of Washington; 2016 runner-up and 2015 national champions Stanford University; three-time national champions and current top-ranked program in the country, University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA); and six-time national champions Duke University.

EXPANDED FORMAT FOR 2016: The East Lake Cup will expand to three days of live tournament action, following a format from the NCAA men’s and women’s Golf National Championships. On Monday, Oct. 31, the eight teams will compete in individual stroke play competitions to determine the individual champions and to seed for two days of match-play competition. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 1-2, two match-play tournaments will be hosted simultaneously for the men’s and women’s divisions, with the semifinals taking place on Tuesday and the finals and consolation matches on Wednesday.

Teams for the East Lake Cup will compete on the championship golf course at East Lake Golf Club, home of the TOUR Championship, the season-ending event of the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs. The East Lake Cup benefits the East Lake Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to helping families build better lives and children reach their highest potential through its holistic approach to community revitalization incorporating mixed-income housing, cradle-to-college education and community wellness. The inaugural East Lake Cup, in association with presenting sponsor Hewlett Packard Enterprise and associate sponsors BMW, CSX and Rolex, raised $475,000 for the East Lake Foundation.

GOLF CHANNEL NEWS AND TOURNAMENT COVERAGE: Live tournament coverage of the East Lake Cup will air on Golf Channel from 3-6 p.m. ET each day and will replay in primetime. In addition, Golf Central and Morning Drive will be live and on-site at East Lake, surrounding live tournament coverage with pre- and post-event news coverage.

GOLF CHANNEL BROADCAST TEAMS: Golf Channel’s on-air team for the East Lake Cup will feature Hall-of-Famer Lanny Wadkins as lead analyst and Bob Papa as play-by-play host. Curt Byrum and Steve Burkowski will serve as hole announcers, with Notah Begay, Billy Ray Brown and Kay Cockerill reporting from the course. Lisa Cornwell and Charlie Rymer will host Golf Central, with Paige Mackenzie hosting Morning Drive. Chantel McCabe and Golf Channel Digital senior writer Ryan Lavner will report for both Golf Central and Morning Drive throughout the week.

DIGITAL COVERAGE: Golf Channel Digital senior writer Ryan Lavner will report on-site from East Lake with daily reports, blogs and features. News and tournament coverage will be streamed live on Golf Live Extra. Complete information on the East Lake Cup can be found on the tournament website here. Fans also can stay connected with the championship on social media using the hashtag #EastLakeCup.

Golf Channel East Lake Cup News / Tournament Coverage (live, all times ET)

Monday, Oct. 31         Morning Drive                                                7-9 a.m.

Monday, Oct. 31         Golf Central Pre Game                                   2-3 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 31         Individual Stroke Play Championship        3-6 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 31         Golf Central                                                    6-7 p.m.

 

Tuesday, Nov. 1          Morning Drive                                                7-9 a.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 1          Golf Central Pre Game                                   2-3 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 1          Semifinals, Match Play                                 3-6 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 1          Golf Central                                                    6-7 p.m.

 

Wednesday, Nov. 2    Morning Drive                                                7-9 a.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 2    Golf Central Pre Game                                   2-3 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 2    Finals, Match Play                                        3-6 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 2    Golf Central                                                    6-7 p.m.

TOM COUSINS AWARD PRESENTATION, SATURDAY, OCT. 29: The East Lake Cup features the presentation of the Tom Cousins Award, an annual recognition of an outstanding male and female golfer who exemplify the values of the East Lake Foundation: excels in academics, engagement in his or her community and overcomes adversity. The 2016 Tom Cousins Award presentation will take place at the East Lake Cup Celebration Saturday night, Oct. 29 at the College Football Hall of Fame. This award is named after Tom Cousins, founder of the East Lake Foundation, which transformed a community in despair into a thriving neighborhood, now a national model for community redevelopment through Purpose Built Communities. Baylor’s Laura Lonardi and Illinois’ Alex Burge were the first recipients of the Tom Cousins Award.

