Michele Tafoya Joins Golf Channel for 2016 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMarch 22, 2016, 12:25 pm

Sunday Night Football’s Tafoya to Take Part in Golf Channel Telecast as a Reporter; also will Lend her Voice to Feature Stories on Finalists in the Field  

Golf Channel to Highlight the Skills of 80 Junior Golfers from Across U.S. and Canada, Live from Augusta National on Sunday, April 3 at 8 A.M. ET

Golf Channel announced today that Michele Tafoya, Emmy award-winning sports personality and sideline reporter for NBC Sports’ Sunday Night Football, will join the network’s coverage team as a reporter for the 2016 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals, airing live from Augusta National Golf Club on Sunday, April 3 beginning at 8 a.m. ET.

Tafoya will report from on the grounds of golf’s most iconic venue, conducting interviews with juniors from across the U.S. and Canada having advanced into the 80-person field (boys and girls, age 7-15) by way of local qualifying, subregional and regional qualifying events. A part of NBC’s Sunday Night Football – America’s #1 primetime TV show since 2011 – she’ll also lend her voice to narrate select feature stories, providing viewers with a closer look at the personalities of a few competitors in the field.

“I am thrilled to be a part of Golf Channel’s team for this year’s Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals,” said Tafoya. “The prospect of watching these remarkable young people compete at Augusta National is truly exciting. I’m expecting the interviews with the winners to be uniquely challenging, because – unlike professional athletes – these are young amateurs who may be experiencing a happiness beyond their imaginations. It will be a privilege to share in their big moment.”

“We’re overjoyed to have Michele join our team in covering the National Finals, as her pedigree and professionalism in the sports industry speaks for itself,” said Molly Solomon, Golf Channel executive producer. “Interviewing kids requires a keen curiosity and understanding of their emotions, excitement and pride in making the National Finals. Michele is perfect for this role.”

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

Golf Channel’s live coverage of the 2016 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finalswill begin at 8 a.m. ET with a special Live From the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals pre-game show, originating from the network’s Golf Central Live From the Masters set on the ground of Augusta National. Golf Channel – in its third year of televising live coverage of the National Finals – will offer insight on each competitor 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. 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 Tafoya, 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.

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


Masters victory


Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


Man of the people


Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


Departure from TaylorMade


Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


Victory at Valderrama


Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
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Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.