Golf Channel Delivers Most-Watched Week of THE PLAYERS Ever

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMay 15, 2012, 1:49 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. (May 15, 2012) – Golf Channel’s week-long coverage of THE PLAYERS was the highest-rated and most-watched week in the history of the network’s coverage of the PGA TOUR’s marquee event, which traditionally showcases one of the best fields of the year.  Average ratings (.17) and viewers (171,000) for the week both were 15 percent higher than the previously high marks for each category in 2007 and 2010, respectively, and 38 and 44 percent higher than last year.

Golf Channel and NBC delivered a combined 22 hours of live tournament coverage and devoted more than 50 hours of news programming surrounding THE PLAYERS throughout the week, which was headlined by its franchise Live From news show.

        • Friday’s Round Two (1.8/1,804,000) on Golf Channel was the most-watched of any early round for this tournament on record (1995-2012), seen by an average of 1.8 million viewers.  Round One (1.2/1,126,000) was up five percent over 2011.
        • Sunday’s Live From THE PLAYERS pre-game show (0.5/564,000) was the second-most-watched for this week in Golf Channel history.
        • NBC’s coverage of THE PLAYERS was the best in three years, with average weekend viewers topping 4 million and besting last year by 21 percent.

THE PLAYERS viewership milestones continue the momentum of record ratings for the sport of golf.  So far this year, both Golf Channel (up 18%) and NBC (up 32%) have seen significant lift for PGA TOUR coverage over the same time period in 2011, with two-year increases up 62 percent for Golf Channel and 38 percent for NBC.

Coming off five consecutive quarters of growth since becoming part of the NBC Sports Group, Golf Channel is the fastest-growing network on cable television among those reaching 80 million or more homes.  The network celebrated 2011 as the most-watched year in its 17-year history and began 2012 by scoring its most-watched quarter ever.

Also coming off its best quarter ever, Golf Channel’s digital platforms recorded their best PLAYERS week for both GolfChannel.com and its mobile platforms.
        • Page views for GolfChannel.com increased 56 percent over the same time period in 2011 and five percent over the previous high mark for THE PLAYERS week in 2008.  The site also logged 79 percent more unique visitors than 2011 and 38 percent more than the previous high in 2010.
        • Page views for Golf Channel’s mobile applications were 103 percent higher than 2011, which previously held the record.

-NBC Sports Group-

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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: