Golf Channel Posts Fourth Straight Quarter of Increasing Viewership Growth

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMarch 30, 2016, 6:55 pm

Golf Channel continues to build upon its momentum with four consecutive quarters posting year-over-year growth.  Golf Channel’s first quarter in 2016 was up +15% vs. 2015 for viewership, building upon last year’s increasing growth in second quarter of +3%, third quarter of +8%, and fourth quarter of +13%. For 24-hour Total Day (6AM-6AM), 110,000 average viewers per minute were tuned into Golf Channel in the first quarter, representing the 15% year-over-year increase, as well as a 19% increase with people 25-54 (31,000), according to data released by The Nielsen Company.

 NBC’s PGA TOUR coverage is off to a strong start in 2016 with average viewership +32% and people 25-54 +31%. Through 12 broadcasts, NBC is averaging 2.64 million average viewers and 657,000 people 25-54.*

Golf Channel’s first quarter highlights include:

  • Golf Channel’s live golf coverage peaked in first quarter with 1.8 million average viewers on Sunday afternoon during the semifinals of the WGC-Dell Match Play and coverage averaged 1.1 million viewers, the best at this event since 2008.
  • PGA TOUR live coverage on Golf Channel is +4% YOY (483,000 average viewers), +9% with P25-54 (101,000 average viewers)  
  • Golf Channel’s primetime is +27% (151,000 average viewers), driven in part by the sixth season premiere of Feherty interviewing Jordan Spieth, which is now the most-watched episode of the critically acclaimed series (436,000 average viewers, Live+3 Day).
  • Live coverage of the European Tour was up 65% and LPGA Tour was up 3%.
  • Golf Central saw its strongest first quarter since 2013, up 29% with average viewers and 30% for people 25-54 vs. last year.
  • Morning Drive was up 27% with people 25-54 vs. 2015.

UPCOMING LIVE EVENTS ON GOLF CHANNEL AND NBC

Golf Channel will carry momentum of this record viewership into the beginning of second quarter with a slate of live golf coverage and in-depth news and analysis, including:

  • ANA Inspiration, LPGA Tour’s first major championship – Coverage is on Golf Channel this Thursday, March 31 – Sunday, April 3. In 2016, Golf Channel and NBC have coverage of four of five women’s major championships, UL International Crown, and the Olympics.
  • Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals – 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.
  • Golf Central 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.
  • ‘86 – 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.
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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

@tommyfleetwood_1

A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.