THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP - A Special Week on Golf Channel and NBC

By Golf Channel Public RelationsApril 30, 2014, 7:50 pm

Boasting one of the world’s most challenging golf courses – highlighted by the 17th hole’s famous island green – and the strongest field of the year, THE PLAYERS Championship will offer marquee viewing on Golf Channel and NBC with nearly 100 hours of combined live coverage during tournament week, May 5-11.

THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass will provide the backdrop and the networks of NBC Sports will tell the stories and showcase the action of the most-anticipated tournament on the PGA TOUR calendar. A combined 33 hours of coverage of live golf will air on both Golf Channel and NBC, which will be blanketed by more than 43 live hours of the most comprehensive news coverage at golf’s biggest events with Live From THE PLAYERS. Additionally, Morning Drive will tee off each day, dedicating 20 live hours during the week to THE PLAYERS, with expanded shows Thursday through Sunday; and Golf Channel’s Spotlight coverage will return on the weekend to focus on TPC Sawgrass’ treacherous finishing stretch of holes while complementing NBC’s traditional coverage. Michael Breed will be live on the driving range at TPC Sawgrass for Monday’s edition of The Golf Fix, when he’ll demonstrate how the pros will navigate the course and provide strategies for playing its toughest holes.

BROADCAST TEAM: Golf Channel on NBC’s live tournament coverage of THE PLAYERS Championship will be anchored by Dan Hicks and Hall-of-Famer Johnny Miller. Terry Gannon and Sir Nick Faldo will host early rounds on Golf Channel. The remainder of the broadcast team for all four rounds will include Gary Koch (16 & 17) and Peter Jacobsen (14) in tower positions; Roger Maltbie, Mark Rolfing and Jerry Foltz walking with the players; Steve Sands conducting interviews; and Jimmy Roberts providing features and essays. Kelly Tilghman will serve as tournament telecast host for Golf Channel’s early round coverage, while NBC Sports newcomer Josh Elliott will make his debut with the golf broadcast team, hosting NBC’s weekend coverage.

Rich Lerner, Tilghman and Ryan Burr will anchor Golf Channel’s Live From THE PLAYERS coverage from TPC Sawgrass and will be joined by analysts Brandel Chamblee, Frank Nobilo, Brad Faxon and a host of others, including award-winning journalist Tim Rosaforte. Lisa Cornwell and George Savaricas will host from Golf Channel’s Orlando studios, and will be joined by analysts Steve Flesch and Tripp Isenhour.

SPECIAL PRODUCTION ELEMENTS: Every conceivable angle of the famous par-3, 17th hole and its island green will be covered by Golf Channel on NBC’s production team. A total of nine high-definition cameras, including a microscopic lens embedded in the lip of the small bunker fronting the green, will be in place. 

Returning is the popular “Actioncam,” a cable-suspended camera system that will fly over the lake between the 16th and 17th greens.  A camera will be situated behind the 14th tee that will provide a seldom seen, reverse ball-flight for one of the more difficult tee shots on the course; and “pole-cams” that rise as much as 30 feet in the air will be located on the tee at holes 2, 6 and 10, and on the 14th green.

Some of the manned camera positions also are noteworthy, including a position lifted by a crane 150 feet into the air above the tree line and that will show unique shots of the 16th, 17th and 18th holes.  Another camera operator is ferried to a small island near the 17th green where he is marooned for approximately eight hours during a broadcast, capturing player reactions from this unique angle.

SPOTLIGHT: Golf Channel’s Spotlight coverage will return at THE PLAYERS Championship, focusing on the challenging stretch of finishing holes at TPC Sawgrass. Spotlight coverage is enhanced for 2014, featuring a reverse-L on-screen graphic displaying continuous stats and player updates. While NBC is on the air live with its traditional tournament coverage, Golf Channel also will be on live, but focusing its telecast solely on holes 16-18. Coverage will be highlighted by special production elements, including ProTracer, which uses graphics to track the flight of the ball in real time; and TrackMan, a technology that measures club-head speed, ball speed and carry distance. Randy Moss and Curt Byrum will anchor Spotlight coverage, with Craig Perks and Scott McCarron following players on the three holes.

