NBC Sports Group Tournament Airtimes & Notes (March 31-April 3)

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMarch 30, 2016, 1:00 pm

LPGA Tour Ushers in First Major of 2016 with Elite Field at ANA Inspiration in Southern Calif., with Golf Channel’s Live Coverage Airing in Primetime 

 

Spieth, Fowler Headline the Field at the Shell Houston Open

in Final PGA TOUR Stop Prior to The Masters

 

PGA TOUR Champions Shifts Down South to Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic

 

80 Boys & Girls (Age 7-15) Set to Compete in Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals from Augusta National Golf Club, Airing Live on Golf Channel, Sunday, April 3 at 8 a.m. ET

he LPGA Tour stages the first major of 2016 beginning Thursday, with the ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Golf Channel will showcase the elite field live and in primetime, Thursday-Sunday, with Lydia Ko, Inbee Park, Lexi Thompson and Stacy Lewis headlining the field. Meanwhile the PGA TOUR holds its final event prior to the Masters with the Shell Houston Open. Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler headline the field, and 33 of the 92 invitees at next week’s Masters are scheduled to be in the field this week. The PGA TOUR Champions is down south for the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic at Fallen Oaks Golf Club, with Bernhard Langer and Colin Montgomerie set to compete. And, Golf Channel will kick off its more than 85 hours of Masters themed programming April 3-10 with live coverage of the 2016 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals, on-site from Augusta National. Coverage begins with a special pre-game show at 8 a.m. ET on Sunday, April 3, followed by live event coverage from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. ET.

 

LPGA TOUR

 

ANA Inspiration

Dates: March 31-April 3                                                            

Venue: Mission Hills Country Club (Dinah Shore Tournament Course), Rancho Mirage, Calif.

 

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

Thursday         Noon-4 p.m. ; 7-9 p.m. (Live) / 12:30-3:30 a.m. (Friday replay)

Friday              Noon-4 p.m. ; 7-9 p.m. (Live) / 2:30-5:30 a.m. (Saturday replay)

Saturday          5-9 p.m. (Live) / Midnight-4 a.m. (Sunday replay)

Sunday            5-9 p.m. (Live) / 1-5 a.m. (Monday replay)

 

Broadcast Notes:

First major of 2016: The ANA Inspiration marks the first major championship (men’s or women’s) of 2016. The tournament, which was first held in 1972 has been played as a major since 1983.

Golf Central Special News Conference, 1:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday: On Wednesday, Golf Channel will air a special news conference show from 1:30-3 p.m. ET. Within the show (beginning at 2 p.m. ET), the Ladies European Tour (LET) will name the 2017 European Solheim Cup captain. The remainder of the show will focus on pre-tournament player news conferences from the ANA Inspiration, featuring defending champion Brittany Lincicome, and Stacy Lewis.

Final opportunity to join list of countries taking part in this summer’s International Crown: Following the conclusion of the ANA Inspiration, the top eight countries will be determined for this summer’s International Crown competition. The field of eight countries represented in the event will be decided on Monday, April 4, based on the combined world ranking of the current top-four players from each country. However, the players competing in the competition will not be finalized until Monday, June 13.

Lincicome defends: Brittany Lincicome outlasted Stacy Lewis with a par on the third playoff hole for her second career major championship win.

Headlining the field: Lydia Ko, Inbee Park, Lexi Thompson, Stacy Lewis, Sei Young Kim, Ha Na Jang, Brooke Henderson, Amy Yang, In Gee Chun, Shanshan Feng and So Yeon Ryu.

 

Golf Channel Broadcast Team:

Play by Play: Terry Gannon

Analyst: Judy Rankin / Annika Sorenstam (Thursday-Friday Noon-4 p.m. ET)

Tower: Tom Abbott                            

On-Course: Jerry Foltz / Karen Stupples / Jim Gallagher Jr.

Interviews: Lisa Cornwell

 

PGA TOUR

 

Shell Houston Open

Dates: March 31-April 3

Venue: Golf Club of Houston (Tournament Course), Humble, Texas

 

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

Thursday         4-7 p.m. (Live) / 9:30-12:30 p.m. (Replay)

Friday              4-7 p.m. (Live) / 11:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Replay)

Saturday          1-3 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)

Sunday            1-3 p.m. (Live)

 

Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):

Saturday          3-6 p.m. (Live)

Sunday            3-6 p.m. (Live)

 

Broadcast Notes:

Final event prior to the Masters next week: The Shell Houston Open is the final PGA TOUR event prior to the Masters. 92 players have received invitations to tee it up next week, and the only remaining way to join the field is with a win in Houston. 33 of the 92 Masters invitees are currently scheduled to compete this week.

Holmes defends: J.B. Holmes defeated Jordan Spieth and Johnson Wagner on the second playoff hole for his fourth career PGA TOUR win.

