NBC Sports Group Plan for 2014 U.S. Open Championship Includes More Than 75 Combined Live Hours of Coverage During Tournament Week From Pinehurst

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJune 5, 2014, 9:45 pm

On the eve of the 15th anniversary of a historic victory on one of championship golf’s most celebrated venues, NBC and Golf Channel are scheduled to present 75 combined live hours of television surrounding the 2014 U.S. Open Championship from the famed Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina.

Golf Channel on NBC will showcase 19 live hours of tournament coverage of the season’s second major championship Thursday through Sunday, June 12-15, which will be complemented by 57 live hours of news, analysis and highlights on Golf Channel – the most in network history – via daily editions of Golf Central’s Live From the U.S. Open and Morning Drive.  All programming will originate from Pinehurst, including a special edition of The Golf Fix with Michael Breed (Monday, June 9 at 6 p.m. ET) and a State of the Game  panel discussion that will tackle the biggest stories surrounding Championship week (Tuesday, June 10 at 9 p.m. ET).  Additionally, following the overwhelming success of its debut film, Arnie, Golf Channel Films will present Payne, a remembrance of the late Payne Stewart on the 15th anniversary of his U.S. Open victory at Pinehurst (Sunday, June 8 at 5 p.m. ET on NBC; Monday, June 9 at 10 p.m. on Golf Channel).

Live streaming of tournament action, news and analysis will be offered via NBCU digital properties NBCSports.com and GolfChannel.com, and mobile applications NBC Sports Live Extra and Golf Live Extra.

Broadcast Team:  Dan Hicks and 1973 U.S. Open Champion Johnny Miller will anchor NBC’s four-day coverage, which also will feature Peter Jacobsen and Gary Koch in outer tower positions; Notah Begay, Roger Maltbie and Mark Rolfing walking and reporting from the golf course; Steve Sands conducting player interviews; and Jimmy Roberts presenting his signature video essays.

Ryan Burr, Rich Lerner and Kelly Tilghman will anchor Golf Channel’s Live From the U.S. Open telecasts from Pinehurst, and will be joined by analysts Brandel Chamblee, Brad Faxon, Steve Flesch, Frank Nobilo and Arron Oberholser.  Steve Burkowski and Todd Lewis will provide reports from the field.

U.S. Open Airtimes on NBC (all times ET):

June 12                        Thursday                     Round 1                      3-5 p.m.

June 13                        Friday                          Round 2                      3-5 p.m.

June 14                        Saturday                      Round 3                      Noon-7:30 p.m.

June 15                        Sunday                        Final Round                Noon-7:30 p.m.

Surrounding Programming:  News and stories will be plentiful during U.S. Open week and Golf Channel will capture it all with nearly 60 hours of U.S. Open-themed programming surrounding tournament play, including tournament highlights, inside analysis, player interviews and news conferences, compelling features, discussion, instruction and a documentary film.

  • Live From the U.S. Open, which will originate entirely from its set overlooking the clubhouse at Pinehurst, begins the week with pre-tournament player news conferences and airs throughout the week before and after tournament play.  Colin Montgomerie and John Feinstein will join the team as guest analysts during the week.
  • Morning Drive will begin each day from Golf Channel’s Orlando studios with the latest news from Pinehurst – Monday through Wednesday at 7 a.m. ET, and Thursday through Sunday at 6 a.m. ET.
  • The Golf Fix with Michael Breed will be live on the driving range at Pinehurst No. 2 on Monday, June 9 at 6 p.m. ET to learn how the pros are gearing up for competition and how to hit the shots required to become the next national champion. Breed will interact live with viewers by answering social media questions and will be joined by kids from The First Tee throughout the show.
  • State of the Game continues its presence at golf’s biggest events on Tuesday, June 10 at 9 p.m. ET with a panel discussing and debating the biggest stories of the week.  Planned topics include:  pressure on Phil Mickelson to complete the career Grand Slam; impact of Tiger Woods’ absence on Tour in 2014; 15th anniversary of Payne Stewart’s victory at Pinehurst; and renovations to Pinehurst No. 2.  Host Dan Hicks will be joined by panelists Brandel Chamblee, Gary Koch, Roger Maltbie, Johnny Miller, Frank Nobilo and Mark Rolfing.

Features:  Throughout the week, Live From the U.S. Open will present compelling features built around the best stories surrounding the 2014 U.S. Open Championship:

