Golf Channel Plans More Than 100 Coverage Hours of 2015 Men's and Women's Golf Championships

By Golf Channel Public RelationsApril 22, 2015, 1:55 pm

Men’s and Women’s Championships in Back-to-Back Weeks at Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla., May 22-June 3

Marathon LPGA Classic Extends Two Exemptions for 2015 NCAA Women’s Golf Championships

Golf Central to Provide Wraparound News Programming on Location, Including Live Unveil of Year-End Collegiate Golf Awards

Golf Channelto Announce NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships Selections on Monday, April 27 and May 4

Golf Channel will build upon the success of its 2014 coverage of the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships and expand its news and tournament coverage to include, for the first time since 1997, live coverage of the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships.

The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships will be contested in back-to-back weeks at Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla., May 22-June 3. Golf Channel will originate more than 100 hours of news and tournament coverage of both championships onsite, as well as expanded coverage online at and through the network’s social media channels.

“Our partnership with the NCAA brings the great drama of the collegiate game to our viewers through not only our coverage of the NCAA Golf Championships, but also our commitment to cover college golf throughout the year,” said Molly Solomon, executive producer of Golf Channel. “The momentum we garnered in our inaugural year as the NCAA’s television partner for golf has made a positive impact on raising the profile of college golf. And we look forward to introducing to our viewers the future stars of the game and tapping into the passionate fan bases of their respective schools.”

Marathon LPGA Classic to Offer Two Exemptions for 2015 NCAA Women’s Golf Championships

The individual champion from the 2015 NCAA Women’s Golf Championships and a representative from the team national champions will receive exemptions to compete in the 2015 Marathon LPGA Classic, taking place July 13-19 in Toledo, Ohio.

Golf Channel’s Coverage Plan:

Golf Channel will dedicate its full suite of production resources to the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships, featuring more than 25 combined hours of live tournament coverage as well as more than 50 hours of primarily primetime replays.  In addition, Golf Central will feature nearly 25 hours of combined pre-and post-event news coverage produced on location, as well as daily news updates on Morning Drive and online at

Hosted by the University of South Florida, the 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships will feature teams and student-athletes – who advanced from NCAA Regional Qualifying – competing in an individual stroke-play format over 72 holes Friday-Monday, with the top eight teams qualifying at the conclusion of play for the team match-play tournament Tuesday and Wednesday. Golf Channel’s live tournament coverage of the women’s championships will begin on Monday, May 25 to crown the individual national champion, as well as track the team’s attempting to qualify for the eight-team match-play tournament. And this year, Golf Channel’s coverage will include all three rounds of the team match-play tournament on Tuesday, May 26 and Wednesday, May 27. The same television coverage is planned for the men’s national championships the following week: Monday, June 1 – Wednesday, June 3. All rounds on Golf Channel will include primetime replays.

Golf Channel NCAA Women’s Division I Golf Championships Tournament Coverage

Monday, May 25        Final Round, Individual Stroke Play  4-7 p.m. ET (Live)

Tuesday, May 26        Quarterfinals, Match Play                   10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET (Live)

Tuesday, May 26        Semifinals, Match Play                       3:30-7 p.m. ET (Live)

Wednesday, May 27   Finals, Match Play                              3-7 p.m. ET (Live)

Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Division I Golf Championships Tournament Coverage

Monday, June 1                       Final Round, Individual Stroke Play    4-7 p.m. ET (Live)

Tuesday, June 2                       Quarterfinals, Match Play                    10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET (Live)

Tuesday, June 2                       Semifinals, Match Play                                    3:30-7 p.m. ET (Live)

Wednesday, June 3      Finals, Match Play                               3-7 p.m. ET (Live)

Golf Channel’s NCAA Men’s And Women’s Golf Championships Broadcast Team:

  • Notah Begay, On-Course Reporter for Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships (Member of the 1994 NCAA Team National Champions, Stanford University)
  • Billy Ray Brown, On-Course Reporter for Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships (1982 NCAA Individual Champion, member of 3-time NCAA Team National Champions, University of Houston)
  • Steve Burkowski, Golf Channel College Insider for Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships
  • Curt Byrum, Tower Announcer for Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships (Participant in 1979 NCAA Men’s Golf Championships, University of New Mexico)
  • Kay Cockerill, Lead Analyst for Women's Golf Championships (Finished Fourth at 1986 NCAA Women’s Golf Championships, 2-time All-American at UCLA)
  • Bob Papa , Play-by-Play Commentator for Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships
  • Phil Parkin, On-Course Reporter for the Men’s Golf Championships (All-American at Texas A&M, participant in 1984 NCAA Men’s Golf Championships)
  • Karen Stupples, On-Course Reporter for Women’s Golf Championships (Second Team All-American at Florida State University)
  • Lanny Wadkins, Lead Analyst for Men’s Golf Championships (3-time NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships participant – 1969 (10th), 1970 (2nd) and 1971 (6th), Wake Forest      University)

