NBC Sports Group Tournament Airtimes & Notes: June 9-12

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJune 7, 2016, 9:25 pm

Ko and Thompson Lead 18 of Top-20 in the World Competing in 2nd Women’s Major of 2016 at KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, Airing in Primetime on Golf Channel & NBC from Sahalee Country Club Near Seattle

PGA TOUR Champions Concludes Stretch of Three Majors in Four Weeks with Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship Outside Philadelphia

Johnson, Mickelson Headline Field at FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis with Four Invites to 145TH Open Available through Open Qualifying Series

Web.com Tour in Illinois for Rust-Oleum Championship 

European Tour in Austria for Lyoness Open

ORLANDO, Fla. (June 7, 2016) – The LPGA Tour stages its second major of the season this week with the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Sahalee Country Club outside of Seattle. Golf Channel and NBC will combine to air live, primetime tournament coverage featuring 18 of the top-20 players in the world, including Lydia Ko, Inbee Park and Lexi Thompson. The PGA TOUR Champions are in Philadelphia for the Tour’s third major in four weeks with the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship, with Bernhard Langer defending his 2015 title. Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka headline the PGA TOUR’s FedEx St. Jude Classic this week, with a possible four invitations to The 145TH Open available for players not already exempt who finish inside the top-12 (and ties). The Web.com Tour is in Illinois for the Rust-Oleum Championship, while the European Tour is in Austria for the Lyoness Open.




KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

Dates: June 9-12                                                                         

Venue: Sahalee Country Club, Sammamish, Wash.


Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

Thursday         7-10 p.m. (Live) / 1:30-3:30 a.m. (Friday replay)

Friday              7-10 p.m. (Live) / 1:30-3:30 a.m. (Saturday replay)

Saturday          5-6 p.m. (Live) / 9 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)

Sunday            6-8:30 p.m. (Live) / 11:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Replay)


Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):

Saturday          2-5 p.m. (Live)

Sunday            4:30-6 p.m. (Live)


Broadcast Notes:

NBC Sports tournament coverage airing live and in primetime, with NBC broadcast leading into Golf Channel’s telecast on the weekend: NBC Sports Group will showcase the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship live and in primetime on the East Coast, Thursday-Sunday, June 9-12. Weekend lead-in live coverage will begin on NBC on both Saturday and Sunday, with continuing coverage both days airing on Golf Channel.

Golf Central on-site from Sahalee Country Club: Golf Channel’s signature news program, Golf Central, will provide on-site news coverage throughout the week from Sahalee Country Club. Cara Robinson will anchor Golf Central’s live coverage from Sahalee Country Club, and will be joined by analysts Brandel Chamblee and Paige Mackenzie, with Lisa Cornwell reporting and conducting player interviews.

Golf Central Special player news conferences airing from 5-6 p.m. ET on Wednesday: On Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET, Golf Central will air a special player news conferences show from the media center at Sahalee Country Club, featuring players in the field looking ahead to their opening round on Thursday.

Park chasing history: Inbee Park this week will attempt to become the first female golfer to win the same major in four consecutive years. Combatting injuries to her left thumb and back all season, she needs only to complete her opening round to record her 10th start of the year and meet the LPGA Hall of Fame’s 10-year LPGA membership requirement, though she has withdrawn after the opening round in each of her last two starts.

Jutanugarn vying for fourth consecutive victory: Ariya Jutanugarn will look to continue her streak as the hottest player in the game of late, having won in each of her last three starts. She’ll look to become the first player to win four straight events in which she’s competed in since Lorena Ochoa did it in 2008.

KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit Airing on Golf Live Extra, CNBC.com on Wednesday: Golf Central also will offer news coverage of the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit, which will be hosted on-site on Wednesday, and assemble accomplished leaders in sports, business, politics and media to inspire the next generation of women leaders. Condoleezza Rice and Annika Sorenstam will keynote the gathering, with NBC’s Sunday Night Football sideline reporter Michele Tafoya serving as master of ceremonies. Sessions will be moderated by NBC on-air talent including: NBC News and MSNBC Business Correspondent Olivia Sterns, CNBC Contributor Deidre Bosa and Golf Channel/NBC play-by-play host Terry Gannon. The summit will be streamed live from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET on Golf Live Extra Powered by PlayMaker Media and via CNBC.com.

UL International crown field to be finalized at week’s end: Following the conclusion of this week’s event, the four highest ranked players from each of the eight qualifying countries will make up their respective teams for next month’s UL International Crown match play event. The eight countries will be seeded #1 through #8, and will be divided into two pools based on the cumulative total of the four players’ Rolex World Rankings published following the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

Park defends: Inbee Park finished five shots clear of the field at Westchester Country Club to win her third straight KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

Headlining the field: Lydia Ko, Inbee Park, Lexi Thompson, Brooke Henderson, Stacy Lewis, Ariya Jutanugarn, Sei Young Kim, In Gee Chun, Anna Nordqvist and Gerina Piller.