Headlining the field: Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Henrik Stenson, Louis Oosthuizen, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka, Charl Schwartzel and Jimmy Walker.

 

Golf Channel / NBC Broadcast Team:

Play by Play: Whit Watson (Golf Channel) / Dan Hicks (NBC)

Analyst: Curt Byrum (Golf Channel) / Johnny Miller (NBC)

Tower: Gary Koch / Justin Leonard

On-Course: Roger Maltbie / Mark Rolfing

Interviews: Todd Lewis

 

PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

 

Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic

Dates: April 1-3                                                                          

Venue: Fallen Oaks Golf Club, Biloxi, Miss.

 

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

Friday              9:30-11:30 p.m. (Tape delay) / 4-6 p.m. (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)

Saturday          3-5 p.m. (Live)

Sunday            3-5 p.m. (Live)

 

Broadcast Notes:

Frost defends: David Frost defeated Kevin Sutherland and Tom Lehman for his sixth career PGA TOUR Champions win.

Headlining the field: Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Jay Haas, Jeff Maggert, Lee Janzen, Rocco Mediate, Kenny Perry, Jeff Sluman and Kirk Triplett.

 

Golf Channel Broadcast Team:

Play by Play: Bob Papa

Analyst: Lanny Wadkins

Tower: John Mahaffey / Dave Marr   

On-Course: Billy Ray Brown

 

Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals

Date: April 3                                                                              

Venue: Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Ga.

 

Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

8-9 a.m.                       Pre-Game (Live From the Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals)

9 a.m.-1 p.m.               2016 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals

 

Broadcast Notes:

2016 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals: For the third consecutive year, Golf Channel will televise live coverage of the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals on-site from Augusta National Golf Club. Coverage will center around juniors from across the U.S. and Canada having advanced into the 80-person field (boys and girls, age 7-15) by way of local qualifying, subregional and regional qualifying events.

Pre-Game, 8-9 a.m. ET: Golf Channel’s live coverage will begin at 8 a.m. ET with a special Live From the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals pre-game show, originating from the network’s Golf Central Live From the Masters set on the grounds of Augusta National. The show will introduce viewers to the 40 boys and 40 girls in the field.

National Finals coverage, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. ET: Beginning at 9 a.m. ET, coverage will shift to join the competition in progress with the individual Drive, Chip and Putt skills challenges across each age group. As competitors complete all three challenges, champions for each of the eight age groups will be awarded for each of the skill categories, along with the recognition of the overall champions from each age group.

NBC Sports’ Tafoya joining Golf Channel’s coverage: Michele Tafoya, Emmy award-winning sports personality and sideline reporter for NBC Sports’ Sunday Night Football, will join Golf Channel’s coverage team, reporting from Augusta National and conducting interviews with competitors in the field.

 

Golf Channel Broadcast Team:

Play by Play: Rich Lerner

Analyst: Peter Jacobsen

Reporter: Michele Tafoya / Charlie Rymer / Kay Cockerill / Michael Breed

Interviews: Steve Sands

-NBC Sports Group-

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Berger more than ready to rebound at Travelers

By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:54 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Daniel Berger hopes that this year he gets to be on the other end of a viral moment at the Travelers Championship.

Berger was a hard-luck runner-up last year at TPC River Highlands, a spectator as Jordan Spieth holed a bunker shot to defeat him in a playoff. It was the second straight year that the 25-year-old came up just short outside Hartford, as he carried a three-shot lead into the 2016 event before fading to a tie for fifth.

While he wasn’t lacking any motivation after last year’s close call, Berger got another dose last week at the U.S. Open when he joined Tony Finau as a surprise participant in the final group Sunday, only to shoot a 73 and drift to a T-6 finish.


Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


“It was one of the best experiences of my professional golf career so far. I feel like I’m going to be in such a better place next time I’m in that position, having felt those emotions and kind of gone through it,” Berger said. “There was a lot of reflection after that because I felt like I played good enough to get it done Sunday. I didn’t make as many putts as I wanted to, but I hit a lot of really good putts. And that’s really all you can do.”

Berger missed the cut earlier this month to end his quest for three straight titles in Memphis, but his otherwise consistent season has now included six top-20 finishes since January. After working his way into contention last week and still with a score to settle at TPC River Highlands, he’s eager to get back to work against another star-studded field.

“I think all these experiences you just learn from,” Berger said. “I think last week, having learned from that, I think that’s even going to make me a little better this week. So I’m excited to get going.”

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Rory tired of the near-misses, determined to close

By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:46 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Rory McIlroy has returned to the Travelers Championship with an eye on bumping up his winning percentage.

McIlroy stormed from the back of the pack to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, but that remains his lone worldwide win since the 2016 Tour Championship. It speaks to McIlroy’s considerable ability and lofty expectations that, even with a number of other high finishes this season, he is left unsatisfied.