Golf Central News Team Women’s Championship:

  • Steve Burkowski, Golf Channel’s College Insider
  • Lisa Cornwell, Host (University of Arkansas, 3-time All American)
  • Angela Hamann, Reporter (University of Texas)
  • Paige Mackenzie, Analyst (University of Washington, 3-time All-American)

Golf Central News Team – Men’s Championship:

  • Steve Burkowski, Golf Channel’s College Insider
  • Ryan Burr, Host
  • Angela Hamann, Reporter (University of Texas)
  • Gary Koch, Analyst (University of Florida, 1973 NCAA Golf Championships Runner-up and member of 1973      National Championship team)
  • Charlie Rymer, Analyst (Georgia Tech, 4-time NCAA Men’s Golf Championships participant)

Golf Central Announcing Haskins Award presented by Stifel Winner on Monday, June 1

For the first time, the Haskins Award winner will accept his award live on Golf Channel on Monday, June 1, on Golf Central. Since 1971, the Haskins Award presented by Stifel has honored the nation’s outstanding male collegiate golfer as selected by his peers, coaches and the media. The 2015 Haskins Award winner also will receive an exemption to play in The Greenbrier Classic on the PGA TOUR (June 29-July 5).

Road to the NCAA National Championships News Coverage on Golf Channel

  • Monday, April 27: NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Regional Championship Selections Announcement airing live on Golf Central at      7 p.m. ET
  • Monday, May 4: NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Selections Announcement airing live on Golf Channel at 10 a.m. ET, airing within Morning      Drive.
  • Thursday-Saturday, May 7-9: Golf Central and Morning Drive will feature scores, highlights and interviews from the four      NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Regional Championships.
  • Thursday-Saturday, May 14-16: Golf Central and Morning Drive will provide scores, highlights and interviews from      the six NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Regional Championships. Digital Coverage is providing comprehensive coverage leading up to and during the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships as part of College Central ( College Central, led by Jay Coffin, Ryan Lavner and Steve Burkowski, will be the source for all things NCAA golf, including tournament results, features and columns, video highlights and breaking news.

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Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.

Updated Official World Golf Ranking

There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

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Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

“I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

“I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”

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Harrington: Fiery Carnoustie evokes Hoylake in '06

By Ryan LavnerJuly 16, 2018, 3:45 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – One course came to mind when Padraig Harrington arrived on property and saw a firm, fast and yellow Carnoustie.

Hoylake in 2006.

That's when Tiger Woods avoided every bunker, bludgeoned the links with mid-irons and captured the last of his three Open titles.

So Harrington was asked: Given the similarity in firmness between Carnoustie and Hoylake, can Tiger stir the ghosts this week?

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I really don’t know,” Harrington said Monday. “He’s good enough to win this championship, no doubt about it. I don’t think he could play golf like the way he did in 2006. Nobody else could have tried to play the golf course the way he did, and nobody else could have played the way he did. I suspect he couldn’t play that way now, either. But I don’t know if that’s the strategy this week, to lay up that far back.”

With three days until the start of this championship, that’s the biggest question mark for Harrington, the 2007 winner here. He doesn’t know what his strategy will be – but his game plan will need to be “fluid.” Do you attack the course with driver and try to fly the fairway bunkers? Or do you attempt to lay back with an iron, even though it’s difficult to control the amount of run-out on the baked-out fairways and bring the bunkers into play?

“The fairways at Hoylake are quite flat, even though they were very fast,” Harrington said. “There’s a lot of undulations in the fairways here, so if you are trying to lay up, you can get hit the back of a slope and kick forward an extra 20 or 30 yards more than you think. So it’s not as easy to eliminate all the risk by laying up.”

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How will players game-plan for Carnoustie?

