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Golf Channel Announces U.S. Open Week Coverage Plans, June 11-17

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJune 7, 2018, 7:40 pm

Golf Channel announced its programming plans for the 118th U.S. Open, taking place June 11-17 at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton on Long Island (N.Y.), led by Golf Central Live From the U.S. Open contributing to more than 50 total hours of live news coverage throughout the week.

Labeled by Golf Digest as “the best 19th hole in television golf,” Golf Central Live From the U.S. Open will originate from a dedicated set adjacent to the practice green, with Shinnecock’s clubhouse serving as the backdrop. On-site coverage will provide viewers with an inside-the-ropes perspective, including vantage points from the practice green and short game area, along with the driving range, where Toptracer technology will be utilized to showcase those in the field preparing for competition.

Anchoring Golf Central Live From the U.S. Open (beginning on Monday, June 11) will be Rich Lerner in primetime, along with Cara Banks and Ryan Burr during the day. Analysts on-site for the network in primetime include Brandel Chamblee, David Duval and Frank Nobilo, in addition to Trevor Immelman, Justin Leonard and Mark Rolfing during the day. Todd Lewis and Steve Burkowski will serve as reporters from the golf course. Golf Channel Insiders Jaime Diaz, Rex Hoggard and Tim Rosaforte will discuss emerging storylines as the tournament unfolds, while Ken Schofield and Geoff Shackelford will join as contributing guests over the course of the week. Award-winning NBC Sports host Mike Tirico also will help preview the championship with a one-hour special of Golf Central Live From the U.S. Open, airingin primetime at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, June 12. The hour will include Tirico’s interview with Phil Mickelson, reflecting on his near misses over the years at the only event that’s eluded him in his effort to claim the career Grand Slam.

Coverage of Golf Central Live From the U.S. Open will be complemented by a number of dedicated features, including:

  • A Retrospective on the 2008 U.S. Open: It’s often referenced with an implication of bewilderment as the site of Tiger Woods’ last major championship victory. 10 years removed from the 2008 U.S. Open, the principal individuals having called the broadcast reflect on the week that was, including Woods’ physical limitations that came to light on the biggest stage.
  • Jimmy Dunne’s Inconceivable Fate: A Long Island native, Jimmy Dunne has become a known figure in the golf world thanks to his friendships with the likes of Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Patrick Reed. Mike Tirico examines the severe burden facing the longtime Wall Street trader, along with Dunne’s perpetual mission.
  • Lessons Learned from Misfortune: The final round of the 2004 U.S. Open will forever be remembered for its disastrous, virtually unplayable conditions, most notably on Shinnecock’s par-3 7th hole. Geoff Shackelford offers insight from the USGA on lessons learned from that unforgettable day, and how they’re protecting against letting it ever happen again.
  • Floyd’s Family Inspiration: Early in his career, Raymond Floyd was seen by many as a tremendous talent who seemed to lack the focus needed to become great. Tim Rosaforte shares the story of how Floyd’s car ride to Shinnecock at the 1986 U.S. Open with his late-wife Maria ultimately altered the arc of his career; so much so that the Floyd family celebrated her life after her passing in 2012 on Shinnecock’s 18th green, site the of couple’s greatest triumph.
  • Mickelson’s Empire State Adulation: New York’s steadfast fan base can be a difficult faction to impress. But as Rich Lerner demonstrates, it’s no wonder that Phil Mickelson’s go-for-broke style to the tune of four heartbreaking runner-up finishes in New York-hosted U.S. Opens has earned the Empire State’s unwavering support for their favorite lefty.

Additional features include: Todd Lewis’ conversation with defending champion Brooks Koepka, discussing his victory at Erin Hills last year and injury-driven season to-date, and Matt Ginella embedding himself with the grounds crew at Shinnecock to showcase what goes on behind-the-scenes in order to prepare for a U.S. Open.

Morning Drive

Morning Drive will kick off each day of U.S. Open week with the latest news and storylines surrounding the competition. 2006 U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy will join the show on Tuesday and Wednesday to offer perspective leading into the competition on Thursday. The show also will feature live reports with guests joining from Shinnecock Hills, including Jaime Diaz, Rex Hoggard, Tim Rosaforte and Geoff Shackelford.        

PGA TOUR Champions Learning Center

On Monday, June 11 at 11:30 p.m. ET, PGA TOUR Champions Learning Center will air a new episode dedicated to the U.S. Open. The episode will feature Corey Pavin as a guest, where he’ll re-enact his famous 4-wood on the 72nd hole at Shinnecock to win the 1995 U.S. Open. Reigning U.S. Senior Open champion Kenny Perry also will join the episode in advance of being a participant in the field at Shinnecock.

Digital Coverage

Golf Channel Digital will feature expanded coverage from its team of writers on-site at Shinnecock Hills: Rex Hoggard, Ryan Lavner, Randall Mell and Will Gray. Beginning Thursday, June 14 and continuing through the tournament’s conclusion, Golf Channel Digital will feature a live blog with up-to-the-minute analysis and reaction to the latest news. Coverage also will include up-to-the-minute scoring updates, features, analysis and reaction to emerging storylines and photo galleries. Lisa Cornwell, George Savaricas, Brian Bateman and Tripp Isenhour will provide previews, analysis and news coverage throughout the week via Golf Channel Digital, originating from Golf Channel’s headquarters in Orlando, Fla., including “Instant Analysis” once tournament play begins.

