NBC Sports Tournament Airtimes & Notes (March 23-27)

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMarch 21, 2016, 10:05 pm

Field of 64 Set for WGC-Dell Match Play in Austin,

Wednesday-Sunday on Golf Channel and NBC

 

LPGA Tour Stages Final Test before First Major of the Year with

Kia Classic in California, as Ko, Park and Thompson Headline the Field

 

Donald, Finau, Daly Headline Puerto Rico Open

 

The PGA TOUR shifts to Texas for the World Golf Championships Dell Match Play, with an elite field of 64 players competing in a round robin format (Wednesday-Friday) before narrowing to the single elimination round of 16 on Saturday with the conclusion scheduled for Sunday. The field includes 64 of the top 66 players in the world, including Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler and Adam Scott. On the LPGA Tour, players will tee it up this week at the Kia Classic in southern California for a final tune-up before next week’s ANA Inspiration, the first major championship of 2016. Lydia Ko, Inbee Park, Lexi Thompson and Stacy Lewis all are in the field, with coverage airing in primetime on Golf Channel. And the PGA TOUR also stages the Puerto Rico Open this week, with Luke Donald, Tony Finau and John Daly headlining the field.

 

PGA TOUR

 

WGC-Dell Match Play

Dates: March 23-27

Venue: Austin Country Club, Austin, Texas

 

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

Wednesday     2-8 p.m. (Live) / 9 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)

Thursday         2-8 p.m. (Live) / 10:30 p.m.-4:30 a.m. (Replay)

Friday              2-8 p.m. (Live) / 10:30 p.m.-4:30 a.m. (Replay)

Saturday          10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Live) / 1-5 a.m. (Sunday replay)

Sunday            10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Live) / 1-5 a.m. (Monday replay)

 

Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):

Saturday          2-6 p.m. (Live)

Sunday            3-7 p.m. (Live)

 

Broadcast Notes:

Golf Central player news conference, Tuesday, Noon-2 p.m. ET: On Tuesday at Noon ET, Golf Central will present a special two hour player news conference from Austin Country Club, featuring Jason Day, Adam Scott and Jordan Spieth.

Event format: The 64-man field will be assigned through the live bracket draw and divided into 16 four-player groups, competing in three round robin matches Wednesday-Friday. On Friday, the player in each group with the most points (1 point for a win, ½ point for a halved match) advances to single elimination match play with the Round of 16 and quarterfinals scheduled for Saturday and the semifinals and finals scheduled for Sunday. Each player in the field is guaranteed to play at least three matches. The top-16 seeded players are assigned to Group A, while their respective opponents in their assigned four-man group will be determined through a blind draw during the bracket special on Monday night. The remaining 48 players outside of Group A have been divided into three separate groups (via Official World Golf Ranking): seeds 17-32 in Group B, seeds 33-48 in Group C, and seeds 49-64 in Group D.

McIlroy defends: Rory McIlroy defeated Gary Woodland 3&2 in the finals at TPC Harding Park last year for his 10th career PGA TOUR win.

Headlining the field: Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Danny Willett and Branden Grace.

 

WGC-Dell Match Play Bracket Special Broadcast Team

Host:Ryan Burr

Analysts:Brandel Chamblee / Tim Rosaforte

Reporters:Todd Lewis / Cara Robinson

 

Golf Channel / NBC Broadcast Team:

Play by Play: Terry Gannon (Golf Channel) / Dan Hicks (NBC)

Analyst: Nick Faldo (Golf Channel) / Johnny Miller (NBC)

Tower: Gary Koch / Peter Jacobsen

On-Course: Roger Maltbie / Notah Begay / David Feherty

Interviews: Todd Lewis (Golf Channel) / Steve Sands (NBC)

Essays: Jimmy Roberts

 

LPGA TOUR

Kia Classic

Dates: March 24-27                                                                    

Venue: Park Hyatt Aviara Golf Club, Carlsbad, Calif.

 

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

Thursday         8-10 p.m. (Tape delay) / 7-9 p.m. (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)

Friday              8-10 p.m. (Tape delay) / 7-9 p.m. (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)

Saturday          6-9 p.m. (Live)

Sunday            6-9 p.m. (Live)

 

Broadcast Notes:

Final event before first major of 2016: This week is the final opportunity for players to conduct their final preparations ahead of next week’s first major of 2016, the ANA Inspiration.

Kerr defends: Cristie Kerr finished two strokes ahead or Mirim Lee for her 17th LPGA Tour victory.

Headlining the field: Lydia Ko, Inbee Park, Lexi Thompson, Stacy Lewis, Sei Young Kim, Ha Na Jang, Brooke Henderson, Shanshan Feng, Hyo Joo Kim, Suzann Pettersen and Cristie Kerr.

