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A very fond farewell to Golf Channel

By Kelly TilghmanMarch 14, 2018, 1:30 pm

I was born and raised in the Myrtle Beach area. Becoming a golfer was a given for me, and for that, I am extremely grateful. Golf is the fabric of my life.

If I could write a thank you note to this game, it would go like this:

Thank you, golf, for giving me purpose and challenge. Thank you for teaching me responsibility, confidence and respect. Thank you for helping me earn a college scholarship and receive a world-class education. Thank you for affording me the opportunity to travel the world and play at one of the highest levels.

But most of all, thank you for Golf Channel.

It was here that I learned how special golf really is.

At its inception, few believed a 24/7 cable network built around a sport where you can hear birds chirping could survive.

Enter Arnold Palmer. I’ll never forget that day in the early years when he paid our tiny newsroom a surprise visit. It was an honor to be in his presence. One could only imagine how I felt when he put his hand on my shoulder and whispered, “I hope you believe in this place as much as I do.”

Yes, Arnold, I did.


Photos: Best of: Kelly Tilghman through the years


He knew golf was special. In what other sport can you watch an athlete win a tournament, and then become his amateur partner the very next week?

What other sport brings family, friends, athletes, celebrities, politicians and business leaders together like this one?

What other sport allows you to plan countless buddy trips and bond through shared adventures?  

Golf is the great unifier.

So, too, is Golf Channel. Why do you ask? Because it brought us together.

I am so lucky to be able to say I worked here from the beginning.

Yes, the passion of our employees and investors was a huge reason for this company’s success but there was someone even more impactful – you, the viewer.

Thank you for your support in every way. You made me feel like I was part of your family. You watched me mature and grow into the broadcaster I am today. You embraced me and my equally passionate, hard-working colleagues. I want to give special thanks to every one of you who stopped me in an airport, restaurant or grocery store and said, “Kelly, we watch you every night.”

It was my privilege to work for you. It was my honor to be a voice in your living room, to be able to track Tiger and Annika’s history with you. What a thrill it was to share conversations with icons like Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Nancy Lopez with you. It was also my good fortune to usher in the game’s next fearless generation of talent, yes, with you.

I want to personally thank you for your loyalty and relentless passion for this game and this channel.

It is on this note that I announce my 22-year career at Golf Channel is coming to a close – and I’ve chosen Bay Hill as the place to say farewell. It’s the perfect spot for so many obvious reasons. Arnold’s family will be there. My Golf Channel and NBC family will be there. I know you will, too, like you always have.

I’ll forever cherish the memories we’ve built together.

Thank you, Golf Channel, for an incredible run.

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Fowler (oblique) withdraws from playoff opener

By Will GrayAugust 15, 2018, 8:44 pm

The injury that slowed Rickie Fowler at last week's PGA Championship will keep him out of the first event of the PGA Tour's postseason.

Fowler was reportedly hampered by an oblique injury at Bellerive Country Club, where he started the third round two shots off the lead but faded to a tie for 12th. He confirmed the injury Tuesday in an Instagram post, adding that an MRI revealed a partial tear to his right oblique muscle.

According to Fowler, the injury also affected him at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, where he tied for 17th. After receiving the test results, he opted to withdraw from The Northern Trust next week at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey.

"My team and I feel like it's best not to play next week in the Northern Trust," Fowler wrote. "I will be back healthy and competitive ASAP for the FedEx Cup and more than ready for the Ryder Cup!!!"

Fowler is one of eight players who earned automatic spots on the U.S. Ryder Cup team when the qualifying window closed last week. His next opportunity to tee it up would be at the 100-man Dell Technologies Championship, where Fowler won in 2015.

Fowler has 12 top-25 finishes in 18 starts, highlighted by runner-up finishes at both the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in the fall and at the Masters. He is currently 17th in the season-long points race, meaning that he's assured of starts in each of the first three playoff events regardless of performance and in good position to qualify for the 30-man Tour Championship for the fourth time in the last five years.

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Playoff streaks in jeopardy for Garcia, Haas

By Will GrayAugust 15, 2018, 8:12 pm

Since the advent of the FedExCup in 2007, only 13 players have managed to make the playoffs each and every year. But two of the PGA Tour's stalwarts head into the regular-season finale with work to do in order to remain a part of that select fraternity.

Sergio Garcia has rarely had to sweat the top-125 bubble, but the Spaniard enters this week's Wyndham Championship 131st in the current standings. Left with even more work to do is former FedExCup winner Bill Haas, who starts the week in Greensboro 150th.

Garcia got off to a strong start in the spring, sandwiching a pair of top-10 finishes in WGC events around a fourth-place showing at the Valspar Championship. But quality results largely dried up after Garcia missed the cut at the Masters; he has made only two cuts in 10 Tour starts since April, including early exits in all four majors.


Wyndham Championship: Articles, photos and videos


Garcia has some history at Sedgefield Country Club, having won this event in 2012 to break a lengthy U.S. victory drought. He also finished fourth in 2009 but hasn't played the Donald Ross layout since a T-29 finish as the defending champ in 2013.

It's been a difficult year for Haas both on and off the course, as the veteran was involved as a passenger in a car accident on the eve of the Genesis Open that killed the driver. He returned to action three weeks later in Tampa, and he tied for seventh at the RBC Heritage in April. But that remains his lone top-10 finish of the season. Haas has missed 11 cuts including three in a row.

While the bubble will be a fluid target this week at Sedgefield, Garcia likely needs at least a top-20 finish to move into the top 125 while Haas will likely need to finish inside the top 5.

One of the 13 playoff streaks is assured of ending next week, as Luke Donald has missed most of the year with a back injury. Other players to qualify for every Tour postseason include Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson, Adam Scott, Bubba Watson, Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker, Charles Howell III, Charley Hoffman and Ryan Moore.

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Airlines lose two sets of Olesen's clubs in 10 days

By Grill Room TeamAugust 15, 2018, 7:50 pm

Commercial airlines losing the golf clubs of a professional golfer is not exactly a groundbreaking story. It happens.

But European Tour pro Thorbjorn Olesen is on quite the roll, losing two sets of clubs and five suitcases in the span of 10 days.

Olesen, the reigning Italian Open champ, claimed his primary set of golf clubs were lost last week. Having little faith they'd be found before this week's Nordea Masters, he decided to bring his backup set for the event in Sweden.

A veteran move by the 28-year-old, unless, of course, those clubs were lost too. And wouldn't you know it:

After pestering the airlines with some A+ GIFs, Olesen was reunited with at least one of his sets and was back in action on Wednesday.

He also still plans on giving his golf bag away to some lucky follower, provided it's not lost again in transit. Something he's no longer taking for granted.

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Podcast: Brandel compares Tiger and Hogan's comebacks

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 15, 2018, 6:48 pm

Tiger Woods on Sunday at Bellerive recorded his seventh runner-up finish in a major and his first in nine years.

A favorite guest of the Golf Channel Podcast, Brandel Chamblee joins host Will Gray to compare and contrast Tiger's return to competitive golf with that of Ben Hogan and Babe Didrikson Zaharias in the 1950s.

Chamblee also discusses Brooks Koepka's major dominance, Bellerive as a major venue, Tiger and Phil as Ryder Cup locks, and who else might be in line to receive Jim Furyk and Thomas Bjorn's remaining captain's picks.

Finally, Brandel shares what it was it was like to qualify for the Senior Open Championship and compete for a major title on the Old Course at St. Andrews. Listen here: