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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Rahm, with blinders on, within reach of No. 1 at Torrey

By Rex HoggardJanuary 23, 2018, 10:10 pm

SAN DIEGO – The drive over to Torrey Pines from Palm Springs, Calif., takes about two and a half hours, which was plenty of time for Jon Rahm’s new and ever-evolving reality to sink in.

The Spaniard arrived in Southern California for a week full of firsts. The Farmers Insurance Open will mark the first time he’s defended a title on the PGA Tour following his dramatic breakthrough victory last year, and it will also be his first tournament as the game’s second-best player, at least according to the Official World Golf Ranking.

Rahm’s victory last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, his second on Tour and fourth worldwide tilt over the last 12 months, propelled the 23-year-old to No. 2 in the world, just behind Dustin Johnson. His overtime triumph also moved him to within four rounds of unseating DJ atop the global pecking order.

It’s impressive for a player who at this point last year was embarking on his first full season as a professional, but then Rahm has a fool-proof plan to keep from getting mired in the accolades of his accomplishments.

“It's kind of hard to process it, to be honest, because I live my day-to-day life with my girlfriend and my team around me and they don't change their behavior based on what I do, right?” he said on Tuesday at Torrey Pines. “They'll never change what they think of me. So I really don't know the magnitude of what I do until I go outside of my comfort zone.”

Head down and happy has worked perfectly for Rahm, who has finished outside the top 10 in just three of his last 10 starts and began 2018 with a runner-up showing at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and last week’s victory.

According to the world ranking math, Rahm is 1.35 average ranking points behind Johnson and can overtake DJ atop the pack with a victory this week at the Farmers Insurance Open; but to hear his take on his ascension one would imagine a much wider margin.

“I've said many times, beating Dustin Johnson is a really, really hard task,” Rahm said. “We all know what happened last time he was close to a lead in a tournament on the PGA Tour.”

Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos

Rahm certainly remembers. It was just three weeks ago in Maui when he birdied three of his first six holes, played the weekend at Kapalua in 11 under and still finished eight strokes behind Johnson.

And last year at the WGC-Mexico Championship when Rahm closed his week with rounds of 67-68 only to finish two strokes off Johnson’s winning pace, or a few weeks later at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play when he took Johnson the distance in the championship match only to drop a 1-up decision to the game’s undisputed heavyweight.

As far as Rahm has come in an incredibly short time - at this point last year he ranked 137th in the world - it is interesting that it’s been Johnson who has had an answer at every turn.

He knows there’s still so much room for improvement, both physically and mentally, and no one would ever say Rahm is wanting for confidence, but after so many high-profile run-ins with Johnson, his cautious optimism is perfectly understandable.

“I'll try to focus more on what's going on this week rather than what comes with it if I win,” he reasoned when asked about the prospect of unseating Johnson, who isn’t playing this week. “I'll try my best, that's for sure. Hopefully it happens, but we all know how hard it is to win on Tour.”

If Rahm’s take seems a tad cliché given the circumstances, consider that his aversion to looking beyond the blinders is baked into the competitive cake. For all of his physical advantages, of which there are many, it’s his keen ability to produce something special on command that may be even more impressive.

Last year at Torrey Pines was a quintessential example of this, when he began the final round three strokes off the lead only to close his day with a back-nine 30 that included a pair of eagles.

“I have the confidence that I can win here, whereas last year I knew I could but I still had to do it,” he said. “I hope I don't have to shoot 30 on the back nine to win again.”

Some will point to Rahm’s 60-footer for eagle at the 72nd hole last year as a turning point in his young career, it was even named the best putt on Tour by one publication despite the fact he won by three strokes. But Rahm will tell you that walk-off wasn’t even the best shot he hit during the final round.

Instead, he explained that the best shot of the week, the best shot of the year, came on the 13th hole when he launched a 4-iron from a bunker to 18 feet for eagle, a putt that he also made.