“I feel like I’ve had five realistic chances to win this year, and I’ve been able to close out one of them. That’s a bit disappointing, I guess,” McIlroy said. “But at least I’ve given myself five chances to win golf tournaments, which is much more than I did last year.”


Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


The most memorable of McIlroy’s near-misses is likely the Masters, when he played alongside Patrick Reed in Sunday’s final group but struggled en route to a T-5 finish. But more frustrating in the Ulsterman’s eyes were his runner-up at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, when he led by two shots with eight holes to go, and a second-place showing behind Francesco Molinari at the BMW PGA Championship in May.

“There’s been some good golf in there,” he said. “I feel like I let Dubai and Wentworth get away a little bit.”

He’ll have a chance to rectify that trend this week at TPC River Highlands, where he finished T-17 last year in his tournament debut and liked the course and the tournament enough to keep it on his schedule. It comes on the heels of a missed cut at the U.S. Open, when he was 10 over through 11 holes and never got on track. McIlroy views that result as more of an aberration during a season in which he has had plenty of chances to contend on the weekend.

“I didn’t necessarily play that badly last week. I feel like if I play similarly this week, I might have a good chance to win,” McIlroy said. “I think when you play in conditions like that, it magnifies parts of your game that maybe don’t stack up quite as good as the rest of your game, and it magnified a couple of things for me that I worked on over the weekend.”

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Sunday run at Shinnecock gave Reed even more confidence

By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:08 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – While many big names are just coming around to the notion that the Travelers Championship is worth adding to the schedule, Patrick Reed has been making TPC River Highlands one of his favorite haunts for years.

Reed will make his seventh straight appearance outside Hartford, where he tied for fifth last year and was T-11 the year before that. He is eager to get back to the grind after a stressful week at the U.S. Open, both because of his past success here and because it will offer him a chance to build on a near-miss at Shinnecock Hills.

Reed started the final round three shots off the lead, but he quickly stormed toward the top of the leaderboard and became one of Brooks Koepka’s chief threats after birdies on five of his first seven holes. Reed couldn’t maintain the momentum in the middle of the round, carding three subsequent bogeys, and ultimately tied for fourth.


Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


It was a bittersweet result, but Reed is focusing on the positives after taking a couple days to reflect.

“If you would have told me that I had a chance to win coming down Sunday, I would have been pleased,” Reed said. “I felt like I just made too many careless mistakes towards the end, and because of that, you’re not going to win at any major making careless mistakes, especially on Sunday.”

Reed broke through for his first major title at the Masters, and he has now finished fourth or better in three straight majors dating back to a runner-up at the PGA last summer. With another chance to add to that record next month in Scotland, he hopes to carry the energy from last week’s close call into this week’s event on a course where he feels right at home.

“It just gives me confidence, more than anything,” Reed said. “Of course I would have loved to have closed it out and win, but it was a great week all in all, and there’s a lot of stuff I can take from it moving forward. That’s how I’m looking at it.”

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Koepka back to work, looking to add to trophy collection

By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 8:53 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Days after ensuring the U.S. Open trophy remained in his possession for another year, Brooks Koepka went back to work.

Koepka flew home to Florida after successfully defending his title at Shinnecock Hills, celebrating the victory Monday night with Dustin Johnson, Paulina Gretzky, swing coach Claude Harmon III and a handful of close friends. But he didn’t fully unwind because of a decision to honor his commitment to the Travelers Championship, becoming the first player to tee it up the week after a U.S. Open win since Justin Rose in 2013.

Koepka withdrew from the Travelers pro-am, but he flew north to Connecticut on Wednesday and arrived to TPC River Highlands around 3 p.m., quickly heading to the driving range to get in a light practice session.

“It still hasn’t sunk in, to be honest with you,” Koepka said. “I’m still focused on this week. It was just like, ‘All right, if I can get through this week, then I’m going to be hanging with my buddies next week.’ I know then maybe it’ll sink in, and I’ll get to reflect on it a little bit more.”


Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


Koepka’s plans next week with friends in Boston meant this week’s event outside Hartford made logistical sense. But he was also motivated to play this week because, plainly, he hasn’t had that many playing opportunities this year after missing nearly four months with a wrist injury.

“I’ve had so many months at home being on the couch. I don’t need to spend any more time on the couch,” Koepka said. “As far as skipping, it never crossed my mind.”

Koepka’s legacy was undoubtedly bolstered by his win at Shinnecock, as he became the first player in nearly 30 years to successfully defend a U.S. Open title. But he has only one other PGA Tour win to his credit, that being the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open, and his goal for the rest of the season is to make 2018 his first year with multiple trophies on the mantle.

“If you’re out here for more than probably 15 events, it gives you a little better chance to win a couple times. Being on the sidelines isn’t fun,” Koepka said. “Keep doing what we’re doing and just try to win multiple times every year. I feel like I have the talent. I just never did it for whatever reason. Always felt like we ran into a buzzsaw. So just keep plugging away.”