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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.
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Stricker shares first-round lead in South Dakota

By Associated PressSeptember 22, 2018, 12:48 am

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Steve Stricker shot a 7-under 63 on Friday to share the first-round lead at the Sanford International.

The 51-year-old Stricker was 8 under through 17 holes at chilly, rain-softened Minnehaha Country Club but closed with a bogey to fall into a tie with Jerry Smith, Brandt Jobe and David McKenzie.

Stricker only got to play seven holes in the pro-am because of rain that prevented the field from getting in much practice.

''You've just kind of got to trust your yardage book and hit to the spots and then try to make a good game plan on the way into the green, too, not really knowing where to hit it or where to miss it up there on the green. Sometimes it's good, too,'' Stricker said. ''You go around and you're focused a lot more on hitting it to a specific spot and not knowing what lies ahead in the course. So I guess today was the ultimate 'Take one hole at a time' because we didn't really know anything else, what was coming.''


Full-field scores from the Sanford International


Stricker has two wins and has not finished worse than fifth in six starts this season on the over-50 tour as he continues to play a part-time schedule on the PGA Tour. Next week, he will be one of U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk's assistants at the matches outside Paris.

McKenzie, a 51-year-old Australian, had two eagles on the back nine, holing a wedge from 116 yards on the par-5 16th.

''We got told ... to play faster on No. 16, and so my caddie just said, 'Hit it in the hole so you don't have to putt it,' so I just did what he told me,'' McKenzie said.

Smith had eagles on Nos. 4 and 12.

''Honestly, I was just trying to hit some good shots and I really wasn't with the irons,'' Smith said. ''I just really didn't like the way I hit them today. You know, just the putter was the big difference for me. I just felt good with it all day, especially say outside of 10, 15 feet, where I felt like I was a lot.''

Scott McCarron, Lee Janzen and Paul Goydos were one shot back. McCarron came in second in the Charles Schwab Cup money standings behind Miguel Angel Jimenez, who is not playing this week.

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Glover (64) leads Web.com Tour Championship

By Associated PressSeptember 22, 2018, 12:12 am

ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – Former U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover shot his second consecutive 7-under 64 on Friday to take a one-shot lead at the Web.com Tour Championship.

The 38-year-old Glover, who won the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black, can still regain his PGA Tour card through a medical extension if he fails to earn enough money in the four-tournament Web.com Tour Finals. But a high finish this weekend at Atlantic Beach Country Club would take care of everything.

''I've got a lot to fall back on regardless of this week, but any time I tee it up, I want to play well,'' Glover said. ''Tomorrow won't be any different. Sunday won't be any different.''

Glover had arthroscopic knee surgery in June and will have eight starts to earn 53 FedEx Cup points and keep his card. He earned $17,212 in the first three Web.com Tour Finals events. The top 25 money winners in the series earn PGA Tour cards, and the final card went for $40,625 last year.

Glover was at 14-under 128. Denny McCarthy, who has already earned enough money to secure a return to the PGA Tour, was one shot back. McCarthy, a former Virginia player, has a shot at winning the Finals money list, which would guarantee him fully exempt status and entry into The Players Championship.


Full-field scores from the Web.com Tour Championship


''There's no secret about it. I'll come out and tell you I'm here to win this tournament and get that No. 1 spot,'' McCarthy said. ''I've been hungry for a while. I have a pretty hungry attitude and I'm going to stay hungry.''

Tour veteran Cameron Tringale, who has earned just $2,660 after missing two of the first three cuts, was 12 under after a 67. Last year, Tringale entered the Web.com Tour Championship at 63rd on the Finals money list and finished tied for fifth to get back onto the PGA Tour. He struggled again this season, though, missing 19 cuts in 26 starts.

''Yeah, I was hoping last year was my last time here, but I do have a comfort at this golf course and I'm excited to keep pressing,'' Tringale said.

The four-tournament series features the top 75 players from the Web.com regular-season money list, Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup standings, and non-members with enough money to have placed in the top 200. The top 25 finishers on the Web.com regular-season money list are competing against each other for tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals.

Sepp Straka and Ben Silverman were three shots back. Each would likely need a top-5 finish to earn his card.

Peter Malnati, who regained his card with a second-place finish in the opening finals event, followed his opening-round 74 with a 9-under 62, shooting an 8-under 27 on his second nine.

Four-time PGA Tour winner Aaron Baddeley was among those who missed the cut. He was 22nd on the finals money list going in and likely will fall short of earning his card.

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Thomas (69) only three back with 'C' or 'D' game

By Rex HoggardSeptember 21, 2018, 11:56 pm

ATLANTA – Justin Thomas was tied for fourth place following his second-round 69 on Friday at the Tour Championship, which considering the state of his game on Day 2 was an accomplishment.

“I wish I had my 'B' game today. I would say I had my 'C' or 'D' game today,” he laughed.

Thomas’ struggles were primarily with his driver and he hit just 6 of 14 fairways at East Lake, but he was able to scramble late in his round with birdies at Nos. 15 and 18 to remain three off the lead.


Projected FedExCup standings

Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos


“I drove it so poorly today, this is probably in my top 5 rounds of the year I'm most proud of just because I easily could have shot 4- or 5-over par today and not had a chance to win the tournament,” he said. “I hung in there and birdied two of the last four, and I have a chance.”

Thomas was slowed the last two weeks by a right wrist injury that limited his preparation for the finale and said the issue with his driver is timing and the byproduct of a lack of practice.

Thomas made up for his erratic driving with his short game, getting up and down four out of seven times including on the fourth hole when he missed the fairway well left, punched out short of the green and chipped in from 81 feet.

“[Rory McIlroy] just kind of said it looked like a ‘3’ the whole day and I kind of laughed because I played with him at The Players and I chipped in three times that first round with him, so I guess he's good luck for me,” Thomas said.

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McIlroy two behind Woods, Rose after 68

By Rex HoggardSeptember 21, 2018, 11:46 pm

ATLANTA – Maybe it should be no huge surprise that Rory McIlroy finds himself back in contention at the Tour Championship. It is, after all, a Ryder Cup year.

In 2016, McIlroy won the finale before heading to Hazeltine and posting a 3-2-0 record. In ’14, he finished runner-up to Billy Horschel and went 2-1-2 at the Ryder Cup; and in ’12 he finished tied for 10th place at East Lake and went 3-2-0 at Medinah.

“I was on such a high a couple of years ago going into Hazeltine after winning the whole thing, and I felt great about my game that week and played well. I won three matches,” McIlroy said. “I guess it doesn't matter whether it's a match play event or whatever. If you're playing well and you've played well the week before, I think most people can carry it into the next week, whatever that is.”


Projected FedExCup standings

Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos


McIlroy’s performance this week certainly qualifies as “playing well.” He charged out on Friday with birdies at two of his first three holes and bounced back from a pair of late bogeys to shoot a 68 and was in third place and two strokes off the lead held by Tiger Woods and Justin Rose.

“I've made 12 birdies in 36 holes, which is really good around here, and that's with not birdieing either of the par 5s today,” he said. “So yeah, just tidy up the mistakes a little bit.”