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Rickie Fowler and NBC Sports Group Collaborate on Four-Part Docu-Series Driven: Oklahoma State Cowboys, Premiering Monday, May 7 on Golf Channel

By Golf Channel Public RelationsApril 11, 2018, 2:00 pm

Driven Captures No.1 Ranked Oklahoma State’s Historic National Championship Run, and is Executive Produced by Rickie Fowler’s Main Event Productions;

Written and Produced by 20-Time Emmy-Winner Ollie Stokes

 Preview:Driven Trailer

Driven Website: Driven Website

 ORLANDO, Fla., April 11, 2018 – NBC Sports Group is teaming up with PGA TOUR superstar Rickie Fowler to give viewers a dramatic behind-the-scenes look into Fowler’s alma mater in a four-part documentary series – Driven: Oklahoma State Cowboys. NBC Sports will showcase Driven across its networks: with 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, recapping their historic season culminated by their run at a potential 11th national championship for the program. The announcement was made today by Fowler, executive producer of Driven and his Main Event Productions, and Mike McCarley, president, Golf, NBC Sports Group.

“As a proud Oklahoma State alum, Driven is a passion project of mine. I consider Stillwater my home away from home and I am excited to not only showcase my alma mater, but also provide fans with the unique insider perspective of what college golf represents,” said Rickie Fowler, executive producer, Main Event Productions. “With the Cowboys embarking on a record-setting year, our arch-rival Oklahoma Sooners as the reigning national champions and the NCAA National Championships being staged at OSU’s home course at Karsten Creek, we couldn’t have picked a better year to shine a spotlight on this storied rivalry and the unique team drama that fuels not only my beloved Cowboys, but also the tremendous stage of collegiate golf.”

Embedded for the duration of the 2017-18 season, Driven: Oklahoma State Cowboys will showcase the personal and competitive journey of the Oklahoma State men’s golf team, which is currently the unanimous No. 1 ranked team in the nation and riding a historic seven-tournament winning streak. This May, Oklahoma State also will be host of the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Golf National Championships at their home course, Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. Adding to the drama, the Oklahoma Sooners, in addition to being the Cowboys’ in-state rival just 80 miles away in Norman, Okla., are the reigning NCAA National Champions and participated in the production of Driven.

“The rivalry and traditions of college sports are unmatched, and those same passions run deep in college golf. Rickie is a leader on the PGA TOUR in many ways, and his signature Sunday orange coupled with Pistol Pete proudly displayed on his bag embody the passion he exudes for his Cowboys,” said Mike McCarley, president, Golf, NBC Sports Group. “Rickie absolutely is the right partner for us to join forces with as we shine a spotlight and further elevate college golf, especially leading up to Golf Channel’s comprehensive coverage of the NCAA national championships this May.”

Driven will span Oklahoma State’s 2017-18 college golf season both on and off the golf course. Experiencing one of its best years in program history with eight victories in nine events this year, the team’s current run includes 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.

“It’s a credit to the history of the Oklahoma State golf program that Golf Channel chose to feature our team and this exciting season in their new series Driven,” said Alan Bratton, Oklahoma State men’s golf head coach. “We hope we make former coach Labron Harris, Athletic Director Mike Holder, all our former players and our supporters proud of how we represent them on and off the course through this series.”

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.

“Oklahoma State’s historic win streak as they look to dethrone their top rival Oklahoma has been playing out like a true Field of Dreams story as the Cowboys seek their 11th national championship at their home course this May,” said Stokes. “Driven showcases that same inherent passion Rickie has for his college, but what makes this show unique is we’ve captured that drama within the setting of golf, an often overlooked and underappreciated aspect of both college sports and the game of golf.”

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 Men’s and Women’s Division I Golf National Championships and 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: 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        9 p.m. ET        Golf Channel

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

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Stricker leads in hometown event; Daly three back

By Associated PressJune 22, 2018, 10:11 pm

MADISON, Wis. – Steve Stricker made himself at home at the top of the leaderboard on a rainy and breezy Friday at the American Family Insurance Championship.

The hometown star and tournament host shot an 8-under 64 at University Ridge to take a one-stroke lead over Brad Bryant in the PGA Tour Champions event. Because of the wet conditions, the players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls in the fairways.

John Daly, Colin Montgomerie and Steve Flesch shot 67. Daly returned from a knee injury that sidelined him for three events.

Splitting time between the PGA Tour and the 50-and-over circuit, the 51-year-old Stricker had his 30th consecutive Champions round under par, the fourth-longest streak in tour history.

Stricker won in Arizona and Mississippi in consecutive starts in May for his first senior victories. The 12-time PGA Tour winner played the big tour the last two weeks, tying for 18th in Memphis and tying for 20th in the U.S. Open.

Fellow Madison player Jerry Kelly and Illinois coach Mike Small, Stricker's teammate with the Illini, were at 68 with Bernhard Langer, Scott Verplank, Jeff Sluman, Glen Day, Billy Mayfair, Doug Garwood, Jerry Smith and Rocco Mediate. Defending champion Fred Couples had a 69.