 

Golf Channel Broadcast Team:

Play by Play: Whit Watson

Analyst: Judy Rankin

Tower: Tom Abbott                            

On-Course: Jerry Foltz / Karen Stupples

 

PGA TOUR

 

Puerto Rico Open

Dates: March 24-27                                                                    

Venue: Coco Beach Golf & Country Club (Championship Course), Rio Grande, Puerto Rico

 

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

Thursday         10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)

Friday              10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)

Saturday          9 p.m.-Midnight (Tape delay) / 2-5 p.m. (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)

Sunday            9 p.m.-Midnight (Tape delay) / 2-5 p.m. (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)

 

Broadcast Notes:

Cejka defends: Alex Cejka held off Sam Saunders, Emiliano Grillo, Jon Curran and Tim Petrovic with a birdie on the first playoff hole for his first career PGA TOUR win.

Headlining the field: Luke Donald, Tony Finau, Retief Goosen, John Daly, Patrick Rodgers, Peter Malnati, George Coetzee, Trevor Immelman, David Toms and Sam Saunders.

 

Golf Channel Broadcast Team:

Play by Play: Bob Papa

Analyst: Curt Byrum

Tower: Phil Blackmar                         

On-Course: Matt Gogel / John Cook

-NBC Sports Group-

Getty Images

Schauffele just fine being the underdog

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 8:06 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following a breakthough season during which he won twice and collected the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award, Xander Schauffele concedes his sophomore campaign has been less than stellar, but that could all change on Sunday at The Open.

Schauffele followed a second-round 66 with a 67 on Saturday to take a share of the 9-under-par lead with Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner.

Although he hasn’t won in 2018, he did finish runner-up at The Players and tied for sixth at the U.S. Open, two of the year’s toughest tests.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“Growing up, I always hit it well and played well in tough conditions,” Schauffele said. “I wasn't the guy to shoot 61. I was the guy to shoot like 70 when it was playing really hard.”

Sunday’s pairing could make things even more challenging when he’ll head out in the day’s final tee time with Spieth, the defending champion. But being the underdog in a pairing, like he was on Saturday alongside Rory McIlroy, is not a problem.

“All the guys I've talked to said, 'Live it up while you can, fly under the radar,'” he said. “Today I played in front of what you call Rory's crowd and guys were just yelling all the time, even while he's trying to putt, and he had to step off a few times. No one was yelling at me while I was putting. So I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing.”

Getty Images

Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:54 pm

Only 18 holes remain in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, and the man tied atop the leaderboard is the same man who captured the claret jug last year at Royal Birkdale.

So it’s little surprise that Jordan Spieth is the odds-on favorite (7/4) to win his fourth major entering Sunday’s final round.

Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, both tied with Spieth at 9 under par, are next in line at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, both four shots behind the leaders, are listed at 14/1.

Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Jordan Spieth: 7/4

Xander Schauffele: 5/1

Kevin Kisner: 11/2

Tiger Woods: 14/1

Francesco Molinari: 14/1

Rory McIlroy: 14/1

Kevin Chappell: 20/1

Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1

Alex Noren: 25/1

Zach Johnson: 30/1

Justin Rose: 30/1

Matt Kuchar: 40/1

Webb Simpson: 50/1

Adam Scott: 80/1

Tony Finau: 80/1

Charley Hoffman: 100/1

Austin Cook: 100/1

Getty Images

Spieth stands on brink of Open repeat

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 7:49 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jordan Spieth described Monday’s “ceremony” to return the claret jug to the keepers of the game’s oldest championship as anything but enjoyable.

For the last 12 months the silver chalice has been a ready reminder of what he was able to overcome and accomplish in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, a beacon of hope during a year that’s been infinitely forgettable.

By comparison, the relative pillow fight this week at Carnoustie has been a welcome distraction, a happy-go-lucky stroll through a wispy field. Unlike last year’s edition, when Spieth traveled from the depths of defeat to the heights of victory within a 30-minute window, the defending champion has made this Open seem stress-free, easy even, by comparison.

But then those who remain at Carnoustie know it’s little more than a temporary sleight of hand.

As carefree as things appeared on Saturday when 13 players, including Spieth, posted rounds of 67 or lower, as tame as Carnoustie, which stands alone as The Open’s undisputed bully, has been through 54 holes there was a foreboding tension among the rank and file as they readied for a final trip around Royal Brown & Bouncy.

“This kind of southeast or east/southeast wind we had is probably the easiest wind this golf course can have, but when it goes off the left side, which I think is forecasted, that's when you start getting more into the wind versus that kind of cross downwind,” said Spieth, who is tied for the lead with Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner at 9 under par after a 6-under 65. “It won't be the case tomorrow. It's going to be a meaty start, not to mention, obviously, the last few holes to finish.”

