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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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McIlroy battles back into tie for BMW PGA lead

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 26, 2018, 4:09 pm

Rory McIlroy got off to a rocky start on Saturday in the third round of the BMW PGA Championship, including hitting a spectator and making a double bogey. But after that incident on the sixth hole, he didn't drop another shot, birdieing the final hole to shoot a 1-under 71 and tie for the lead.

McIlroy had gone into Moving Day with a three-shot lead, but Francesco Molinari had the round of the day, a 6-under 66. "It was nice keep a clean scorecard," said Molinari, who hasn't made a bogey since the 10th hole on Friday.


Full-field scores from the BMW PGA Championship


McIlroy and Molinari will be paired in Sunday's final round. They are tied at 13 under par, four shots clear of Ross Fisher, Branden Grace, Sam Horsfield and Alexander Noren.

The Wentworth course ends with back-to-back par-5s, and McIlroy birdied both of them. He got a break on the 18th hole as his drive hit a spectator and bounced into light rough.

"It was a struggle out there today," McIlroy said. "I think when you're working on a few things in your swing and the wind is up and you're stuck between trying to play different shots, but also try to play - you know, make good swings at it, I just hit some loose tee balls on the first few holes. But I'm proud of myself. I stayed patient. I actually - I'm feeling a bit better about myself after today than I was even walking off the course yesterday."

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Watch: McIlroy hits spectator on hand

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 26, 2018, 2:58 pm

We never cease to wonder at how close fans crowd in to the intended line of some shots, and just how skilled Tour players are in not hitting someone.

But every once in a while, golf ball and spectator intersect, with painful results. It happened to Rory McIlroy during the third round of the BMW PGA Championship, after he had hit a wayward drive on the sixth hole. Attempting to hack out his second shot from under a bush, McIlroy struck a female spectator on her right hand. There was no official word on her condition, but she was clearly - and understandably - in pain.

McIlroy went on to make double bogey but was able to put the incident behind him, as he promptly birdied the next hole.

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Hataoka leads Minjee Lee by one at LPGA Volvik

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 12:54 am

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – After losing in a playoff last weekend, Nasa Hataoka is making another bid for her first LPGA Tour victory.

Hataoka shot a 4-under 68 on Friday, and the Japanese teenager led by one stroke over Minjee Lee after the second round of the Volvik Championship. Hataoka, who is coming off the first two top-10 finishes of her LPGA career, made seven birdies at Travis Pointe Country Club. She began her round on No. 10, and her best stretch came toward the end, when she birdied Nos. 4, 5 and 6.

''I'm really comfortable playing the LPGA,'' the 19-year-old Hataoka said through a translator. ''I've really got confidence now.''

Hataoka made the cut nine times in 17 starts as a rookie in 2017, and she has made significant strides of late. She tied for seventh at last month's MEDIHEAL Championship and nearly won a week ago at the Kingsmill Championship in Virginia.

Hataoka finished the second round in Michigan at 9 under. Lee (69) was also solid Friday. Gaby Lopez (68), Jodi Ewart Shadoff (70) and Lindy Duncan (70) were a stroke behind Lee in a tie for third.

Hataoka did not make a single bogey in last week's three-round tournament, and she didn't have any in the first round in Michigan. She finally made a few Friday, but that didn't stop her from taking sole possession of the lead.

''I kind of feel like not really perfect, but I just kind of try to (be) aggressive,'' she said.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


Lee, who lost by one stroke on this course last year, is in contention again.

''I guess the fairways are pretty generous and I think the greens are a little bit on the trickier side to read,'' Lee said. ''As long as your iron shots are pretty solid, I think you're going to be in good position around this golf course.''

Lee birdied the first two holes, and the only blemish on her scorecard Friday came on the par-5 14th. After missing the fairway to the right, she hit an aggressive shot out of the rough that went straight toward a water hazard well in front of the green. She settled for a bogey after taking a drop.

