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NBC Sports Announces Coverage Plans for Inaugural Augusta National Women's Amateur

NBC Sports today announced its broadcast teams for the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals. Announced last year, the Augusta National Women’s Amateur is a new, preeminent championship that will showcase the world’s top female amateur golfers competing at Augusta National Golf Club. Preceding the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals, the Augusta National Women’s Amateur serves as an additional prestigious event hosted by Augusta National Golf Club the weekend prior to the Masters. Live coverage of the

Augusta National Women's Amateur will air on NBC from Noon-3 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 6, and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals will air on GOLF Channel from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 7.

“Golf’s future is bright as the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals both take center stage at one of the most iconic venues in sport,” said Mike McCarley, president, GOLF, NBC Sports Group. “We look forward to showcasing historic moments and lasting memories that will inspire young athletes everywhere to dream new dreams. NBC’s rich history in covering women’s sport and our passion for golf, coupled with our ability to reach broad audiences, will help introduce the game to new fans.”

"The Augusta National Women's Amateur is not only ground-breaking, but the event further represents another opportunity for young women today to dream bigger as they set goals to achieve their definition of greatness," said Molly Solomon, EVP of Content and Executive Producer, GOLF Channel. "Our high-quality coverage of both the Augusta National Women's Amateur and Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals will elevate golf's robust pipeline of female amateurs and juniors, highlighting the strength of the game's future from the picturesque setting of Augusta National Golf Club."

NBC SPORTS’ AUGUSTA NATIONAL WOMEN’S AMATEUR BROADCAST TEAM:

Mike Tirico will serve as play-by-play host for both the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and – for the first time – the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals. Tirico has a well-established career of providing coverage from the biggest events in sports, including NBC’s Olympics coverage, Football Night in America, marquee PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour events, The Open, Notre Dame Football and NBC Sports’ inaugural coverage of the Indianapolis 500 this May.

"In different ways, Augusta National has captivated all of us who love the game,” said Tirico. “To see this weekend with the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur and Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals together will undoubtedly inspire young golfers across the country. It will be an honor to join our NBC Sports team, sharing the stories of these golfers making history at one of the world’s most-iconic locations.”

Joining Tirico in the broadcast booth for the Augusta National Women’s Amateur will be NBC Sports golf analysts Paige Mackenzie and Gary Koch. Mackenzie, a three-time All-American at the University of Washington and former top-ranked amateur in the country, currently serves as co-host for GOLF Channel’s Morning Drive daily news program and an analyst for NBC Sports’ LPGA Tour coverage, GOLF Channel’s coverage of the NCAA Golf Championships and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals. Koch, a six-time winner on the PGA TOUR and four-time All-American at the University of Florida, has been a part of NBC Sports’ golf broadcast team for the past 22 years and will be calling golf at Augusta National for the first time.

Kay Cockerill, a two-time U.S. Women’s Amateur champion, and Frank Nobilo, a 15-time winner around the world who also finished T-4 at the Masters in 1996, will be hole announcers for NBC’s coverage of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. Cockerill has been a member of GOLF Channel’s live tournament coverage since 1997, serving as a course reporter and analyst for the network’s LPGA Tour and NCAA golf coverage. Nobilo, a mainstay as one of the network’s lead analysts for live tournament coverage and Golf Central Live From news programs, also has contributed to CBS Sports’ coverage of the Masters for the past four years. Steve Burkowski, GOLF Channel’s college insider who has covered collegiate golf for more than a decade, will deliver news and notes throughout the broadcast alongside NBC Sports’ reporter Steve Sands, who will conduct post-round interviews.

The Augusta National Women’s Amateur is a 54-hole, stroke-play tournament featuring an international field of 72 top female amateur golfers. The first two rounds will take place at Champions Retreat Golf Club (Wednesday and Thursday, April 3-4) near Augusta, Ga. The entire field will play Augusta National for an official practice round on Friday, April 5, and the event culminates with NBC Sports providing three hours of live broadcast coverage of the final round on Saturday, April 6, featuring the top-30 competitors who made the cut.

