Getty Images

Golf Channel Posts 2nd Most-Watched Third Quarter Ever, Trailing Only Olympics-Fueled 2016

By Golf Channel Public RelationsSeptember 28, 2017, 12:35 pm

Golf Channel Digital Records Highest Quarter of Streaming Consumption Ever, Marking 11th Straight Quarter of Year-Over-Year Growth 

Golf Channel Continues to Rank as No. 1 Most-Affluent Audience in All of Television in Total Day and Primetime

The Open, Slate of Women’s Golf Events, FedExCup Playoffs and World Long Drive Highlight 3rd Quarter Viewership

 ORLANDO, Fla. (September 28, 2017) – Golf Channel posted its 2nd most-watched third quarter on record after drawing 116,000 average viewers in Total Day, up 2% vs. 2015. Trailing 2016 with golf’s inclusion in the Rio Olympics, 2017’s third quarter was down 3% YOY and up 5% YOY when excluding Olympic content. This record viewership in a non-Olympic year was driven in part by The Open, a slate of premier women’s golf events, and the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs. Golf Channel also continued the network’s run in drawing the most-affluent audience in all of television in both Total Day and Primetime, according to data released by The Nielsen Company.

GOLF CHANNEL THIRD QUARTER VIEWERSHIP SINCE JOINING NBC SPORTS GROUP IN 2011:

2017                116,000

2016                120,000                       -3% (+5% excluding Rio Olympics content)

2015                114,000                       +2%

2014                106,000                       +9%

2013                112,000                       +4%

2012                102,000                       +14%

2011                85,000                         +36%

2010                74,000                         +57%

GOLF CHANNEL DIGITAL POSTS RECORD STREAMING CONSUMPTION

Golf Channel Digital already has posted its highest quarter of streaming consumption ever with third quarter through Wed., Sept. 27 drawing a total of 171.2 million minutes (with an additional three days of streaming the 2017 Presidents Cup still to come in Golf Channel Digital’s third quarter). Third quarter is currently up 16% vs. 2016 third quarter in total live minutes streamed, which includes 2016 Rio Olympics content (up 58% vs. 2016 excluding Olympic content).

ADDITIONAL VIEWERSHIP NOTES FOR THIRD QUARTER, 2017

  • 2017 FedExCup Playoffs: Total Audience Delivery (TAD) for Golf Channel on NBC’s coverage of the last three FedExCup Playoff events was 2.137 million viewers, up 13% vs. 2016. And Golf Channel’s TAD for live early-round coverage of all four FedExCup Playoff events delivered 615k average viewers, up 27% vs. 2016.
  • The Open: This is the second year of NBC Sports’ coverage of The Open.
    • The final round’s TAD for Golf Channel on NBC was 4.97 million average viewers, up 1% vs. 2016.
    • Golf Channel on NBC’s linear broadcasts household rating (3.23) was the second highest for golf’s 2017 major championship final rounds: PGA Championship (3.22) and U.S. Open (3.12).
    • NBC Sports’ Digital platforms delivered 100.8 million live minutes streamed (+96% YOY), 917k unique devices (+51% YOY), and 34k average minute audience (+92% YOY). Golf Channel Digital for The Open week totaled 42 million page views (+12% YOY), the most for any week on record, and 8.9 million total visits (+18% YOY)
    • Women’s Golf:
      • KPMG Women’s PGA Championship: Seen by a total audience of 6.58 million viewers across Golf Channel and NBC, it marks the largest total audience for the event on record and second largest for women’s majors in 2017. Final round coverage on NBC posted a .6 US household rating (+18% YOY) and 840k average viewers (+21% YOY), making it the most-watched telecast in the event’s history (2006-2017), both ranking 2nd for women’s majors in 2017.
      • RICOH Women’s British Open: Seen by a total audience of 7.01 million viewers across Golf Channel and NBC, the RICOH Women’s British Open posted its largest total audience since 2005 (7.12 million), and was the largest total audience for the 2017 women’s majors. Final round coverage on NBC posted a .78 U.S. household rating (+22% YOY) and 1.1 million average viewers (+28% YOY), both ranking 1st for women’s majors in 2017, despite its morning/early afternoon timeslot.
      • 2017 Women’s Major Championships:
        • RICOH Women’s British Open (NBC): Final Round: .78 rating, 1.1 million avg. viewers; Four-Day Total Viewers: 7.01 million
        • KPMG Women’s PGA Championship (NBC): Final Round .60 rating, 840k avg. viewers; Four-Day Total Viewers: 6.58 million
        • U.S. Women’s Open (FOX): Final Round .56 rating, 790k viewers; Four-Day Total Viewers: 5.98 million
        • ANA Inspiration (Golf Channel): Final Round .35 rating, 551k viewers; Four-Day Total Viewers: 3.62 million
        • The Evian Championship (Golf Channel): Final Round .13 rating, 181k viewers; Four-Day Total Viewers: 3.13 million
    • Solheim Cup: Seen by a total audience of 7.3 million viewers across Golf Channel and NBC, the Solheim Cup posted the largest total audience for women’s golf since the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open on ESPN/NBC. Golf Channel’s live coverage of the final day drew 795k average viewers, becoming the most-watched women’s golf event on cable in the last eight years, since the final day of the 2009 Solheim Cup
  • FEHERTY 7th SEASON:
    • Became the most-watched season to date for both Live+Same Day (202k average viewers) and Live+3 Days (298k average viewers) for premiere episodes.
    • Feherty’s 100th Episode (July 24) was the 5th most-watched premiere episode of all time, trailing only both weeks of season premieres with Jordan Spieth (March 2016) and Phil Mickelson (March 2017).
    • The season finale with reigning PGA champion and eventual FedExCup champion Justin Thomas (263k average viewers-Live+3, Sept 4) became the 5th most-watched premiere in season 7, behind both season premieres with Phil Mickelson (640k average viewers-Live+3, 616k average viewers-Live+3), the April premiere with Matthew McConaughey (299k average viewers-Live+3) and the 100th Episode in July (421k average viewers-Live+3).
  • World Long Drive Association: Golf Channel expanded its schedule to feature three televised events in 2017, including the Clash in the Canyon (June 6, Mesquite, Nev.), Mile High Showdown (July 25, Denver, Colo.) and the Volvik World Long Drive Championship (Sept 5-6, Thackerville, Okla.).

