THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP - A Special Week on Golf Channel and NBC

By Golf Channel Public RelationsApril 30, 2014, 7:50 pm

Boasting one of the world’s most challenging golf courses – highlighted by the 17th hole’s famous island green – and the strongest field of the year, THE PLAYERS Championship will offer marquee viewing on Golf Channel and NBC with nearly 100 hours of combined live coverage during tournament week, May 5-11.

THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass will provide the backdrop and the networks of NBC Sports will tell the stories and showcase the action of the most-anticipated tournament on the PGA TOUR calendar. A combined 33 hours of coverage of live golf will air on both Golf Channel and NBC, which will be blanketed by more than 43 live hours of the most comprehensive news coverage at golf’s biggest events with Live From THE PLAYERS. Additionally, Morning Drive will tee off each day, dedicating 20 live hours during the week to THE PLAYERS, with expanded shows Thursday through Sunday; and Golf Channel’s Spotlight coverage will return on the weekend to focus on TPC Sawgrass’ treacherous finishing stretch of holes while complementing NBC’s traditional coverage. Michael Breed will be live on the driving range at TPC Sawgrass for Monday’s edition of The Golf Fix, when he’ll demonstrate how the pros will navigate the course and provide strategies for playing its toughest holes.

BROADCAST TEAM: Golf Channel on NBC’s live tournament coverage of THE PLAYERS Championship will be anchored by Dan Hicks and Hall-of-Famer Johnny Miller. Terry Gannon and Sir Nick Faldo will host early rounds on Golf Channel. The remainder of the broadcast team for all four rounds will include Gary Koch (16 & 17) and Peter Jacobsen (14) in tower positions; Roger Maltbie, Mark Rolfing and Jerry Foltz walking with the players; Steve Sands conducting interviews; and Jimmy Roberts providing features and essays. Kelly Tilghman will serve as tournament telecast host for Golf Channel’s early round coverage, while NBC Sports newcomer Josh Elliott will make his debut with the golf broadcast team, hosting NBC’s weekend coverage.

Rich Lerner, Tilghman and Ryan Burr will anchor Golf Channel’s Live From THE PLAYERS coverage from TPC Sawgrass and will be joined by analysts Brandel Chamblee, Frank Nobilo, Brad Faxon and a host of others, including award-winning journalist Tim Rosaforte. Lisa Cornwell and George Savaricas will host from Golf Channel’s Orlando studios, and will be joined by analysts Steve Flesch and Tripp Isenhour.

SPECIAL PRODUCTION ELEMENTS: Every conceivable angle of the famous par-3, 17th hole and its island green will be covered by Golf Channel on NBC’s production team. A total of nine high-definition cameras, including a microscopic lens embedded in the lip of the small bunker fronting the green, will be in place. 

Returning is the popular “Actioncam,” a cable-suspended camera system that will fly over the lake between the 16th and 17th greens.  A camera will be situated behind the 14th tee that will provide a seldom seen, reverse ball-flight for one of the more difficult tee shots on the course; and “pole-cams” that rise as much as 30 feet in the air will be located on the tee at holes 2, 6 and 10, and on the 14th green.

Some of the manned camera positions also are noteworthy, including a position lifted by a crane 150 feet into the air above the tree line and that will show unique shots of the 16th, 17th and 18th holes.  Another camera operator is ferried to a small island near the 17th green where he is marooned for approximately eight hours during a broadcast, capturing player reactions from this unique angle.

SPOTLIGHT: Golf Channel’s Spotlight coverage will return at THE PLAYERS Championship, focusing on the challenging stretch of finishing holes at TPC Sawgrass. Spotlight coverage is enhanced for 2014, featuring a reverse-L on-screen graphic displaying continuous stats and player updates. While NBC is on the air live with its traditional tournament coverage, Golf Channel also will be on live, but focusing its telecast solely on holes 16-18. Coverage will be highlighted by special production elements, including ProTracer, which uses graphics to track the flight of the ball in real time; and TrackMan, a technology that measures club-head speed, ball speed and carry distance. Randy Moss and Curt Byrum will anchor Spotlight coverage, with Craig Perks and Scott McCarron following players on the three holes.

INTERACTIVE: An additional second-screen experience is in store for Golf Channel viewers during the week of THE PLAYERS Championship. For the first time, Live From THE PLAYERS will incorporate a polling technology called iPowow, which will give fans an 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 Golf Channel has the option to air ongoing results or reveal updates at any given moment.