By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:31 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Justin Thomas took a familiar slash with his driver on the 18th tee on Monday at Carnoustie and watched anxiously as his golf ball bounced and bounded down the fairway.

Unlike the two previous editions of The Open, at what is widely considered the rota’s most demanding test, a particularly warm and dry summer has left Carnoustie a parched shade of yellow and players like Thomas searching for answers.

Under the best circumstances, Carnoustie is every bit the unforgiving participant. But this week promises to be something altogether different, with players already dumbfounded by how far the ball is chasing down fairways and over greens.

Brown is beautiful here at Royal Dark & Dusty.

But then it’s also proving to be something of a unique test.

Where most practice rounds at The Open are spent trying to figure out what lines are best off tees, this is more a study of lesser evils.

Tee shots, like at the par-4 17th hole, ask multiple questions with few answers. On his first attempt, Thomas hit 2-iron off the tee at No. 17. It cleared the Barry Burn and bounded down the middle of the fairway. Perfect, right? Not this year at Carnoustie, as Thomas’ tee shot kept rolling until it reached the same burn, which twists and turns through both the 17th and 18th fairways, at a farther intersection.

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“A hole like 17 in this wind, the trick is getting a club that will carry [the burn],” said Thomas, who played 18 holes on Monday with Tiger Woods. “If that hole gets downwind you can have a hard time carrying the burn and keeping it short of the other burn. It’s pretty bizarre.”

The sixth hole can offer a similar dilemma, with players needing to carry their tee shots 275 yards to avoid a pair of pot bunkers down the right side of the fairway. Yet just 26 yards past those pitfalls looms a second set of bunkers. Even for the game’s best, trying to weave a fairway wood or long-iron into a 26-yard window can be challenging.

“Six is a really hard hole, it really just depends on how you want to play it. If you want to take everything on and have a chance of hitting an iron into a par 5, or just kind of lay back and play it as a three-shot hole,” Thomas shrugged.

It’s difficult to quantify precisely how short the 7,400-yard layout is playing. It’s not so far players are flying the ball in the air, particularly with relatively little wind in the forecast the rest of the week, so much as it is a question of how a particular shot will run out after it’s made contact with the firm turf.

As the field began to get their first taste of the bouncy fun, one of the earliest indications something was askew came on Sunday when Padraig Harrington, who won The Open the last time it was played at Carnoustie in 2007, announced to the social world that he’d hit into the burn on the 18th hole.

“This time it was the one at the green, 457 yards away,” the Irishman tweeted. “The fairways are a tad fast.”

Most players have already resigned themselves to a steady diet of mid-irons off tees this week in an attempt to at least partially control the amount of run-out each shot will have.

Jordan Spieth, the defending champion, hadn’t played a practice round prior to his media session, but could tell what’s in store just from his abbreviated range session on Monday. “Extremely baked out,” he said.

The conditions have already led Spieth and his caddie, Micheal Greller, to conjure up a tentative game plan.

“You might wear out your 5- and 4-irons off the tee instead of hitting 3- or 2-irons like you’re used to,” Greller told him.

But even that might not be the answer, as Tommy Fleetwood discovered on Sunday during a practice round. Fleetwood has a unique connection with Carnoustie having shot the course record (63) during last year’s Dunhill Links Championship.

The Englishman doesn’t expect his record to be in danger this week.

In fact, he explained the dramatically different conditions were evident on the third hole on Sunday.

“There’s holes that have been nothing tee shots, like the third. If you play that in the middle of September or October [when the Dunhill is played] and it’s green and soft, you could just hit a mid-iron down the fairway and knock it on with a wedge,” Fleetwood said. “Yesterday it was playing so firm, the fairways really undulate and you have bunkers on either side, it’s actually all of a sudden a tough tee shot.”

The alternative to the iron game plan off the tee would be to simply hit driver, an option at least one long-hitter is considering this week if his practice round was any indication.

On Sunday, Jon Rahm played aggressively off each tee, taking the ubiquitous fairway bunkers out of play but at the same time tempting fate with each fairway ringed by fescue rough, which is relatively tame given the dry conditions. But even that option has consequences.

“It’s kind of strange where there’s not really a number that you know you’re going to be short,” said Fleetwood, who played his Sunday practice round with Rahm. “[Rahm] hit a drive on 15 that was like 400 yards. You just can’t account for that kind of stuff.”

Whatever tactic players choose, this Open Championship promises to be a much different test than what players have become accustomed to at Carnoustie.