Getty Images

PGA of America agrees to 11-year deal with CBS, ESPN

By Doug FergusonOctober 10, 2018, 5:19 pm

The PGA Championship will remain with CBS Sports and pick up ESPN for weekday rounds as part of an 11-year agreement in which the networks will combine to deliver 175 hours of coverage across broadcast, cable and digital platforms.

Financial terms of the deal announced Wednesday were not disclosed, though it was clear the PGA Championship is more attractive held in May than in August.

The agreement gives CBS and ESPN, which broadcast the Masters, the first two majors of the year.

''I can tell you from our standpoint, the property was more valuable in May than in August,'' said Sean McManus, chairman of CBS Sports. ''We are paying a rights fee increase. It was definitely a more attractive package.''

McManus said the number of households watching on TV is higher in May, and he spoke of a ''halo effect'' in broadcasting the next major after the Masters, which is the highest-rated golf telecast of the year.

The PGA Championship had been held in August for the better part of 50 years. It moves next year to May as part of a restructured schedule that allows the PGA Tour to conclude its FedExCup on Aug. 25, a week before the start of football.

When the CBS-ESPN deal begins in 2020, the PGA Championship will be at Harding Park in San Francisco.

CBS first broadcast the PGA Championship from 1958 through 1964, and continuously since 1991. The network will continue to provide weekend coverage, adding an extra hour Saturday and Sunday under the new deal.

''Premium content such as the PGA represents the past, present and future of CBS,'' said Joe Ianniello, president and acting CEO of CBS Corp. ''There is nothing like live sports programming to attract a mass audience and drive our business.''

Still be determined is a broadcast schedule for ESPN, which replaces Turner Sports.

ESPN offers a network dedicated to sports, along with ''ESPN+'' a subscription-based streaming service sold directly to the consumer that can provide an array of programming from featured groups, featured players or specific hole coverage.

''The general vision here is what the PGA wants to do,'' said Burke Magnus, executive vice president of programming and scheduling for ESPN. ''They want every hole of competition covered over the four days, from the first group on Thursday. They want it all covered in one way or form. And that's right in our wheelhouse. ... We will have an array of complimentary presentation.''

CBS will be in charge of production, just as it is at the Masters.

The PGA of America's current deal expires next year, and given the pursuit of live programming, it became a valuable property during negotiations. Along with the financial aspect, CBS Sports was helped by being the incumbent and having established a strong relationship with the PGA of America.

PGA of America chief executive Seth Waugh said partnering with ESPN provides ''72 holes of coverage on a network known for sports.''

ESPN previously had weekday rounds of the U.S. Open before those rights went to Fox Sports in 2015. It also had The Open as recently as 2015 until those rights went to NBC Sports and Golf Channel.

ESPN last televised the PGA Championship in 1990.

''The move to May, generally speaking, was a huge motivation for trying to get us involved there,'' Magnus said. ''Having the first two majors is exciting, and May is a big, active month for us with the NBA playoffs, College World Series and the NFL draft the last week in April. It fits perfectly for us.''

Beyond the PGA Championship, the networks plan to showcase key PGA programs such as the PGA Junior League Championship, which will be telecast on ESPN networks; the club professionals who qualify for the PGA Championship and elevating the PGA Minority College Championship.

Waugh said anyone would have reason to be nervous over an 11-year deal in an industry where viewing habits are changing by the year.

''We're pricing an 11-year deal where the value for these guys will be on the back end, not on the front end,'' Waugh said. ''The number ahead of the current market over the length of it will be good for them.''

Doug Ferguson is a golf writer for The Associated Press

Getty Images

Davies leads Inkster after Day 1 of Senior LPGA Champ.

By Associated PressOctober 16, 2018, 1:10 am

FRENCH LICK, Ind. - Laura Davies opened with a 4-under 68 despite finishing with two bogeys Monday, giving her a one-shot lead over Juli Inkster after Round 1 of the Senior LPGA Championship.

Davies, who earlier this year won the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open, had a lost ball on the par-5 18th hole on The Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort. She still salvaged a bogey in chilly, windy weather that had the 55-year-old from England bundled up in a blanket between shots.

Inkster, runner-up to Davies at the Senior Women's Open, made eagle on the closing hole for a 69.

Jane Crafter was at 70. Defending champion Trish Johnson opened with a 73.

Temperatures were in the high 40s, but the damp air and wind made it feel even colder.

Inkster made a bogey on the 17th hole by missing the green with a 9-iron.

''As old as I am, I still get made and I crushed that drive on 18,'' said Inkster, who followed with a 3-wood to 15 feet to set up her eagle.

The 54-hole event concludes Wednesday.

Getty Images

Miller to retire from broadcast booth in 2019

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 15, 2018, 9:14 pm

After nearly 30 years in the broadcast booth, Johnny Miller is ready to hang up his microphone.

Following a Hall of Fame playing career that included a pair of major titles, Miller has become one of the most outspoken voices in the game as lead golf analyst for NBC Sports. But at age 71 he has decided to retire from broadcasting following the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

“The call of being there for my grandkids, to teach them how to fish. I felt it was a higher calling,” Miller told GolfChannel.com. “The parents are trying to make a living, and grandparents can be there like my father was with my four boys. He was there every day for them. I'm a big believer that there is a time and a season for everything.”

Miller was named lead analyst for NBC in 1990, making his broadcast debut at what was then known as the Bob Hope Desert Classic. He still remained competitive, notably winning the 1994 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at age 46, but made an indelible mark on the next generation of Tour pros with his frank and candid assessment of the action from some of golf’s biggest events.