International Programming

Golf Channel will produce international U.S. Open news programming from its Orlando World Headquarters in both Japanese and Mandarin, featuring reports and custom content throughout the week. These productions will complement the international distribution of Golf Central Live From the U.S. Open, which is distributed to markets within Golf Channel’s worldwide footprint of nearly 500 million viewers in 78 countries and nine languages around the world.


U.S. Open Week Programming Air Times (all times ET):


Monday, June 11

7-9 a.m.                                   Morning Drive

1-4 p.m.                                  Golf Central Live From the U.S. Open

7-9 p.m.                                  Golf Central Live From the U.S. Open


Tuesday, June 12

7-9 a.m.                                   Morning Drive

9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.                     Golf Central Live From the U.S. Open

7-10 p.m.                                Golf Central Live From the U.S. Open


Wednesday, June 13

7-9:30 a.m.                             Morning Drive                       

Noon-5 p.m.                            Golf Central Live From the U.S. Open

7-9 p.m.                                  Golf Central Live From the U.S. Open


Thursday, June 14

6-7 a.m.                                   Morning Drive

7-9:30 a.m.                             Golf Central Live From the U.S. Open

7:30-9:30 p.m.                        Golf Central Live From the U.S. Open


Friday, June 15

6-7 a.m.                                   Morning Drive

7-10 a.m.                                 Golf Central Live From the U.S. Open

7:30-9:30 p.m.                         Golf Central Live From the U.S. Open


Saturday, June 16

6-8 a.m.                                   Morning Drive

8-11 a.m.                                 Golf Central Live From the U.S. Open

7:30-9:30 p.m.                         Golf Central Live From the U.S. Open


Sunday, June 17

6-8 a.m.                                   Morning Drive

8-10 a.m.                                 Golf Central Live From the U.S. Open

7-9 p.m.                                  Golf Central Live From the U.S. Open

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Ciganda, S.Y. Kim share lead in Shanghai

By Associated PressOctober 20, 2018, 9:28 am

SHANGHAI - Carlota Ciganda of Spain shot a 5-under 67 Saturday to share the lead with Sei Young Kim after the third round of the LPGA Shanghai.

Ciganda carded her fifth birdie of the day on the par-4 18th to finish tied with overnight leader Kim at 11-under 205. Kim shot a 71 with four bogeys and five birdies.

Ciganda is attempting to win her third LPGA title and first since the 2016 season, when she won two tournaments in a one-month span. Kim is chasing her eighth career LPGA win and second title of the 2018 season.

''I want to win because I didn't win last year,'' Ciganda said. ''I love playing in Asia. It's good for long hitters, playing quite long, so I'm quite comfortable.''

Full-field scores from the Buick LPGA Shanghai

Angel Yin also birdied the final hole for a 68 and was a further stroke back with Brittany Altomare (69), Danielle Kang (71) and Ariya Jutanugarn (71).

Yin and Altomare have yet to break through for their first LPGA win. A win in Shanghai would make either player the ninth first-time winner of the 2018 season, which would tie 2016 for the third highest number of first-time winners in a season in LPGA history.

''I love competing,'' Yin said. ''That's why I'm playing, right? I'm excited to be in contention again going into Sunday.''

Local favorite Yu Liu was seventh after offsetting a lone bogey with four birdies for a 69.

Paula Creamer also shot a 69 and shared eighth at 8 under with Minjee Lee (70) and Bronte Law (71).

The tournament is the second of five being played in South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan in the LPGA's annual Asian swing.

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Koepka's pursuers have no illusions about catching him

By Nick MentaOctober 20, 2018, 8:50 am

Ahead by four, wielding his driver like Thor's hammer, Brooks Koepka is 18 holes from his third victory in five months and his first ascent to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking.

The tournament isn't over. No one is handing him the trophy and updating the OWGR website just yet. But it will likely take some combination of a meltdown and low round from someone in the chase pack to prevent a Koepka coronation Sunday in South Korea.

Thirteen under for the week, the three-time major champion will start the final round four shots ahead of his playing partners, Ian Poulter and Scott Piercy, and five ahead of six more players at minus-8.

As is his nature, Poulter figures to be undaunted. The 42-year-old is fresh off a Sunday singles victory over Dustin Johnson at the Ryder Cup and in the midst of a career renaissance, having broken a five-year winless drought earlier this year. In one sense, it's Europe vs. the United States again, but this isn't match play, and Koepka, a guy who doesn't need a head start, has spotted himself a four-shot advantage.

Full-field scores from the CJ Cup

CJ Cup: Articles, photos and videos

"Tomorrow I'm going to need to make a few birdies. Obviously Brooks is in cruise control right now and obviously going to need a shoot a low one," Poulter conceded. "Do what I'm doing, just enjoy [it]. Obviously try and make as many birdies as I can and see how close we get."

