In Play With Jimmy Roberts Chronicles Life Through Golf In New Original Series

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJanuary 7, 2013, 2:38 pm

Golf has an abundance of compelling, real-life stories waiting to be told about the game and the characters that inhabit it. Golf Channel’s new original series, In Play with Jimmy Roberts, will scour the globe to uncover the most compelling stories in golf, premiering Tuesday, March 12 at 10:30 p.m. ET and returning monthly.
 
Host and managing editor Jimmy Roberts, a 13-time Emmy Award-winner at ESPN and NBC Sports, has drawn critical acclaim for telling stories in sports during his distinguished career, which includes covering 14 Olympics for multiple networks.
 
'If you tell stories in this business, there are three things you hope for: resources, time and something compelling to talk about,” said Roberts. “With In Play, we are so fortunate to have the first two via Golf Channel, and that will provide us with the exciting challenge each month to search for the third. Fortunately, the depth of content related to the game of golf is rich with great stories from all corners of the globe and all levels of the sport.'

'At each Olympics for decades, viewers have laughed, cried and been inspired by stories told by Jimmy Roberts.  In Play will continue in the rich NBC Sports tradition of storytelling, by now turning the lens on compelling stories related to golf,” said Mike McCarley, President of Golf Channel.

The series will chronicle stories ranging from celebrities to everyday people who are all unified by the sport. Early scheduled features include:
 Golf Vistas From Behind Bars – Sentenced to prison for a murder he claims he did not commit, Valentino Dixon has spent the past 21 years in Attica State Prison in Upstate New York.  Eligible for parole in 2030, Dixon has never played a round of golf or even picked up a golf club. However, he passes the time in his cell drawing famous golf holes from around the world. Interviews include Dixon, his childhood art teacher Charlotte Ross, and Lamar Scott, who also is serving a life sentence but claims he committed the crime Dixon was convicted for more than two decades ago.
 Kidnapped: But Golf Saved My Life – While serving as an editor for the Atlanta Constitution, Reg Murphy was the victim of a kidnapping in 1974. He credits golf with helping him survive while being locked in the trunk of a car during the 49-hour ordeal – survived mentally by visualizing a recent round shot by shot at Augusta National, home of The Masters. Later becoming the president of the United States Golf Association, Murphy shares his harrowing tale with Jimmy Roberts.
• Mission to Israel – When the PGA TOUR's Hunter Mahan, Michael Thompson, Tiger Woods' coach Sean Foley, and LPGA Hall-of-Famer Amy Alcott were invited on a peace mission to Israel in late November 2012, the intent was to use the game of golf to help bring two different societies together – Palestinian and Israeli youths. Halfway through the mission, however, the group found themselves near the conflict between Hamas and Israel, with airstrikes hitting near the golf course used by the peace mission. Golf Channel cameras captured video from the real-world conflict and reactions from the players on the peace mission.
• The King’s Warehouse – Latrobe, Pa., is an iconic location in American golf as the home of the sport’s most famous player, Arnold Palmer. In a massive warehouse is a treasure trove of memorabilia that Palmer has collected over the years. Rich Lerner joins The King for a rare tour.
• Divots of Depression: Christina Kim – With her robust, upbeat persona, LPGA professional Christina Kim seems an unlikely victim of depression. Known for her incandescent smile and her full-throttle cheering at the Solheim Cup, Kim found herself in that unlikely position in April 2011, wrestling with depression and contemplating suicide.

Golf Channel contributors who are already working on stories for In Play with Jimmy Roberts, includes Damon Hack, who covered golf for The New York Times and Sports Illustrated and Golf Channel’s veteran on-air hosts Rich Lerner and Kelly Tilghman, and Golf World senior writer Tim Rosaforte.  The series’ supervising producer, Israel DeHerrera, is an 11-time Emmy Award-winning producer who most recently oversaw a slate of documentary features during NBC’s Olympic coverage from London.

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Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

“I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

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After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.

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Landry stays hot, leads desert shootout at CareerBuilder

By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 12:35 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. – 

Andrew Landry topped the crowded CareerBuilder Challenge leaderboard after another low-scoring day in the sunny Coachella Valley.

Landry shot a 7-under 65 on Thursday on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course to reach 16 under. He opened with a 63 on Thursday at La Quinta Country Club.

''Wind was down again,'' Landry said. ''It's like a dome out here.''

