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Second Season of Golf Channel's Driver vs. Driver Original Series Premieres Tueday, Oct. 2 at 9 p.m. ET

By Golf Channel Public RelationsSeptember 26, 2018, 3:30 pm

ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 26, 2018 – Fourteen finalists will present their innovative driver concepts with the hopes of ultimately becoming Wilson Golf’s next world-class driver on the season premiere of Driver vs. Driver 2 presented by Wilson, Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.

“Golfers are passionate about their golf clubs and Driver vs. Driver 2 takes viewers behind the curtain on the design process and ultimately introduces them to Wilson Golf’s newest driver,” said Keith Allo, Golf Channel vice president of original productions. “The uniqueness of this series allows us to introduce viewers to great personalities and showcase the tension and drama of this winner-take-all-competition, with the winning driver concept hitting stores the day after the finale.”

The seven-episode series will air Tuesdays this fall, concluding Nov. 13, where the winner will be awarded a grand prize of $250,000 in cash and a Wilson staff driver inspired by their concept hitting retail stores worldwide the following day, Wednesday, Nov. 14.

Driver vs. Driver 2 will follow the trials and tribulations of these aspiring golf equipment designers in this elimination style television series where they compete for the opportunity to have their concepts transformed into prototypes, field tested, critiqued and refined.

On Tuesday’s premiere episode, the 14 finalists – selected from hundreds of concepts submitted through an open-call submission process – will present their concepts to a panel of celebrity judges:

  • Jeremy Roenick – 9-time National Hockey League (NHL) All-Star and current NHL on NBC hockey analyst. Also an avid golfer with a single-digit handicap and a self-described golf equipment junkie.
  • Rick Shiels – PGA Professional, expert golf equipment reviewer and online golf personality who has nearly 400,000 subscribers and more than 120 million views on his YouTube Channel.
  • Tim Clarke, President of Wilson Golf, who has more than 25 years in the golf industry.

Following the presentations, the judges will deliberate about which finalists’ concepts will advance in the competition. Throughout the seven-episode series, the finalists’ concepts will be field tested and critiqued by some of the game’s best players on the PGA TOUR, celebrities from the field of sports and entertainment, golf industry experts, members of the national golf and sports media, bloggers and social media influencers. Eliminations will take place each week until a winning driver design is crowned on the Nov. 13 finale.

DRIVER VS. DRIVER FINALISTS: The finalists, ages 22-81, are a diverse group from throughout the United States that range from inventors, engineers and product designers to college students, professional bowlers and poker players:

Chris Adams (32, Denver, Colo.) – A consulting structural engineer.

Juan Biancardi (41), Walter Lund (41, Miramar, Fla.) – Biancardi is an art director and graphic designer, and Walter Lunch is a golf instructor and Biancardi’s golf coach.

Hank Boomershine (48), Victor Marion (34, Perry, Utah) –Marion is a designer of bowling balls, and Boomershine is a former competitive bowler.

Jeremy Chell (42, Madison, Wis.) – A mechanical engineer for an aerospace company, Chell develops flight hardware for space vehicles traveling to and from the International Space Station.

Peter Dreyfuss (48, Naples, Fla.) –Peter Dreyfuss is an engineer who picked up the golf bug following great success as a competitive sailor with a national championship on his resume.

Scott Haack (48, Chardon, Ohio) – An inventor, entrepreneur, chiropractic physician and medical device and development professional who has more than 20 years in the medical professional field.

J.D. Hefferin (27, Orlando, Fla.) Hefferin is a real estate analyst, an Orlando Magic employee and a professional poker player.

Evan Hoffman (27, San Diego, Calif.) – An industrial designer who has a deep passion for the game.

Jimmy Huynh (28, Long Beach, Calif). – A finalist from the inaugural season of Driver vs. Driver as part of “Team Long Beach,” Huynh is recent graduate from California State University, Long Beach and earned a degree in industrial design.

Bob Lockhart (81, Big Spring, Texas) – The oldest designer presenting to the judges at 81 years of age, Lockhart’s career has included work in industrial engineering, computer systems and for the past 25 years, product design.

Tim Slama (22, Salem, Ore.) – Slama is a senior at Oregon State University studying mechanical engineering.

Samantha Smith – (22, Las Vegas, Nev.) – A recent graduate from the University of Arizona who is currently working towards her Master’s Degree in Public Health and pursuing her PHD.

Tim Swiss – (38, Carlsbad, Calif.) – An industrial designer who has a deep passion for the game.

Allen Zadeh (50, Brooklyn, N.Y.) – A product designer for over 20 years, Zadeh’s work spans a wide range of industries, from household products to physical and digital consumer electronic experiences.

MELANIE COLLINS TO HOST: Sports broadcaster Melanie Collins returns as the host of Driver vs. Driver 2. Currently a sideline reporter for CBS’ college football and basketball coverage, Collins hosted the inaugural season of Driver vs Driver in 2016 and formerly co-hosted Golf Channel’s competition series, Big Break.

