NBC Sports Group Tournament Airtimes & Notes (March 10-13)

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMarch 8, 2016, 9:00 pm

Florida Swing Enters Third Leg as Spieth Defends at Valspar Championship

 

Jimenez Headlines the Field at European Tour’s True Thailand Classic

 

Mission Hills Stages World Ladies Championship in China

 

Field of 16 to Compete for Investec Cup on Sunshine Tour

 

The PGA TOUR stages the third leg of its Florida Swing as World No. 1 Jordan Spieth is set to defend his 2015 title at the Valspar Championship outside of Tampa. Golf Channel and NBC will televise the event – the third in a series of six consecutive weeks of exclusive NBC Sports Group live tournament coverage of the PGA TOUR leading up to the Masters in April. Miguel Angel Jimenez will headline the field at the True Thailand Classic on the European Tour, while the Ladies European Tour heads to China for the World Ladies Championship. And on the Sunshine Tour, a field of 16 will compete in the final event of the season as part of the Chase to the Investec Cup.

 

PGA TOUR

 

Valspar Championship

Dates: March 10-13

Venue: Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club (Copperhead Course), Palm Harbor, Fla.

 

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

Thursday         3-6 p.m. (Live) / 7-10 p.m. (Replay)

Friday              3-6 p.m. (Live) / 7-10 p.m. (Replay)

Saturday          1-3 p.m. (Live) / 7 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)

Sunday            1-3 p.m. (Live) / 7 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)

 

Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):

Saturday          3-6 p.m. (Live)

Sunday            3-6 p.m. (Live)

 

Broadcast Notes:

Last opportunity to qualify for WGC-Dell Match Play in Austin: The top-64 players in the Official World Golf Ranking at the conclusion of the Valspar Championship are eligible to compete in the WGC-Dell Match Play in Austin, March 23-27.

Morning Drive on-site from Innisbrook: Golf Channel’s daily news program, Morning Drive (10 a.m.-Noon ET Thursday-Sunday), will feature on-site reports Thursday-Sunday from Innisbrook’s Copperhead course. Damon Hack and Paige Mackenzie will provide live updates on location and conduct interviews with players and other guests each day.

Spieth defends: Jordan Spieth defeated Patrick Reed and Sean O’Hair on the third playoff hole to earn his second PGA TOUR win.

Headlining the field: Jordan Spieth, Henrik Stenson, Patrick Reed, Danny Willett, Ernie Els, Branden Grace, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Justin Thomas and Martin Kaymer.

 

Golf Channel / NBC Broadcast Team:

Play by Play: Bob Papa (Golf Channel) / Dan Hicks (NBC)

Analyst: Gary Koch (Golf Channel: Thursday-Friday; NBC) / Jerry Foltz (Golf Channel: Saturday-Sunday)

Tower: Peter Jacobsen / Mark Rolfing

On-Course: Notah Begay / David Feherty (Saturday-Sunday) / Billy Ray Brown (Thursday-Friday)

Interviews: Steve Sands

 

EUROPEAN TOUR

 

True Thailand Classic

Dates: March 10-13

Venue: Black Mountain Golf Club, Hua Hin, Thailand

 

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

Wednesday/Thursday             11 p.m.-1 a.m. & 3-6 a.m. (Live) / 6-10 a.m. (Replay)

Friday                                      1-3 a.m. (Tape delay) & 3-6 a.m. (Live) / 6-10 a.m. (Replay)

Saturday                                  6-10 a.m. (Tape delay)

Sunday                                    6-10 a.m. (Tape delay)

 

Broadcast Notes:

Dodt defends: Andrew Dodt outlasted Scott Hend and Thongchai Jaidee by one stroke for his second career European Tour victory.

Headlining the field: Miguel Angel Jimenez, Thongchai Jaidee, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Kristoffer Broberg, Thomas Pieters, Marcel Siem, Peter Uihlein and Alexander Levy.

 

Golf Channel Broadcast Team:

Studio Host: Scott Walker

Play by Play: Warren Humphreys

Analyst: Dom Boulet                          

On-Course: Julian Tutt

 

LADIES EUROPEAN TOUR

 

World Ladies Championship

Dates: March 12-13

Venue: Mission Hills Golf Club (Olazabal Course), Shenzhen, China

 

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

Saturday          (Third Round)             1-4 a.m. (Live)

Sunday            (Final Round)              Midnight-4 a.m. (Live) / 3-6 p.m. (Replay)

 

Broadcast Notes:

Ryu defends: So Yeon Ryu won by a shot over Inbee Park, collectively taking the top-two positions in the event and winning the team championship for the second consecutive year.

 

SUNSHINE TOUR

 

Investec Cup

Dates: March 11-12

Venue: Millvale Private Retreat, Koster, South Africa

 

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

Friday              (Third Round)             Noon-2 p.m. (Tape delay)

Saturday          (Final Round)              3-6 p.m. (Tape delay)

 

Broadcast Notes:

Field of 16 to compete for Investec Cup: 16 players are set to compete in the final event of the Chase to the Investec Cup on the Sunshine Tour, with a field comprised of the top 16 eligible players atop the Chase to the Investec Cup rankings.

Full field: George Coetzee, Richard Sterne, Dean Burmester, Brandon Stone, Zander Lombard, Justin Walters, Jaco Van Zyl, Vaughn Groenewald, Haydn Porteous, Ross McGowan, Jean Hugo, Anthony Michael, Jacques Blaauw, Mark Williams, Christian Bezuidenhout and Keith Horne.

 

Golf Channel Broadcast Team:

Play by Play: Denis Hutchinson

Analyst: Ewen Murray                        

On-Course: Dale Hayes

 

-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."

Getty Images

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."

Getty Images

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."

Getty Images

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.