INTERACTIVE: An additional second-screen experience is in store for Golf Channel viewers during the week of THE PLAYERS Championship. For the first time, Live From THE PLAYERS will incorporate a polling technology called iPowow, which will give fans an opportunity to actively participate in Golf Channel programming through a computer or mobile device. Only Internet access is required, making the process simple for anyone to use. Viewers will be invited by Golf Channel personalities to answer poll questions on a variety of topics, which then they can track by the second at Golf Channel has the option to air ongoing results or reveal updates at any given moment.

FEATURES: Throughout the week within Live From THE PLAYERS, Golf Channel will offer in-depth features built around the best stories in golf, both compelling and entertaining:

  • Sergio – one year after a      controversial and disappointing PLAYERS Championship appearance, Sergio      Garcia discusses his subsequent personal journey. Still only 34, Rich      Lerner explores how close Garcia has become to the golfer and the star the      golf world thought he could be 15 years ago.
  • Bubba’s Victor Tour – after capturing his      second green jacket, Masters Champion Bubba Watson takes Golf Channel on      an exclusive, all-access trip to his alma mater – University of Georgia –      his hometown and his high school, among other stops along the way.
  • Norman’s Epic Round – it’s the 20th      anniversary of Norman’s record-breaking round at TPC Sawgrass that won him      THE PLAYERS Championship by eight strokes. Norman and then playing partner      Fuzzy Zoeller remember the day and what it was like conquering Pete Dye’s      architectural masterpiece.
  • Diving 17 – thousands of golf      balls drown in the water surrounding TPC Sawgrass’ famous 17th green every      year, and Matt Ginella takes a dive to discover how these gems are      retrieved.
  • The Fifth Major? – it’s a question asked      every year – should THE PLAYERS Championship be declared a major      championship? This feature examines what constitutes a major and talks to      players about their views on this event.

DIGITAL CONTENT: will feature expanded editorial content during THE PLAYERS Championship week, with up-to-the-minute blogs and fan interaction, including:

  • News & Features writers      will post features throughout the week.
  • Live Chats      editorial staff will host live chats Thursday-Sunday to keep fans      up-to-date and answer their questions as the action unfolds.
  • Exclusive Video Content will      provide video updates daily throughout the week from the network’s digital      studio in Orlando, as well as segments from Golf Channel’s Live From      THE PLAYERS and Morning Drive news coverage.

STREAMING ON GOLF LIVE EXTRA/NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA: All the news and tournament action surrounding THE PLAYERS Championship can be accessed at any time on any mobile device and online through the help of Golf Channel’s Golf Live Extra. Fans also can stream Golf Channel on NBC coverage of live golf with NBC Sports Live Extra.

Live From THE PLAYERS Programming, May 5-11 (all times live ET):

Monday, May 5

Morning Drive                                                                           7-11 a.m.

The Golf Fix                                                                              6-7 p.m.

Live From THE PLAYERS                                                            7-8:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 6

Morning Drive                                                                          7-9 a.m.

Live From THE PLAYERS                                                            9 a.m.-5 pm.

                                                                                               7-9 p.m.

Wednesday, May 7

Morning Drive                                                                         7-9 a.m.

Live From THE PLAYERS                                                          9 a.m.-5 p.m.

                                                                                              7-9 p.m.

Thursday, May 8

Morning Drive                                                                           6-9 a.m.

Live From THE PLAYERS                                                            9 a.m.-1 p.m.

THE PLAYERS Championship                                                     1-7 p.m.

Live From THE PLAYERS                                                            7-9 p.m.

Friday, May 9

Morning Drive                                                                          6-9 a.m.

Live From THE PLAYERS                                                            9 a.m.-1 p.m.

