Golf Channel to Showcase 80 Junior Golfers Competing in 2016 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals from Augusta National, Live on Sunday, April 3 at 8 a.m. ET

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMarch 14, 2016, 4:15 pm

Special Live From the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals Pre-Game Show to Introduce Viewers to Field of Finalists Beginning at 8 A.M. ET

 

Golf Channel to Dedicate Five Hours of Coverage Displaying Skills of Regional Representatives from Across U.S. and Canada, Including a Series of Dedicated Features on Several Competitors in the Field  

Golf Channel announced its production plans for exclusive, live coverage of the 2016 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals, airing on Sunday, April 3, beginning at 8 a.m. ET, when 80 junior golfers from across the U.S. and Canada will gather at Augusta National Golf Club to officially kick off Masters week. The 40 boys and 40 girls set to compete emerged from more than 250 local qualifying events, followed by 50 subregional and 10 regional qualifiers.

“One of the proudest moments all year for us as a network occurs each April when we have the privilege of showcasing these talented and charismatic competitors fulfilling their dreams in the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals on the grounds of Augusta National,” said Molly Solomon, executive producer, Golf Channel. “In partnership with the Masters Tournament, the USGA and the PGA of America, the event serves as a wonderful platform to promote the game in a fun and compelling way to young golfers on golf’s most storied stage.”

Live From the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals Pre-Game at 8 a.m. ET

Golf Channel – in its third year of televising live coverage of the National Finals – will highlight the skills and personalities of the competitors in the field, beginning with a special Live From the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals pre-game show from 8-9 a.m. ET, originating from the network’s Golf Central Live From the Masters set on the grounds of Augusta National. The pre-game show will introduce viewers to the stories behind each of the 80 national 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). Guests scheduled to join the pre-game telecast include industry leaders Billy Payne (chairman of Augusta National and the Masters Tournament); Diana Murphy (president, United States Golf Association); and Derek Sprague (president, PGA of America). Steve Sands will host, while Charlie Rymer and Kay Cockerill will help set the stage for the premier youth golf event.

Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals Coverage, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. ET

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. The Drive skill will be contested on Augusta National’s Tournament Practice Area, with each player hitting two drives, and the longer of the two (provided it is in bounds) will be counted for score. The Chip, (also conducted on the Tournament Practice Area) will include two chips and be calculated based on cumulative proximity to the hole. And the Putt skill, which will be staged on Augusta National’s 18th green, will be measured based on finalists’ cumulative proximity to the hole from two different putting distances. As competitors complete all three challenges, champions for each of the eight age groups will be awarded for each of the skill categories, along with the recognition of the overall champions from 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 Rymer, Cockerill and Michael Breed. Sands also will conduct interviews. 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. In addition to its on-air telecast, Golf Channel also will dedicate pre- and post-event coverage on its daily news shows, Golf Central and Morning Drive, and on GolfChannel.com.

The Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals will kick off Golf Channel’s weeklong coverage of the Masters, which will feature nearly 60 live hours of the network’s Golf Central Live From the Masters news coverage, focusing on emerging storylines, analysis, features and guest interviews, beginning Monday, April 4.

For more information, visit DriveChipandPutt.com.

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.