Jon Rahm, the first-round leader after a 62 at La Quinta, was a stroke back. He had two early bogeys in a 67 on the Nicklaus layout.

''It's tough to come back because I feel like I expected myself to go to the range and keep just flushing everything like I did yesterday,'' Rahm said. ''Everything was just a little bit off.''

Jason Kokrak was 14 under after a 67 at Nicklaus. Two-time major champion Zach Johnson was 13 under along with Michael Kim and Martin Piller. Johnson had a 64 at Nicklaus.


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Landry, Rahm, Kokrak and Johnson will finish the rotation Saturday at PGA West's Stadium Course, also the site of the final round.

''You need to hit it a lot more accurate off the tee because being in the fairway is a lot more important,'' Rahm said about the Pete Dye-designed Stadium Course, a layout the former Arizona State player likened to the Dye-designed Karsten course on the school's campus. ''With the small greens, you have water in play. You need to be more precise. Clearly the hardest golf course.''

Landry pointed to the Saturday forecast.

''I think the wind's supposed to be up like 10 to 20 mph or something, so I know that golf course can get a little mean,'' Landry said. ''Especially, those last three or four holes.''

The 30-year-old former Arkansas player had five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine. After winning his second Web.com Tour title last year, he had two top-10 finishes in October and November at the start the PGA Tour season.

''We're in a good spot right now,'' Landry said. ''I played two good rounds of golf, bogey-free both times, and it's just nice to be able to hit a lot of good quality shots and get rewarded when you're making good putts.''

Rahm had four birdies and the two bogeys on his first six holes. He short-sided himself in the left bunker on the par-3 12th for his first bogey of the week and three-putted the par-4 14th – pulling a 3-footer and loudly asking ''What?'' – to drop another stroke.

''A couple of those bad swings cost me,'' Rahm said.

The top-ranked player in the field at No. 3 in the world, Rahm made his first par of the day on the par-4 16th and followed with five more before birdieing the par-5 fourth. The 23-year-old Spaniard also birdied the par-5 seventh and par-3 eighth.

''I had close birdie putts over the last four holes and made two of them, so I think that kind of clicked,'' said Rahm, set to defend his title next week at Torrey Pines.

He has played the par 5s in 9 under with an eagle and seven birdies.

Johnson has taken a relaxed approach to the week, cutting his practice to two nine-hole rounds on the Stadium Course.

''I'm not saying that's why I'm playing well, but I took it really chill and the golf courses haven't changed,'' Johnson said. ''La Quinta's still really pure, right out in front of you, as is the Nicklaus.''

Playing partner Phil Mickelson followed his opening 70 at La Quinta with a 68 at Nicklaus to get to 6 under. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer is playing his first tournament of since late October.

''The scores obviously aren't what I want, but it's pretty close and I feel good about my game,'' Mickelson said. ''I feel like this is a great place to start the year and build a foundation for my game. It's easy to identify the strengths and weaknesses. My iron play has been poor relative to the standards that I have. My driving has been above average.''

Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on a sponsor exemption, had a 70 at Nicklaus to match Mickelson at 6 under. The Southern California recruit is playing his first PGA Tour event. He tied for 65th in the Australian Open in November in his first start in a professional tournament.

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Mickelson 'displeased' with iron play; 10 back

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:18 am

All of Phil Mickelson’s offseason work on his driver has paid off through two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

His iron play? Not as sharp, and it’s the reason why he heads into the weekend 10 shots off the lead.

“I’ve been pretty pleased, overall, with the way I’ve been driving the ball, and very displeased with the way my iron game has been,” said Mickelson, who shot 68 Friday on PGA West’s Nicklaus course. He has hit only 21 of 36 greens so far this week. “Usually my iron play is a lot better than what it’s been. So I’ll go work on it and hopefully improve each round in this tournament and build a solid foundation for the upcoming West Coast events.


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“I feel like if I continue to drive the ball the way I am, and if I got my iron play back to my normal standard, I should have the results that I’ve been expecting.”

Mickelson, of course, is always bullish this time of year, but he has been able to find 10 of 14 fairways each of the past two rounds, including at narrower La Quinta Country Club, which doesn’t always fit his eye.

“This is actually the best I’ve driven it in a lot of years,” he said.

Currently in a tie for 67th, Mickelson will need a solid round on the more difficult Stadium course Saturday to ensure that he makes the 54-hole cut. He hasn’t missed a cut in his first West Coast event of the new year since 2009.