NBC Sports Group Tournament Airtimes & Notes (March 31-April 3)

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMarch 30, 2016, 1:05 pm

LPGA Tour Ushers in First Major of 2016 with Elite Field at ANA Inspiration in Southern Calif., with Golf Channel’s Live Coverage Airing in Primetime 

 

Spieth, Fowler Headline the Field at the Shell Houston Open

in Final PGA TOUR Stop Prior to The Masters

 

PGA TOUR Champions Shifts Down South to Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic

 

80 Boys & Girls (Age 7-15) Set to Compete in Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals from Augusta National Golf Club, Airing Live on Golf Channel, Sunday, April 3 at 8 a.m. ET

he LPGA Tour stages the first major of 2016 beginning Thursday, with the ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Golf Channel will showcase the elite field live and in primetime, Thursday-Sunday, with Lydia Ko, Inbee Park, Lexi Thompson and Stacy Lewis headlining the field. Meanwhile the PGA TOUR holds its final event prior to the Masters with the Shell Houston Open. Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler headline the field, and 33 of the 92 invitees at next week’s Masters are scheduled to be in the field this week. The PGA TOUR Champions is down south for the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic at Fallen Oaks Golf Club, with Bernhard Langer and Colin Montgomerie set to compete. And, Golf Channel will kick off its more than 85 hours of Masters themed programming April 3-10 with live coverage of the 2016 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals, on-site from Augusta National. Coverage begins with a special pre-game show at 8 a.m. ET on Sunday, April 3, followed by live event coverage from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. ET.

 

LPGA TOUR

 

ANA Inspiration

Dates: March 31-April 3                                                            

Venue: Mission Hills Country Club (Dinah Shore Tournament Course), Rancho Mirage, Calif.

 

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

Thursday         Noon-4 p.m. ; 7-9 p.m. (Live) / 12:30-3:30 a.m. (Friday replay)

Friday              Noon-4 p.m. ; 7-9 p.m. (Live) / 2:30-5:30 a.m. (Saturday replay)

Saturday          5-9 p.m. (Live) / Midnight-4 a.m. (Sunday replay)

Sunday            5-9 p.m. (Live) / 1-5 a.m. (Monday replay)

 

Broadcast Notes:

First major of 2016: The ANA Inspiration marks the first major championship (men’s or women’s) of 2016. The tournament, which was first held in 1972 has been played as a major since 1983.

Golf Central Special News Conference, 1:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday: On Wednesday, Golf Channel will air a special news conference show from 1:30-3 p.m. ET. Within the show (beginning at 2 p.m. ET), the Ladies European Tour (LET) will name the 2017 European Solheim Cup captain. The remainder of the show will focus on pre-tournament player news conferences from the ANA Inspiration, featuring defending champion Brittany Lincicome, and Stacy Lewis.

Final opportunity to join list of countries taking part in this summer’s International Crown: Following the conclusion of the ANA Inspiration, the top eight countries will be determined for this summer’s International Crown competition. The field of eight countries represented in the event will be decided on Monday, April 4, based on the combined world ranking of the current top-four players from each country. However, the players competing in the competition will not be finalized until Monday, June 13.

Lincicome defends: Brittany Lincicome outlasted Stacy Lewis with a par on the third playoff hole for her second career major championship win.

Headlining the field: Lydia Ko, Inbee Park, Lexi Thompson, Stacy Lewis, Sei Young Kim, Ha Na Jang, Brooke Henderson, Amy Yang, In Gee Chun, Shanshan Feng and So Yeon Ryu.

 

Golf Channel Broadcast Team:

Play by Play: Terry Gannon

Analyst: Judy Rankin / Annika Sorenstam (Thursday-Friday Noon-4 p.m. ET)

Tower: Tom Abbott                            

On-Course: Jerry Foltz / Karen Stupples / Jim Gallagher Jr.

Interviews: Lisa Cornwell

 

PGA TOUR

 

Shell Houston Open

Dates: March 31-April 3

Venue: Golf Club of Houston (Tournament Course), Humble, Texas

 

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

Thursday         4-7 p.m. (Live) / 9:30-12:30 p.m. (Replay)

Friday              4-7 p.m. (Live) / 11:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Replay)

Saturday          1-3 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)

Sunday            1-3 p.m. (Live)

 

Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):

Saturday          3-6 p.m. (Live)

Sunday            3-6 p.m. (Live)

 

Broadcast Notes:

Final event prior to the Masters next week: The Shell Houston Open is the final PGA TOUR event prior to the Masters. 92 players have received invitations to tee it up next week, and the only remaining way to join the field is with a win in Houston. 33 of the 92 Masters invitees are currently scheduled to compete this week.