THE PLAYERS Championship                                                    1-7 p.m.

Live From THE PLAYERS                                                           7-9 p.m.

Saturday, May 10

Morning Drive                                                                         6-9 a.m.

Live From THE PLAYERS                                                          9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

THE PLAYERS Championship                                                  12:30-2 p.m. (Golf Channel)

THE PLAYERS Championship Spotlight Coverage                    2-6 p.m. (Golf Channel)

THE PLAYERS Championship                                                  2-7 p.m. (NBC

Live From THE PLAYERS                                                         7-9 p.m.

Sunday, May 11

Morning Drive                                                                        6-9 a.m.

Live From THE PLAYERS                                                         9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

THE PLAYERS Championship                                                 12:30-2 p.m. (Golf Channel)

THE PLAYERS Championship Spotlight Coverage                   2-6 p.m. (Golf Channel)

THE PLAYERS Championship                                                  2-7 p.m. (NBC

Live From THE PLAYERS                                                         7-9 p.m.

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More sun, dry conditions expected early at Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 18, 2018, 9:14 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – An atypically dry Scottish summer is expected to continue this week at The Open.

There’s a possibility of a few showers Thursday and Friday, but otherwise conditions are expected to remain dry with temperatures around 70 degrees and winds in the 15-20 mph range.

The forecast for the opening round at Carnoustie is sunshine with clouds developing later in the day. The high is expected to be around 70 degrees, with winds increasing throughout the day, maxing out at 18 mph.

There’s a chance of rain overnight Thursday and into Friday morning, but it’s not expected to slow down the fiery conditions.

It’s been one of the driest summers in recent memory, leading to fairways that are baked out and fescue rough that is lighter and thinner than in previous years.

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Lincicome grouped with two rookies in Barbasol

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 17, 2018, 9:54 pm

Brittany Lincicome will tee it up with a pair of rookies when she makes her first start in a PGA Tour event Thursday at the Barbasol Championship at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky.

Lincicome, an eight-time LPGA winner, is scheduled to go off the 10th tee at 9:59 a.m. ET in the first round with Sam Ryder, 28, and Conrad Shindler, 29. They’re off the first tee Friday at 2:59 p.m. ET

Lincicome will become just the sixth woman to play in a PGA Tour event, joining Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Michelle Wie.

“The first three or four holes, I’ll be a nervous wreck, for sure,” Linicome said.



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Lincicome thrilled by reception from male pros

By Randall MellJuly 17, 2018, 8:31 pm

Brittany Lincicome wondered how PGA Tour pros would greet her when she arrived to play the Barbasol Championship this week.

She wondered if there would be resentment.

She also wondered how fans at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky., would receive her, and if a social media mob would take up pitchforks.

“I can’t stop smiling,” Lincicome said Tuesday after her first practice round upon arriving. “Everyone has been coming up to me and wishing me luck. That means a lot.”

PGA Tour pro Martin Piller, husband of LPGA pro Gerina Piller, welcomed her immediately.

Other pros sought her out on the practice putting green.

She said she was also welcomed joining pros at a table in player dining.

Fans have been stopping her for autographs.

“It has been an awesome reception,” said Dewald Gouws, her husband, a former long-drive competitor. “I think it’s put her much more at ease, seeing the reception she is getting. There’s a lot of mutual respect.”

Lincicome, 32, wasn’t sure if she would be playing a practice round alone Tuesday morning, but when she made her way to the first tee, Domenico Geminiani was there, just about to go off.

He waved Lincicome over.

“He said, `Hey, Brittany, do you want to join me?’” Gouws said. “Come to find out, Dom’s a pretty cool guy.”

Geminiani made it into the field as a Monday qualifier.

“The two of us were both trying to figure things out together,” Lincicome said.

Keene Trace will play to 7,328 yards on the scorecard. That’s more than 800 yards longer than Highland Meadows, where Lincicome finished second at the LPGA’s Marathon Classic last weekend. Keene Trace was playing even longer than its listed yardage Tuesday, with recent rains softening it.

