NBC Sports Group to Deliver More Than 100 Hours of Live Tournament and News Programming for Final Three FedExCup Playoffs Events

By Golf Channel Public RelationsAugust 26, 2014, 8:05 pm

Hunter Mahan captured the first leg of the FedExCup Playoffs at The Barclays on Sunday with a two-stroke victory, vaulting him to the No. 1 position in the FedExCup points race and the ultimate $10 million prize.  This week, NBC Sports Group assumes control of the remainder of the FedExCup Playoffs beginning Friday, Aug. 29, with the Deutsche Bank Championship from TPC Boston and continuing with the BMW Championship (Sept. 4-7) at Cherry Hills Country Club near Denver and the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola (Sept. 11-14) at historic East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.

In total, NBC Sports Group will televise more than 100 hours of FedExCup Playoffs news and tournament action from the final three tournaments of the 2013/2014 PGA TOUR season.  Golf Channel will carry first- and second-round live coverage, as well as weekend lead-in coverage prior to Golf Channel on NBC’s coverage of the third and final rounds.  Golf Channel’s Spotlight Coverage also returns for the Deutsche Bank Championship and the BMW Championship, complementing NBC’s weekend coverage by focusing on each tournament’s signature holes down the stretch.

Golf Channel will originate its daily news show, Golf Central, from the final two FedExCup Playoff sites in Denver and Atlanta, providing wraparound news coverage with interviews, analysis and special features.  Additionally, Morning Drive, Golf Channel’s daily morning news and lifestyle show, will conduct live interviews on-site from the final three events.

From an initial field of 125, the top-100 players in the FedExCup points standings following the conclusion of The Barclays will compete this week in Boston.  Results from this week’s Deutsche Bank Championship will further narrow the field to 70 players for the BMW Championship.  The final cut following the BMW Championship will determine which 30 players will result in the top-30 players competing in the season-ending TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola at famed East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, where the FedExCup champion will be crowned and awarded a $10 million check. 

BROADCAST TEAMS:  Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller – wrapping up their 15th season together – will anchor NBC’s weekend coverage of the final three PGA TOUR events, joined by tower reporters Gary Koch and Peter Jacobsen; on-course reporters Roger Maltbie, Mark Rolfing and Notah Begay; and interviewer Steve Sands.  Multiple Emmy Award-winning essayist Jimmy Roberts will join the team for the final two FedExCup Playoff events.  Terry Gannon (Deutsche Bank) and Rich Lerner (BMW and TOUR Championship) will handle play-by-play duties for Golf Channel’s early round and lead-in  coverage, with Frank Nobilo serving as lead analyst. Twenty-nine time Emmy Award-winner Tommy Roy will produce Golf Channel and Golf Channel on NBC’s coverage.

GOLF CENTRAL ON-LOCATION – All Golf Central telecasts for the final two FedExCup Playoff events will originate from the BMW Championship and the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, providing comprehensive wraparound coverage of the tournament action.  Reporting on-site for Golf Central will be Ryan Burr, Steve Burkowski, Brandel Chamblee, Steve Flesch, Todd Lewis, Frank Nobilo, Arron Oberholser, Tim Rosaforte and Kelly Tilghman.

SPOTLIGHT COVERAGE RETURNS:  Golf Channel’s Spotlight Coverage will return for the Deutsche Bank Championship and the BMW Championship, focusing on the finishing stretch of holes – 16-18 – while complementing NBC’s live, third- and final-round coverage.  While NBC is on the air Saturday and Sunday with traditional coverage, Golf Channel’s Spotlight Coverage also will air live with a different look from the same tournament.  Spotlight Coverage is enhanced for 2014, featuring a reverse-L on-screen graphic displaying continuous stats and player updates.  Coverage will be highlighted by special production elements, including Pro Tracer, which uses graphics to track the flight of the ball in real time; and TrackMan, a technology that measures club-head speed, ball speed and carry distance.  Randy Moss (Deutsche Bank) and Tom Abbott (BMW Championship) will handle play-by-play duties.  Curt Byrum will join the broadcast booth as lead analyst, with Phil Parkin and Scott McCarron reporting from the golf course.

STREAMING ON GOLF LIVE EXTRA: All the news and tournament action surrounding the FedExCup Playoffs can be accessed any place at any time on any device via Golf Channel’s Golf Live Extra, now available to more fans than ever before.  Golf Live Extra provides an authenticated stream of Golf Channel programming – including popular shows like Morning Drive, Golf Central, The Golf Fix, and as well as live tournaments – 24/7 on any mobile device and online at www.GolfChannel.com.  Fans also can stream Golf Channel on NBC coverage of live golf with NBC Sports Live Extra.

NBC Sports Group FedExCup Playoffs Tournament Coverage (all times ET):

Deutsche Bank Championship

Friday                          2:30-6:30 p.m.                                     Golf Channel

                                   11:30 p.m.-3:30 a.m. (replay)               Golf Channel

Saturday                      3-6:30 p.m.                                          Golf Channel

                                    11:30 p.m.-3 a.m. (replay)                   Golf Channel

Sunday                         1-3 p.m.                                              Golf Channel

                                    3-5 p.m. (Spotlight Coverage)              Golf Channel

                                    3-6 p.m.                                               NBC

                                    11:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (NBC replay)      Golf Channel

Monday                        11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.                          Golf Channel

                                    1:30-5 p.m. (Spotlight Coverage)         Golf Channel

                                    1:30-6 p.m.                                          NBC

                                    8 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (GC/NBC replay)       Golf Channel

Tuesday                       1-6 p.m. (NBC final-round replay)       Golf Channel

BMW Championship

Thursday                     4-8 p.m.                                               Golf Channel

                                   8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (replay)               Golf Channel

Friday                          4-8 p.m.                                               Golf Channel

                                   8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (replay)               Golf Channel

Saturday                      1-3 p.m.                                               Golf Channel

                                   3-5 p.m. (Spotlight Coverage)               Golf Channel

                                   3-6 p.m.                                                NBC

                                   9:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (GC/NBC replay)   Golf Channel

Sunday                        Noon-2 p.m.                                         Golf Channel

                                   2-5 p.m. (Spotlight Coverage)               Golf Channel

                                   2-6 p.m.                                               NBC

                                   9:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (GC/NBC replay)   Golf Channel

Monday                       1-6 p.m. (GC/NBC replay)                    Golf Channel

TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola

Thursday                     1-6 p.m.                                               Golf Channel

                                   8:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m.(replay)                  Golf Channel

Friday                          1-6 p.m.                                               Golf Channel

                                    8:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. (replay)                Golf Channel

Saturday                      Noon-2:30 p.m.                                    Golf Channel

                                   2:30-6 p.m.                                           NBC

                                   6:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (GC/NBC replay)  Golf Channel

Sunday                        Noon-1:30 p.m.                                    Golf Channel

                                   1:30-6 p.m.                                           NBC

                                   7 p.m.-1 a.m. (GC/NBC replay)             Golf Channel

Monday                       1-6 p.m. (GC/NBC replay)                     Golf Channel

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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.