NBC and Golf Channel Embark on Two Big Weeks in Golf

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJuly 7, 2014, 3:15 pm

Golf Channel and NBC this week embark on two big weeks of competition and signature news coverage on both networks.  In what has become an important major championship primer for players around the globe, the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open kicks things off this week on both Golf Channel and NBC.  While back in the States, Jordan Spieth defends his first PGA TOUR win at the John Deere Classic on Golf Channel and Kenny Perry tries for a repeat win at the U.S. Senior Open on NBC.  Next week, Golf Channel heads across the pond to Hoylake, England, to report from the 143rd Open Championship with its signature major championship news coverage, Live from Royal Liverpool and Morning Drive, beginning Monday, July 14.  And the celebrities come out with the popular American Century Championship from Lake Tahoe, beginning Friday, July 18, on NBCSN and continuing on the weekend on NBC (with replays on Golf Channel).

European Tour:  Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open (all times Eastern)

Thursday-Friday, July 10-11   Rounds 1 & 2                      5:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.     Golf Channel

Saturday-Sunday, July 12-13  Round 3 & Final Round       9:30 a.m.-Noon            Golf Channel

                                                                                         Noon-2:30 p.m.           NBC

Defending Champion Phil Mickelson headlines a registered field that includes multiple major champions, including Darren Clarke, Ernie Els, Sir Nick Faldo, Padraig Harrington, Paul Lawrie, Rory McIlroy, Jose Maria Olazabal, Louis Oosthuizen and Justin Rose.  Many players use the Scottish Open as a primer for the Open Championship played the following week.  In 2013, Mickelson went on to capture major championship glory at the Open Championship after having won the Scottish Open the previous week.  Els also won his two Open Championship titles after having played the previous week.  This year’s tournament will be contested at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in Aberdeen, Scotland.

PGA TOUR:  John Deere Classic

Thursday-Friday, July 10-11   Rounds 1 & 2                       3-6 p.m.                       Golf Channel

Saturday-Sunday, July 12-13 Round 3 & Final Round         1-2:30 p.m.                  Golf Channel

Since moving to TPC Deere Run 14 years ago, dramatic finishes have been a hallmark of the John Deere Classic, with the champion decided five times in sudden death playoffs and six times by one shot on the final hole.  Jordan Spieth, who last year took the PGA TOUR by storm during his rookie campaign, became the youngest winner on the PGA TOUR in 82 years when he holed out from a bunker on the 72nd hole to get into a playoff and, eventually, win.  The tournament provides even more drama as players battle for the final exemption into the Open Championship. Golf Channel’s weekend airtimes are lead-in to CBS’ coverage.

U.S. Senior Open

Saturday, July 12                    Round 3                                2:30-6 p.m.                  NBC

Sunday, July 13                      Final Round                           2:30-6 p.m.                  NBC

Golf Channel on NBC heads to America’s heartland to continue its USGA championship season with live weekend coverage of the 2014 U.S. Senior Open from Pete Dye-designed Oak Tree National in Edmond, Okla.  Defending Champion Kenny Perry headlines a qualified field, which includes Fred Couples, Fred Funk, Jay Haas, Hale Irwin, Bernhard Langer, Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie.  Golf Channel on NBC’s Dan Hicks will host NBC’s weekend coverage and will be joined by Roger Maltbie, Mark Rolfing, Notah Begay and Steve Sands.  Golf Channel on NBC’s Gary Koch and Peter Jacobsen qualified to be in the field, though Koch may be part of the Golf Channel on NBC weekend broadcast depending on his performance.

