NBC Sports to Deliver Most Live Coverage Ever for a Major at 145TH Open, July 14-17

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMay 17, 2016, 3:45 pm

From First Tee Shot to Final Putt, NBC Sports’ Live Coverage Includes Golf Channel’s First-Ever Telecast of a Men’s Major Championship and Return of The Open to Broadcast Television on NBC

With the most live hours of tournament coverage ever dedicated to one of golf’s major championships, The R&A and NBC Sports Group’s long-term media partnership kicks off its inaugural year with a record number of planned programming hours. The 145TH Open will return to U.S. live broadcast coverage through Golf Channel and NBC’s nearly 140 hours of television coverage from Royal Troon Golf Club throughout the week. It also will represent Golf Channel’s first coverage of a men’s major championship.

“The unprecedented coverage of The Open will provide a unique showcase of the world’s best golfers on an iconic links course, navigating the often dramatic weather conditions and ultimately adding to the history that embodies golf’s original championship,” said Mike McCarley, President, Golf, NBC Sports Group. “We’re honored to provide complete coverage of The Open for the first time on Golf Channel and NBC. Fans will be able to see the opening tee shot through the final putt, culminating with the ‘Champion Golfer of the Year’ raising the Claret Jug.”

“We are delighted to be working with NBC Sports Group and are looking forward to their comprehensive coverage of The 145TH Open,” said Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A. “Our fans in the United States will be able to enjoy every shot over the four days of the Championship and will be part of a true celebration of golf at Royal Troon.”

NBC Sports Group Tournament Coverage: 78.5 Total Hours: NBC Sports Group will devote 49.5 live hours of tournament coverage to The 145TH Open from July 14-17, including 14.5 live hours on Golf Channel over each of the first two rounds on Thursday and Friday; 10.5 live hours across Golf Channel and NBC during the third round on Saturday; and 10 live hours across Golf Channel and NBC during the final round on Sunday. In total, NBC Sports Group will provide 78.5 hours, including the live coverage of all four rounds, as well as two highlight specials on NBC from 4-6 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday, and encore presentations of each round on Golf Channel. All coverage will be streamed via NBC Sports Live Extra and Golf Live Extra, and additional digital extensions will be announced at a later date.

Golf Channel’s Wraparound News with Golf Central Live From The Open: 59 Total Hours: Golf Channel’s signature news programs, Morning Drive and Golf Central Live From The Open, will provide 31.5 live hours of comprehensive news coverage the week of The Open. Golf Central’s Live From The Open will be onsite throughout the week with 25.5 live hours from Royal Troon, which will be hosting The Open for the ninth time in its history. Morning Drive will kick things off from 11:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. ET before The Open’s first round to lead into live coverage of the opening tee shot. Coverage will be complemented by comprehensive news and highlights via NBC Sports Digital, Golf Channel Digital and social media platforms throughout the week.

Tournament Team: In order to cover this unprecedented coverage of a major championship, Johnny Miller (1976 Open Champion), Nick Faldo (1987, 1990, 1992 Open Champion) and Frank Nobilo will rotate as lead analyst in the 18th tower. In addition, a team of NBC Sports’ analysts will contribute to the nearly 50 hours of coverage, including David Feherty, Peter Jacobsen, Gary Koch, Roger Maltbie, Mark Rolfing, Tom Abbott, Notah Begay, Billy Ray Brown, Curt Byrum, and Jerry Foltz. And Dan Hicks, Terry Gannon, Jimmy Roberts, Steve Sands and Todd Lewis will handle announcing and reporting duties.

Golf Central’s Live From The Open Team: Golf Central Live From The Open will be hosted by Rich Lerner and Ryan Burr, while Brandel Chamblee, Paul McGinley, Frank Nobilo, Notah Begay and Mark Rolfing will serve as analysts, along with David Duval (2001 Open Champion), who also will be competing in the event. Golf Channel Insiders Tim Rosaforte and Rex Hoggard will provide insight on the field, and Todd Lewis and Steve Burkowski will provide daily reports and conduct player interviews throughout the week.

NBC Sports’ Unprecedented 12-Week Stretch of Golf, including The Senior Open Championship & Women’s British Open: The Open kicks off NBC Sports’ three-week stretch of consecutive R&A events this summer. Golf Channel and NBC will carry live coverage of The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex, July 21-24, and the RICOH Women’s British Open, July 28-31. The Open also will commence NBC Sports’ unprecedented 12-week stretch of premier golf events, including the Rio Olympics, PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs, and Ryder Cup.

NBC Sports Group Live Programming at the 145TH Open (All Times EST)

Monday, July 11                       Golf Central Live From The Open                  9-11 a.m.

                                               Golf Central Live From The Open                  7-9 p.m.

Tuesday, July 12                      Golf Central Live From The Open                  8 a.m.-1 p.m.

                                               Golf Central Live From The Open                  7-9 p.m.

Wednesday, July 13                 Golf Central Live From The Open                  8 a.m.-1 p.m.

                                               Golf Central Live From The Open                  7-9 p.m.

                                               Morning Drive                                              11:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m.

Thursday, July 14                    The 145TH Open – Round 1                           1:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

                                               Golf Central Live From The Open                  4-5 p.m.

Friday, July 15                         The 145TH Open – Round 2                           1:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

                                               Golf Central Live From The Open                  4-5 p.m.

Saturday, July 16                     The 145TH Open – Round 3                           4-7 a.m.

                                               The 145TH Open – Round 3 – NBC                 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

                                                The Open Highlights Special – NBC              4-6 p.m.

                                                Golf Central Live From The Open                 2:30-3 p.m.

                                                Golf Central Live From The Open                 8-9 p.m.

Sunday, July 17                        The 145TH Open – Final Round                     4-7 a.m.

                                                The 145TH Open – Final Round – NBC           7 a.m.-2 p.m.

                                                The Open Highlights Special – NBC              4-6 p.m.

                                                Golf Central Live From The Open                  2-3 p.m.

                                                Golf Central Live From The Open                  6-7 p.m.

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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