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New Docu-Series Executive Produced by Rickie Fowler, Driven: Oklahoma State Cowboys, Premieres Tonight at 10 P.M. ET on Golf Channel

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMay 7, 2018, 8:00 pm

Driven Showcases No. 1 Ranked OSU’s Journey Toward a National Championship & Rivalry with Reigning NCAA Champion Oklahoma Sooners

 VIDEO: Driven Show Open, Narrated by Actor Josh Duhamel

 ORLANDO, Fla., May 7, 2018 – On the eve of the most exciting stretch of the collegiate golf season, tonight at 10 p.m. ET Golf Channel will premiere a new documentary series executive produced by Rickie Fowler (Main Event Productions), Driven: Oklahoma State Cowboys.

The four-part documentary series will give viewers a dramatic behind-the-scenes look into Fowler’s alma mater during the duration of the 2017-18 season, including their current standing as the top-ranked team in the nation. Later this month, Oklahoma State also will serve as host of the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf National Championships at their home course, Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

Adding to the drama, the Oklahoma Sooners, the Cowboys’ in-state rival just 80 miles away in Norman, Okla., also participated in the production of Driven. The Sooners are the reigning NCAA National Champions, currently the third-ranked team in the nation and recently captured the Big 12 Championship, the program’s first conference title since 2006. Both Oklahoma State and Oklahoma are No. 1 seeds, respectively, heading into NCAA Regional Championships play, May 14-16.

Recapping Oklahoma State’s historic season culminated by their run at a potential 11th national championship, NBC Sports will showcase Driven across its networks: the first three premieres airing on Golf Channel (Mondays: May 7, 14, and 21), encores airing on NBCSN, and the finale on NBC, Saturday, June 16.

Driven will span Oklahoma State’s 2017-18 college golf season both on and off the golf course as it experiences one of its best years in program history with eight victories this year, including seven victories in a row, tying OSU’s single-season record by matching the 1986-87 team. Oklahoma State men’s golf program has won 10 NCAA golf national championships, and boasts more than 10 current players on the PGA TOUR, including Rickie Fowler, Morgan Hoffman, Charles Howell III, Hunter Mahan, Alex Noren and Peter Uihlein. Heading into the 2017-18 season, OSU was the preseason top-ranked team in the country with one goal in mind: to capture their 11th NCAA National Championship.

Driven is written and produced by Ollie Stokes, a 20-time Emmy Award winner. Stokes has dozens of Emmy nominations, including Showtime’s ALL ACCESS: Mayweather vs. McGregor, which he wrote and produced as part of the Emmy-nominated team.

One of Oklahoma State’s most-decorated players as the nation’s former top-ranked amateur, Fowler was the first freshman in NCAA history to win the Ben Hogan award as the NCAA’s top men’s golfer in 2008. Fowler, who turned professional in 2009, has recorded eight international wins in his career, including four PGA TOUR victories and the 2015 PLAYERS Championship, as well as contributing to winning Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams and representing Team USA in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Most recently, Fowler finished second in the 2018 Masters.

Golf Channel is the television home for college golf, including the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Division I Golf National Championships and the East Lake Cup. The network has provided live coverage of the men’s national championships since 2014 and the women’s national championships since 2015, which now are hosted at the same venue in consecutive weeks in May. Golf Channel also presents the East Lake Cup collegiate match play championship, a three-day fall championship that invites the eight semifinalists from the previous NCAA men’s and women’s golf championships. The East Lake Cup is hosted at historic East Lake Cup Golf in Atlanta, Ga., and benefits the East Lake Foundation. In addition, Golf Channel deploys its comprehensive portfolio of news, digital and social media coverage year-round in covering collegiate golf, including specials for regional and national qualifying and on-site, wraparound news from golf’s biggest college events. At the 2017 NCAA Men’s Golf National Championships, the Oklahoma men’s golf team captured their first national championship in nearly 30 years. Oklahoma State, meanwhile, lost in the quarterfinals of team match play and watched their in-state rival win the national championship.

Driven joins Golf Films’ slate of critically acclaimed projects, including the three-part Arnie(2014) and Jack (2017) films on Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus; the Emmy-nominated Payne, on the late Payne Stewart; Arnie & Me, a follow-up, fourth installment of Arnie; Summer of ’76, revisiting Johnny Miller’s 1976 Open victory over 19-year old Seve Ballesteros; ’86, a chronicle of Nicklaus’ final major championship win at the 1986 Masters that aired to coincide with the 30th anniversary of his iconic win; and Ben Crenshaw: A Walk Through Augusta, on the two-time Masters champion, and his special relationship with the tournament.

