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Presidents Cup 101: A guide to this week's matches

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 26, 2017, 11:30 am

Take a look at some answers to frequently asked questions about the Presidents Cup:

I thought the FedExCup marked the end of the PGA Tour season, but now I see there's a "Presidents Cup" on this week's schedule. What's that all about?

The Presidents Cup is a team event, similar to the Ryder Cup.

What's the difference?

In the Ryder Cup, the United States plays against Europe. In the Presidents Cup, the U.S. plays against an "International" team, meaning all countries EXCEPT Europe. The Presidents Cup is held every two years, in non-Ryder Cup years, which 2017 happens to be.

So, the Americans have to play one of these cup events every year, while the foreign players get every other year off? Why don't they just combine the two events?

Well, for one thing, they're the properties of different entities. The PGA Tour runs the Presidents Cup, while the Ryder Cup is a PGA of America production. And each event makes a lot of money for its owner.

Ah yes. "Show me the money." How much money is at stake?

Technically, none. Players do not receive money for participation in the Presidents Cup. Instead, the PGA Tour pledges to contribute to charities which are nominated by the players, captains and assistant captains from both teams.

When did this Presidents Cup start?

The first one was played in 1994. This is the 12th edition.

How does the series stand?

The U.S. leads, 9-1-1.

How are the teams chosen?

The teams are comprised of 12 players - 10 automatic qualifiers and two captain's picks. The U.S. takes the top 10 players from a points list determined by FedExCup points earned between the 2015 BMW Championship and 2017 Dell Technologies Championship with the points doubled for the 2017 season. The International team consists of the top-10 international players (non-European) in the Official World Golf Ranking at the conclusion of the Dell Technologies Championship. Each side then adds two captain's picks.

Who are the captains?

Steve Stricker for the U.S. and Nick Price for the Internationals.

Who are their players?

For the U.S., the automatic qualifiers are Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar, Daniel Berger, Kevin Chappell, Kevin Kisner, Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas. The captain's picks are Phil Mickelson and Charley Hoffman.

For the Internationals, the automatic quaifiers are Branden Grace, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel of South Africa; Hideki Matsuyama of Japan; Adam Scott, Marc Leishman and Jason Day of Australia; Adam Hadwin of Canada; Si Woo Kim of South Korea and Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela. Emiliano Grillo of Argentina and Anirban Lahiri of India are the captain's picks.

Is the format the same as the Ryder Cup?

It's similar, but not an exact duplicate. The Presidents Cup takes place over four days (Thursday through Sunday), with three days of team matches – alternate shot and better ball – followed by Sunday singles. The Ryder Cup takes place over three days. Also, while the Ryder Cup has a total of 28 points at stake, with the Presidents Cup, it's 30 (down from the former total of 34).

Perhaps most significantly, if the competition is deadlocked at the end of singles play, it will be deemed a tie and the teams will share the Presidents Cup. If a Ryder Cup ends in a tie, the team that last won the cup gets to retain it.

Where is this Presidents Cup being played?

At Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J.

Who won the most recent Presidents Cup?

The United States defeated the International team, 15 ½ to 14 ½, at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Incheon, South Korea, for its sixth consecutive victory. The competition came down to the final match between a pair of captain’s picks – Bill Haas (son of captain Jay Haas) for the U.S. and South Korea’s Sangmoon Bae, who was playing in his last competition before starting two years of mandatory military service for his country. Haas led, 1 up, through 17 holes, and won, 2 up, when Bae made a mess of the 18th and conceded.

Last question: When and where is this all on TV?

Good last question. It will be on Golf Channel from 1 to 6 p.m. Thursday and 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. It will be on NBC from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday (all times Eastern).

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Lauren Thompson and a giant 'gator eating a turtle

By Grill Room TeamApril 19, 2018, 4:53 pm

Really, the headline says it all.

"Morning Drive" co-host Lauren Thompson was playing the Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes on Thursday in Orlando, Fla., when her threesome turned into a foursome, with the appearance of a giant alligator. Techincally, it was a fivesome, as the 'gator had a turtle in its mouth.

Hey, it's a slow news week for Grill Room.

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Sources confirm Charles Schwab to sponsor Colonial event

By Rex HoggardApril 19, 2018, 2:42 pm

Multiple sources have confirmed to that officials at Colonial are poised to announce a new sponsorship agreement with Charles Schwab Corporation.

Tournament officials scrambled this year after Dean & DeLuca ended its sponsorship of the event just two years into a six-year agreement, pulling together an assortment of local sponsors and renaming the event the Fort Worth Invitational.

Colonial’s status on the PGA Tour schedule became even more uncertain when the PGA Championship announced it would move from August to May, beginning in 2019 as part of a major overhaul of the circuit’s schedule.

According to the Dallas News, and confirmed by multiple sources at the club, officials plan to announce the new long-term agreement with Charles Schwab on Monday that will begin in 2019.

News of a long-term sponsorship deal would also suggest the event will remain in May in 2019 and beyond. The Tour has indicated it plans to announce the ’19 schedule at next month’s Players Championship.