FEATURES: Throughout the week within Live From THE PLAYERS, Golf Channel will offer in-depth features built around the best stories in golf, both compelling and entertaining:

  • Sergio – one year after a      controversial and disappointing PLAYERS Championship appearance, Sergio      Garcia discusses his subsequent personal journey. Still only 34, Rich      Lerner explores how close Garcia has become to the golfer and the star the      golf world thought he could be 15 years ago.
  • Bubba’s Victor Tour – after capturing his      second green jacket, Masters Champion Bubba Watson takes Golf Channel on      an exclusive, all-access trip to his alma mater – University of Georgia –      his hometown and his high school, among other stops along the way.
  • Norman’s Epic Round – it’s the 20th      anniversary of Norman’s record-breaking round at TPC Sawgrass that won him      THE PLAYERS Championship by eight strokes. Norman and then playing partner      Fuzzy Zoeller remember the day and what it was like conquering Pete Dye’s      architectural masterpiece.
  • Diving 17 – thousands of golf      balls drown in the water surrounding TPC Sawgrass’ famous 17th green every      year, and Matt Ginella takes a dive to discover how these gems are      retrieved.
  • The Fifth Major? – it’s a question asked      every year – should THE PLAYERS Championship be declared a major      championship? This feature examines what constitutes a major and talks to      players about their views on this event.

DIGITAL CONTENT: will feature expanded editorial content during THE PLAYERS Championship week, with up-to-the-minute blogs and fan interaction, including:

  • News & Features writers      will post features throughout the week.
  • Live Chats      editorial staff will host live chats Thursday-Sunday to keep fans      up-to-date and answer their questions as the action unfolds.
  • Exclusive Video Content will      provide video updates daily throughout the week from the network’s digital      studio in Orlando, as well as segments from Golf Channel’s Live From      THE PLAYERS and Morning Drive news coverage.

STREAMING ON GOLF LIVE EXTRA/NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA: All the news and tournament action surrounding THE PLAYERS Championship can be accessed at any time on any mobile device and online through the help of Golf Channel’s Golf Live Extra. Fans also can stream Golf Channel on NBC coverage of live golf with NBC Sports Live Extra.

Live From THE PLAYERS Programming, May 5-11 (all times live ET):

Monday, May 5

Morning Drive                                                                           7-11 a.m.

The Golf Fix                                                                              6-7 p.m.

Live From THE PLAYERS                                                            7-8:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 6

Morning Drive                                                                          7-9 a.m.

Live From THE PLAYERS                                                            9 a.m.-5 pm.

                                                                                               7-9 p.m.

Wednesday, May 7

Morning Drive                                                                         7-9 a.m.

Live From THE PLAYERS                                                          9 a.m.-5 p.m.

                                                                                              7-9 p.m.

Thursday, May 8

Morning Drive                                                                           6-9 a.m.

Live From THE PLAYERS                                                            9 a.m.-1 p.m.

THE PLAYERS Championship                                                     1-7 p.m.

Live From THE PLAYERS                                                            7-9 p.m.

Friday, May 9

Morning Drive                                                                          6-9 a.m.

Live From THE PLAYERS                                                            9 a.m.-1 p.m.

THE PLAYERS Championship                                                    1-7 p.m.

Live From THE PLAYERS                                                           7-9 p.m.

Saturday, May 10

Morning Drive                                                                         6-9 a.m.

Live From THE PLAYERS                                                          9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

THE PLAYERS Championship                                                  12:30-2 p.m. (Golf Channel)

THE PLAYERS Championship Spotlight Coverage                    2-6 p.m. (Golf Channel)

THE PLAYERS Championship                                                  2-7 p.m. (NBC

Live From THE PLAYERS                                                         7-9 p.m.

Sunday, May 11

Morning Drive                                                                        6-9 a.m.

Live From THE PLAYERS                                                         9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

THE PLAYERS Championship                                                 12:30-2 p.m. (Golf Channel)

THE PLAYERS Championship Spotlight Coverage                   2-6 p.m. (Golf Channel)

THE PLAYERS Championship                                                  2-7 p.m. (NBC

Live From THE PLAYERS                                                         7-9 p.m.

Getty Images

After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard

On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

Getty Images

Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

Getty Images

Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

Getty Images

Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry