Golf Channel Masters Week Coverage to Feature More than 80 Live Hours of News, Analysis & Highlights

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMarch 31, 2015, 6:20 pm

Masters Week Kicks Off Sunday With Five Hours of Live Coverage of the 2015 Drive, Chip & Putt Championship National Finals from Augusta National Golf Club 

Masters Greats, Including Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Ben Crenshaw, Tom Watson and Raymond Floyd Expected to Join the Live From the Masters Set During the Week 

Compelling Features Include an Intimate Portrait of Masters Defending Champion Bubba Watson’s Family Life; the Rise of Rory McIlroy; Tiger’s Dramatic – and Last – Masters Win in 2005; the Lore of Augusta National’s Famous 12th Hole; and More Also Providing News, Features, Perspective and Analysis; Plus Video Reports from On-Air Personalities and Writers From Augusta  

Coverage Culminates by Remembering Ben Crenshaw’s Special Relationship with the Masters in Golf Channel Films’ Premiere of Ben Crenshaw: A Walk Through Augusta, Monday, April 13 at 10 p.m. ET

Masters Week begins on Sunday, April 5, with live coverage of the 2015 Drive, Chip & Putt Championship National Finals followed on Monday with the start of the network’s Golf Central Live From the Masters signature coverage. This year, Golf Channel will offer more than 80 total hours of live news and themed Masters programming from Augusta National Golf Club and Golf Channel’s World Headquarters in Orlando. The week will be capped on Monday, April 13, with the premiere of Ben Crenshaw: A Walk Through Augusta, the latest production by Emmy-nominated Golf Channel Films, which debuted the award-winning Arnie after last year’s Masters.

Drive, Chip & Putt Championship National Finals

On the eve of the Masters Tournament, 80 national finalists – representing boys and girls from across the U.S. and Canada – will experience a thrill of a lifetime by competing at Augusta National Golf Club in the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship National Finals. Golf Channel will feature five hours of live coverage of the event, including an hour-long pre-game show at 8 a.m. ET followed by four hours of live competition beginning at 9 a.m. ET. The Drive, Chip & Putt Championship is a free, nationwide youth golf development open to boys and girls competing in separate skills divisions (driving, chipping, putting) in four age categories (7-9, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15). Rich Lerner will provide play-by-play commentary, with Peter Jacobsen as lead analyst. Reporting from the field of competition will be Michael Breed, Charlie Rymer, Kay Cockerill, Steve Sands and Jimmy Roberts. Profiles on several of the national finalists will continue to air on Golf Channel leading up to the event.

Golf Central’s Live From the Masters

Golf Channel’s signature news coverage of golf’s biggest events will dominate the network’s programming schedule during Masters Week with more than 50 live hours featured throughout the day and in primetime. Anchoring Live From the Masters coverage from Augusta National Golf Club will be Rich Lerner, Brandel Chamblee, Frank Nobilo, Notah Begay, David Duval, Steve Sands, Mark Rolfing, Tim Rosaforte and Todd Lewis. Reporting from Golf Channel’s World Headquarters in Orlando will be Kelly Tilghman, Ryan Burr, Arron Oberholser, Tripp Isenhour and Jim Gallagher Jr.

Other guests scheduled to appear throughout the week include Masters champions Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Raymond Floyd and Ben Crenshaw, who will be playing in his last Masters and has been a guest on Live From the Masters since 2009.