Holmes defends: J.B. Holmes defeated Jordan Spieth and Johnson Wagner on the second playoff hole for his fourth career PGA TOUR win.

Headlining the field: Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Henrik Stenson, Louis Oosthuizen, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka, Charl Schwartzel and Jimmy Walker.

 

Golf Channel / NBC Broadcast Team:

Play by Play: Whit Watson (Golf Channel) / Dan Hicks (NBC)

Analyst: Curt Byrum (Golf Channel) / Johnny Miller (NBC)

Tower: Gary Koch / Justin Leonard

On-Course: Roger Maltbie / Mark Rolfing

Interviews: Todd Lewis

 

PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

 

Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic

Dates: April 1-3                                                                          

Venue: Fallen Oaks Golf Club, Biloxi, Miss.

 

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

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

Saturday          3-5 p.m. (Live)

Sunday            3-5 p.m. (Live)

 

Broadcast Notes:

Frost defends: David Frost defeated Kevin Sutherland and Tom Lehman for his sixth career PGA TOUR Champions win.

Headlining the field: Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Jay Haas, Jeff Maggert, Lee Janzen, Rocco Mediate, Kenny Perry, Jeff Sluman and Kirk Triplett.

 

Golf Channel Broadcast Team:

Play by Play: Bob Papa

Analyst: Lanny Wadkins

Tower: John Mahaffey / Dave Marr   

On-Course: Billy Ray Brown

 

Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals

Date: April 3                                                                              

Venue: Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Ga.

 

Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

8-9 a.m.                       Pre-Game (Live From the Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals)

9 a.m.-1 p.m.               2016 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals

 

Broadcast Notes:

2016 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals: For the third consecutive year, Golf Channel will televise live coverage of the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals on-site from Augusta National Golf Club. Coverage will center around juniors from across the U.S. and Canada having advanced into the 80-person field (boys and girls, age 7-15) by way of local qualifying, subregional and regional qualifying events.

Pre-Game, 8-9 a.m. ET: Golf Channel’s live coverage will begin at 8 a.m. ET with a special Live From the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals pre-game show, originating from the network’s Golf Central Live From the Masters set on the grounds of Augusta National. The show will introduce viewers to the 40 boys and 40 girls in the field.

National Finals coverage, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. ET: Beginning at 9 a.m. ET, coverage will shift to join the competition in progress with the individual Drive, Chip and Putt skills challenges across each age group. As competitors complete all three challenges, champions for each of the eight age groups will be awarded for each of the skill categories, along with the recognition of the overall champions from each age group.

NBC Sports’ Tafoya joining Golf Channel’s coverage: Michele Tafoya, Emmy award-winning sports personality and sideline reporter for NBC Sports’ Sunday Night Football, will join Golf Channel’s coverage team, reporting from Augusta National and conducting interviews with competitors in the field.

 

Golf Channel Broadcast Team:

Play by Play: Rich Lerner

Analyst: Peter Jacobsen

Reporter: Michele Tafoya / Charlie Rymer / Kay Cockerill / Michael Breed

Interviews: Steve Sands

-NBC Sports Group-

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Awards season: Handing out the 2017 Rexys

By Rex HoggardDecember 14, 2017, 7:00 pm

After careful consideration and an exhaustive review of 2017 we present The Rexys, a wildly incomplete and arbitrary line up following one of the most eventful years in golf.

 There will be omissions – just keep your calls, concerns and even e-mails to yourself. We appreciate your patronage, but not your feedback.



It’s Not You, It’s Me Award. You know the deal: You can’t be a part of two until you’re a better one; but on this front it’s really just a desire to find a better two.

It was a tough year for caddies, and not just any caddies. In June, Phil Mickelson split with longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both player and caddie cited the need for “change,” but the move reverberated throughout the game.

“The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.

In the wake of the Lefty/Bones break, Rory McIlroy split with his caddie J.P Fitzgerald, and Jason Day replaced looper/swing coach Colin Swatton on his bag. It all proves yet again that there are only two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired.



Run for the Rose Cup. Sergio Garcia got the green jacket, a lifetime exemption to the game’s most coveted member-member and a long-awaited major, but Justin Rose took home the slightly less prestigious “Rose Cup.”

Following a frenzied afternoon at Augusta National in April, Rose lost to Garcia on the first playoff hole, but he won so much more with his honesty and class.

