Golf Channel's Live Coverage of the 2016 NCAA Men's Golf Championships Begins Monday, May 30 in Primetime

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMay 30, 2016, 3:40 am

15 Teams and Nine Individuals Advancing to Compete for National Championship Honors

 Oregon’s Aaron Wise Leads Individual National Championship at 6-Under Par

 Live Action of the Individual National Championship on Monday, May 30

Three Rounds of Team Match Play Tuesday-Wednesday, May 31-June 1

 Invitations to the East Lake Cup Determined at NCAA Golf Championships

Live Scoring and Information: College Central

EUGENE, Ore. - Coming on the heels of the dramatic finish at the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships that saw Washington win its first golf national title in school history, Golf Channel returns to Eugene Country Club to deliver comprehensive news and tournament coverage of the 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships, airing in primetime Monday, May 30-Wednesday, June 1.

Golf Channel’s live tournament coverage of the men’s championships begins on Monday, May 30 to crown the individual national champion, as well as tracking 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 31 and Wednesday, June 1. In addition, Golf Central will surround live tournament coverage with pre-and post-event news coverage produced on location, as well as daily news updates on Morning Drive and online via Golf Channel Digital. News and tournament coverage also will be live streamed on Golf Live Extra powered by PlayMaker Media.

Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage (all times ET)

Monday,   May 30

Individual   National Championship

7-10 p.m.   (Live)

Tuesday,   May 31

Quarterfinals,   Team Match Play

1:30-3:30   p.m. (Live)

Tuesday,   May 31

Semifinals,   Team Match Play

6-10 p.m.   (Live)

Wednesday,   June 1

Team   Match Play National Championship

6-10 p.m.   (Live)

NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Format: The championship format consisted of 30 teams and six individuals (not on those teams competing) in 54 holes of stroke play, which began on Friday, May 27. Following Sunday’s third round, the top-15 teams along with nine individuals not on an advancing team will compete on Monday, May 30 to crown the individual national champion. The top eight teams from the 72-hole stroke play championship will advance to the team match play championship on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 31 and June 1.

The 15 teams advancing to compete on Monday are:

1          Vanderbilt                  

2          Texas

3          Southern California

4          LSU

5          Oregon

6          Arkansas

7          Arizona State

8          California

T9        Oklahoma State

T9        Illinois

11        Kentucky

12        South Carolina

13        Florida

T14      Louisville

T14      Oklahoma

Individual National Championship to be Decided Monday: Oregon’s Aaron Wise leads the individual national championship after three rounds at 6-under par. In addition to the 15 teams, nine players not on an advancing team will compete on Monday to determine the national championship. Players include: Derek Bard (Virginia), Paul Barjon (TCU), Chelso Barrett (TCU), Lee McCoy (Georgia), Nahum Mendoza III (San Diego State), William Rainey (College of Charleston), Antoine Rozner (Missouri-Kansas City), Robby Shelton (Alabama), Will Zalatoris (Wake Forest).

Semifinal Teams in Match Play to Receive Invitations to Compete in East Lake Cup: The East Lake Cup, taking place in late October at historic East Lake Golf Club and featuring the top-performing teams from the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships, will expand to a new three-day format for 2016. Invitations for the field will be extended to the semifinalists of the team match-play tournaments at both the 2016 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships. Modeled after the NCAA Golf Championships, the new format for the East Lake Cup will consist of an opening round of stroke play to crown an individual male and female champion and determine seeding for the following two days of match play competition. Golf Channel will air live coverage of the East Lake Cup Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 31-Nov. 2.

Cook and Oberholser Join NCAA Broadcast Team: Newcomers to Golf Channel’s NCAA on-air team include 11-time PGA TOUR-winner John Cook, a member of the 1979 NCAA Team National Champions at Ohio State University, who will serve as a course reporter, and Golf Channel analyst Arron Oberholser, who will serve as a news analyst.

