Golf Channel Tournament Airtimes & Notes (Jan. 14-17)

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJanuary 12, 2016, 10:45 pm

Walker Vying for Third Consecutive Win at Sony Open in Hawaii


Els Headlines the Field in His Home Country

at Joburg Open; 3rd Open Qualifying Series Event


EurAsia Cup Returns for 2nd Edition of

Intercontinental Team Match Play Event in Malaysia


Eighty-One Celebrities Set to Participate in Diamond Resorts Invitational benefitting Florida Hospital for Children


The PGA TOUR will stage its first full-field event of 2016 with the Sony Open in Hawaii, where Jimmy Walker will attempt to win the event for the third consecutive year. Golf Channel’s evening news program, Golf Central, will originate from Waialae Country Club in Honolulu for the first time, with Ryan Burr, Brandel Chamblee, Notah Begay, Mark Rolfing and Steve Burkowski providing wraparound news coverage and analysis. The European Tour is in South Africa for the Joburg Open; the third Open Qualifying Series event which will provide the top three finishers within the top-10 not already in the field with entry into the 2016 Open Championship at Royal Troon. The EurAsia Cup makes its return in Malaysia, with professionals representing Europe and Asia competing against one another in a team match play format. And the Diamond Resorts Invitational (airing Thursday-Saturday) will feature 81 celebrities from across sports, entertainment and Hollywood, competing in a modified stableford format that will benefit Florida Hospital for Children.



Sony Open in Hawaii

Dates: Jan. 14-17

Venue: Waialae Country Club, Honolulu, Hawaii


Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

Thursday         7-10:30 p.m. (Live) / 2-5 a.m. (Friday replay)           

Friday              7-10:30 p.m. (Live) / 2-5:30 a.m. (Saturday replay)

Saturday          7-10:30 p.m. (Live) / 2-5 a.m. (Sunday replay)

Sunday            6-10 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)


Broadcast Notes:                                                

Golf Central on-site from Honolulu: Golf Channel’s evening news program, Golf Central will complement tournament action with live wraparound news coverage airing on-site from a dedicated set at Waialae CC. Ryan Burr will host, and Brandel Chamblee and Notah Begay will serve as analysts. Steve Burkowski also will provide reports and player interviews.

Walker defends: Jimmy Walker finished nine strokes ahead of the field to successfully defend his Sony Open in Hawaii title in dominant fashion.

Headlining the field: Zach Johnson, Adam Scott, Jimmy Walker, Kevin Kisner, Matt Kuchar, Steve Stricker, Brandt Snedeker, Justin Thomas, Padraig Harrington and Davis Love III.


Golf Channel Broadcast Team:

Play by Play: Steve Sands

Analyst: Peter Jacobsen

Tower: Frank Nobilo / Mark Rolfing

On-Course: Jerry Foltz / Curt Byrum

Interviews: Steve Burkowski



Joburg Open

Dates: Jan. 14-17

Venue: Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club (East Course), Gauteng, South Africa


Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

Thursday         5-7 a.m. (Tape delay) / 7-9 a.m. (Live)                      

Friday              5-7 a.m. (Tape delay) / 7-9 a.m. (Live)

Saturday          5:30-9:30 a.m. (Live)

Sunday            5-9:30 a.m. (Live)


Broadcast Notes:

Third event of the Open Qualifying Series: The event is part of the Open Qualifying Series, and the top- three finishers within the top-10 not already in the field will gain entry into the 2016 Open Championship at Royal Troon.

Largest field event on European Tour: The field will consist of 210 players, the largest on the European Tour, and the event will be held on two courses at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club.

Headlining the field: Ernie Els, George Coetzee, Matteo Manassero, Trevor Immelman, David Horsey, Marcel Siem, Paul Dunne, Richard Sterne, David Howell and Bradley Neil.


Golf Channel Broadcast Team:

Studio Host: Mike Ritz

Play by Play: Dominik Holyer

Analyst: Denis Hutchinson / Jay Townsend

On-Course: Paul Eales



EurAsia Cup

Dates: Jan. 15-17

Venue: Glenmarie Golf & Country Club (Garden Course), Shah Alam, Malaysia


Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

Friday              11:30 p.m.-2 a.m. (Live)

Saturday          11:30 p.m.-2 a.m. (Live)

Sunday            11:30 p.m.-2 a.m. (Live)


Broadcast Notes:

Team match play format: This is the second edition of the EurAsia Cup, a biennial competition between teams of professional golfers representing Europe and Asia. Following the inaugural edition of the event two years ago (which ended in a tie), the number of players on each team has been increased from 10 to 12, and the total number of matches has been increased from 20 to 24. The format consists of six four-ball matches on Day 1, six foursome matches on Day 2, and 12 singles matches on Day 3, with all 24 players competing each day. If a match is all square after 18 holes, it is halved and each team will earn ½ a point. The first team to 12 ½ points will win the EurAsia Cup.

Team Europe: Kristoffer Broberg, Victor Dubuisson, Ross Fisher, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Soren Kjeldsen, Shane Lowry, Andy Sullivan, Bernd Wiesberger, Danny Willet, Chris Wood, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke (captain).

Team Asia: S.S.P. Chawrasia, Danny Chia, Thongchai Jaidee, Anirban Lahiri, Byeong Hun An, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Shingo Katayama, K.T. Kim, Ashun Wu, Nicholas Fung, Prayed Marksaeng, Jeunghun Wang, Jeev Milka Singh (captain).

Golf Channel Broadcast Team:

Play by Play: Dougie Donnelly

Analyst: Dom Boulet / Warren Humphreys

On-Course: Julian Tutt


Diamond Resorts Invitational

Dates: Jan. 14-16

Venue: Golden Bear Club at Keene’s Point, Windermere, Fla.


Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

Thursday         2:30-4:30 p.m. (Live) / 4:30-6 p.m. (Replay)             

Friday              2:30-4:30 p.m. (Live)

Saturday          2:30-4:30 p.m. (Live)


Broadcast Notes:

Premiere celebrity event for charity: The three day, 54-hole celebrity golf tournament is dedicated to raising money for the Florida Hospital for Children in Orlando, Florida. Eighty-one celebrities from the world of sports and entertainment will compete in the event, including Major League Baseball and NFL stars and Hall of Famers, musical entertainers, Hollywood actors and comedians.

Format: With a $100,000 first prize at stake, the event will use a modified stableford scoring system with players receiving six points for an eagle, three for a birdie, one for a par, zero for a bogey and negative-two for a double bogey or higher.

Headlining the field: Josh Donaldson, Justin Verlander, Colt Ford, Reggie Jackson, Jake Own, Jerry Rice, Marcus Allen, Tom Glavine, Roger Clemens Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, Bode Miller, Mark Rypien, Alfonso Ribeiro and Larry the Cable Guy.

Golf Channel Broadcast Team:

Play by Play: Bob Papa

Analyst: Lanny Wadkins

Tower: Tom Abbott

On-Course: Charlie Rymer / Karen Stupples / Tripp Isenhour / Damon Hack

-NBC Sports Group-

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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.)