Stellar Field at The Honda Classic Kicks Off Six Consecutive Tournament Weeks on Golf Channel and NBC

By Golf Channel Public RelationsFebruary 22, 2016, 7:20 pm

“There’s a contrast to between the beauty of the West Coast to the sort of do-or-die nature of almost every shot you see coming down the stretch at the Florida Swing.” – Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee

 “There’s no faking it around any of these golf courses running up to the Masters…The interesting thing about these courses is that you know where you stand in your swing and in your game headed into the Masters, because they will show you.” Golf Channel analyst and former World No. 1 David Duval

 “This is a whole new venture for me. Most of the season is, because I’m working the exact opposite schedule in a way than I’ve done for the last 19 years. I’m just really excited about joining the NBC guys and starting a few fights, which is what I intend to do all year. Poke in the right places, try to be a creative irritant.” – Golf Channel and NBC Sports analyst David Feherty

 

ORLANDO, Fla. (Feb. 22, 2016) – Coming off a dramatic victory by Bubba Watson on Sunday, the PGA TOUR moves east this week for the Florida Swing, with NBC Sports Group providing exclusive coverage of the next six weeks on the PGA TOUR beginning with The Honda Classic, Thursday-Sunday, Feb. 25-28.

Golf Channel and NBC will present nearly 20 live hours of The Honda Classic this week, beginning with a special Pro-Am show on Wednesday. Golf Channel will air four hours of live coverage on Thursday and Friday, followed by a combined five hours on Golf Channel and NBC on Saturday and Sunday.

The field will be headlined by 2012 Honda Classic champion Rory McIlroy and reigning PLAYERS champion Rickie Fowler, No. 3 and No. 5 in the current world golf rankings. Eleven of the top-20 players in the world are in the field, including No. 9 Patrick Reed, No. 10 Branden Grace, reigning Open Champion Zach Johnson and five-time Major Champion Phil Mickelson.

DAVID FEHERTY TO MAKE FLORIDA SWING BROADCAST DEBUT: David Feherty joined the NBC broadcast team exclusively in 2016 and will be a course reporter for Golf Channel and NBC’s weekend coverage of The Honda Classic. He will work a stretch of five consecutive weeks on Golf Channel and NBC rotating as a tower analyst and course reporter, including each of the Florida Swing events as well the WGC-Dell Match Play (March 23-27) in Austin, Texas.

HONDA CLASSIC BROADCAST TEAM: Leading weekend coverage will be Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller, who are in their 17th year as play-by-play announcer and lead analyst, the longest-tenured 18th-hole broadcasting tandem for any network. Joining Hicks and Miller will be Notah Begay, Feherty, Peter Jacobsen, Gary Koch, Roger Maltbie and Steve Sands.  Calling the action for Golf Channel’s early round coverage will be Rich Lerner and Koch, supported by the NBC crew, as well as Steve Burkowski reporting for Golf Central.

Mark Rolfing and Jimmy Roberts will join the broadcast team at the WGC-Cadillac Championship. Terry Gannon (WGC-Cadillac, WGC-Dell Match Play), Bob Papa (Valspar Championship) and Whit Watson (Shell Houston Open) will rotate with Lerner in calling Golf Channel play-by-play duties.

MORNING DRIVE ON-LOCATION DURING FLORIDA SWING: Morning Drive, Golf Channel’s daily news and lifestyle show, will broadcast on-location for each of the Florida Swing events in addition to Studio AP in Golf Channel’s worldwide headquarters in Orlando, Fla.

The Honda Classic – Tournament Airtimes

Wednesday     5-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel Pro-Am coverage)

Thursday         2-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel)

Friday              2-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel)

Saturday          1-3 p.m. ET (Golf Channel)

Saturday          3-6 p.m. ET (NBC)

Sunday            1-3 p.m. ET (Golf Channel)

Sunday            3-6 p.m. ET (NBC)

EXCLUSIVE PGA TOUR COVERAGE: The Honda Classic will commence six consecutive weeks of PGA TOUR action on Golf Channel and NBC, including: 

  • The Honda Classic, PGA National Resort & Spa – Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (Feb. 25-28)
  • World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship – Trump National Doral, Miami, Fla. (March 3-6)
  • Valspar Championship – Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club, Palm Harbor, Fla. (March 10-13)
  • Arnold Palmer Invitational – Bay Hill Club and Lodge, Orlando, Fla. (March 17-20)
  • WGC-Dell Match Play – Austin Country Club, Austin, Texas (March 23-27)
  • Puerto Rico Open –Coco Beach Golf and Country Club, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico (March 24-27)
  • Shell Houston Open – Golf Club of Houston, Humble, Texas (March 31-April 3)

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ


Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year


And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win


Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm
Getty Images

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.