Men’s Golf Championships On-Air Teams: Golf Channel’s on-air team for the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships will feature Hall-of-Famer Lanny Wadkins as lead analyst and Bob Papa as play-by-play host. Curt Byrum will serve as hole announcer, with Billy Ray Brown, Cook and Notah Begay reporting from the course. Golf Channel’s college insider Steve Burkowski will join the broadcast booth as co-analyst and hole announcer. Ryan Burr will host Golf Central, joined by Oberholser, former Florida men’s golf coach Buddy Alexander, Burkowski and Golf Channel Digital senior writer Ryan Lavner.

College Central – Golf Channel Digital Coverage: Golf Channel will provide comprehensive coverage via College Central,Golf Channel Digital’s home for college golf. Led by Jay Coffin, Lavner and 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.

Haskins Award Winner to be Announced on Golf Central Tuesday, June 7: Golf Channel will announce the winner of one of the most prestigious awards in college golf –the Fred Haskins Award presented by Stifel – following the conclusion of the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships, on a live edition of Golf Central, Tuesday, June 7 at 6 p.m. ET. The show will include profiles on the top candidates for both awards and live interviews with the winner, who also will receive an exemption to compete in the 2016 Greenbrier Classic on the PGA TOUR. The Haskins Award honors the nation’s most outstanding male Division I collegiate golfer as selected by her peers, coaches and the golf media.

Getty Images

Simpson, Noren share Honda lead after challenging Rd. 1

By Doug FergusonFebruary 23, 2018, 1:25 am

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - Tiger Woods had what he called ''easily'' his best round hitting the ball, and he didn't even break par at the Honda Classic.

Alex Noren and Webb Simpson shared the lead at 4-under 66 in steady wind on a penal PGA National golf course, and felt as though they had to work hard for it. Both dropped only one shot Thursday, which might have been as great an accomplishment as any of their birdies.

''When you stand on certain tee boxes or certain approach shots, you remember that, 'Man, this is one of the hardest courses we play all year, including majors,''' said Simpson, who is playing the Honda Classic for the first time in seven years.

Only 20 players broke par, and just as many were at 76 or worse.

Woods had only one big blunder - a double bogey on the par-5 third hole when he missed the green and missed a 3-foot putt - in an otherwise stress-free round. He had one other bogey against three birdies, and was rarely out of position. Even one of his two wild drives, when his ball landed behind two carts that were selling frozen lemonade and soft pretzels, he still had a good angle to the green.

''It was very positive today,'' Woods said. ''It was a tough day out there for all of us, and even par is a good score.''

It was plenty tough for Adam Scott, who again stumbled his way through the closing stretch of holes that feature water, water and more water. Scott went into the water on the par-3 15th and made double bogey, and then hit into the water on the par-3 17th and made triple bogey. He shot 73.


Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos


Rory McIlroy was at even par deep into the back nine when he figured his last chance at birdie would be the par-5 18th. Once he got there, he figured his best chance at birdie was to hit 3-wood on or near the green. Instead, he came up a yard short and into the water, made double bogey and shot 72.

Noren, who lost in a playoff at Torrey Pines last month, shot 31 on the front nine and finished with a 6-foot birdie on the ninth hole into a strong wind for his 66.

The Swede is a nine-time winner on the European Tour who is No. 16 in the world, though he has yet to make a connection among American golf fans - outside of Stillwater, Oklahoma, from his college days at Oklahoma State - from not having fared well at big events. Noren spends time in South Florida during the winter, so he's getting used to this variety of putting surfaces.

''I came over here to try to play some more American-style courses, get firmer greens, more rough, and to improve my driving and improve my long game,'' Noren said. ''So it's been great.''

PGA champion Justin Thomas, Daniel Berger and Morgan Hoffmann - who all live up the road in Jupiter - opened with a 67. There's not much of an advantage because hardly anyone plays PGA National the other 51 weeks of the year. It's a resort that gets plenty of traffic, and conditions aren't quite the same.