Driven: Oklahoma State Cowboys Programming Schedule

Episode 1:       Monday, May 7          10 p.m. ET      Golf Channel

Episode 2:       Monday, May 14        10 p.m. ET      Golf Channel

Episode 3:       Monday, May 21        8 p.m. ET        Golf Channel

Episode 4:       Saturday, June 16       5 p.m. ET        NBC

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Rose tries to ignore scenarios, focus on winning

By Rex HoggardSeptember 23, 2018, 12:59 am

ATLANTA – No one has more to play for than Justin Rose on Sunday at the Tour Championship.

The Englishman will begin the day three strokes behind front-runner Tiger Woods after a third-round 68 that could have been much worse after he began his day with back-to-back bogeys.

Winning the tournament will be Rose’s top priority, but there’s also the lingering question of the FedExCup and the $10 million bonus, which he is currently projected to claim.


Projected FedExCup standings

Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos


“The way I look at tomorrow is that I have many scenarios in play. I have the FedExCup in play. I have all of that to distract me,” Rose said. “But yet, I'm three back. I think that's my objective tomorrow is to come out and play good, positive golf and try and chase down the leader and win this golf tournament. I think in some ways that'll help my other task of trying to win the FedExCup. It'll keep me on the front foot and playing positive golf.”

Although there are many scenarios for Rose to win the season-long title, if Woods wins the Tour Championship, Rose would need to finish fifth or better to claim the cup.

There’s also the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking to consider. Rose overtook Dustin Johnson for No. 1 in the world with his runner-up finish at the BMW Championship two weeks ago. He will retain the top spot unless Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka or Johnson win the finale and he falls down the leaderboard on Sunday.

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McIlroy needs putter to heat up to catch Woods

By Rex HoggardSeptember 23, 2018, 12:29 am

ATLANTA – Although Rory McIlroy is three strokes behind Tiger Woods at the Tour Championship and tied for second place he had the look of a man with a secret when he left East Lake on Saturday.

Trying to play catch up against Woods is never ideal, but McIlroy’s confidence stemmed from a tee-to-green game that has been unrivaled for three days.

“I definitely think today and the first day were similar,” said McIlroy, whose 66 included birdies at two of his final three holes. “I gave myself plenty of chances, and I think the biggest thing today was only just that one bogey. Got to put your ball in the fairway, put yourself in position, and for the most part, I did that today.”


Projected FedExCup standings

Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos


For the week McIlroy ranks first in strokes gained: off the tee, third in strokes gained: approach to the green and second in greens in regulation. But to catch Woods, who he will be paired with, he’ll need a much better day on the greens.

The Northern Irishman needed 30 putts on Day 2 and ranks 23rd, out of 30 players, in strokes gained: putting.

McIlroy skipped the first playoff event, opting instead for an extra week at home to work on his swing and the move has paid off.

“I hit the ball well. My wedge play has been really good,” he said. “I've done a lot of work on it the last few weeks, and it seems to have paid off.”

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Glover trails Straka at Web.com Tour Championship

By Associated PressSeptember 23, 2018, 12:19 am

ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – Sepp Straka moved into position Saturday to earn a PGA Tour card in the Web.com Tour Championship, shooting a 7-under 64 to take the third-round lead.

With the top 25 earners in the four-event Web.com Tour Finals getting PGA Tour cards Sunday, Straka birdied the final three holes to reach 18-under 195 - a stroke ahead of Curtis Luck, Lucas Glover and Denny McCarthy at Atlantic Beach Country Club.

''It's always good to get an extra birdie in late. I got three of them to finish, which was nice,'' Straka said. ''It's very bunched up there, so you can't really take off, you've got to keep the pedal down and see where you end up at the end.''

Straka entered the week tied for 80th in the card race with $2,744. The 25-year-old former Georgia player from Austria won the KC Golf Classic in August for his first Web.com Tour title. He finished 31st on the money list to advance to the four-tournament series.

''My ball-striking is really good,'' Straka said. ''It's been good all week. It's been really solid. I really haven't gotten in a whole lot of trouble and have been able to capitalize on a good number of chances with the putter. Hit a couple of bad putts today, but some really good ones to make up for it.''


Full-field scores from the Web.com Tour Championship


Luck also shot 64. The 22-year-old Australian went into the week 16th with $41,587.

''Obviously, it just comes down to keeping that momentum going and trying not to change anything,'' Luck said. ''That's the really important thing and I felt like I did that really well. I played really aggressive on the back nine, still went after a lot of shots and I hit it close a lot out there.''

Glover had a 68. The 2009 U.S. Open champion entered the week 40th with $17,212.

McCarthy shot 67. He already has wrapped up a card, earning $75,793 in the first three events to get to 11th in the standings.

The 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. The other players are fighting for the 25 cards based on series earnings.

