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PGA TOUR & NBC Sports Group Announce Strategic OTT Partnership

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJuly 31, 2018, 11:55 am

PGA TOUR LIVE’s Thursday & Friday Morning Coverage to be Distributed as Standalone Subscription Offering within NBC Sports Gold in 2019

PGA TOUR LIVE Joins Premier League, Tour de France, Rugby World Cup & Boston Marathon within NBC Sports Gold Offerings

Available on Desktop, Android and iOS Devices, Apple TV; and New for PGA TOUR LIVE via Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, and Roku

Today the PGA TOUR and NBC Sports Group announced a new, innovative, multi-year digital partnership. Starting in 2019,NBC Sports Gold, NBC Sports Digital’s direct-to-consumer live streaming product, will be the United States’ home of PGA TOUR LIVE, the PGA TOUR’s over-the-top subscription video service. The partnership includes rights to all of PGA TOUR LIVE’s Thursday and Friday morning coverage from 28 events, starting with the CareerBuilder Challenge in January, featuring THE PLAYERS in March, and running through the FedExCup Playoffs in August.

Since launching in 2015, PGA TOUR LIVE has brought fans exclusive coverage of the best players in the world on Thursday and Friday mornings – the first time that complete, live coverage of morning marquee groups was offered. The platform also features real-time video highlights, complete round replays and tournament recap programming.

NBC Sports Gold is an industry leader in direct-to-consumer live streaming with a robust portfolio of properties. Launched in 2016, NBC Sports Gold’s offerings complement NBC Sports’ broadcast and cable distribution. In addition to PGA TOUR LIVE, NBC Sports Gold includes packages for fans of the Tour de France, Premier League, Rugby World Cup, Boston Marathon, Pro Motocross and also coming in 2019, IndyCar, among others. As part of NBC Sports Gold, PGA TOUR LIVE will be available on desktop, Android and iOS Devices, Apple TV; and will expand to Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, and Roku next year. NBC Sports Gold is powered by Playmaker Media, NBC Sports Digital’s best-in-class live streaming and VOD solution, which in 2018 delivered 4.37 billion live streaming minutes for the three biggest digital events: Super Bowl LII, Winter Olympics, and FIFA World Cup.

“Since we launched PGA TOUR LIVE in late 2015, the fan feedback has been tremendous,” said Rick Anderson, Chief Media Officer of the PGA TOUR. “In 2018, virtually every key metric is up triple digits versus last year and the coverage gets better and better every week. Moving PGA TOUR LIVE over to NBC Sports Gold represents the next evolution of our product. Not only will Golf Channel and NBC Sports be promoting PGA TOUR LIVE to its massive audience of millions of television and digital viewers, but also, PGA TOUR LIVE will now be available on several new connected TV devices due to NBC Sports’ expanded platform distribution. In 2019, our live coverage will be significantly better, and more accessible, for subscribers of PGA TOUR LIVE.”

“We’ve worked together with the PGA TOUR on many projects across many platforms and we’re looking forward to taking the next step with PGA TOUR LIVE on NBC Sports Gold,” said Mike McCarley, President, Golf, NBC Sports. “Building upon years of partnership, NBC Sports Group and the PGA TOUR are raising the profile of PGA TOUR LIVE as a complement to the hundreds of live hours of PGA TOUR tournament coverage across Golf Channel and NBC Sports. As we help build PGA TOUR LIVE, we’re fortunate to be able to apply lessons learned from years of digital innovation in covering some of the biggest events in sports via NBC Sports’ best-in-class streaming capabilities.”