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PNC Extends Title Sponsorship of PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Golf Channel Public RelationsApril 19, 2018, 1:00 pm

ORLANDO, Fla., April 19, 2018 – IMG and NBC Sports today announced that The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. has extended its contract as title sponsor of the PNC Father/Son Challenge, the tournament that pairs the games’ legends alongside their sons, daughters and grandchildren.

PNC’s multi-year extension as title sponsor keeps the PGA Tour Challenge Event in Orlando reflecting the bank’s commitment to Central Florida. PNC has served as title sponsor of the tournament since 2012. The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Orlando, Grande Lakes will continue to play host to the PNC Father/Son Challenge. The 2018 PNC Father/Son Challenge will take place Friday-Sunday, Dec. 14-16, with television coverage on Golf Channel and NBC.

“The PNC Father/Son Challenge long ago became one of my family’s favorite golf tournaments,” said 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus. “I have had the pleasure of playing with my sons, and last year, partnering with my 15-year-old grandson GT was a thrill. I am delighted the event—a uniquely special one to us fathers and grandfathers, and perhaps to the many fans out there watching from home or outside the ropes—will continue for many years to come.”

“After our victory in 2016, I said that this win was as good as anything I have done in my career,” said former World No. 1 and major champion David Duval, who alongside his stepson Nick Karavites captured the 2016 title. “I felt blessed to have Nick inside the ropes with me and to have our family surrounding us all week. That’s what makes the PNC Father/Son Challenge so special, and I’m pleased to hear that PNC has extended its support of the event. This golf tournament means so much to all of us who are lucky enough to have the opportunity to play in this event.”

The tournament also holds three events in qualifier markets per year. This year they will be in Dallas, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

“The PNC Father/Son Challenge allows fans to see golf’s legends playing the game they love alongside those they love most,” said Alastair Johnston, vice chairman, IMG. “We are grateful for PNC’s ongoing support of this unique tournament and we look forward to returning to Orlando to celebrate golf and family for many years to come.”

Community support is a key aspect of the tournament and PNC’s sponsorship. PNC is committed to donating $150,000 annually to local non-profits over the life of its sponsorship. Across six previous years of title sponsorship, PNC has already donated $900,000 to Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation and the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children to support the “Healthy Families Orange” program. Over the years, PNC has also had the opportunity through this tournament to co-host events for local women in business, to put on clinics and provide free access to the tournament for active military, and even provide a service dog for a local veteran.

"PNC's long-standing sponsorship of the Father/Son Challenge reflects the philanthropic values we share with the PGA Tour and the golf community, as well as our focus on strong relationships,” said Bill Demchak, chairman, president and chief executive officer of The PNC Financial Services Group. “As PNC Bank continues to expand its footprint, the PNC Father/Son tournament helps us gain visibility with new audiences and to strengthen the relationships we enjoy today with more than 8 million retail, wealth, and corporate and institutional banking customers across the country.”

“NBC Sports is extremely proud of our heritage as co-founder for the Father/Son Challenge, one of golf’s most special events that closes out the calendar year on the golf schedule,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports. “Our relationship with PNC Bank elevates this event each year as a must-attend and must-see event for players and fans alike, and we look forward to our continued relationship with PNC Bank for years to come.”

Past winners of the PNC Father/Son Challenge include some of the biggest names in golf including Raymond Floyd (1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001), Jack Nicklaus (1999), Bernhard Langer (2005-06, 2014), Davis Love III (2012) and David Duval (2016).  Masters champion Angel Cabrera and his son, Angel Cabrera Jr. captured the 2017 title.

To qualify for the PNC Father/Son Challenge, participants must have won either a major championship or THE PLAYERS Championship in their career. The professional’s partner must not currently hold a Tour card, and while the majority of partners in the history of the event have been the sons of the golf legends, the family-themed tournament has seen daughters, grandsons and one father – Justin Leonard’s dad, Larry – participate over the years.

The PNC Father/Son Challenge is operated in partnership by IMG and NBC Sports.

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Fire damages National Golf Links of America clubhouse

By Will GrayApril 19, 2018, 12:55 pm

A fire broke out Wednesday at National Golf Links of America in Southampton, N.Y., causing "extensive damage" to a portion of the historic course's clubhouse.

According to a report, an initial call was made to the Southampton police department about a fire on the roof of the clubhouse at 11:34 a.m. With the club's gates too narrow to fit a fire truck through, more than 100 firefighters from various departments helped douse the flames by transporting water up a hill to the east side of the clubhouse.

The fire was reportedly extinguished by 2:30 p.m., with no injuries requiring medical attention. According to a Golf Digest report, the club was undergoing construction on its outdoor eating area known as "the Birdcage" and that most of the club's historical documents reside on the opposite end of the clubhouse from where the fire broke out and was contained.

Opened in 1911, National Golf Links of America was designed by C.B. MacDonald and hosted the inaugural Walker Cup in 1922. The biennial matches returned in 2013 to NGLA, which is often rated among the top courses in the U.S. and sits adjacent to Shinnecock Hills, site of this summer's U.S. Open.