Miller’s broadcasting career has included 20 U.S. Opens, 14 Ryder Cups, nine Presidents Cups, three Open Championships and the 2016 Olympics. While he has teamed in the booth with Dan Hicks for the past 20 years, Miller’s previous on-air partners included Bryant Gumbel, Charlie Jones, Jim Lampley and Dick Enberg.

His farewell event will be in Phoenix Jan. 31-Feb. 3, at a tournament he won in back-to-back years in 1974-75.

“When it comes to serving golf fans with sharp insight on what is happening inside the ropes, Johnny Miller is the gold standard,” said NBC lead golf producer Tommy Roy. “It has been an honor working with him, and while it might not be Johnny’s personal style, it will be fun to send him off at one of the PGA Tour’s best parties at TPC Scottsdale.”

Miller was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1998 after a playing career that included wins at the 1973 U.S. Open at Oakmont and The Open in 1976 at Royal Birkdale. Before turning pro, he won the 1964 U.S. Junior Amateur and was low amateur at the 1966 U.S. Open at Olympic, where he tied for eighth at age 19.

Born and raised in San Francisco, Miller now lives in Utah with his wife, Linda, and annually serves as tournament host of the PGA Tour’s Safeway Open in Napa, Calif.

Getty Images

Randall's Rant: Tiger vs. Phil feels like a ripoff

By Randall MellOctober 15, 2018, 7:45 pm

Usually, you have to buy something before you feel like you were ripped off.

The wonder in the marketing of Tiger vs. Phil and “The Match” is how it is making so many people feel as if they are getting ripped off before they’ve shelled out a single penny for the product.

Phil Mickelson gets credit for this miscue.

Apparently, the smartest guy in the room isn’t the smartest marketing guy.

He was a little bit like that telemarketer who teases you into thinking you’ve won a free weekend getaway, only to lead you into the discovery that there’s a shady catch, with fine print and a price tag.

There was something as slippery as snake oil in the original pitch.

In Mickelson’s eagerness to create some excitement, he hinted back during The Players in May about the possibility of a big-money, head-to-head match with Woods. A couple months later, he leaked more details, before it was ready to be fully announced.

So while there was an initial buzz over news of the Thanksgiving weekend matchup, the original pitch set up a real buzzkill when it was later announced that you were only going to get to see it live on pay-per-view.

The news landed with a thud but no price tag. We’re still waiting to see what it’s going to cost when these two meet at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, but anything that feels even slightly inflated now is going to further dampen the original enthusiasm Mickelson created.

Without Woods or Mickelson putting up their own money, this $9 million winner-take-all event was always going to feel more like a money grab than real competition.

When we were expecting to see it on network or cable TV, we didn’t care so much. Tiger's and Phil’s hands would have felt as if they were reaching into corporate America’s pockets. Now, it feels as if they’re digging into ours.

Last week, there was more disappointing news, with the Las Vegas Review-Journal reporting that tickets won’t be sold to the public, that the match at Shadow Creek will only be open to select sponsors and VIPs.



Now there’s a larger insult to the common fan, who can’t help but feel he isn’t worthy or important enough to gain admittance.

Sorry, but that’s how news of a closed gate landed on the heels of the pay-per-view news.

“The Match” was never going to be meaningful golf in any historical sense.

This matchup was never going to rekindle the magic Tiger vs. Phil brought in their epic Duel at Doral in ’05.

The $9 million was never going to buy the legitimacy a major championship or PGA Tour Sunday clash could bring.

It was never going to be more than an exhibition, with no lingering historical significance, but that was OK as quasi silly-season fare on TV on Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 23), the traditional weekend of the old Skins Game.

“The Match” still has a chance to be meaningful, but first and foremost as entertainment, not real competition. That’s what this was always going to be about, but now the bar is raised.

Pay per view does that.

“You get what you pay for” is an adage that doesn’t apply to free (or already-paid for) TV. It does to pay per view. Expectations go way up when you aren’t just channel surfing to a telecast. So the higher the price tag they end up putting on this showdown, the more entertaining this has to be.

If Phil brings his “A-Game” to his trash talking, and if Tiger can bring some clever repartee, this can still be fun. If the prerecorded segments wedged between shots are insightful, even meaningful in their ability to make us understand these players in ways we didn’t before, this will be worthwhile.

Ultimately, “The Match” is a success if it leaves folks who paid to see it feeling as if they weren’t as ripped off as the people who refused to pay for it. That’s the handicap a history of free golf on TV brings. Welcome to pay-per-view, Tiger and Phil.

Celia Barquin Arozamena Iowa State University athletics

Trial date set for drifter charged with killing Barquin Arozamena

By Associated PressOctober 15, 2018, 7:28 pm

AMES, Iowa – A judge has scheduled a January trial for a 22-year-old Iowa drifter charged with killing a top amateur golfer from Spain.

District Judge Bethany Currie ruled Monday that Collin Richards will stand trial Jan. 15 for first-degree murder in the death of Iowa State University student Celia Barquin Arozamena.

Richards entered a written not guilty plea Monday morning and waived his right to a speedy trial. The filing canceled an in-person arraignment hearing that had been scheduled for later Monday.

Investigators say Richards attacked Barquin on Sept. 17 while she was playing a round at a public course in Ames, near the university campus. Her body was found in a pond on the course riddled with stab wounds.

Richards faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.