NBC SPORTS COVERAGE OF THE AUGUSTA NATIONAL WOMEN’S AMATEUR:

  • NBC Sports’ Final Round live coverage:
    • Saturday, April 6, Noon-3 p.m. ET, NBC
  • Comprehensive GOLF Channel news coverage across Morning Drive and Golf Central:
    • Tuesday, April 2: Practice Round (Champions Retreat)
      • Morning Drive and Golf Central on-site reports
    • Wednesday, April 3: First Round (Champions Retreat)
      • Morning Drive and Golf Central on-site reports
      • Live hourly updates throughout the day, including coverage of the first tee shot of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur on Wednesday morning
      • Golf Central Live From Augusta National Women’s Amateur debuts
    • Thursday, April 4: Second Round and playoff, if necessary, for cut to Top-30 competitors (Champions Retreat)
      • Morning Drive and Golf Central on-site reports
      • Live hourly updates throughout the day and playoff coverage, if necessary
    •  Friday, April 5: Practice Round (Augusta National, all 72 competitors) 
      • Golf Central Live From Augusta National Women’s Amateur
      • Morning Drive and Golf Central on-site reports
    • Saturday, April 6: Final Round (Augusta National, Top-30 competitors)
      • Golf Central Live From Augusta National Women’s Amateur
      • Morning Drive and Golf Central on-site reports
  • Golf Central Live From Augusta National Women’s Amateur
    • Wraparound news coverage produced and broadcast on-site from Augusta National Golf Club, hosted by Rich Lerner, Brandel Chamblee and Cockerill, with reports from Sands, Burkowski and GOLF Channel senior writer Ryan Lavner.
    • Wednesday, April 3, 4:30-5 p.m. ET, GOLF Channel
    • Friday, April 5, 10-11:30 a.m. ET, GOLF Channel
    • Saturday, April 6, 10 a.m.-Noon ET, GOLF Channel
    • Saturday, April 6, 3-3:30 p.m. ET, NBC
  •  Digital and Social Coverage
    • Live final round coverage of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur will be streamed via ANWAGolf.com,  as well as GolfChannel.com, the NBC Sports app and GOLF Channel app – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming products for mobile devices, tablets and connected TVs.
    • GOLF Channel’s news coverage of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur on Morning Drive and Golf Central will be streamed live via GOLFChannel.com and the GOLF Channel App.
    • GOLF Channel social media correspondent Alexandra O’Laughlin will contribute to GOLF Channel and NBC Sports’ social media platforms throughout the week from Augusta using #ANWAGolf. Player profiles and behind-the-scenes elements will be posted across GOLF Channel, NBC Sports and Augusta National’s social handles.
    • Journey to Augusta: A four-part digital series that will be posted on the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and GOLF Channel social handles - @ANWAGolf  and @GolfChannel – with behind-the-scenes content from competitors Isabella Fierro, Haylee Harford and Olivia Mehaffey.
    • NBC Sports will integrate social media posts into the final round telecast during live tournament coverage on Saturday, April 6.

2019 DRIVE, CHIP AND PUTT NATIONAL FINALS COVERAGE:

On Sunday, April 7, 80 national finalists representing the United States, Canada and France will convene at Augusta National for the 2019 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals. GOLF Channel will televise live coverage of the event (8 a.m.-1 p.m. ET) for the sixth consecutive year, showcasing the talents of the 40 boys and 40 girls who advanced to the National Finals from more than 350 local and regional qualifying events across all 50 U.S. states. Coverage also will include several dedicated features introducing viewers to those in the field across the eight respective age groups (Boys/Girls 7-9; 10-11; 12-13 and 14-15).

In addition to calling the Augusta National Women's Amateur Saturday, April 6, on NBC, Tirico, Mackenzie, Nobilo and Sands will be a part of GOLF Channel's coverage of the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals on Sunday, April 7. Joining them will be Peter Jacobsen (lead analyst) and Charlie Rymer (on-course reporter). 

The competition will consist of each competitor taking part in the three respective skills: the Drive, Chip and Putt. Participants will accumulate points in each skill, with champions being recognized in each skill across the eight age groups. The participant with the highest number of combined points from all skills will be declared the overall champion for his or her age group. The Drive skill will be contested from Augusta National’s Tournament Practice Area, with the participant’s longest of two drives counting towards their score. Also conducted from the Tournament Practice Area, the Chip skill will include two chips, and the participant’s score will be based on their cumulative proximity to the hole. The Putt skill – staged on Augusta National’s 18th green – will be measured based on finalists’ cumulative proximity to the hole after two different putts.

GOLF Channel’s Morning Drive on Sunday, April 7 will precede the event from 7-8 a.m. ET, with a special focus on those in the field before live competition coverage gets underway at 8 a.m. ET.