Golf Central:  Live From Royal Liverpool

Monday, July 14                     Morning Drive                       7-9 a.m.                       Golf Channel

                                              Live From Royal Liverpool     7-8:30 p.m.                  Golf Channel

Tuesday, July 15                     Morning Drive                      7-11 a.m.                     Golf Channel

                                              Live From Royal Liverpool     11 a.m.-1 p.m.             Golf Channel

                                                                                           7-9 p.m.                       Golf Channel

Wednesday, July 16                Morning Drive                       7-11a.m.                      Golf Channel

                                              Live From Royal Liverpool    11a.m.-1 p.m.               Golf Channel

                                                                                           7-9 p.m.                       Golf Channel

Thursday-Friday, July 17-18   Live From Royal Liverpool    7-9 p.m.                       Golf Channel

Saturday, July 19                     Live From Royal Liverpool    2:30-3 p.m.                  Golf Channel

                                                                                           7-9 p.m.                       Golf Channel

Sunday, July 20                      Live From Royal Liverpool    1:30-3 p.m.                   Golf Channel

                                                                                           7-9 p.m.                       Golf Channel

Golf Channel will have the season’s third major championship covered from all angles with more than 28 hours of news and feature programming surrounding the 143rd Open Championship, beginning Monday, July 14, from Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England, and Golf Channel’s U.S.-based studios.

PLAYER NEWS CONFERENCES:  Morning Drive and Live From Royal Liverpool will feature scheduled player news conferences staged from Royal Liverpool on Tuesday, July 15, and Wednesday, July 16.

BROADCAST TEAM AND SPECIAL GUESTS:  Reporting from Royal Liverpool will be the tandem of Rich Lerner and Frank Nobilo, who will be joined by Todd Lewis, Tim Rosaforte and Ken Schofield.  Making special appearances Wednesday through Sunday will be Peter Alliss, considered one of golf’s all-time great commentators and nicknamed “The Voice of Golf,” and 2014 Senior PGA Championship winner Colin Montgomerie.  Ryan Burr, Brandel Chamblee, Tripp Isenhour and Kelly Tilghman will host coverage from Golf Channel Studios in Orlando.

EDITORIAL FEATURES:  Live From Royal Liverpool will showcase entertaining and informative features throughout the week, including:

Phil Redux – The Open Championship was the major that Phil Mickelson was never supposed to win.  His past struggles and a perception by many that his game didn’t fit links-style golf were tossed on their head with his shocking win for the ages in 2013.

Champagne Tony Lema – He played with a flair that matched his nickname and was, arguably, the second-most popular player of his era behind only Arnold Palmer.  His 12 wins on the PGA TOUR were complemented by the 1964 Open Championship.  Two years later, Lema was killed in plane crash at just 32 years old. Rich Lerner tells the story of one of the great characters the game has ever known.

Westy Close – Eight times since 2008, Lee Westwood has finished in the top-3 at major championships.  With a two-stroke lead heading into the final round, 2013 seemed to be his break-through year, but he faltered down the stretch.

Hoylake – Established in 1869, Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England, has hosted 12 Open Championships, with the likes of Roberto De Vicenzo, Walter Hagen, Bobby Jones and Tiger Woods hoisting the Claret Jug there.

American Century Championship

Friday, July 18                        Round 1                            4-7 p.m.                                   NBCSN

Saturday, July 19                    Round 1 Replay                11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.                Golf Channel

                                              Round 2                              3-6 p.m.                                   NBC

Sunday, July 20                      Round 2 Replay                 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.               Golf Channel

                                              Final Round                         3-6 p.m.                                   NBC

Monday, July 21                     Final Round Replay             1-4 p.m.                                  Golf Channel

Legendary golf Hall-of-Fame superstar Annika Sorenstam will tee it up on equal terms with the accomplished pro-athlete golfers in the 54-hole, $600,000 competition at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course for the 25th anniversary of the American Century Championship.  Roger Maltbie and Bob Papa will anchor the coverage with Notah Begay, Gary Koch and Mark Rolfing contributing from the golf course.  Alex Flanagan will conduct player interviews.  Tournament scoring is based on a modified Stableford format with higher points awarded for better scores on each hole played.  Other celebrities scheduled to compete include John Elway, Ray Allen, Steph Curry, Aaron Rodgers, Jerry Rice, Jason Kidd, Steve Kerr and Ray Romano.  Annual contenders include Trent Dilfer, Jeremy Roenick, Mark Rypien and 2013 Champion Billy Joe Tolliver.

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Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.

McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

Memo to the golf gods:

If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.

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Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

"I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

"I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x