FEATURES:

  • Illinois’ Dylan Meyer’s rise to become one of the world’s top amateurs Illinois junior Dylan Meyer had a breakout summer, capturing the 2016 Western Amateur and the Tri-State Amateur championships to position himself among the top amateur players in the world.
  • UCLA’s Bronte Law, the LPGA’s next superstar -- To find the next LPGA superstar in the wings, a good place to look is to the reigning NCAA player of the year and the 2016 Annika Award winner, UCLA senior Bronte Law.
  • Duke’s Leona Maguire, 2016 Olympian – Leona Maguire was one of three collegiate golfers to have an opportunity to represent their country in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Duke junior reflects on her trip to Rio that she shared with her twin sister, Lisa.
  • 2016 Men’s National Champions Oregon –The 2016 NCAA Men’s Championship was a storybook finish for host school Oregon. Golf Channel takes a look back at the dramatic conclusion between Oregon and Texas in June in Eugene, Ore., where Oregon captured its first national championship.
  • 2016 Women’s National Champions Washington –In one of the most dramatic finishes of the year in women’s golf – professional or amateur – Golf Channel will look back at the exciting championship between Washington and Stanford, where Washington won its first national championship in school history.
  • East Lake Foundation and History of East Lake Golf Club –East Lake Golf Club’s rich history and legacy was overshadowed by the deterioration of the community in the late 1980’s-1990’s. Golf Channel takes a look at the vision of Tom Cousins and the East Lake Foundation’s revitalization of the East Lake Community, which today is a benchmark for Purposed Built Communities currently in development nationwide.

MASCOTS TO INTERACT WITH FANS AT EAST LAKE CUP: The mascots for the respective universities will be in attendance at East Lake Golf Club on Monday, Oct. 31 and Tuesday, Nov. 1, interacting with fans and participating in Golf Channel’s news and tournament coverage. In addition, Northern Illinois’ mascot – the host school for the 2017 NCAA Division I Golf Championships – will be on-site at East Lake Golf Club.

FREE GENERAL ADMISSION FOR EAST LAKE CUP: General admission and parking for the East Lake Cup is free and open to the public. Complimentary tickets are available here and free parking is located at the Charles R. Drew Charter School: 301 East Lake Blvd., Atlanta, Ga. Shuttle service will be provided to and from East Lake Golf Club.

Open Qualifying Series kicks off with Aussie Open

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 21, 2017, 4:24 pm

The 147th Open is nearly eight months away, but there are still major championship berths on the line this week in Australia.

The Open Qualifying Series kicks off this week, a global stretch of 15 event across 10 different countries that will be responsible for filling 46 spots in next year's field at Carnoustie. The Emirates Australian Open is the first event in the series, and the top three players among the top 10 who are not otherwise exempt will punch their tickets to Scotland.

In addition to tournament qualifying opportunities, the R&A will also conduct four final qualifying events across Great Britain and Ireland on July 3, where three spots will be available at each site.

Here's a look at the full roster of tournaments where Open berths will be awarded:

Emirates Australian Open (Nov. 23-26): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

Joburg Open (Dec. 7-10): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

SMBC Singapore Open (Jan. 18-21): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 12 and ties

Mizuno Open (May 24-27): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 12 and ties

HNA Open de France (June 28-July 1): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

The National (June 28-July 1): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 12 and ties

Dubai Duty Free Irish Open (July 5-8): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

The Greenbrier Classic (July 5-8): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open (July 12-15): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

John Deere Classic (July 12-15): Top player (not otherwise exempt) among top five and ties

Stock Watch: Lexi, Justin rose or fall this week?

By Ryan LavnerNovember 21, 2017, 2:36 pm

Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

RISING

Jon Rahm (+9%): Just imagine how good he’ll be in the next few years, when he isn’t playing all of these courses for the first time. With no weaknesses in his game, he’s poised for an even bigger 2018.