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

  • Family Man – John Feinstein provides an inside look at how the golfer, Bubba Watson, became a family man.
  • Rory’s Rise – Steve Sands follows the story of Rory McIlroy’s rise to World No. 1, highlighted by an in-depth interview with McIlroy, as well as commentary by journalists who cover the game, including Golf Digest’s Jaime Diaz and the BBC’s Steve Watson.
  • The Grand Slam – Achieving the modern-day Grand Slam is most improbable for most professional golfers. But capturing all four major championships during the span of a career may be an aspiration for some. What is it about the elusive Grand Slam that captures our attention? Rich Lerner reports.
  • Gentle Ben – As a companion to Golf Channel Films’ Ben Crenshaw: A Walk Through Augusta, this feature covers Crenshaw’s last Masters and the special relationship he has had with Augusta National throughout his career.
  • The 12th – August National’s 12th hole, Golden Bell, has proven pivotal throughout the history of the Masters. Players and journalists will discuss what makes this hole so special and recall memorable moments.
  • Green Jacket Stories – Not unlike Lord Stanley’s Cup, a Masters Green Jacket can travel the world with its reigning champion. George Savaricas explores some of the best Green Jacket stories in history, with details about where it’s been and some of the ways it’s been showed off by its recipients.
  • Tiger 10 Years Later – It’s been 10 years since Tiger Woods won his fourth and final Masters, with a dramatic, playoff win over Chris DiMarco. During the intervening years, Woods has endured challenging times on and off the golf course. Rich Lerner remembers just how impressive Tiger was, and how he might regain the form that made him the most impressive athlete of his generation. Included are interviews with DiMarco, Michael Jordan and NFL Hall-of-Fame wide receiver Cris Carter.
  • Closer LookLive From the Masters also will feature sit-down profiles with:
    • Rickie Fowler – yet to nab the big one, Fowler talks about getting tougher on the course and adopting a killer instinct that may lead him to his first major championship victory.
    • Jordan Spieth – find out what he learned from his near miss at last year’s Masters.
    • Jason Day – frequently on the cusp of a major championship, Day talks about his game and relationship with caddie Col Swatton.

Morning Drive

Morning Drive will kick off each morning of Masters Week with the latest news and commentary. Analysts Charlie Rymer and Chris DiMarco will be reporting live from Augusta National throughout the week. And Gary Williams, Damon Hack, Cara Robinson, Lauren Thompson and John Cook will be getting the day started from Studio AP at Golf Channel’s World Headquarters.

Crenshaw: A Walk Through Augusta

Throughout a Hall-of-Fame career, Ben Crenshaw’s special relationship with the Masters and Augusta National Golf Club is what he has held most dear. Golf Channel Films provides a life retrospective in Crenshaw: A Walk Through Augusta, premiering Monday, April 13 at 10 p.m. ET. Featuring interviews with family, friends and fellow pros – and behind-the-scenes footage with Crenshaw – the film also features rarely seen home movies and highlights of Crenshaw’s ’84 and ’95 Masters victories, punctuated by emotional stories of relationships with late teacher Harvey Penick and caddie Carl Jackson.

The Golf Fix: Conquering Augusta National

Hosted by 2012 PGA Professional Teacher of the Year Michael Breed, The Golf Fix will air on Monday, April 6 at 6 p.m. ET and focus on how players in the Masters field can prepare for Augusta National Golf Club. Featured within the show: the keys to playing Augusta National’s par-5s, the proper trajectory for hitting out of Augusta’s greenside bunkers, and how to putt on the course’s fast-breaking greens.

Digital Coverage will feature expanded coverage from its team of writers on-site in Augusta. Content will include news reports, feature stories and exclusive video from reporters and Golf Channel on-air personalities.


Masters Week Programming Air Times (all times ET):

Sunday, April 5

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

3-5 p.m.                       Drive, Chip & Putt Championship National Finals (replay, subject to change per live tournament coverage)

Monday, April 6

7-9 a.m.                       Morning Drive

9 a.m.-1 p.m.               Drive, Chip & Putt Championship National Finals (replay, subject to change per news conference schedule)

1-5 p.m.                       Live From the Masters

5-6 p.m.                       Masters Highlights: 2005-Tiger Woods

6-7 p.m.                       The Golf Fix

7-8:30 p.m.                  Live From the Masters

Tuesday, April 7

7-9 a.m.                       Morning Drive

9 a.m.-6 p.m.               Live From the Masters

7-9 p.m.                       Live From the Masters

Wednesday, April 8

7-9 a.m.                       Morning Drive

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

6-9 p.m.                       Live From the Masters

Thursday, April 9

6-8 a.m.                       Morning Drive

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

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

Friday, April 10

6-8 a.m.                       Morning Drive

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

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

Saturday, April 11

6-9:30 a.m.                  Morning Drive

9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.          Live From the Masters

7-9 p.m.                       Live From the Masters

Sunday, April 12

6-9:30 a.m.                  Morning Drive

9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.          Live From the Masters

7-9 p.m.                       Live From the Masters

Monday, April 13

10-11 p.m.                   Ben Crenshaw: A Walk Through Augusta

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Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

"A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

"If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

"I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

"It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

"It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

"I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

"If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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LPGA lists April date for new LA event

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.