In 2019, PGA TOUR LIVE plans to stream more than 360 hours of exclusive subscription coverage, as well as hundreds of hours of free Featured Holes coverage, complementing televised coverage from 28 PGA TOUR events next year. PGA TOUR Entertainment will continue to produce the live coverage. Highlights of the PGA TOUR LIVE subscription package launching on NBC Sports Gold include:

  • Pre-game Show: a 30-minute preview program that leads into the morning’s live competition coverage.
  • Featured Groups: early round coverage on Thursday and Friday prior to Golf Channel’s afternoon television window. Featured Groups coverage follows two concurrent, high-profile groups throughout their 18-hole rounds. To-date in 2018, PGA TOUR LIVE has featured entire rounds (outside traditional televised windows) of Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler, and dozens more.
  • Featured Holes: live coverage of some of the PGA TOUR’s most iconic holes, concurrent with Golf Channel’s television window (traditionally from 3-6 p.m. ET).
  • Integrated Statistical Feeds: Users never have to leave the action with integrated live leaderboards and player scorecards.
  • Comprehensive Viewership Experience: Streamlines the PGA TOUR viewership experience by providing golf fans a continuous platform for streaming via NBC Sports Gold for PGA TOUR LIVE’s, Golf Channel’s and NBC Sports’ coverage windows.
  • Featured Player Recaps: Users can get caught up on the day’s action with new condensed rounds from each player in the Featured Group coverage.
  • Event Recaps: Watch an event recap in an hour-long cut down show that highlights the best of that weeks’ tournament.

Pricing options for PGA TOUR LIVE in 2019 will be announced in January. Users who sign up via www.pgatourlive.com will be kept aware of the latest news and announcements related to its 2019 launch on NBC Sports Gold. For golf fans outside of the United States, the same comprehensive PGA TOUR LIVE coverage will be available. More information will be announced by the PGA TOUR at a later date.

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Haas nearly shoots age in taking Champions playoff opener lead

By Associated PressOctober 20, 2018, 10:05 pm

RICHMOND, Va.  -- Jay Haas shot a 7-under 65 - missing his age by a stroke - to take a two-shot lead Saturday in the PGA Tour Champions' playoff-opening Dominion Energy Charity Classic.

Trying to become the oldest winner in tour history, the 64-year-old Haas birdied the par-5 16th and 18th holes to get to 11-under 133 on The Country Club of Virginia's James River Course.

''I've been out here too long to know that I can learn to expect anything,'' Haas said. ''While I'm hopeful every day and I've been playing OK, the last couple weeks have not been very good, but this week has been much better. I love this golf course and it looks good to my eye. Most of the holes look like I'm going to hit a good shot, so I enjoy playing here.''

Mike Fetchick set the age record of 63 years to the day in the 1985 Hilton Head event. Haas is second on the list, taking the 2016 Toshiba Classic at 62 years, 10 months, 7 days for his 18th senior title.

''That's a good way to say I'm old, 'experience,''' Haas said. ''I think I'm very nervous most of the time when I play and today was no exception, but I continued to hit good shots and, hopefully, I can put one foot in front of the other, one shot at a time, do what I tell my son to do every time, you know? See if I can put some of those adages to work tomorrow.''


Full-field scores from the Dominion Energy Charity Classic


Stephen Ames and Scott Dunlap were tied for second after the round that started in light rain. Ames had a 67, and Dunlap shot 68.

Defending champion Bernhard Langer had a 66 to join Billy Mayfair (67) and Woody Austin (68) at 9 under. Langer won the SAS Championship last week in North Carolina to take the season points lead. The 61-year-old German star has two victories this year and 38 overall on the 50-and-over tour.

The top 72 players qualified for the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs opener. The top 54 on Sunday will get spots next week in the Invesco QQQ Championship in Thousand Oaks, California, and the top 36 after that will advance to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Phoenix.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, second in the standings, was tied for 23rd at 4 under after a 71.

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Sergio leads by 4 entering final round at Valderrama

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 20, 2018, 9:26 pm

Sergio Garcia closed with three straight birdies to shoot a 7-under 64 on Saturday, taking a four-shot lead into the third and final round of the Andalusia Valderrama Masters.

The tournament, which Garcia has won  twice (2017, 2011), was reduced to 54 holes because of numerous weather-related delays.

With his bogey-free round, Garcia moved to 10 under, four shots clear of Englishman Ashley Chesters, who shot a 1-under 70.