Carnoustie only gives so much and with winds predicted to gust to 25 mph there was a distinct feeling that playtime was over.

As melancholy as Spieth was about giving back the claret jug, and make no mistake, he wasn’t happy, not even his status among the leading contenders with a lap remaining was enough for him to ignore the sleeping giant.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


But then he’s come by his anxiousness honestly. Spieth has spent far too much time answering questions about an inexplicably balky putter the last few weeks and he hasn’t finished better than 21st since his “show” finish in April at the Masters.

After a refreshingly solid start to his week on Thursday imploded with a double bogey-bogey-par-bogey finish he appeared closer to an early ride home on Friday than he did another victory lap, but he slowly clawed his way back into the conversation as only he can with one clutch putt after the next.

“I'm playing golf for me now. I've kind of got a cleared mind. I've made a lot of progress over the year that's been kind of an off year, a building year,” said Spieth, who is bogey-free over his last 36 holes. “And I've got an opportunity to make it a very memorable one with a round, but it's not necessary for me to prove anything for any reason.”

But if an awakened Carnoustie has Spieth’s attention, the collection of would-be champions assembled around and behind him adds another layer of intrigue.

Kisner, Spieth’s housemate this week on Angus coast, has led or shared the lead after each round this week and hasn’t shown any signs of fading like he did at last year’s PGA Championship, when he started the final round with a one-stroke lead only to close with a 74 to tie for seventh place.

“I haven't played it in that much wind. So I think it's going to be a true test, and we'll get to see really who's hitting it the best and playing the best tomorrow,” said Kisner, who added a 68 to his total on Day 3.

There’s no shortage of potential party crashers, from Justin Rose at 4 under after a round-of-the-week 64 to 2015 champion Zach Johnson, who also made himself at home with Spieth and Kisner in the annual Open frat house and is at 5 under.

Rory McIlroy, who is four years removed from winning his last major championship, looked like a player poised to get off the Grand Slam schneid for much of the day, moving to 7 under with a birdie at the 15th hole, but he played the last three holes in 2 over par and is tied with Johnson at 5 under par. 

And then there’s Tiger Woods. For three magical hours the three-time Open champion played like he’d never drifted into the dark competitive hole that’s defined his last few years. Like he’d never been sidelined by an endless collection of injuries and eventually sought relief under the surgeon’s knife.

As quietly as Woods can do anything, he turned in 3 under par for the day and added two more birdies at Nos. 10 and 11. His birdie putt at the 14th hole lifted him temporarily into a share of the lead at 6 under par.

“We knew there were going to be 10, 12 guys with a chance to win on Sunday, and it's turning out to be that,” said Woods, who is four strokes off the lead. “I didn't want to be too far back if the guys got to 10 [under] today. Five [shots back] is certainly doable, and especially if we get the forecast tomorrow.”

Woods held his round of 66 together with a gritty par save at the 18th hole after hitting what he said was his only clunker of the day off the final tee.

Even that episode seemed like foreshadowing.

The 18th hole has rough, bunkers, out of bounds and a burn named Barry that weaves its way through the hole like a drunken soccer fan. It’s the Grand Slam of hazardous living and appears certain to play a leading role in Sunday’s outcome.

Perhaps none of the leading men will go full Jean Van de Velde, the star-crossed Frenchman who could still be standing in that burn if not for a rising tide back at the 1999 championship, but if the 499 yards of dusty turf is an uninvited guest, it’s a guest nonetheless.

It may not create the same joyless feelings that he had when he returned the claret jug, but given the hole’s history and Spieth’s penchant for late-inning histrionics (see Open Championship, 2017), the 18th hole is certain to produce more than a few uncomfortable moments.

Getty Images

Wandering photographer costs McIlroy on 16

By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:44 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy bogeyed two of his last four holes Saturday to fall four shots off the lead at The Open.

One of those mistakes might not have entirely been his fault.

McIlroy missed a short putt on the par-3 16th after a photographer was “in a world all his own,” wandering around near the green, taking photos of the crowd and not paying attention to the action on the green.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“It’s fine,” McIlroy said after a third-round 70 put him at 5-under 208, four shots off the lead. “It’s one of those things that happens. There’s a lot of people out there, and it is what it is. It’s probably my fault, but I just didn’t regroup well after it happened.”

McIlroy also bogeyed the home hole, after driving into a fairway bunker, sending his second shot right of the green and failing to get up and down.

“I putted well,” he said. “I holed out when I needed to. I just need to make the birdies and try to limit the damage tomorrow.”