''I thought the ball was sitting OK in the rough, but it must have been a bit funny, or underneath it,'' she said. ''I made a mistake. I thought it was good enough to hit 3-wood there.''

Lee lost last year in Michigan to Shanshan Feng, but Feng will have some ground to make up in her attempt to repeat. She shot 69 on Friday but is still eight strokes behind the leader.

Ariya Jutanugarn was 6 under after a second consecutive 69.

Lopez made only six pars in the second round, tied for the fewest of the day, but her eight birdies and four bogeys put her near the top of the leaderboard.

''It was a little bit of an up and down,'' she said. ''There's so many opportunities out here to make birdie, that the most important thing to do is just to be patient, to be in the moment and not to get ahead of yourself. I think I came back from a couple mistakes that I did.''

In contrast to Lopez, Brittany Lincicome parred all 18 holes Friday and made the cut at 1 under. Paula Creamer (71) triple bogeyed the par-4 13th. She followed that with an eagle on the very next hole but missed the cut by a stroke.

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Childhood rivals share Sr. PGA lead

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 12:00 am

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. – Kevin Sutherland and Scott McCarron have been rivals since their junior golf days around Sacramento, California. The two old friends were back at it Friday at the top of the Senior PGA Championship leaderboard.

''It's honestly, nothing new for us,'' said Sutherland who played in the third-to-last group and birdied his last two holes for a 5-under 66 to match McCarron at 8 under.

McCarron had a 68 in the morning wave to emerge from a championship record group of six tied for the first-round lead.

Sutherland was last year's Charles Schwab Cup winner with his only senior win coming in the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship, while McCarron has six PGA Tour Champions wins, including a major at the 2017 Senior Players Championship.

''We are both (Northern California) guys, played in high school, junior golf, on tour and it seems like a lot on the Champions Tour,'' Sutherland said. ''We were in the last group on Sundays a lot last year. Scott played so well and had an incredible year, and I had a great year, too.''

Sutherland's lone PGA Tour victory came at McCarron's expense in 2002 at La Costa in the Accenture Match Play Championship, when he beat McCarron 1 up in the 36-hole final. As youngsters they played on opposing high school teams located about an hour apart and met often in state tournaments as well as on the California junior circuit.

''It's been happening for 30 years, wait 35 years now, I guess,'' Sutherland said. ''Playing together on a Saturday is a little different. We're both still trying to get in position to win.''

Jerry Kelly shot a 65 to join Tim Petrovic (69), Chris Williams (68) and Joe Durant (67) at 7 under. Durant tied for second last week in the Regions Tradition, also a major championship.


Full-field scores from the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship


McCarron feels like he is just starting to warm to the task this year. He had to replace his clubs, including a favored putter damaged beyond repair in air transit two months ago.

''I've been putting with a back-up putter I had, but it just didn't feel quite right,'' he said. ''I changed last Sunday at the Regions Tradition and started putting better on Sunday. So I'm using this one again this week and seem to be putting pretty good with it.''

McCarron said the Harbor Shores course played a little tougher in light winds in the second round. He made six birdies and three bogeys.

''I would just like to have a couple of those bogeys back,'' he said. ''But we're in a good position going into the weekend.''

McCarron came to the press center after his round and walked in on a press conference where course-designer Jack and Barbara Nicklaus were being honored by sponsoring KitchenAid with the establishment of a local college scholarship program in their name.

McCarron, who said he has idolized Nicklaus since his youth, played media and asked Nicklaus what he ate when he was near the lead going into the weekend of a major championship.

Nicklaus said if you play well one day, eat the same thing the next day.

''But no hamburgers, or you will play like hamburger,'' he said.

Stuart Smith, the Reno, Neveda, club pro who was tied for the lead after the first round, missed the 36-hole cut with a second-round 83.

''I'll take the 66, 83 and enjoy the 66 yesterday,'' he said. ''You put this one down to just plain old golf. It's a nasty game we play sometimes. Glad I have a day job.''