Stricker played alongside Vijay Singh and Davis Love III. Singh shot 81, and Love 72.

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Aphibarnrat keeps promise to M. Jutanugarn

By Randall MellJune 22, 2018, 9:25 pm

Moriya Jutanugarn was inspired by a special fan Friday who kept a promise to her.

She will be looking to use that boost to make this a memorable new chapter in the Jutanugarn “Sisters Act” story.

Three weeks after Ariya won the U.S. Women’s Open for her second victory in 2018, Mo is in early position in Rogers, Ark., to join her sister as the tour’s only two-time winners this year.

Mo put up a 7-under-par 64 to get into early contention at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. She was tied for the lead among the morning wave with Aditi Ashok, who is looking to inspire the entire nation of India by winning a first LPGA title for her homeland. Lizette Salas and Mirim Lee also shot 64s in the early wave.


Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship


Moriya got in contention with PGA Tour pro Kiradech Aphibarnrat in the gallery following her. A fellow Thai, Aphibarnrat promised Mo he would come watch her if she won an LPGA title. She broke through for her first victory in April at the Hugel-JTBC LA Open, and Aphribarnrat lived up to his promise showing up this week.

“He's like my brother, and it’s very nice to see him,” Moriya said. “Really happy for him, as well, because he is having a very good year this year.”

At the Masters, Ariya caddied for Aphibarnrat during the Par 3 Contest.

Aphibarnrat said he is a big fan of the Thai sisters and also planned to watch Ariya in the afternoon.

“They inspire me,” Aphibarnrat told LPGA media official Christina Lance after the round.

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Two-time champ Bubba fires 63 at Travelers

By Will GrayJune 22, 2018, 7:20 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Amid a resurgent season that has already included a pair of wins, it only makes sense that Bubba Watson is back in contention at the Travelers Championship.

TPC River Highlands has been one of Watson’s favorite haunts over the years; it’s a layout where the southpaw’s creative approach is often rewarded. This is where he burst into tears after earning his first PGA Tour victory in 2010, and this is where he beat Paul Casey in a playoff to again lift the trophy in 2015.

He’ll once again have a late weekend tee time after firing a 7-under 63 during the second round, tying the low score of the week and moving to within three shots of Brian Harman’s 10-under total.

“Little bit less wind, little more confidence on the ball-striking, and I made putts,” Watson said. “The key is making putts. When you start making putts, that’s where you’re going to score a decent number.”


Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


Watson was well down the standings after opening with an even-par 70, a round that included three bogeys in a four-hole stretch on the back nine to negate progress he had made earlier in the day. But he ran into no such struggles the second time around, adding six birdies to an eagle on the par-5 13th hole when he hit his approach shot from 229 yards to within 18 inches of the hole.

The difference, according to Watson, was between the ears.

“Yesterday I was just thinking about some negative stuff instead of focusing on my target and focusing on the shot at hand,” Watson said. “I was focusing on hitting to the bunker, or focusing on, ‘Water is over here, so hit it over here.’ Just things like that, just things that you can’t do around the golf course.”

Watson was also a runner-up in 2012 here in addition to his two wins, and he has racked up nearly $3.5 million in earnings in 11 prior appearances. Once again thinking the right thoughts on one of his favorite tracks, he’s potentially 36 holes away from his third win since February.

“Obviously around here I feel pretty comfortable,” Watson said. “I can hit some shots around here, and I’ve made it work throughout some of the years.”

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Only putting is holding McIlroy back

By Will GrayJune 22, 2018, 6:48 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Through two rounds of the Travelers Championship, the tee shots are towering and the approaches are accurate for Rory McIlroy. Now he just needs the putter to heat up.

McIlroy started to show signs of life during the second round last week at Shinnecock Hills before missing the cut, and after putting in some extra work honing his swing over the weekend, his tee-to-green game is worth boasting about at the halfway point at TPC River Highlands.

McIlroy has missed only five greens in regulation through two rounds, barely breaking a sweat en route to rounds of 64 and 69 that left him at 7 under. He’s within striking distance heading into the weekend, three shots behind Brian Harman, but might be topping the standings with a more cooperative putter.


Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


“I felt like I left a few out there,” McIlroy said. “I felt like I had a lot of good putts that just didn’t go in. I started them on line, did everything I needed to do, and it’s just one of those days where they were sliding by the edges.”

McIlroy took 32 putts to complete his second round, including a three-putt on No. 7 for his only bogey of the day and another three-putt on No. 13 that turned an eagle opportunity into a par. Already with a win under his belt this year at the Arnold Palmer Invitational when he knocked in putts from all directions during a final-round 64, McIlroy feels confident that he might be only a few rolls away from having another shot to contend in his second career trip to the Hartford-area stop.

“I think if I can put the ball in the fairway and hit my irons as good as I have been over the first couple of days, I’ll give myself a lot of chances for birdies,” McIlroy said. “It’s just about converting them and taking the opportunities when they present themselves.”