  • Phil’s Close Calls – Rich Lerner takes a look at Phil Mickelson’s record six times a runner-up at U.S. Open Championships.
  • The “It” Factor – Who will be the heirs apparent to the superstar status of Tiger and Phil?  Lerner looks at young players like Jordan Spieth and what tools they will need to possess to step into a new role.
  • McRae – Pinehurst holds a lot of great stories, but none more compelling than 82-year-old caddie Willie McRae, who has caddied there for more than 70 years.
  • 2004 Evolution – it’s hard to forget the 2004 U.S. Open when Shinnecock Hills’ 7th green was virtually unplayable due to USGA’s controversial course set-up.  Ten years later, John Feinstein recounts the story and takes a look at the evolution of the USGA course set-up at U.S. Open Championship venues.
  • No. 2 – Matt Ginella takes a look at the architectural changes made to Pinehurst No. 2, and why Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore were chosen to be the ones to make them.
  • The Crash Site – it’s been 15 years since the tragic event that took the life of 1999 U.S. Open Champion Payne Stewart.  Golf Channel cameras visit the site of the plane crash in rural South Dakota and discover a heartfelt memorial by the land owner.
  • Ernie in ’94 – Frank Nobilo remembers the three-man playoff and the unlikely round of golf that gave Ernie Els his first major championship victory.
  • Memories – it’s been 25 years since Curtis Strange won back-to-back U.S. Opens.  Lerner interviews Strange and his wife, Sarah, about life on tour in the late ‘80s.

PAYNE:  Commemorating the life of one of the game’s legendary figures – Payne Stewart – Golf Channel Films will present a one-hour film, Payne, as the U.S. Open returns to Pinehurst on the 15-year anniversary of Stewart’s victory. Produced by 15-time Emmy Award winner Peter Franchella, Payne will showcase Stewart’s journey into becoming not only one of the game’s most-beloved players on the golf course, but also a dedicated family man, entertainer, jokester and golf fashion icon with his signature plus-fours and tam-o’-shanter caps. And after Golf Channel Films’ critically acclaimed Arnie trended on Twitter during its three-day premiere, the conversation will be following #Payne via Golf Channel’s social media platforms. Payne will premiere Sunday, June 8 at 5 p.m. ET on NBC and Monday, June 9 at 10 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.

DIGITAL:  GolfChannel.com will feature expanded editorial content during U.S. Open week with up-to-the-minute blogs and fan interaction, including:

  • News & Features GolfChannel.com writers will post U.S. Open-related features throughout the week, beginning with preview content about Phil Mickelson’s quest for a U.S. Open victory, the 15th anniversary of Payne Stewart’s victory at Pinehurst, changes to No. 2 and what the ladies can learn from the men when the U.S. Women’s Open follows the week after at Pinehurst.
  • Live Chats GolfChannel.com editorial staff will host live chats Thursday-Sunday to keep fans up-to-date and answer their questions as the action unfolds.
    • Thursday & Friday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET
    • Saturday & Sunday: 2-7:30 p.m. ET
  • Exclusive Video Content GolfChannel.com will provide exclusive “Instant Analysis” video updates delivered by a Golf Channel expert about the day’s biggest story.

INTERACTIVE:  Live From the U.S. Open will incorporate the use of polling technology, iPowow, which will give fans the opportunity to actively participate in Golf Channel programming through a computer or mobile device.  Only Internet access is required, making the process simple for anyone to use.  Viewers will be invited by Golf Channel personalities to answer poll questions on a variety of topics, which then they can track by the second at GolfChannel.com/vote.  Golf Channel has the option to air ongoing results or reveal updates at any given moment. 

U.S. Open Programming on Golf Channel and NBC, June 8-15 (all times live ET):

Sunday, June 8

Payne                                                                                     5-6 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, June 9

Morning Drive                                                                        7-9 a.m.

Live From the U.S. Open                                                        11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

The Golf Fix                                                                           6-7 p.m.

Live From the U.S. Open                                                         7-8:30 p.m.

Payne                                                                                     10-11 p.m.

Tuesday, June 10

Morning Drive                                                                         7-9 a.m.

Live From the U.S. Open                                                          9 a.m.-5 p.m.

                                                                                               7-8 p.m.

State of the Game                                                                    9-10 p.m.

Wednesday, June 11

Morning Drive                                                                          7-9 a.m.

Live From the U.S. Open                                                           9 a.m.-5 p.m.

                                                                                                7-9 p.m.

Thursday, June 12

Morning Drive                                                                          6-7 a.m.

Live From the U.S. Open                                                           7-9 a.m.

U.S. Open Championship                                                         3-5 p.m. (NBC)

Live From the U.S. Open                                                           7-9 p.m.

Friday, June 13

Morning Drive                                                                          6-7 a.m.

Live From the U.S. Open                                                           7-9 a.m.

U.S. Open Championship                                                         3-5 p.m. (NBC)

Live From the U.S. Open                                                          7-9 p.m.

Saturday, June 14

Morning Drive                                                                         6-8 a.m.

Live From the U.S. Open                                                          8-11 a.m.

Morning Drive                                                                         11 a.m.-Noon

U.S. Open Championship                                                         Noon-7:30 p.m. (NBC)

Live From the U.S. Open                                                          7:30-9:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 15

Morning Drive                                                                         6-8 a.m.

Live From the U.S. Open                                                          8-11 a.m.

Morning Drive                                                                         11 a.m.-Noon

U.S. Open Championship                                                        Noon-7:30 p.m. (NBC)

Live From the U.S. Open                                                         7:30-9:30 p.m.

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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

@tommyfleetwood_1

A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.