Golf Channel Ramps Up College Golf Coverage Culminating with NCAA Golf Championships, May 19-31

By Golf Channel Public RelationsApril 26, 2017, 2:20 pm

More than 100 News and Tournament Hours Planned for Women’s and Men’s Championships, Back-to-Back Weeks at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill. 

Two National Championships – Individual and Team – to be Decided Over a Three-Day Span at Both Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships

Golf Channel to Announce NCAA Division I Women’s and Men’s Regional Selections on Thursday, April 27 and Thursday, May 4

Golf Channel Analyst and Northern Illinois Alum Mark Rolfing Joins NCAA Golf Championships Coverage as News Analyst

With conference championships underway, golf fans will be able to follow their favorite college golf programs and alma maters as they attempt to qualify and compete in the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships in May when Golf Channel gears up its comprehensive on-air and digital collegiate golf coverage the next six weeks.

Beginning Thursday, April 27 at 11 am ET (women) and continuing Thursday, May 4 at Noon ET (men), Golf Channel will announce live the teams and individuals selected by the NCAA to participate in the women’s and men’s regional championships, the first step on the road to the NCAA Golf Championships.

Taking place at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill., May 19-31, the 2017 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships will be contested in back-to-back weeks, with more than 100 hours of combined news and tournament coverage  on Golf Channel, as well as expanded coverage online via Golf Channel Digital and through the network’s social media channels.

“Now in the fourth year of our partnership, the NCAA and Golf Channel are successfully raising the profile of college golf by shining a spotlight on the game’s future stars and the passion these programs have in competing for national championships,” said Molly Solomon, Golf Channel executive producer. “Our viewers have been treated to some of the most dramatic and intense match-play competition the past few years, including the Oregon men and Washington women both needing extra holes in 2016 to win their first NCAA golf national championship in their school’s histories.”

REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS SELECTION ANNOUNCEMENTS: The men’s and women’s regional selection announcements will be made live on Golf Channel and feature live interviews and reaction from coaches and players:

  • Women’s Golf Championships Regional Selections, Thursday, April 27, 11 a.m. ET: Morning Drive will announce (live) the 72 teams and24 individuals selected to compete in the four NCAA Women’s Regional Championships, May 8-10 (18 teams and six individuals per regional). 24 teams and 12 individuals will advance from regional sites to the national championships.
  • Men’s Golf Championships Regional Selections, Thursday, May 4, Noon ET: Golf Central will announce the 81 teams and 45 individuals selected to compete in the six NCAA Men’s Regional Championships, May 15-17 (13 teams and 10 individuals at three regionals and 14 teams and five individuals at three regionals). 30 teams and six individuals will advance from regional sites to the national championships.

REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS COVERAGE: Morning Drive and Golf Central will feature scores, highlights and analysis from the women’s regional sites (Monday-Wednesday, May 8-10) and the men’s regionals (Monday-Wednesday, May 15-17). Golf Channel Digital and will provide up-to-date scoring and news coverage of the regional championships.

NCAA GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS COVERAGE: Contested in back-to-back weeks, May 19-31, Golf Channel will dedicate its full suite of production resources to the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships, featuring nearly 30 hours combined hours of live tournament coverage, as well as more than 50 hours of encores. In addition, Golf Central will feature nearly 30 hours of combined pre-and post-event live news coverage produced on location, as well as daily news updates on Morning Drive and Golf Channel Digital.                    

Hosted by Northern Illinois University at Rich Harvest Farms, the 2017 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships will feature teams and student-athletes who advanced from the NCAA Regional Championships. Competing in an individual stroke-play format over 72 holes Friday-Monday, the top eight teams will advance to the team match-play tournament Tuesday and Wednesday. Two national championships – individual and team – will be decided over each of the three days and the women’s and men’s championships.

Golf Channel’s live tournament coverage of the women’s championships will begin on Monday, May 22 to crown the individual national champion, as well as to track the teams attempting to qualify for the eight-team match-play tournament. Golf Channel’s coverage also will include all three rounds of the team match-play tournament on Tuesday, May 23 and Wednesday, May 24. The same television coverage is planned for the men’s national championships the following week: Monday, May 29-Wednesday, May 31.

Golf Channel NCAA Women’s Golf Championships Coverage

Monday, May 22        Individual National Championship      4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

Tuesday, May 23        Quarterfinals, Team Match Play         11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET (Live)

Tuesday, May 23        Semifinals, Team Match Play              4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

Wednesday, May 24   Team National Championship            4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage

Monday, May 29        Individual National Championship      4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

Tuesday, May 30        Quarterfinals, Team Match Play         11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET (Live)

Tuesday, May 30        Semifinals, Team Match Play              4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

Wednesday, May 31   Team National Championship             4-8 p.m. ET (Live)


Northern Illinois alumnus and Golf Channel/NBC Sports analyst Mark Rolfing will join Golf Channel’s on-site news coverage for the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships. Rolfing, a native of DeKalb, Ill., who competed collegiately at DePauw University in Indiana, will contribute to both Morning Drive and Golf Central during the men’s championships.

COLLEGE CENTRAL – GOLF CHANNEL DIGITAL COVERAGE: Golf Channel is providing comprehensive coverage leading up to and during the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships as part of College Central,Golf Channel Digital’s home for college golf. Led by Jay Coffin, Ryan Lavner and Steve Burkowski, College Central will be the source for all things college golf, including tournament results and scores, features and columns, video highlights and breaking news.

NCAA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS FEATURES: Over the next six weeks, Golf Channel will integrate several high-quality features and unique stories on teams and players leading up to the NCAA Golf Championships. Scheduled features include:

  • 2016 NCAA Women’s Golf Championship Remarkable Finish – A look back at the dramatic finishing holes between 2015 national champion Stanford Cardinal and the Washington Huskies to decide the 2016 team national championship, where Washington needed extra holes to claim their first championship in school history.
  • Not Just NCAA Student Athletes, Now Olympians – Duke’s Leona Maguire, Stanford’s Albane Valenzuela and USC’s Tiffany Chan represented their countries at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Golf Channel will share experiences the players had competing for their respective countries when golf returned as an Olympic sport.
  • Hometown Oregon defeats Texas for the 2016 NCAA Men’s Golf Championship – The University of Oregon, playing on its home course at Eugene Country Club, swept the 2016 NCAA titles, with Aaron Wise winning the individual national championship and the Ducks needing extra holes to defeat Texas to win its first team national championship.
  • Top-Ranked University of Southern California Men’s Golf Team – The USC Trojans capped their 2016-17 season with four wins, highlighted by the 18-stroke win at the Western Intercollegiate to conclude their regular season. Golf Channel will take a look at the unique personalities that make up this veteran team heading into the NCAA Golf Championships.
  • Player Profiles: Illinois’ Dylan Meyer, Oregon’s Wyndham Clark, Stanford’s Maverick McNealy Golf Channel will profile three of the top men’s collegiate golfers in the country – Illinois junior Dylan Meyer, Oregon senior Wyndham Clark and Stanford senior Maverick McNealy.

CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS NEWS COVERAGE: Golf Channel will cover the conference championships with scores and analysis across its on-air news platforms - Morning Drive and Golf Central – and online within College Central.

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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.)