Louis Oosthuizen, the South African who now lives primarily in West Palm Beach, also came out to PGA National a few weeks ago to get a feel for the course. He was just like everyone else that day - carts on paths only. Not everyone can hole a bunker shot on the final hole at No. 9 for a 67. Mackenzie Hughes of Canada shot his 67 with a bogey from a bunker on No. 9.

Woods, in his third PGA Tour event since returning from a fourth back surgery, appears to be making progress.

''One bad hole,'' he said. ''That's the way it goes.''

It came on the easiest hole on the course. Woods drove into a fairway bunker on the par-5 third, laid up and put his third shot in a bunker. He barely got it out to the collar, used the edge of his sand wedge to putt it down toward the hole and missed the 3-foot par putt.

He answered with a birdie and made pars the rest of the way.

''I'm trying to get better, more efficient at what I'm doing,'' Woods said. ''And also I'm actually doing it under the gun, under the pressure of having to hit golf shots, and this golf course is not forgiving whatsoever. I was very happy with the way I hit it today.''

Woods played with Patton Kizzire, who already has won twice on the PGA Tour season this year. Kizzire had never met Woods until Thursday, and he yanked his opening tee shot into a palmetto bush. No one could find it, so he had to return to the tee to play his third shot. Kizzire covered the 505 yards in three shots, an outstanding bogey considering the two-shot penalty.

Later, he laughed about the moment.

''I was so nervous,'' Kizzire said. ''I said to Tiger, 'Why did you have to make me so nervous?'''

Getty Images

Players battle 'crusty' greens on Day 1 at Honda

By Randall MellFebruary 22, 2018, 11:52 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Tiger Woods called the greens “scratchy” on PGA National’s Champion Course.

Rory McIlroy said there is “not a lot of grass on them.”

Morgan Hoffmann said they are “pretty dicey in spots, like a lot of dirt.”

The first round of the Honda Classic left players talking almost as much about the challenge of navigating the greens as they did the challenge of Florida’s blustery, winter winds.

“They looked more like Sunday greens than Thursday,” McIlroy said. “They are pretty crusty. They are going to have a job keeping a couple of them alive.”

The Champion Course always plays tough, ranking annually among the most challenging on the PGA Tour. With a very dry February, the course is firmer and faster than it typically plays.

“Today was not easy,” Woods said. “It's going to get more difficult because these greens are not the best . . . Some of these putts are a bit bouncy . . . There's no root structure. You hit shots and you see this big puff of sand on the greens, so that shows you there's not a lot of root structure.”


Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos


Brad Nelson, PGA National’s director of agronomy, said the Champion Course’s TifEagle Bermuda greens are 18 years old, and they are dealing with some contamination, in spots, of other strains of grasses.

“As it’s been so warm and dry, and as we are trying to get the greens so firm, those areas that are not a true Tifeagle variety anymore, they get unhappy,” Nelson said. “What I mean by unhappy is that they open up a little bit . . . It gives them the appearance of being a little bit thin in some areas.”

Nelson said the greens are scheduled for re-grassing in the summer of 2019. He said the greens do have a “crusty” quality, but . . .

“Our goal is to be really, really firm, and we feel like we are in a good place for where we want them to be going into the weekend,” he said.

Getty Images

McIlroy, Scott have forgettable finish at Honda

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 22, 2018, 11:03 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Rory McIlroy and the rest of his group had a forgettable end to their rounds Thursday at the Honda Classic.

McIlroy was even par for the day and looking for one final birdie to end his opening round. Only two players had reached the par-5 finishing hole, but McIlroy tried to hold a 3-wood up against the wind from 268 yards away. It found the water, leading to a double bogey and a round of 2-over 72.  

“It was the right shot,” McIlroy said. “I just didn’t execute it the right way.”

He wasn’t the only player to struggle coming home.


Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos


Adam Scott, who won here in 2016, found the water on both par 3s in the Bear Trap, Nos. 15 and 17. He made double on 15, then triple on 17, after his shot from the drop area went long, then he failed to get up and down. He shot 73, spoiling a solid round.

The third player in the group, Padraig Harrington, made a mess of the 16th hole, taking a triple.

The group played the last four holes in a combined 10 over.