Full-field scores from the Andalucia Valderrama Masters


"Hopefully we'll be able to play well tomorrow and get another win at Valderrama," Garcia said. "Hopefully I can finish it in style."

Chesters, however, is conceding nothing. "There's always a chance," he said. "There's not a lot of pressure on me."

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Ciganda, S.Y. Kim share lead in Shanghai

By Associated PressOctober 20, 2018, 9:28 am

SHANGHAI - Carlota Ciganda of Spain shot a 5-under 67 Saturday to share the lead with Sei Young Kim after the third round of the LPGA Shanghai.

Ciganda carded her fifth birdie of the day on the par-4 18th to finish tied with overnight leader Kim at 11-under 205. Kim shot a 71 with four bogeys and five birdies.

Ciganda is attempting to win her third LPGA title and first since the 2016 season, when she won two tournaments in a one-month span. Kim is chasing her eighth career LPGA win and second title of the 2018 season.

''I want to win because I didn't win last year,'' Ciganda said. ''I love playing in Asia. It's good for long hitters, playing quite long, so I'm quite comfortable.''


Full-field scores from the Buick LPGA Shanghai


Angel Yin also birdied the final hole for a 68 and was a further stroke back with Brittany Altomare (69), Danielle Kang (71) and Ariya Jutanugarn (71).

Yin and Altomare have yet to break through for their first LPGA win. A win in Shanghai would make either player the ninth first-time winner of the 2018 season, which would tie 2016 for the third highest number of first-time winners in a season in LPGA history.

''I love competing,'' Yin said. ''That's why I'm playing, right? I'm excited to be in contention again going into Sunday.''

Local favorite Yu Liu was seventh after offsetting a lone bogey with four birdies for a 69.

Paula Creamer also shot a 69 and shared eighth at 8 under with Minjee Lee (70) and Bronte Law (71).

The tournament is the second of five being played in South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan in the LPGA's annual Asian swing.

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Koepka's pursuers have no illusions about catching him

By Nick MentaOctober 20, 2018, 8:50 am

Ahead by four, wielding his driver like Thor's hammer, Brooks Koepka is 18 holes from his third victory in five months and his first ascent to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking.

The tournament isn't over. No one is handing him the trophy and updating the OWGR website just yet. But it will likely take some combination of a meltdown and low round from someone in the chase pack to prevent a Koepka coronation Sunday in South Korea.

Thirteen under for the week, the three-time major champion will start the final round four shots ahead of his playing partners, Ian Poulter and Scott Piercy, and five ahead of six more players at minus-8.

As is his nature, Poulter figures to be undaunted. The 42-year-old is fresh off a Sunday singles victory over Dustin Johnson at the Ryder Cup and in the midst of a career renaissance, having broken a five-year winless drought earlier this year. In one sense, it's Europe vs. the United States again, but this isn't match play, and Koepka, a guy who doesn't need a head start, has spotted himself a four-shot advantage.


Full-field scores from the CJ Cup

CJ Cup: Articles, photos and videos


"Tomorrow I'm going to need to make a few birdies. Obviously Brooks is in cruise control right now and obviously going to need a shoot a low one," Poulter conceded. "Do what I'm doing, just enjoy [it]. Obviously try and make as many birdies as I can and see how close we get."

Perez, in the group at 8 under par, isn't giving up, but like Poulter, he's aware of the reality of his situation.

"We're chasing Brooks, who of course obviously is playing phenomenally," he said. "A lot of the long hitters now when they get in contention, they hit that driver and they're really hard to catch. I'm not worried about it too much. It's going to be harder for me tomorrow than him, so I'm going to try and go out and just do my thing, hit some shots, hopefully hit some close and make some putts and we'll see. I don't expect him to come backwards, but hopefully I can try to go catch him."

Gary Woodland, also 8 under par, summed up the predicament best when he alluded to Koepka's perhaps advantageously aloof demeanor.

"You obviously want to get off to a good start and put pressure on him as soon as you can," he said. "You know, Brooks doesn't seem like he cares too much, and he's playing so good, so you're going to have to go out and post a number."