SERIES PRODUCTION: Production for Driver vs. Driver 2 began in the Fall of 2017 and concluded in August, 2018. The series is being produced by Golf Channel, whose portfolio of original productions include the Emmy-nominated interview series Feherty hosted by Emmy-nominated sports personality David Feherty, high-qualityinstruction shows School of Golf, Golf Channel Academy and Playing Lessons, and a slate of award-winning Golf Films productions.

ABOUT DRIVER vs. DRIVER PRESENTED BY WILSON

Driver vs. Driver presented by Wilson debuted in 2016.  The show, from inception, was designed to utilize the power of crowd-sourcing combined with Wilson LABS’ (the innovation hub at Wilson) deep golf experience and expertise to create a world-class golf driver in a way that had never been done before. Driver vs. Driver also was created to infuse new energy and excitement into the golf equipment conversation, open the game of golf to a broader audience and bring highly innovative products to the marketplace, all while educating golfers on how drivers are designed, developed and manufactured. Eric Sillies, an industrial design graduate from the University of Cincinnati, was crowned the winner of Driver vs. Driver’s first season.

ABOUT WILSON SPORTING GOODS:

Chicago-based Wilson Sporting Goods Co., a subsidiary of Amer Sports, is one of the world’s leading manufacturer of sports equipment, apparel and accessories. Wilson Golf is a global leader in high performance golf equipment and uses player insights to design products that push golf innovation into new territories. Through its dedication to creating products that enable athletes at every level to perform at their best, Wilson has earned its place as a leader in sporting goods for over a century.

ABOUT GOLF CHANNEL

Golf Channel is a multimedia, golf entertainment and services company based in Orlando, Fla. Serving the most-affluent audience in all of television, Golf Channel – co-founded by Arnold Palmer in 1995 and now part of NBC Sports Group – is available to nearly 500 million viewers in more than 80 countries and nine languages around the world. Golf Channel features more live golf coverage than all other networks combined, including tournament action from the PGA TOUR, LPGA Tour, The Open, Olympics, and Ryder Cup, as well as high-quality news, instruction and original programming. Delivering unmatched coverage of the world of golf, fans are able to enjoy 24/7 live streaming of Golf Channel content through Golf Channel Digital and the NBC Sports App, powered by Playmaker Media. In addition, Golf Channel connects the world to golf through a wide array of digital and lifestyle services including Golf Channel Mobile, a comprehensive app covering golf’s latest headlines, scores and analysis; GolfNow, the world’s largest online tee time booking platform and golf course technology partner, which includes the GolfNow Mobile App, featuring on-course GPS tracking, in-round scoring and game tracking; Revolution Golf, the largest direct-to-consumer digital platform in golf ; GolfAdvisor.com, the world’s largest golf course ratings and review resource for golfers, by golfers; a North American network of Golf Channel Academy instructional facilities; and Golf Channel Am Tour, the world’s largest amateur golf tour; and as the Official Media Partner of St. Andrews Links, the Home of Golf.

 

-NBC Sports Group-

 

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Davies leads Inkster after Day 1 of Senior LPGA Champ.

By Associated PressOctober 16, 2018, 1:10 am

FRENCH LICK, Ind. - Laura Davies opened with a 4-under 68 despite finishing with two bogeys Monday, giving her a one-shot lead over Juli Inkster after Round 1 of the Senior LPGA Championship.

Davies, who earlier this year won the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open, had a lost ball on the par-5 18th hole on The Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort. She still salvaged a bogey in chilly, windy weather that had the 55-year-old from England bundled up in a blanket between shots.

Inkster, runner-up to Davies at the Senior Women's Open, made eagle on the closing hole for a 69.

Jane Crafter was at 70. Defending champion Trish Johnson opened with a 73.

Temperatures were in the high 40s, but the damp air and wind made it feel even colder.

Inkster made a bogey on the 17th hole by missing the green with a 9-iron.

''As old as I am, I still get made and I crushed that drive on 18,'' said Inkster, who followed with a 3-wood to 15 feet to set up her eagle.

The 54-hole event concludes Wednesday.

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Miller to retire from broadcast booth in 2019

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 15, 2018, 9:14 pm

After nearly 30 years in the broadcast booth, Johnny Miller is ready to hang up his microphone.

Following a Hall of Fame playing career that included a pair of major titles, Miller has become one of the most outspoken voices in the game as lead golf analyst for NBC Sports. But at age 71 he has decided to retire from broadcasting following the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

“The call of being there for my grandkids, to teach them how to fish. I felt it was a higher calling,” Miller told GolfChannel.com. “The parents are trying to make a living, and grandparents can be there like my father was with my four boys. He was there every day for them. I'm a big believer that there is a time and a season for everything.”

Miller was named lead analyst for NBC in 1990, making his broadcast debut at what was then known as the Bob Hope Desert Classic. He still remained competitive, notably winning the 1994 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at age 46, but made an indelible mark on the next generation of Tour pros with his frank and candid assessment of the action from some of golf’s biggest events.

Miller’s broadcasting career has included 20 U.S. Opens, 14 Ryder Cups, nine Presidents Cups, three Open Championships and the 2016 Olympics. While he has teamed in the booth with Dan Hicks for the past 20 years, Miller’s previous on-air partners included Bryant Gumbel, Charlie Jones, Jim Lampley and Dick Enberg.