Nicknamed “Bam Bam,” Lincicome is one of the longest hitters in the women’s game. Her 269.5 yard average drive is 10th in the LPGA ranks. It would likely be dead last on the PGA Tour, where Brian Stuard (278.2) is the last player on the stats list at No. 201.

“I think if I keep it in the fairway, I’ll be all right,” Lincicome said.

Lincicome is an eight-time LPGA winner, with two major championships among those titles. She is just the sixth woman to compete in a PGA Tour event, the first in a decade, since Michelle Wie played the Reno-Tahoe Open, the last of her eight starts against the men.

Lincicome will join Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Wie in the elite ranks.

Zaharias, by the way, is the only woman to make a 36-hole cut in PGA Tour history, making it at the 1945 L.A. Open before missing a 54-hole cut on the weekend.

What are Lincicome’s expectations?

She would love to make the cut, but . . .

“Just going to roll with it and see what happens,” she said. “This is once in a lifetime, probably a one-and-done opportunity. I’m just going to enjoy it.”

Lincicome grew up playing for the boys’ golf team at Seminole High on the west coast of Florida. She won a couple city championships.

“I always thought it would be cool to compete against the guys on the PGA Tour,” Lincicome said. “I tend to play more with the guys than women at home. I never would have gone out and told my agent, `Let’s go try to play in a PGA Tour event,’ but when Tom Murray called with this opportunity, I was really blown away and excited by it. I never in a million years thought I would have this opportunity.”

Tom Murray, the president of Perio, the parent company of Barbasol and Pure Silk, invited Lincicome to accept one of the tournament’s sponsor exemptions. Lincicome represents Pure Silk.

Lincicome said her desire to play a PGA Tour event is all about satisfying her curiosity, wanting to know how she would stack up at this level. She also wants to see if the experience can help take her to the next level in the women’s game.

As a girl growing up, she played Little League with the boys, instead of softball with the girls. She said playing the boys in golf at Seminole High helped her get where she is today.

“The guys were better, and it pushed me to want to be better,” Lincicome said. “I think playing with the guys [on the PGA Tour], I will learn something to take to LPGA events, and it will help my game, for sure.”

Lincicome has been pleased that her fellow LPGA pros are so supportive. LPGA winner Kris Tamulis is flying into Kentucky as moral support. Other LPGA pros may also be coming in to support her.

The warm fan reception Lincicome is already getting at Keene Trace matters, too.

“She’s already picked up some new fans this week, and hopefully she will pick up some more,” Gouws said. “I don’t think she’s putting too much expectation on herself. I think she really does just want to have fun.”

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Stunner: Inbee Park steps aside for Int. Crown

By Randall MellJuly 17, 2018, 4:00 pm

There was a big surprise this week when the LPGA announced the finalized lineups for the UL International Crown.

Rolex world No. 1 Inbee Park won’t be teeing it up for the host South Koreans Oct. 4-7 in Incheon.

She has withdrawn, saying she wanted another Korean to be able to experience the thrill of representing her country.

It’s a stunner given the importance the LPGA has placed on taking the UL International Crown to South Korea and its golf-crazy allegiance to the women’s game in the Crown’s first staging outside the United States.

Two-time major champion In Gee Chun will replace Park.

"It was my pleasure and honor to participate in the first UL International Crown in 2014 and at the 2016 Olympics, and I cannot describe in one word how amazing the atmosphere was to compete as a representative of my country,” Park said. “There are so many gifted and talented players in Korea, and I thought it would be great if one of the other players was given the chance to experience the 2018 UL International Crown.”

Chun, another immensely popular player in South Korea, was the third alternate, so to speak, with the world rankings used to field teams. Hye Jin Choi and Jin Young Ko were higher ranked than Chun but passed because of commitments made to competing in a Korean LPGA major that week. The other South Koreans who previously qualified are So Yeon Ryu, Sung Hyun Park and I.K. Kim.