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Woods' dominance evokes an old, familiar feeling

By Rex HoggardSeptember 23, 2018, 12:14 am

ATLANTA – It felt so familiar – the roars, the fist pumps, the frenzied scramble to keep up with a leaderboard that was quickly tilting in Tiger Woods’ direction.

For the handful of players who were around when Woods made a mysterious and maddening game seem simple, it was like old times, times that weren’t necessarily good for anyone not named Tiger.

“I’m kind of nostalgic,” admitted Paul Casey, who turned pro in 2000, when Woods won the U.S. Open by 15 strokes, one of his nine PGA Tour victories that year.

Casey’s 66 on Day 3 at the Tour Championship vaulted him into a tie for sixth place, but as the Englishman quickly vetted the math he knew those numbers were nothing more than window dressing.

“Sixty-four is my best on a Sunday which puts me at 11 [under], so if he’s 12 I need to shoot my career best in the final round and he needs to do something very un-Tiger-like,” Casey laughed. “I think I’m just posturing for position.”

Casey wasn’t giving up. In fact, given that he outdueled Woods earlier this year to win the Valspar Championship he could have hedged his comments and left the door cracked however slightly. But he’s seen, and heard, this too many times to allow competitive necessity to cloud reality.

On Saturday at East Lake, Tiger Woods was his best version. Throughout this most recent comeback he’s offered glimpses of the old guy, the guy whose name atop a leaderboard echoed through locker rooms for the better part of two decades. After starting the day tied for the lead with Justin Rose, Tiger quickly separated himself from the pack with a birdie at the first.

He added another at the third and by the time he birdied the seventh hole, his sixth birdie of the day, he’d extended that lead to five shots and was sending an unmistakable message that reached well beyond the steamy confines of East Lake.


Projected FedExCup standings

Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos


This was what so many had waited for. This was the Tiger that Casey and others grew up dreading, a machine that never misses iron shots and makes clutch putts look like tap-ins.

“The crowds were electric,” said Rose, who was paired with Woods. “He was running the tables there. He was hitting good shots and making the conversion putts.”

Woods did come back to earth after his blistering start, playing his final 10 holes in 1 over par, but that did little to change the mood as the season moved to within 18 holes of the finish line.

He would finish with a round-of-the-day 65 for a three-stroke lead over Rose and Rory McIlroy. The next closest players were a dozen strokes back, including Casey at 5 under par who didn’t need to be reminded of Woods’ 54-hole conversion rate.

There are no guarantees in sports but Tiger with a 54-hole lead has been about as close to a lock as one will find this side of Las Vegas. He’s 42-for-44 when going into the final round with the outright lead and the last time he blew a 54-hole lead was at the 2009 PGA Championship.

Of course, he hasn’t had a 54-hole lead since the 2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Truth is, he hasn’t had much of anything since ’13 when his dominance was sidetracked by an ailing back. As intimidating as Woods’ play has been this week there was an unmistakable sense of, let’s call it curiosity.

Asked if Woods’ lead felt different than it may have a decade ago, Rose’s response was telling. “Maybe,” he allowed after a pause. “It's a little more unknown now. Obviously his history, his statistics from this point are impeccable. They're incredible. But he's human, and there's a lot on it for him tomorrow, as well as the rest of us.”

Rose wasn’t trying to trick himself into thinking the impossible was possible, although many have when they’ve found themselves in similar positions, it was simply the truth. Woods has had multiple chances this season to complete the comeback and he’s come up short each time.

It was a poor iron shot off the 72nd tee at the Valspar Championship and an even worse drive a week later at Bay Hill’s 16th hole. It was a misplayed chip late on the back nine at The Open and a collection of missed putts at the PGA Championship, although in his defense it’s unlikely anyone could have caught Brooks Koepka at Bellerive.

Nor was Rose being disrespectful. It’s simple math, really, and Woods’ body of work to this point, although wildly impressive considering how far he’s come in 12 months both physically and competitively, paints a clear picture. Given multiple chances to break through the victory ceiling he’s failed to deliver the way he did before injury and multiple back procedures.

“I've felt very comfortable when I got into the mix there at Tampa even though it was very early in my start to this year. And because of that, I felt comfortable when I got to Bay Hill, (and) when I grabbed the lead at The Open Championship,” Woods said. “Things that didn't really feel abnormal, even though it's been years, literally years, since I've been in those spots, but I think I've been in those spots enough times that muscle memory, I guess I remembered it, and I felt comfortable in those spots.”

In many ways the script couldn’t have been written any better for Woods. It’s the bottom of the ninth, two outs and the bases are loaded for the 14-time major champion. Hero time, his time.

He’s been here so many times in his career and succeeded more times than not, and this new, reimagined version has the ultimate chance to complete what would arguably be the greatest comeback in sports history.

The ultimate test still remains, but for 18 holes on Saturday it felt so familiar.