NBC Sports Tournament Airtimes & Notes (March 23-27)

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMarch 21, 2016, 10:05 pm

Field of 64 Set for WGC-Dell Match Play in Austin,

Wednesday-Sunday on Golf Channel and NBC


LPGA Tour Stages Final Test before First Major of the Year with

Kia Classic in California, as Ko, Park and Thompson Headline the Field


Donald, Finau, Daly Headline Puerto Rico Open


The PGA TOUR shifts to Texas for the World Golf Championships Dell Match Play, with an elite field of 64 players competing in a round robin format (Wednesday-Friday) before narrowing to the single elimination round of 16 on Saturday with the conclusion scheduled for Sunday. The field includes 64 of the top 66 players in the world, including Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler and Adam Scott. On the LPGA Tour, players will tee it up this week at the Kia Classic in southern California for a final tune-up before next week’s ANA Inspiration, the first major championship of 2016. Lydia Ko, Inbee Park, Lexi Thompson and Stacy Lewis all are in the field, with coverage airing in primetime on Golf Channel. And the PGA TOUR also stages the Puerto Rico Open this week, with Luke Donald, Tony Finau and John Daly headlining the field.




WGC-Dell Match Play

Dates: March 23-27

Venue: Austin Country Club, Austin, Texas


Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

Wednesday     2-8 p.m. (Live) / 9 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)

Thursday         2-8 p.m. (Live) / 10:30 p.m.-4:30 a.m. (Replay)

Friday              2-8 p.m. (Live) / 10:30 p.m.-4:30 a.m. (Replay)

Saturday          10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Live) / 1-5 a.m. (Sunday replay)

Sunday            10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Live) / 1-5 a.m. (Monday replay)


Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):

Saturday          2-6 p.m. (Live)

Sunday            3-7 p.m. (Live)


Broadcast Notes:

Golf Central player news conference, Tuesday, Noon-2 p.m. ET: On Tuesday at Noon ET, Golf Central will present a special two hour player news conference from Austin Country Club, featuring Jason Day, Adam Scott and Jordan Spieth.

Event format: The 64-man field will be assigned through the live bracket draw and divided into 16 four-player groups, competing in three round robin matches Wednesday-Friday. On Friday, the player in each group with the most points (1 point for a win, ½ point for a halved match) advances to single elimination match play with the Round of 16 and quarterfinals scheduled for Saturday and the semifinals and finals scheduled for Sunday. Each player in the field is guaranteed to play at least three matches. The top-16 seeded players are assigned to Group A, while their respective opponents in their assigned four-man group will be determined through a blind draw during the bracket special on Monday night. The remaining 48 players outside of Group A have been divided into three separate groups (via Official World Golf Ranking): seeds 17-32 in Group B, seeds 33-48 in Group C, and seeds 49-64 in Group D.

McIlroy defends: Rory McIlroy defeated Gary Woodland 3&2 in the finals at TPC Harding Park last year for his 10th career PGA TOUR win.

Headlining the field: Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Danny Willett and Branden Grace.


WGC-Dell Match Play Bracket Special Broadcast Team

Host:Ryan Burr

Analysts:Brandel Chamblee / Tim Rosaforte

Reporters:Todd Lewis / Cara Robinson


Golf Channel / NBC Broadcast Team:

Play by Play: Terry Gannon (Golf Channel) / Dan Hicks (NBC)

Analyst: Nick Faldo (Golf Channel) / Johnny Miller (NBC)

Tower: Gary Koch / Peter Jacobsen

On-Course: Roger Maltbie / Notah Begay / David Feherty

Interviews: Todd Lewis (Golf Channel) / Steve Sands (NBC)

Essays: Jimmy Roberts



Kia Classic

Dates: March 24-27                                                                    

Venue: Park Hyatt Aviara Golf Club, Carlsbad, Calif.


Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

Thursday         8-10 p.m. (Tape delay) / 7-9 p.m. (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)

Friday              8-10 p.m. (Tape delay) / 7-9 p.m. (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)

Saturday          6-9 p.m. (Live)

Sunday            6-9 p.m. (Live)


Broadcast Notes:

Final event before first major of 2016: This week is the final opportunity for players to conduct their final preparations ahead of next week’s first major of 2016, the ANA Inspiration.

Kerr defends: Cristie Kerr finished two strokes ahead or Mirim Lee for her 17th LPGA Tour victory.

Headlining the field: Lydia Ko, Inbee Park, Lexi Thompson, Stacy Lewis, Sei Young Kim, Ha Na Jang, Brooke Henderson, Shanshan Feng, Hyo Joo Kim, Suzann Pettersen and Cristie Kerr.


Golf Channel Broadcast Team:

Play by Play: Whit Watson

Analyst: Judy Rankin

Tower: Tom Abbott                            

On-Course: Jerry Foltz / Karen Stupples




Puerto Rico Open

Dates: March 24-27                                                                    

Venue: Coco Beach Golf & Country Club (Championship Course), Rio Grande, Puerto Rico


Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

Thursday         10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)

Friday              10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)

Saturday          9 p.m.-Midnight (Tape delay) / 2-5 p.m. (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)

Sunday            9 p.m.-Midnight (Tape delay) / 2-5 p.m. (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)


Broadcast Notes:

Cejka defends: Alex Cejka held off Sam Saunders, Emiliano Grillo, Jon Curran and Tim Petrovic with a birdie on the first playoff hole for his first career PGA TOUR win.

Headlining the field: Luke Donald, Tony Finau, Retief Goosen, John Daly, Patrick Rodgers, Peter Malnati, George Coetzee, Trevor Immelman, David Toms and Sam Saunders.


Golf Channel Broadcast Team:

Play by Play: Bob Papa

Analyst: Curt Byrum

Tower: Phil Blackmar                         

On-Course: Matt Gogel / John Cook

-NBC Sports Group-

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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.