NBC Sports Broadcast Team:

Play by Play: Dan Hicks / Terry Gannon (Thursday-Friday)

Analyst: Annika Sorenstam / Judy Rankin (Thursday-Friday) / Curt Byrum (Saturday-Sunday)    

Tower: Tom Abbott / Curt Byrum (Thursday-Friday)

On-Course: Kay Cockerill / Mark Rolfing

Interviews: Steve Sands


Golf Central Broadcast Team:

Host: Cara Robinson

Analyst: Brandel Chamblee / Paige Mackenzie

Reporter: Lisa Cornwell




Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship

Dates: June 9-12

Venue: Philadelphia Cricket Club (Wissahickon Course), Flourtown, Pa.


Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

Thursday         12:30-3:30 p.m. (Live) / 3:30-5 a.m. (Friday replay)

Friday              12:30-3:30 p.m. (Live) / 3:30-6 a.m. (Saturday replay)

Saturday          3-5 p.m. (Live) / 3:30-5:30 a.m. (Sunday replay)

Sunday            3-6 p.m. (Live) / 4-5:30 a.m. (Monday replay)


Broadcast Notes:

Bookending a stretch of three PGA TOUR Champions majors in four weeks: This week’s Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship will mark Golf Channel and NBC’s coverage of the third PGA TOUR Champions major over a four week stretch. Golf Channel and NBC also will carry exclusive coverage of the Tour’s next major, the Senior Open from Carnoustie Golf Links, July 21-24.  

Langer defends: Bernhard Langer finished six strokes ahead of the field to earn his fifth senior major and 24th career PGA TOUR Champions victory.

Headlining the field: Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie, John Daly, Tom Watson, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Vijay Singh, Rocco Mediate, Jeff Maggert, Jesper Parnevik and Kenny Perry.


Golf Channel Broadcast Team:

Play by Play: Bob Papa

Analyst: Lanny Wadkins

Tower: John Mahaffey / Dave Marr

On-Course: Billy Ray Brown

Interviews: Tim Rosaforte




FedEx St. Jude Classic

Dates: June 9-12

Venue: TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tenn.


Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

Thursday         3:30-6:30 p.m. (Live) / 10:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. (Replay)

Friday              3:30-6:30 p.m. (Live) / 10:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. (Replay)

Saturday          1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / Midnight-3:30 a.m. (Sunday replay)

Sunday            1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 2:30-4 a.m. (Monday replay)


Broadcast Notes:   

Four potential invites to 145TH Open available through Open Qualifying Series: This event serves as a qualifier for The 2016 Open as part of The Open Qualifying Series. Up to four places in the field at Royal Troon are available this week for players finishing in the top-12 (and ties) not already exempt into the event.

Gomez defends: Fabian Gomez finished four shots ahead of Greg Owen for his inaugural PGA TOUR win.

Headlining the field: Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Ernie Els, Steve Stricker, Luke Donald, Retief Goosen, Lee McCoy, Graeme McDowell, Robby Shelton and Jon Curran.


Golf Channel Broadcast Team:

Play by Play: Whit Watson      

Analyst: Jim Gallagher Jr.

Tower: Frank Nobilo / Matt Gogel

On-Course: Phil Blackmar / Damon Hack

Interviews: Rex Hoggard




Rust-Oleum Championship

Dates: June 9-12                                                                         

Venue: Ivanhoe Club, Ivanhoe, Ill.   


Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

Thursday         10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Live)

Friday              10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Live)

Saturday          7-9 p.m. (Tape delay) / 4-6 p.m. (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)

Sunday            9:30-11:30 p.m. (Tape delay) / 4-6 p.m. (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)


Broadcast Notes:

Headlining the field: Ben Curtis, Oliver Goss, Ollie Schniederjans, Casey Wittenberg, Richy Werenski, Matthew Goggin, Brad Fritsch, Andrew Svoboda, Ryan Armour and Len Mattiace.


Golf Channel Broadcast Team:

Play by Play: Grant Boone

Analyst: Craig Perks

Tower: Steve Burkowski

On-Course: Tripp Isenhour / Gary Christian




Lyoness Open

Dates: June 9-12

Venue: Diamond Country Club (Diamond Course), Atzenbrugg, Austria


Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

Thursday         5-7 a.m. / 9-10:30 a.m. (Live)

Friday              5-7 a.m. / 9-10:30 a.m. (Live)

Saturday          6-10 a.m. (Live)

Sunday            5:30-10 a.m. (Live)


Broadcast Notes:

Wood defends: Chris Wood won by two shots over Rafa Cabrera-Bello for his second career European Tour win.

Headlining the field: Y.E. Yang, Thomas Bjorn, David Howell, Bernd Wiesberger, Chris Wood, Lasse Jensen and Sepp Straka.


Golf Channel Broadcast Team:

Studio Host: Mike Ritz

Play by Play: Dominik Holyer

Analyst: Tony Johnstone

On-Course: Julian Tutt


-NBC Sports Group-

Getty Images

Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

"A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

"If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

"I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

"It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

"It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

"I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

"If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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LPGA lists April date for new LA event

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.