    • Clash in the Canyon: 1.05 million unique viewers across all telecasts during premiere week of the newly televised event. (2nd Quarter)
    • Mile High Showdown: 1.34 million unique viewers across all telecasts during premiere week of the newly televised event.
    • Volvik World Long Drive Championship: 2.15 million unique viewers across all telecasts during premiere week, up 32% vs. 2016’s World Championship and the most-viewed World Long Drive Championship week in its five-year history on Golf Channel.
Getty Images

Ko part of 5-way tie for Mediheal lead

By Associated PressApril 27, 2018, 3:20 am

DALY CITY, Calif. - Lydia Ko was back on top at Lake Merced.

Ko shot a 4-under 68 on a chilly Thursday morning at the LPGA Mediheal Championship for a share of the first-round lead. Jessica Korda, Caroline Hedwall, In-Kyung Kim and Su Oh joined Ko atop the leaderboard in the LPGA's return to Lake Merced after a year away.

''This is a golf course where you need to drive the ball well and putt well,'' said Ko, the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic winner at the course in 2014 and 2015.

Ko eagled the par-5 fifth and had four birdies and a bogey. The New Zealander has 14 LPGA wins, the last in July 2016.

''It's nice to come back to a place where you feel super-welcomed,'' Ko said. ''It just brings back a lot of great memories. ... My family and friends are here this week, so I'm hoping that I'm going to continue the solid play.''

She turned 21 on Tuesday.

''I don't think I feel a huge difference, but I know turning 21 is a huge thing in the U.S.,'' Ko said, ''So, I'm legal and I can do some fun things now.''

Korda, playing alongside Kim a group ahead of Ko, also eagled the fifth and had four birdies and a bogey. Korda won in Thailand in February in her return from reconstructive jaw surgery.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Mediheal Championship


''The score says one thing and my hands say another,'' Korda said. ''It was really cold out there today, so it was good that I stuck to kind of my process. ... Actually, this is still some of the nicer conditions that we've played in compared to the past. I'll take the cold as long as there's no rain.''

Hedwall and Kim each had five birdies and a bogey.

''I just love the city. It's really nice,'' said Hedwall, from Sweden. ''It's sort of a European-style city with all the shopping going on downtown and stuff. I love it here. I even like this weather, suits me really well, too.''

Oh had a bogey-free round. The Australian was the only one of the five players tied for the lead to play in the afternoon.

''It was cold and pretty windy out there and, because it's got a lot of elevation, it kind of swirls in the middle like in the low areas, so it was tough,'' Oh said. ''I hit the ball really solid today. Then the ones I missed, I made really good up-and-downs.''

Lexi Thompson, Sei Young Kim, Charley Hull and Celine Herbin shot 69.

''This course is very challenging, especially when the wind picks up,'' the third-ranked Thompson said. ''It's chilly, so it's a little longer of a course. Some of the par 5s are reachable, so you try to take advantage of that, but pars were good and just take the birdie chances as you can get them.''

Moriya Jutanugarn, the winner Sunday in Los Angeles for her first LPGA title, had a 71 playing with former Stanford student Michelle Wie and ANA Inspiration winner Pernilla Lindberg. Wie had a 74, and Lindberg shot 79. Ariya Jutanugarn matched her sister with a 71, playing in the group with Ko.

Top-ranked Inbee Park matched playing partner Brooke Henderson with a 72. The third member of the afternoon group, second-ranked Shanshan Feng, shot 73.