“If I don't put that ball on the green, which is actually a lot harder than making that putt, the back nine charge would have never happened and this year might have never happened, so that shot is the one that made everything possible,” he explained.

Rahm’s ability to embrace and execute during those moments is what makes him special and why he’s suddenly found himself as the most likely contender to Johnson’s throne even if he chooses not to spend much time thinking about it.

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Rahm focusing on play, not shot at No. 1

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 9:06 pm

SAN DIEGO – Jon Rahm’s meteoric rise in the world rankings could end with him reaching No. 1 with a win this week at Torrey Pines.

After winning last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, his fourth title in 51 weeks, Rahm has closed the gap on Dustin Johnson – less than 1.5 average points separates them.

With Johnson not playing this week, the 23-year-old Spaniard has a chance to reach the top spot for the first time, but only if he defends his title at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos

“Beating Dustin Johnson is a really, really hard task. It’s no easy task,” he said Tuesday. “We still have four days of golf ahead and we’ll see what happens. But I’ll try to focus more on what’s going on this week rather than what comes with it if I win.

“I’ll try my best, that’s for sure. Hopefully it happens, but we all know how hard it is to win on Tour.”

Rahm has already become the fourth-youngest player to reach No. 2 in the world, behind Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy. 

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Rahm: Playoff wasn't friendly, just 'nervous'

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 8:53 pm

SAN DIEGO – Too chummy? Jon Rahm says he and Andrew Landry were just expending some nervous energy on the walk up to the fairway during the first playoff hole of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

“I wouldn’t have been that nervous if it was friendly,” Rahm said with a smile Tuesday. “I think it was something he said because we were talking going out of the first tee.

“I didn’t know Andrew – I think it was a pretty good time to get to know him. We had at least 10 minutes to ourselves. It’s not like we were supporting each other, right? We were both in it together, we were both nervous together, and I felt like talking about it might have eased the tension out of both of us.”

Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos

On Sunday, two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange saw the exchange on TV and tweeted: “Walking off the tee talking to each other. Are you kidding me? Talking at all?”

Strange followed up by saying that, in a head-to-head situation, the last thing he’d want to do was make his opponent comfortable. When his comments went viral, Strange tweeted at Rahm, who won after four holes: “Hopefully no offense taken on my comment yesterday. You guys are terrific. I’m a huge fan of all players today. Made an adverse comment on U guys talking during playoff. Not for me. A fan.”

Not surprisingly, the gregarious Rahm saw things differently.

“We only talked going out of the first tee up until the fairway,” he said. “Besides that, all we said was, ‘Good shot, good putt, see you on the next tee.’ That’s what it was reduced to. We didn’t say much.” 

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Tiger grouped with Reed, Hoffman at Torrey Pines

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 8:35 pm

SAN DIEGO – Tiger Woods will make his 2018 debut alongside Patrick Reed and Charley Hoffman.

The threesome will go off Torrey Pines’ South Course at 1:40 p.m. ET Thursday at the Farmers Insurance Open. They begin at 12:30 p.m. Friday on the North Course.

Woods is an eight-time winner at Torrey Pines, including the 2008 U.S. Open, but he hasn’t broken 70 in his last seven rounds on either course. Last year, he shot rounds of 76-72 to miss the cut.

Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos

Reed, who has grown close to Woods after being in his pod during the past two international team competitions, is coming off a missed cut last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Hoffman, a San Diego native, has only two top-10s in 20 career starts at Torrey.

Other featured groups for the first two rounds include:

• Jon Rahm, Jason Day and Brandt Snedeker: 1:30 p.m. Thursday off South 1, 12:20 p.m. Friday off North 10

• Rickie Fowler, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele: 12:30 p.m. Thursday off North 10, 1:30 p.m. Friday off South 1

• Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Hideki Matsuyama: 12:40 p.m. Thursday off North 10, 1:40 p.m. Friday off South 1