“You're going to win majors and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them,” Rose figured following the final round. “You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There's a lot of pressure out there and if you're not willing to enjoy it, then you're not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”

Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.



Half-Empty Cup. It was the perfect setting, with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the promise of the Tristate masses descending on this fall’s Presidents Cup.

If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.

For the sixth time in the last seven matches, the U.S. team rolled to a victory of at least three points. This particular edition was even in danger of ending on Saturday afternoon thanks to a particularly dominant performance by a young American squad led by Steve Stricker.

Officials spoke of the purity of the competition and the attention the ’17 cup generated, but however you spin the 19-11 rout, this cup is half empty.



Enigma Award. The actual hardware is simply an oversized question mark and was sent directly to Tiger Woods’ South Florida compound following the most curious of seasons.

While it’s become customary in recent years to consider the uncertain path that awaits the 14-time major winner, this most recent calendar brought an entirely new collection of questions following fusion surgery on his lower back in April, his arrest for DUI on Memorial Day and, finally, a glimmer of hope born from his tie for ninth at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month.

When will he play again? Can he compete against the current generation of world-beaters? Can his body withstand the rigors of a full PGA Tour schedule? Should Jim Furyk make him a captain’s pick now or wait to see if he should be driving a vice captain’s golf cart instead?

Little is certain when it comes to Woods, and the over-sized question mark goes to ... the guy in red and black.



After Further Review Chalice. In April, Lexi Thompson endured a heartbreaking loss at the ANA Inspiration, the byproduct of a surreal ruling that arrived a day late via a viewer e-mail and cost the would-be winner a major championship.

The entire event was so unsavory that the USGA and R&A made not one but two alterations to the rules and created a “working group” to avoid similar snafus in the future.

That working group – it turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup team has some sort of copyright on “task force” – initially issued a decision that introduced a “reasonable judgment” and a “naked eye” standard to video reviews, and last week the rule makers kept the changes coming.

The new protocols on video review will now include an official to monitor tournament broadcasts and ended the practice of allowing fans to call in, or in this case e-mail, possible infractions to officials. The USGA and R&A also eliminated the two-stroke penalty for players who sign incorrect scorecards when the player is unaware of the penalty.

While all this might be a step in the right direction, it does nothing to change Thompson’s fate. The AFR Chalice won’t change the harsh reality, but at least it will serve as a reminder of how she helped altered the rulemaking landscape.



Nothing Runs Like a Deere Award. Nothing gets fans fired up like officials turning fields of fescue rough into hay on the eve of a major championship, and the USGA’s decision to do some 11th-hour trimming at Erin Hills in June certainly caught many by surprise.

Officials said the nip/tuck on four holes was in reaction to a particularly foreboding forecast that never materialized, and the maintenance drew the ire of some players.

“We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” Rory McIlroy said. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here; if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”

The record low scoring at the U.S. Open – winner Brooks Koepka finished with a 16-under total – didn’t help ease the fervor and had some questioning whether the softer side of the USGA has gone a bit too far?

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Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.


Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters


Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.

Nathaniel Crosby at the 1983 Bing Crosby Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. Getty Images

Crosby selected as 2019 U.S. Walker Cup captain

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 3:19 pm

The USGA announced that former U.S. Amateur champ Nathaniel Crosby will serve as the American captain for the 2019 Walker Cup, which will be played at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

Crosby, 56, is the son of entertainment icon and golf enthusiast Bing Crosby. He won the 1981 U.S. Amateur at The Olympic Club as a teenager and earned low amateur honors at the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He also played in the 1983 Walker Cup, coincidentally held at Royal Liverpool, before embarking on a brief career in professional golf, with his amateur status reinstated in 1994.

"I am thrilled and overwhelmed to be chosen captain of the next USA Walker Cup team," Crosby said in a statement. "Many of my closest friends are former captains who will hopefully take the time to share their approaches in an effort to help me with my new responsibilities."

Crosby takes over the captaincy from John "Spider" Miller, who led the U.S. squad both in 2015 and earlier this year, when the Americans cruised to a 19-7 victory at Los Angeles Country Club.

Crosby is a Florida resident and member at Seminole Golf Club, which will host the 2021 matches. While it remains to be seen if he'll be asked back as captain in 2021, each of the last six American captains have led a team on both home and foreign soil.

Started in 1922, the Walker Cup is a 10-man, amateur match play competition pitting the U.S. against Great Britain and Ireland. The U.S. team holds a 37-9 all-time lead in the biennial matches but has not won in Europe since 2007.