Getty Images

Woods (70) better in every way on Day 1 at Honda

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 22, 2018, 8:40 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Consider it a sign of the times that Tiger Woods was ecstatic about an even-par score Thursday at the Honda Classic.

It was by far his most impressive round in this nascent comeback.

Playing in a steady 20-mph wind, Woods was better in all facets of the game Thursday at PGA National. Better off the tee. Better with his irons. And better on and around the “scratchy” greens.

He hung tough to shoot 70 – four shots better than his playing partner, Patton Kizzire, a two-time winner this season and the current FedExCup leader – and afterward Woods said that it was a “very positive” day and that he was “very solid.”

It’s a small sample size, of course – seven rounds – but Woods didn’t hesitate in declaring this “easily” his best ball-striking round of the year.

And indeed it was, even if the stats don’t jump off the page.

Officially, he hit only seven of 14 fairways and just 10 greens, but some of those misses off the tee were a few paces into the rough, and some of those iron shots finished just off the edge of the green.

The more telling stat was this: His proximity to the hole (28 feet) was more than an 11-foot improvement over his first two starts this year. And also this: He was 11th among the early starters in strokes gained-tee to green, which measures a player’s all-around ball-striking. Last week, at Riviera, he ranked 121st.

“I felt very comfortable,” he said. “I felt like I hit the ball really well, and it was tough out there. I had to hit a lot of knockdown shots. I had to work the golf ball both ways, and occasionally downwind, straight up in the air.

“I was able to do all that today, so that was very pleasing.”

The Champion Course here at PGA National is the kind of course that magnifies misses and exposes a player if he’s slightly off with his game. There is water on 15 of the 18 holes, and there are countless bunkers, and it’s almost always – as it was Thursday – played in a one- or two-club wind. Even though it’s played a half hour from Woods’ compound in Hobe Sound, the Honda wasn’t thought to be an ideal tune-up for Woods’ rebuilt game.

But maybe this was just what he needed. He had to hit every conceivable shot Thursday, to shape it both ways, high and low, and he executed nearly every one of them.

The only hole he butchered was the par-5 third. With 165 yards for his third shot, he tried to draw a 6-iron into a stiff wind. He turned it over a touch too much, and it dropped into the bunker. He hit what he thought was a perfect bunker shot, but it got caught in the overseeded rye grass around the green and stayed short. He chipped to 3 feet and then was blown off-balance by a wind gust. Double.


Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos


But what pleased Woods most was what he did next. Steaming from those unforced errors, he was between a 2- and 3-iron off the tee. He wanted to leave himself a 60-degree wedge for his approach into the short fourth hole, but a full 2-iron would have put him too close to the green.

So he took a little off and “threw it up in the air” – 292 yards.

“That felt really good,” Woods said, smiling. And so did the 6-footer that dropped for a bounce-back birdie.

"I feel like I'm really not that far away," he said. 

To illustrate just how much Woods’ game has evolved in seven rounds, consider this perspective from Brandt Snedeker.

They played together at Torrey Pines, where Woods somehow made the cut despite driving it all over the map. In the third round, Woods scraped together a 70 while Snedeker turned in a 74, and afterward Snedeker said that Woods’ short game was “probably as good or better than I ever remember it being.”

A month later, Snedeker saw significant changes. Woods’ short game is still tidy, but he said that his iron play is vastly improved, and it needed to be, given the challenging conditions in the first round.

“He controlled his ball flight really well and hit a bunch of really good shots that he wasn’t able to hit at Torrey, because he was rusty,” said Snedeker, who shot 74. “So it was cool to see him flight the ball and hit some little cut shots and some little three-quarter shots and do stuff I’m accustomed to see him doing.”

Conditions are expected to only get more difficult, more wind-whipped and more burned out, which is why the winning score here has been single-digits under par four of the past five years.

But Woods checked an important box Thursday, hitting the shots that were required in the most difficult conditions he has faced so far.

Said Snedeker: “I expect to see this as his baseline, and it’ll only get better from here.”