NBC Sports Group Kicks off Today its All-Encompassing Coverage of the 145TH Open

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJuly 12, 2016, 9:35 am

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

 Johnny Miller, Dan Hicks and Mike Tirico to Introduce Golf Channel’s Opening Round Coverage on at 1:30 a.m. ET Thursday Morning, 10:30 p.m. PT in Wednesday’s Primetime on the West Coast

 More than 200 Hours of Streaming and Digital Enhancements Provide Access to The Open from Any Screen, Anywhere, Anytime

 Golf Channel Features include Justin Rose All-Access; Feherty’s Unique Take on Scotland; and Retrospective of 1973 Champion Golfer Tom Weiskopf

 TROON, Scotland (July 11, 2016) – The dramatic setting of Royal Troon Golf Club will provide the backdrop for NBC Sports Group’s inaugural coverage of The 145TH Open this week, headlining more than 140 hours of combined programming beginning today on Golf Channel and NBC.

From golf’s original championship, NBC and Golf Channel will deliver nearly 50 hours of live tournament action, the most planned hours for a men’s major championship ever. In addition, all live coverage inside the ropes will be complemented by nearly 60 hours of wraparound news coverage on Golf Channel via Golf Central Live From The Open and Morning Drive.

Golf’s longest tenured 18th tower duo, lead analyst Johnny Miller and play-by-play-man Dan Hicks will be joined by host Mike Tirico to welcome viewers to NBC Sports Group’s coverage of The 145TH Open. Coming on the air to showcase the first tee shots of the opening round, coverage will begin early Thursday morning at 1:30 a.m. ET, which is in primetime on the West Coast on Wednesday night at 10:30 p.m. PT.


NEARLY 200 HOURS OF LIVE DIGITAL STREAMING COVERAGE: NBC Sports Group will stream nearly 200 hours of live coverage from The Open via Golf Live Extra and the NBC Sports App, powered by Playmaker Media. Golf Channel’s live streaming coverage is the network’s most ever in a one-week span, which will encompass all four rounds of live tournament coverage, Golf Central Live From The Open, Morning Drive, NBC’s weekend recap presentations, DirecTV Mosaic channels, and Golf Channel Digital’s Fairways of Life simulcast.

DIRECTV MOSAIC OF THE OPEN: From Thursday through Sunday, NBC Sports has teamed up with with DIRECTV to provide its exclusive, signature mosaic offering for The Open. The exclusive Open Experience includes four channels of coverage that fans can watch individually or all on one screen along with instant access to an interactive menu of features, including a live leaderboard, player stats, bios, scorecards and tee times.  The Mosaic or *Mix Channel (Channel 701) will include:

  • Live TV (Channel 702) – Simulcast of Golf Channel’s and NBC’s live tournament coverage Thursday-Sunday.
  • Marquee Group (703) – Live coverage of featured groups from both the early and late waves of competitors on Thursday and Friday, and key groups over the weekend.
  • Featured Holes (704) – Live coverage of holes 6,7 and one of the most famous holes in golf, the 123-yard par-3 8th hole, better known as “The Postage Stamp.”
  • First Tee & Golf Central (705) – Live coverage of the first tee for every group Thursday-Sunday. Once all golfers are on the course, coverage will transition to an original studio show featuring contributions from Golf Channel anchors, reporters and analysts providing highlights and discussion about the latest storylines.

* For full Mix Channel and interactive functionality, HD equipment model H/HR 21 or later is required.


Throughout the week, special high-quality features on golf’s original major will air within Golf Central Live From The Open news programming, as well as Golf Channel and NBC’s live tournament coverage, including:

