The four-round telecast of the Myrtle Beach Open, Feb. 22-25, will mark two firsts: the first Canadian Tour event ever produced and telecast by an American television network, and the first time the home viewer will be offered a peek beyond the TV screen into the psyche of a player as he's making critical decisions navigating the course.
Four pros will compete in each tournament specially fitted with a TGC microphone. Headlining the group will be rookie professional Matt Kuchar, the Georgia Tech star who made his mark in the 1998 Masters and U.S. Open, who will play in two of the four tournaments on TGC.
Throughout the course of each round, viewers actually will be able to get inside the head of each player as he attempts to conquer the course. At steps along the way, they will communicate to the TGC audience about their views on hole set-up, shot and club selection, and strategy.
The Myrtle Beach Open begins a 10-year agreement with The Golf Channel that will see the Canadian Tour stage in the United States a minimum of four events in 2001 and six tournaments in subsequent years through 2010.
It was announced in November that Barefoot Resort in Myrtle Beach, S.C., would serve as the location for the tour's 2001 winter qualifying school and inaugural four-event winter season. The championship courses at Barefoot Resort include designs by legendary golf course architects Tom Fazio and Pete Dye and current PGA Tour stars Greg Norman and Davis Love III.
Other events include the Barefoot Classic, March 1-4; South Carolina Challenge, March 8-11; and CanAm Days Championship, March 15-18.
Commentator Grant Boone will be joined by analyst Mark Lye for the Canadian Tour telecasts on TGC. Kraig Kann, Jerry Foltz and Canadian Bryan DeCorso will serve as on-course reporters.
MATT KUCHAR -- After winning the 1997 U.S. Amateur, Matt Kuchar further made headlines in the world of golf in 1998 by finishing tied for 21st at the Masters and tied for 14th at the U.S. Open. Instead of turning pro in '98, Kuchar decided to return to Georgia Tech for his final two years of school. After graduation, he took a job with an investment banking firm in Florida, while pondering his decision about turning pro. He recently hired instructor Rick Smith, and joined Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Fla., whose members include Greg Norman, Nick Price and Jesper Parnevik.
JERRY FOLTZ -- A professional golfer since 1986, Foltz's career accomplishments include his victory at the 1995 Buy.Com South Carolina Classic, a win at the 1994 Taco Bell Newport Classic, and second-place finishes at the 1991 Pensacola and Elizabethtown Opens. A graduate of the University of Arizona, he was an All PAC-10 selection in 1985 and winner of the 1989 Arizona Amateur Championship. Foltz also serves as a TGC on-course reporter for PGA and Buy.Com Tour events.
JAMIE NEHER -- A native of Massachusetts and currently residing in Tequesta, Fla., Jamie Neher turned professional in 1997 after graduating from the University of Tennessee, where he earned 1st team All-SEC honors in 1994 and '95. He is a three-time winner on the South Florida Tour and recently earned playing privileges on the 2001 Buy.Com Tour.
TAKEAKI KOYAMA -- A native of Tokyo, Japan, Takeaki Koyama turned professional in 1984, and has since competed on various tours around the world. He garnered 14 wins between 1998 and 2000 on the mini-tour circuit, including the North Florida PGA Winter Tour - where he was the leading money winner - and the Challenge Tour of Asia. Koyama also is a Golf Channel color commentator for its Japanese feed.
GRAHAM DAVIDSON -- A native of Scotland, Graham Davidson turned professional in 1997 after a decorated collegiate career at Mississippi State University, where he captained the university's SEC championship team and was inducted into the MSU Athletic Hall of Fame. He also earned SEC Player of the Year and SEC Stroke Average Leader in 1996, as well as All-America honors in '95 and '96. Davidson played the Golden Bear Tour from 1997-2000, on which he celebrated two victories. His career was recently highlighted when he was matched with Greg Norman, Vijay Singh and Nick Faldo in practice rounds at the 2000 U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach.
STEVE SCOTT -- Newly turned professional in September 2000, Steve Scott finished his collegiate career at the University of Florida with three individual collegiate championships, three NCAA All-America honors and a 1999 SEC Player of the Year award. Scott also competed on two Walker Cup teams, won the1999 Western Amateur Champion and took Tiger Woods to extra holes in the 1996 U.S. Amateur. He also competed in the 1997 Masters and 1997 U.S. Open Championship.
TIM CONLEY -- A former Canadian Tour member - and a veteran of the PGA and Buy.Com Tours - since turning pro in 1981, Tim Conley celebrated a career-best fifth finish at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in 1998. He celebrated two victories on the Buy.Com Tour, including the 1993 Knoxville Open and the 1996 Gateway Classic; and finished 88th on the money list in 1999. He played the PGA European Tour in 1996 and won the Bermuda Open in 1989. A native of Ohio, Conley currently resides in Gainesville, Ga.
ROBERT FLOYD -- Son of veteran Raymond Floyd, Robert Floyd turned professional in the summer of 1997 after garnering collegiate honors at the University of Florida, including a two-time All-Southeastern Conference selection and winner of three collegiate events. He also finished runner-up in the 1995 Western Amateur, where he beat Tiger Woods 2-Up in the semifinals. Most recently, Robert and Raymond won the 2000 Office Depot Father-Son Challenge.
CHARLES RAULERSON -- Hailing from Jacksonville, Fla., Raulerson has garnered success competing on several tours. He placed eleventh at the 2000 Shell Houston Open and finished seventh on the Buy.Com Tour money list in 1998, with victories that year at the Nike Oregon Classic and the Inland Empire Open. He captured European Challenge Tour titles at the 1992 South France Open and 1993 Gortex Classic in Scotland. Raulerson attended Clemson University and Louisiana State University.