NBC Sports Group and the R&A Form Long-Term Media Partnership

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJune 8, 2015, 12:05 pm

NBC Sports Group and The R&A announced today a long-term media partnership in the United States beginning with The Open from Royal Birkdale in 2017 and spanning 12 years. The announcement was made today by Peter Dawson, Chief Executive of The R&A, and Mark Lazarus, Chairman of the NBC Sports Group.

“The R&A is synonymous with the traditions and history of golf, and The Open is golf’s original championship. NBC Sports is proud to present The Open Championship, and to work with The R&A on their initiatives to grow the game around the globe,” said Mark Lazarus, Chairman of NBC Sports Group. “This partnership will allow NBC Sports, Golf Channel and NBC Universo to serve the legions of sports fans in the U.S. with complete coverage that reflects the prestige of The R&A’s championships.”

“We are delighted to announce that from 2017, The Open will be broadcast by NBC Sports Group. They have unparalleled experience in golf and have demonstrated a genuine desire to showcase and promote The Open and The R&A’s elite championships through their extensive range of channels and digital platforms,” said Peter Dawson, Chief Executive of The R&A. “The United States is home to millions of fans of The Open and we know that through NBC Sports Group, they will enjoy world-class coverage of the Championship.”

The new partnership agreement includes coverage across all media of The Open, The Senior Open Championship, and The Amateur Championship, as well as the RICOH Women’s British Open, in partnership with the Ladies’ Golf Union. The agreement also includes coverage of the Walker Cup and Curtis Cup, in years when these international amateur team events are hosted by The R&A and Ladies’ Golf Union.

NBC Sports Group, The R&A and Ladies Golf Union partnership:

  • Returns The Open and RICOH Women’s British Open to U.S. broadcast television for the first time in eight years
  • Represents Golf Channel’s first live coverage of a men’s major championship with The Open
  • Adds the RICOH Women’s British Open as the fourth women’s major championship on Golf Channel, and joins this week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship as the second to receive broadcast coverage on NBC
  • Includes NBC Universo’s live Spanish-language golf coverage of The Open and the RICOH Women’s British Open

“As these events’ new home in the U.S., NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the RICOH Women’s British Open and Curtis Cup will further raise the profile of these world-class events,” said Lazarus. “Adding broadcast coverage of the Women’s British Open will contribute to the momentum that the LPGA Tour and Golf Channel have generated in the United States, as the women’s game continues to grow stronger.”

“This is fantastic news for the Women’s British Open and the Curtis Cup and for women’s golf generally,” said Trish Wilson, Chairman of the Ladies' Golf Union. “To have the full weight and breadth of the NBC Sports Group behind these two international events will be of tremendous benefit to their future growth.”

NBC Sports Group’s promotional effort will feature The Open as one of the final marquee events within NBC Sports’ widely recognized Championship Season each spring and summer and will strengthen NBC Sports Group’s leadership position as sports fans’ morning destination in the U.S. In addition, the partnership will collaborate on showcasing golf’s oldest and most international championships, including Golf Channel’s coverage of The Open Qualifying Series events, documentaries from the Emmy-nominated Golf Channel Films unit and a U.S. promotional tour of the Claret Jug, one of sport’s most iconic trophies. Golf Channel and The R&A also will work together on efforts to showcase The R&A’s global youth initiatives, utilizing Golf Channel’s presence in more than 200 million households, 80 countries and 11 languages around the world.

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Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish

By Associated PressJuly 23, 2018, 12:25 am

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.

Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.

The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.

Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.

The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.

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Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:07 am

It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.

Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.

The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:

The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.

For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.

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Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter

By Will GrayJuly 22, 2018, 9:35 pm

After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.

But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.

Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":

Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.

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Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose

By Rex HoggardJuly 22, 2018, 9:17 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Sometimes a course just fits a player’s eye. They can’t really describe why, but more often than not it leads to solid finishes.

Francesco Molinari’s relationship with Carnoustie isn’t like that.

The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn’t really changed.

“There was nothing comforting about it,” he said on Sunday following a final-round 69 that lifted him to a two-stroke victory.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


In fact, following that first exposure to the Angus coast brute, Molinari has tried to avoid Carnoustie, largely skipping the Dunhill Links Championship, one of the European Tour’s marquee events, throughout his career.

“To be completely honest, it's one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years, because I got beaten up around here a few times in the past,” he said. “I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's a really tough course. You can try and play smart golf, but some shots, you just have to hit it straight. There's no way around it. You can't really hide.”

Molinari’s relative dislike for the layout makes his performance this week even more impressive considering he played his last 37 holes bogey-free.

“To play the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest. So very proud of today,” he said.