Rising Ratings Lead To Most Televised Hours In LPGA History

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMarch 12, 2013, 7:40 pm

With a continuously growing worldwide fan base and increased television ratings, the LPGA today unveiled its 2013 tournament schedule on Golf Channel, which features nearly 300 hours of original coverage, all North American weekend telecasts aired live and production features designed to spotlight LPGA stars. In addition to a 22 percent increase of tournament coverage over last year, all telecasts through the end of the 2013 season will be broadcast in high-definition.

Coming off of the most-watched LPGA Tour event from Asia in five years at the HSBC Women’s Champions, the domestic schedule kicks in this week from Phoenix, Ariz., at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup. The LPGA Tour has seen a 68 percent ratings increase over the past two seasons of domestic tournaments.

“Our fans have pushed the tour’s television coverage and ratings to new heights and we’re pleased to present them with even more opportunities to watch our players in action,” said Brian Carroll, LPGA Vice President of Television and Emerging Media. “Our strong partnership with Golf Channel has provided us with many exciting ways to further showcase our players, not only during tournament telecasts, but also beyond the golf course.”

“The LPGA Tour continues to be a key part of Golf Channel’s overall tournament coverage,” said Molly Solomon, Golf Channel Executive Producer. “We have developed a great collaborative relationship with the Tour and invested more resources to better serve our loyal fans, which has created more inside-the-ropes access and more hours of coverage.”

Highlights of the television schedule include:

- For the second-consecutive year, the tour will have live coverage for more than 90 percent of North American telecasts, including 100 percent of weekend telecasts.

- Nearly 30 hours of live coverage of The Solheim Cup, the biennial, international match play competition pitting the United States versus Europe. In addition to the telecasts, Golf Channel will also have live coverage of The Solheim Cup’s opening and closing ceremonies. The last playing of The Solheim Cup in the U.S. at Rich Harvest Farms outside Chicago in 2009 featured the highest viewed LPGA round (Sunday) in Golf Channel history.

- Golf Channel will again provide robust tournament coverage at major championships at both the Kraft Nabisco Championship and Wegmans LPGA Championship. The Kraft Nabisco garnered the highest ratings on the network for a single event on the LPGA Tour last season, including the most-watched first round of the event on any cable network in 19 years and most-watched second round in 18 years. Golf Channel also will air live coverage of the LPGA’s fifth major, the Evian Championship, formerly the Evian Masters, contested Sept. 12-15.

- Golf Channel will televise pro-am shows from three tournaments – Kraft Nabisco Championship (April 4-7), Manulife Financial LPGA Classic (July 11-14) and CME Group Titleholders (Nov. 21-24) – when viewers will get inside-the-ropes access to the pros as they prepare for competition.

Golf Channel will continue to showcase LPGA players’ personalities and will promote features that provide an inside look at the world’s best female golfers. After its well-received debut during the telecast of the season-finale CME Group Titleholders last year, the ‘Twitter Takeover’ segment will make a return this season, beginning this week at the RR Donnelley Founders Cup. The feature will regularly highlight players in the Golf Channel booth taking over the LPGA’s Twitter account (@lpga) and will provide a unique fan-interaction platform where players can answer fan questions and respond to comments using the hashtag, #LPGAonGC. Golf Channel also will produce segments with a behind-the-scenes take at selected pro-am events, as well as having players swap roles with the broadcast production crew.

Golf Channel’s LPGA broadcast team will include mostly familiar faces, with a few notables joining at select tournaments. Hall-of-Famer Judy Rankin will return as lead analyst, joining one of three play-by-play hosts that includes Terry Gannon, Whit Watson and LPGA mainstay Tom Abbott, who will serve as a hole announcer when not calling play by play. The on-course reporting team will include Jerry Foltz, Val Skinner, Kay Cockerill and Kelli Kuehne. Curt Byrum, who has been a regular for both PGA TOUR and Champions Tour telecasts on Golf Channel, will make his LPGA Tour debut at selected tournaments not attended by Rankin.

Golf Channel aired live coverage of the final round of the season-opening ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open in February where Jiyai Shin battled 15 year-old amateur Lydia Ko and Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng for her 11th career victory. The tour also will expand its global reach with the addition of two new international television markets and will have broadcasts in Myanmar and New Zealand for the first time.

2013 LPGA Tour / Golf Channel Tournament Schedule

DATE

EVENT

ROUNDS

BROADCAST

3/14-3/17

RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup

ALL

LIVE

3/21-3/24

Kia Classic

ALL

LIVE

4/4-4/7

Kraft Nabisco Championship

ALL

LIVE

4/17-4/20

LPGA LOTTE Championship Presented by J Golf

ALL

LIVE

4/25-4/28

North Texas LPGA Shootout

ALL

TD/LIVE

5/2-5/5

Kingsmill Championship

ALL

LIVE

5/16-5/19

Mobile Bay LPGA Classic

ALL

TD/LIVE

5/23-5/26

Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic

ALL

TD/LIVE

5/31-6/2

ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer

ALL

LIVE

6/6-6/9

Wegmans LPGA Championship

ALL

LIVE

6/21-6/23

Walmart NW Arkansas Championship

ALL

LIVE

7/11-7/14

Manulife Financial LPGA Classic

ALL

LIVE

7/19-7/21

Marathon Classic Presented by Owens Corning & O-I

ALL

LIVE

8/16-8/18

The Solheim Cup

ALL

LIVE

8/22-8/25

CN Canadian Women's Open

ALL

TD/LIVE

8/29-9/1

Portland Classic Presented by Safeway

ALL

LIVE

9/12-9/15

The Evian Championship

ALL

LIVE

10/3-10/6

Reignwood Pine Valley LPGA Classic

ALL

TD

10/10-10/13

Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia

ALL

LIVE

10/18-10/20

LPGA KEP HanaBank Championship

ALL

TD

10/24-10/27

Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

"That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.