Juli Inkster shot 72. The 57-year-old Hall of Famer grew up in Santz Cruz, starred at San Jose State and lives in Los Altos. She won the last of her 31 LPGA titles in 2006.

Stacy Lewis had a 74 after announcing that she is pregnant with a due date of Nov. 3. She plans to play through the Marathon Classic in July and return for a full season next year.

Getty Images

Glover, Reavie share Zurich lead with Chinese pair

By Associated PressApril 27, 2018, 3:04 am

AVONDALE, La. - Chez Reavie had quite a few good moments at TPC Louisiana on Thursday. So did teammate Lucas Glover.

In best-ball format, the most important thing was those moments came on different holes.

Reavie and Glover teamed to shoot a 12-under 60 for a share of the Zurich Classic lead with China's Zhang Xinjun and Dou Zecheng.

''Chez started well and I picked it up in the middle of the back nine,'' Glover said. ''He closed it off and then we both played really well on the front. Just kind of ham and egged it, I guess, as they would say.''

Reavie and Glover each had six birdies in the best-ball format, pushing through soggy weather early in the round before conditions cleared at TPC Louisiana. Six teams are two shots back in a tie for third after shooting 62.

''We were just rolling,'' Reavie said. ''I think we're comfortable. We like to laugh and have a good time when we're playing golf, and it definitely helps.''

Zhang and Dou birdied four of their final five holes. Dou made a 31-foot putt on No. 9 to cap the impressive rally and jump into the lead with Reavie and Glover.


Full-field scores from the Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Articles, photos and videos


Tony Finau-Daniel Summerhays, Chris Paisley-Tommy Fleetwood, J.J. Henry-Tom Hoge, Michael Kim-Andrew Putnam, Kevin Kisner-Scott Brown and Troy Merritt-Brendon de Jonge shot 62. Jason Day and Ryan Ruffels shot 64.

It's the first time since last year's Tour Championship that the reigning champs of all four majors have been in the same field. None of them were among the leaders after the first round.

Masters champion Patrick Reed and Patrick Cantlay had a 65, and British Open winner Jordan Spieth and Ryan Palmer were at 66.

''I didn't feel like there was really any rust,'' Reed said. ''I felt like I hit the ball all right today. I felt I hit some good quality putts. A couple of them went in, a couple of them didn't.''

This is the second year that two-player teams have competed at the Zurich Classic. The unusual tournament features best-ball play in the first and third rounds and alternate shot in the second and final rounds.

U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka and Marc Turnesa shot a 67. PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas and Bud Cauley shot a 70.

There are 80 teams in the tournament and the top 35, along with ties, will make the cut after Friday's second round.

Getty Images

Lewis says she's expecting first child in November

By Randall MellApril 27, 2018, 2:18 am

Stacy Lewis is pregnant.

The 12-time LPGA winner confirmed after Thursday’s first round of the Mediheal Championship that she and her husband, University of Houston women’s golf coach Gerrod Chadwell, are expecting their first child on Nov. 3.

Lewis learned she was pregnant after returning home to Houston in late February following her withdrawal from the HSBC Women’s World Championship with a strained oblique muscle.

“We're obviously really excited,” Lewis said. “It wasn't nice I was hurt, but it was nice that I was home when I found out with [Gerrod]. We're just really excited to start a family.”

Lewis is the third big-name LPGA player preparing this year to become a mother for the first time. Suzann Pettersen announced last month that she’s pregnant, due in the fall. Gerina Piller is due any day.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Mediheal Championship


Piller’s husband, PGA Tour pro Martin Piller, withdrew from the Zurich Classic on Thursday to be with her. Piller and Lewis have been U.S. Solheim Cup partners the last two times the event has been played.

“It's going to be fun raising kids together,” Lewis said. “Hopefully, they're best friends and they hang out. But just excited about the next few months and what it's going to bring.”

Lewis, a former Rolex world No. 1 and two-time major championship winner, plans to play through the middle of July, with the Marathon Classic her last event of the year. She will be looking to return for the start of the 2019 season. The LPGA’s maternity leave policy allows her to come back next year with her status intact.

“This year, the golf might not be great, but I've got better things coming in my life than a golf score.” Lewis said. “I plan on coming back and traveling on the road with the baby, and we'll figure it out as we go.”

Getty Images

Coach scores in NFL Draft and on golf course

By Grill Room TeamApril 27, 2018, 1:47 am

To say that Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio had a good day Thursday would be an understatement. Not only did his team snag one of the top defensive players in the NFL Draft - Georgia outside linebacker Roquan Smith, who the Bears took with the eighth pick of the first round - but earlier in the day Fangio, 59, made a hole-in-one, sinking a 9-iron shot from 125 yards at The Club at Strawberry Creek in Kenosha, Wis.

Perhaps the ace isn't so surprising, though. In late May 2017, Fangio made another hole-in-one, according to a tweet from the Bears. The only information supplied on that one was the distance - 116 yards.