Kuchar to Headline TGCs Canadian Tour Coverage
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.
Bjorn adds four Ryder Cup veterans as vice captains
European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn has added a quartet of vice captains for the biennial matches this fall in Paris.
Bjorn had already named Robert Karlsson as his first assistant, and he announced Tuesday at the BMW PGA Championship that his group of advisors will also include major champions Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell, and former world No. 1s Lee Westwood and Luke Donald.
Westwood is among Europe's most decorated Ryder Cup players, and his addition in this role signals he likely won't participate as a player in the matches for the first time since 1995. The Englishman has spoken openly about his desire to captain the European squad at Whistling Straits in 2020, but he's been quiet on the course in recent months, with a missed secondary cut at the Houston Open his only start since mid-February.
Harrington is seen as another possible captain for the 2020 matches, and he'll don an earpiece for the third straight Ryder Cup, having represented Europe as a player on six straight teams from 1999-2010.
Donald played on four Ryder Cup teams from 2004-12, with the Europeans winning each time he was on the roster. This will mark his first stint as a vice captain, as Donald announced last month that he would be sidelined indefinitely while recovering from a back injury.
At age 38, McDowell will be the youngest vice captain in the room, having holed the winning putt eight years ago at Celtic Manor. He won the French Open in both 2013 and 2014 at Le Golf National, site of this year's matches, and will also be making his debut as a vice captain.
Bidder pays $50,000 to caddie for Woods
Someone has paid $50,000 to caddie for Tiger Woods at this year’s Hero World Challenge.
An unnamed bidder paid for the opportunity at an auction Saturday night at Tiger Jam, where monies are raised to support the Tiger Woods Foundation.
"Joe, take the day off." @TGRFound supporter to caddie for Woods Wednesday at #HeroWorldChallenge for $50,000 donation in the #TigerJam live auction. - TGRhttps://t.co/EjoJ2bpRh4 pic.twitter.com/yu2MY2dUGV— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) May 21, 2018
The Hero World Challenge will be contested Nov. 29-Dec. in Albany, Bahamas. The pro-am is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 28.
NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times
The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.
After three days of stroke play, eight teams have advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals and semifinals will be contested on Tuesday, with the finals being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.
- Quarterfinals: Alabama vs. Kent State
- Quartefinals: USC vs. Duke
- Quarterfinals: UCLA vs. Arizona
- Quarterfinals: Northwestern vs. Stanford
- Individual stroke play
TV Times (all times ET):
11AM-conclusion: Match-play quarterfinals (Click here to watch live)
4-8PM: Match-play semifinals
Arizona grabs last spot with eagle putt, playoff win
STILLWATER, Okla. – With her team freefalling in the standings, Arizona coach Laura Ianello was down to her last stroke.
The Wildcats began the final round of the NCAA Championship in third place, but they were 19 over par for the day, and outside the top-8 cut line, with only one player left on the course.
Bianca Pagdaganan had transferred from Gonzaga to compete for NCAA titles, and on the 17th hole Ianello told her that she needed to play “the best two holes of your life” to keep the dream alive.
She made par on 17, then hit a 185-yard 6-iron out of a divot to 30 feet. Not knowing where she stood on the final green, Pagdaganan felt an eerie calm over the ball. Sure enough, she buried the eagle putt, setting off a raucous celebration and sending the Wildcats into a play-five, count-four team playoff with Baylor at 33 over par.
Their match-play spot wasn’t yet secure, but Ianello still broke down in tears.
“Bianca is such an inspiration for all of us,” she said. “She’s the kind of kid that you want to root for, to have good things happen to.”
Arizona prevailed on the second playoff hole. As the 8 seed, the Wildcats will play top-seeded UCLA in the quarterfinals Tuesday at Karsten Creek.
Though the finish had plenty of drama, no teams played their way into the coveted top 8 on the final day of stroke-play qualifying.
Baylor came closest. The Bears barely advanced past regionals after a mysterious stomach virus affected several players and coaches. They competed in the final round with just four healthy players.
On Monday, Gurleen Kaur put Baylor in position to advance, shooting 68, but the Bears lost by three strokes on the second extra hole.
Arkansas finished one shot shy of the team playoff. The second-ranked Razorbacks, who entered NCAAs as one of the pre-tournament favorites, having won seven times, including their first SEC title, couldn’t overcome a 308-300 start and finished 10th. Player of the Year favorite Maria Fassi finished her week at 19 over par and counted only two rounds toward the team total.