Perez, in the group at 8 under par, isn't giving up, but like Poulter, he's aware of the reality of his situation.

"We're chasing Brooks, who of course obviously is playing phenomenally," he said. "A lot of the long hitters now when they get in contention, they hit that driver and they're really hard to catch. I'm not worried about it too much. It's going to be harder for me tomorrow than him, so I'm going to try and go out and just do my thing, hit some shots, hopefully hit some close and make some putts and we'll see. I don't expect him to come backwards, but hopefully I can try to go catch him."

Gary Woodland, also 8 under par, summed up the predicament best when he alluded to Koepka's perhaps advantageously aloof demeanor.

"You obviously want to get off to a good start and put pressure on him as soon as you can," he said. "You know, Brooks doesn't seem like he cares too much, and he's playing so good, so you're going to have to go out and post a number."

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Koepka has his chance 'to earn' his way to No. 1

By Nick MentaOctober 20, 2018, 8:09 am

There won't need to be any wonky math involved. He won't have to settle for finally reaching the the top via some kind of mathematical reset while he's sitting at home on the couch (or more likely working out in the gym).

No, Brooks Koepka on Sunday in South Korea will have a chance to ascend to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking the way every player would most want to - with a victory.

On the strength of a bogey-free round of 5-under 67 Saturday, Koepka will enter the final round of the CJ Cup four clear of Ian Poulter and Scott Piercy, with six more players five behind.

The tournament is Koepka's to lose, and so too is the No. 1 ranking. So long as Justin Thomas doesn't somehow defend his title from 12 shots back, Koepka can supplant Dustin Johnson atop the rankings with a win or a solo second-place finish.

Full-field scores from the CJ Cup

CJ Cup: Articles, photos and videos

"It was something I wanted to do. I always wanted to become World No. 1 in a week that I was playing," Koepka said Saturday. "I thought like I could really earn it and not have a week off where it just so happens that you bump up. No, it would be very special, and to do it here would be nice and hopefully get to world No. 1 and cap it off with a win, I don't think there would be much better."

It would be a fitting end to this breakthrough year for Koepka, who successfully defended his U.S. Open title and then added his third major victory at the PGA Championship en route to claiming the PGA Tour's Player of the Year Award. Oddly enough, considering his status a three-time major winner and an impending No. 1, this would be Koepka's fifth Tour victory but only his second in a non-major; his only regular Tour win to date was his first, at the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

"My confidence has always been pretty high," Koepka said. "Anytime you can win three majors you're going to be feeling pretty good about yourself. To do what I've done over the last two years has been special, but I'm looking to build on that."

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Koepka ahead by four, with No. 1 ranking in his grasp

By Nick MentaOctober 20, 2018, 5:48 am

Following a closing birdie and a third-round 67 at Nine Bridges, Brooks Koepka will take a four-shot lead over Ian Poulter and Scott Piercy into final round of the CJ Cup. Here's how Koepka separated himself from the field in South Korea.

Leaderboard: Koepka (-13), Piercy (-9), Poulter (-9), Rafa Cabrera Bello (-8), Cameron Smith (-8), Jaime Lovemark (-8), Pat Perez (-8), Gary Woodland (-8), Chez Reavie (-8)

What it means: Koepka is in search of his fifth PGA Tour victory and – believe it or not – only his second non-major. The three-time major champion’s only other win came all the way back in February 2015, at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. One off the lead to start the day, Koepka opened with eight straight pars and birdied Nos. 9 and 10 to take the outright lead at 10 under par. He added three more circles at 14, 17 and 18 to close out a bogey-free round of 5 under and go ahead by ahead by four. He'll be chased on Sunday by Piercy, a four-time PGA Tour winner who won the Zurich Classic earlier this year alongside Billy Horschel, and by Poulter, who ended a five-year worldwide winless drought back in April and is coming off a 2-2 performance at the Ryder Cup, with a Sunday singles victory over current world No. 1 Dustin Johnson. Speaking of which, unless Justin Thomas finds a way to win this tournament from 12 back, Koepka will for the first time ascend to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking with a win or a solo second-place finish.

Round of the day: After contending last week at the CIMB, Shubankhar Sharma rebounded from opening rounds of 74 and 75 with a nine-birdie, 8-under 64 to move up 45 spots into a tie for 26th through 54 holes.

Best of the rest: Four players – Rafa Cabrera Bello, Ted Potter Jr., Jason Day and Brendan Steele – shot 7-under 65 Saturday. Day played his first four holes in 2 over and his final 14 in 9 under.

Biggest disappointment: The only previous winner of this event, world No. 4 Justin Thomas entered the week with a chance to take back the No. 1 ranking with a successful title defense. But rounds of 73-70-72 have him 1 under for the week. Thomas played his back nine in 1 over Saturday with six pars, a birdie, a quadruple bogey and a closing eagle.

Shot of the day: Koepka flying his tee shot 330 yards to the front edge of the green at the par-4 14th and going on to two-putt for birdie.