Austin Cook (+7%): From Monday qualifiers to Q-School to close calls on the Web.com, it hasn’t been an easy road to the big leagues. Well, he would have fooled us, because it looked awfully easy as the rookie cruised to a win in just his 14th Tour start.

Ariya (+6%): Her physical tools are as impressive as any on the LPGA, and if she can shore up her mental game – she crumbled upon reaching world No. 1 – then she’ll become the world-beater we always believed she could be.  

Tommy Fleetwood (+4%): He ran out of gas in Dubai, but no one played better on the European Tour this year than Fleetwood, Europe’s new No. 1, who has risen from 99th to 18th in the world.   

Lexi (+1%): She has one million reasons to be pleased with her performance this year … but golf fans are more likely to remember the six runners-up and two careless mistakes (sloppy marking at the ANA and then a yippy 2-footer in the season finale) that cost her a truly spectacular season.


FALLING

J-Rose (-1%): Another high finish in Dubai, but his back-nine 38, after surging into the lead, was shocking. It cost him not just the tournament title, but also the season-long race.  

Hideki (-2%): After getting blown out at the Dunlop Phoenix, he made headlines by saying there’s a “huge gap” between he and winner Brooks Koepka. Maybe something was lost in translation, but Matsuyama being too hard on himself has been a familiar storyline the second half of the year. For his sake, here’s hoping he loosens up.

Golf-ball showdown (-3%): Recent comments by big-name stars and Mike Davis’ latest salvo about the need for a reduced-flight ball could set up a nasty battle between golf’s governing bodies and manufacturers.

DL3 (-4%): Boy, the 53-year-old is getting a little too good at rehab – in recent years, he has overcome a neck fusion, foot injury, broken collarbone and displaced thumb. Up next is hip-replacement surgery.

LPGA Player of the Year (-5%): Sung Hyun Park and So Yeon Ryu tied for the LPGA’s biggest prize, with 162 points. How is there not a tiebreaker in place, whether it’s scoring average or best major performance? Talk about a buzzkill.

Titleist's Uihlein fires back at Davis over distance

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 21, 2017, 12:59 am

Consider Titleist CEO Wally Uihlein unmoved by Mike Davis' comments about the evolution of the golf ball – and unhappy.

In a letter to the Wall Street Journal, the outlet which first published Davis' comments on Sunday, Uihlein took aim at the idea that golf ball distance gains are hurting the sport by providing an additional financial burden to courses.

"Is there any evidence to support this canard … the trickle-down cost argument?” he wrote (via Golf.com). “Where is the evidence to support the argument that golf course operating costs nationwide are being escalated due to advances in equipment technology?"

Pointing the blame elsewhere, Uihlein criticized the choices and motivations of modern architects.

"The only people that seem to be grappling with advances in technology and physical fitness are the short-sighted golf course developers and the supporting golf course architectural community who built too many golf courses where the notion of a 'championship golf course' was brought on line primarily to sell real estate," he wrote.

The Titleist CEO even went as far as to suggest that Tiger Woods' recent comments that "we need to do something about the golf ball" were motivated by the business interersts of Woods' ball sponsor, Bridgestone.

"Given Bridgestone’s very small worldwide market share and paltry presence in professional golf, it would seem logical they would have a commercial motive making the case for a reduced distance golf ball," he added.

Acushnet Holdings, Titleist's parent company, announced in September that Uihlein would be stepping down as the company's CEO at the end of this year but that he will remain on the company's board of directors.

Class of 2011: The groups before The Group

By Mercer BaggsNovember 20, 2017, 9:00 pm

We’ve been grouping things since the beginning, as in The Beginning, when God said this is heaven and this is earth, and you’re fish and you’re fowl.

God probably wasn’t concerned with marketing strategies at the time and how #beastsoftheearth would look with a hashtag, but humans have evolved into such thinking (or not evolved, depending on your thinking).

We now have all manner of items lumped into the cute, the catchy and the kitschy. Anything that will capture our attention before the next thing quickly wrests said attention away.