  • Justin Rose: Full Circle: Justin Rose burst onto the golf scene at the 1998 Open at Royal Birkdale as a 17-year old amateur with a hole-out from the rough that punctuated his debut. Golf Channel visits with Rose at his home in the Bahamas, where he opens up about his slow start after turning pro and his breakthrough win at the 2013 U.S. Open after his father passed away.
  • NBC Sports’ David Feherty’s Unique Takes on The Open and Scotland:Feherty recently visited Scotland for a slate of features to be used across news and tournament productions. Feherty’s trademark take will extend to Scottish hallmarks like gorse and haggis, one of Troon’s local pubs and Arran, the largest island within the Firth of Clyde.
  • Royal Troon’s Tee-to-Greens with Frank Nobilo – Golf Channel analyst Frank Nobilo scouts the holes of Royal Troon Golf Club in advance of The Open to give viewers an inside look at the signature holes and the shots players will need in order to win The Open.
  • The Birthplace of The Open: Prestwick Golf Club – Rich Lerner gives viewers an overview of the rich history of Prestwick Golf Club, located a mere few miles south of Troon, and home to the first Open in 1860.
  • Tom Weiskopf Reflects on Career and ’73 Open Win: Rich Lerner visits the home of 1973 Open Champion Tom Weiskopf in Bozemon, Mont., where he discusses the lofty expectations in his golf career that he feels he did not live up to, his major championship win at Royal Troon in 1973 immediately following the death of his father; and his biggest triumph: celebrating 16 years of sobriety.


TOURNAMENT BROADCAST TEAM: Dan Hicks andJohnny Miller (1976 Open Champion), Terry Gannon and Sir Nick Faldo (1987, 1990, 1992 Open Champion) and Steve Sands and Frank Nobilo (T-10 at the 1997 Open at Royal Troon) will rotate in the 18th Tower for Golf Channel and NBC’s live tournament coverage of The Open. Making his NBC Sports debut, Mike Tirico will serve as host of The Open and assist with some play-by-play of tournament coverage. The broadcast team for all four rounds also will include David Feherty, Peter Jacobsen, Gary Koch, Roger Maltbie, Mark Rolfing, Tom Abbott, Notah Begay, Billy Ray Brown, Curt Byrum, Jerry Foltz, Jimmy Roberts and Todd Lewis.

GOLF CENTRAL LIVE FROM THE OPEN: Rich Lerner and Ryan Burr will anchor Golf Central Live From The Open coverage from onsite at Royal Troon and will be joined by analysts David Duval (2001 Open Champion) – who also will be competing in The 145TH Open – as well as Brandel Chamblee, Frank Nobilo, Notah Begay, Mark Rolfing, Sir Nick Faldo, Paul McGinley, Colin Montgomerie and Billy Kratzert. They will be joined by a team of reporters and contributors, including Steve Burkowski, Todd Lewis, Rex Hoggard, Tim Rosaforte and Ken Schofield.

SPECIAL “MIDNIGHT” DRIVE AT THE OPEN: Morning Drive will set the scene Monday-Wednesday with live interviews from Royal Troon. Co-hosts Damon Hack and Cara Robinson will report from on-site, joining co-hosts Gary Williams, Charlie Rymer, Chris DiMarco, John Cook and Lauren Thompson in Golf Channel’s World Headquarters in Orlando, Fla.

A first-ever “late night” special edition of “Midnight” Drivewill lead into live opening round coverage on Wednesday night, starting at 11:30 p.m. ET. Co-hosts Hack and Robinson will be joined by special guest Ken Schofield from Royal Troon, along with co-hosts Williams, Rymer, Cook and Thompson from Orlando.

DIGITAL EDITORIAL CONTENT: Golf Channel Digital will feature expanded editorial content for The Open with up-to-the-minute blogs and fan interaction, highlighted by:

  • News & Features: Golf Channel Digital’s Mercer Baggs, Jay Coffin, Rex Hoggard, and Ryan Lavner will report from Royal Troon throughout the week with blogs, columns and features.
  • Exclusive Video Content: Daily video updates throughout the week will originate from the network’s digital studio in Orlando, as well as segments from Golf Central Live From The Open and Morning Drive news coverage. George Savaricas, Lisa Cornwell, Tripp Isenhour and Robert Damron will deliver these exclusive video updates and analysis throughout the week.


Monday, July 11                     Golf Central Live From The Open                  7-9 p.m.

Tuesday, July 12                     Morning Drive                                              6-8 a.m.

                                              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                Morning Drive                                               6-8 a.m.

                                              Golf Central Live From The Open                  8 a.m.-1 p.m.

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

                                               "Midnight” Drive Special                               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 Recap 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 Recap 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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Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

"I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

"I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

"Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

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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