His farewell event will be in Phoenix Jan. 31-Feb. 3, at a tournament he won in back-to-back years in 1974-75.

“When it comes to serving golf fans with sharp insight on what is happening inside the ropes, Johnny Miller is the gold standard,” said NBC lead golf producer Tommy Roy. “It has been an honor working with him, and while it might not be Johnny’s personal style, it will be fun to send him off at one of the PGA Tour’s best parties at TPC Scottsdale.”

Miller was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1998 after a playing career that included wins at the 1973 U.S. Open at Oakmont and The Open in 1976 at Royal Birkdale. Before turning pro, he won the 1964 U.S. Junior Amateur and was low amateur at the 1966 U.S. Open at Olympic, where he tied for eighth at age 19.

Born and raised in San Francisco, Miller now lives in Utah with his wife, Linda, and annually serves as tournament host of the PGA Tour’s Safeway Open in Napa, Calif.

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Randall's Rant: Tiger vs. Phil feels like a ripoff

By Randall MellOctober 15, 2018, 7:45 pm

Usually, you have to buy something before you feel like you were ripped off.

The wonder in the marketing of Tiger vs. Phil and “The Match” is how it is making so many people feel as if they are getting ripped off before they’ve shelled out a single penny for the product.

Phil Mickelson gets credit for this miscue.

Apparently, the smartest guy in the room isn’t the smartest marketing guy.

He was a little bit like that telemarketer who teases you into thinking you’ve won a free weekend getaway, only to lead you into the discovery that there’s a shady catch, with fine print and a price tag.

There was something as slippery as snake oil in the original pitch.

In Mickelson’s eagerness to create some excitement, he hinted back during The Players in May about the possibility of a big-money, head-to-head match with Woods. A couple months later, he leaked more details, before it was ready to be fully announced.

So while there was an initial buzz over news of the Thanksgiving weekend matchup, the original pitch set up a real buzzkill when it was later announced that you were only going to get to see it live on pay-per-view.

The news landed with a thud but no price tag. We’re still waiting to see what it’s going to cost when these two meet at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, but anything that feels even slightly inflated now is going to further dampen the original enthusiasm Mickelson created.

Without Woods or Mickelson putting up their own money, this $9 million winner-take-all event was always going to feel more like a money grab than real competition.

When we were expecting to see it on network or cable TV, we didn’t care so much. Tiger's and Phil’s hands would have felt as if they were reaching into corporate America’s pockets. Now, it feels as if they’re digging into ours.

Last week, there was more disappointing news, with the Las Vegas Review-Journal reporting that tickets won’t be sold to the public, that the match at Shadow Creek will only be open to select sponsors and VIPs.



Now there’s a larger insult to the common fan, who can’t help but feel he isn’t worthy or important enough to gain admittance.

Sorry, but that’s how news of a closed gate landed on the heels of the pay-per-view news.

“The Match” was never going to be meaningful golf in any historical sense.

This matchup was never going to rekindle the magic Tiger vs. Phil brought in their epic Duel at Doral in ’05.

The $9 million was never going to buy the legitimacy a major championship or PGA Tour Sunday clash could bring.

It was never going to be more than an exhibition, with no lingering historical significance, but that was OK as quasi silly-season fare on TV on Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 23), the traditional weekend of the old Skins Game.

“The Match” still has a chance to be meaningful, but first and foremost as entertainment, not real competition. That’s what this was always going to be about, but now the bar is raised.

Pay per view does that.

“You get what you pay for” is an adage that doesn’t apply to free (or already-paid for) TV. It does to pay per view. Expectations go way up when you aren’t just channel surfing to a telecast. So the higher the price tag they end up putting on this showdown, the more entertaining this has to be.

If Phil brings his “A-Game” to his trash talking, and if Tiger can bring some clever repartee, this can still be fun. If the prerecorded segments wedged between shots are insightful, even meaningful in their ability to make us understand these players in ways we didn’t before, this will be worthwhile.

Ultimately, “The Match” is a success if it leaves folks who paid to see it feeling as if they weren’t as ripped off as the people who refused to pay for it. That’s the handicap a history of free golf on TV brings. Welcome to pay-per-view, Tiger and Phil.

Celia Barquin Arozamena Iowa State University athletics

Trial date set for drifter charged with killing Barquin Arozamena

By Associated PressOctober 15, 2018, 7:28 pm

AMES, Iowa – A judge has scheduled a January trial for a 22-year-old Iowa drifter charged with killing a top amateur golfer from Spain.

District Judge Bethany Currie ruled Monday that Collin Richards will stand trial Jan. 15 for first-degree murder in the death of Iowa State University student Celia Barquin Arozamena.

Richards entered a written not guilty plea Monday morning and waived his right to a speedy trial. The filing canceled an in-person arraignment hearing that had been scheduled for later Monday.

Investigators say Richards attacked Barquin on Sept. 17 while she was playing a round at a public course in Ames, near the university campus. Her body was found in a pond on the course riddled with stab wounds.

Richards faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.