Modern focus, in a group sense in the golf world, is on the Class of 2011. This isn’t an arbitrary assembly of players based on world ranking or current form. It’s not a Big Pick A Number.

There’s an actual tie that binds as it takes a specific distinction to be part of the club. It’s a group of 20-somethings who graduated from high school in the aforementioned year, many who have a PGA Tour card, a handful of who have PGA Tour wins, and a couple of who have major titles.

It’s a deep and talented collective, one for which our knowledge should continue to expand as resumes grow.

Do any “classes” in golf history compare? Well, it’s not like we’ve long been lumping successful players together based on when they completed their primary education. But there are other notable groups of players, based primarily on birthdate, relative competition and accomplishment.

Here’s a few on both the men’s and women’s side:

BORN IN 1912

Birthdate Player PGA Tour wins Major wins
Feb. 4, 1912 Byron Nelson 52 5
May 27, 1912 Sam Snead 82 7
Aug. 13, 1912 Ben Hogan 64 9

Born six months within one another. Only a threesome, but a Hall of Fame trio that combined for 198 PGA Tour wins and 21 majors.


BORN IN 1949

Birthdate Player PGA Tour wins Major wins
Sept. 4, 1949 Tom Watson 39 8
Dec. 5, 1949 Lanny Wadkins 21 1
Dec. 9, 1949 Tom Kite 19 1

Only 96 days separate these three Hall of Fame players. Extend the reach into March of 1950 and you'll get two-time U.S. Open winner Andy North.


BORN IN 1955

Birthdate Player PGA Tour wins Major wins
Jan. 30, 1955 Curtis Strange 17 2
Jan. 30, 1955 Payne Stewart 11 3
Feb. 10, 1955 Greg Norman 20 2

Another trio of Hall of Fame players. Strange and Stewart were born on the same day with Norman 11 days later. Fellow PGA Tour winners born in 1955: Scott Simpson, Scott Hoch and Loren Roberts.


WITHIN A CALENDAR YEAR, 1956-57

Birthdate Player LPGA wins Major wins
Feb. 22, 1956 Amy Alcott 29 5
Oct. 14, 1956 Beth Daniel 33 1
Oct. 27, 1956 Patty Sheehan 35 6
Jan. 6, 1957 Nancy Lopez 48 3

A little arbitrary here, but go with it. Four Hall of Famers on the women's side, all born within one year of each other. That's an average (!) career of 36 tour wins and nearly four majors.


EUROPE'S BIG 5

Birthdate Player Euro (PGA Tour) wins Major wins
April 9, 1957 Seve Ballesteros 50 (9) 5
July 18, 1957 Nick Faldo 30 (9) 6
Aug. 27, 1957 Bernhard Langer 42 (3) 2
Feb. 9, 1958 Sandy Lyle 18 (6) 2
March 2, 1958 Ian Woosnam 29 (2) 1

The best 'class' of players Europe has to offer. Five born within a year of one another. Five Hall of Fame members. Five who transformed and globalized European golf.


WITHIN A CALENDAR YEAR, 1969-70

Birthdate Player PGA Tour wins Major wins
Sept. 12, 1969 Angel Cabrera 3 2
Oct. 17, 1969 Ernie Els 19 4
May 12, 1970 Jim Furyk 17 1
May 12, 1970 Mike Weir 8 1
June 16, 1970 Phil Mickelson 42 5

Not a tight-knit group, but a little more global bonding in accordance to the PGA Tour's increased international reach. Add in worldwide wins – in excess of 200 combined – and this group is even more impressive.


BORN IN 1980

Birthdate Player PGA Tour wins Major wins
Jan. 9, 1980 Sergio Garcia 10 1
July 16, 1980 Adam Scott 13 1
July 30, 1980 Justin Rose 8 1

Could be three future Hall of Fame members here.

Editor's note: Golf Channel's editorial research unit contributed.