FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Golf Channel to Air More Than 20 Hours of Live Coverage of Season’s First Major at Kraft Nabisco Championship in Southern California

 NBC Sports Group to Feature McIlroy, Mickelson at the Shell Houston Open in Final Tune-up before the Masters

Golf Channel to Showcase 88 Junior Golfers in Inaugural Drive, Chip and Putt Championship National Finals from Augusta National Golf Club

ORLANDO, Fla., (April 2, 2014) – Golf Channel will provide more than 20 hours of live coverage of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the LPGA Tour’s first major of the 2014 season. Nine of the top-10 players in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings are in the field after Suzann Pettersen withdrew due to an aggravated disc in her back. World number-one Inbee Park is the defending champion. The PGA TOUR stays in Texas for the Shell Houston Open, with Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson headlining the field in the final event before the Masters gets underway next week. Golf Channel also will televise the inaugural Drive, Chip and Putt Championship National Finals this Sunday from Augusta National Golf Club, with 88 junior golfers competing in the joint initiative between the Masters Tournament Foundation, the USGA and the PGA of America to help promote interest and participation in the game to junior golfers.

LPGA TOUR

Kraft Nabisco Championship
Dates: April 3-6

Venue: Mission Hills Country Club (Dinah Shore Course), Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):

Thursday         Noon-3 p.m. & 6-9 p.m. (Live) / 1-4 a.m. (Replay)

Friday              Noon-3 p.m. & 6-9 p.m. (Live) / 1-4 a.m. (Replay)

Saturday          5-9 p.m. (Live) / 1-5 a.m. (Replay)

Sunday            5-9 p.m. (Live) / 1-5 a.m. (Replay)

Broadcast Notes:

First Major of 2014: The Kraft Nabisco Championship is golf’s first major of 2014. The event dates back to 1972 and possesses a strong history, including the tradition of the winner’s plunge into “Poppie’s Pond” following a victory.

Golf Channel Airing Two Separate, Live Telecast Windows During Rounds 1-2: Golf Channel will offer live coverage on Thursday and Friday in two separate coverage windows; airing from Noon-3 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. ET on both days.

Live Player News Conferences, Wednesday 5 p.m. ET on Golf Channel: Live player news conferences will be shown on Wednesday from 5-6 p.m. ET on Golf Channel as players discuss the first major on their 2014 schedule.

Kraft Nabisco Championship Pro-Am, Wednesday 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel: The tournament’s pro-am will air on Wednesday on 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel, offering a first look inside the ropes as the players make their final preparations leading into Thursday’s opening round.

Park Defends: Inbee Park won by four shots over So Yeon Ryu at last year’s Kraft Nabisco Championship, earning her second career LPGA major championship at the time.

Headlining the Field: Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis, Lydia Ko, Karrie Webb, So Yeon Ryu, Shanshan Feng, Paula Creamer, Lexi Thompson, Anna Nordqvist and Michelle Wie.

Golf Channel Broadcast Team:

Host: Kelly Tilghman

Play by Play: Terry Gannon

Analyst: Judy Rankin

Tower: Tom Abbott

On Course: Karen Stupples / Jerry Foltz / Phil Parkin

PGA TOUR

Shell Houston Open
Dates: April 3-6

Venue: Golf Club of Houston, Humble, Texas

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):

Thursday         3-6 p.m. (Live) / 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (Replay)

Friday              3-6 p.m. (Live) / 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (Replay)

Saturday          1-3 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-1 a.m. (Replay)

Sunday            1-3 p.m. (Live) 10 p.m.-1 a.m. (Replay)

Tournament Airtimes On NBC (Eastern):

Saturday          3-6 p.m. (Live)

Sunday            3-6 p.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:

Final Tune-up to the Masters: Players in the field already qualified for the Masters will use this as a final opportunity to prep for the season’s first major, while those not yet in the field will have one final chance to qualify with a win this week.

Points Defends: D.A. Points finished one shot ahead of Billy Horschel and Henrik Stenson to earn his second career PGA TOUR victory.

Headlining the Field: Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson, Jordan Spieth, Matt Kuchar, Dustin Johnson, Brandt Snedeker, Ernie Els, Jimmy Walker and Steve Stricker.

Golf Channel / NBC Sports Broadcast Team:

Play by Play: Whit Watson (Golf Channel) / Dan Hicks (NBC)

Analyst: Frank Nobilo (Golf Channel) / Johnny Miller (NBC)

Tower: Gary Koch

On Course: Roger Maltbie / Mark Rolfing / Notah Begay

Interviews: Scott Walker

Drive, Chip and Putt Championship National Finals
Date: April 6

Venue: Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Ga.

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):

Sunday            8-9 a.m. (Live, Pre-Game Show) / 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (Live, Tournament Coverage)

Broadcast Notes:

Inaugural Event: The nationwide junior golf skills competition was established by the Masters Tournament Foundation, the USGA and the PGA of America to promote interest and participation in the game of golf.

Tournament Field: 44 boys and 44 girls ranging from 7-15 years old qualified for the inaugural event through 110 local and 11 regional qualifiers throughout the United States. The boys and girls will compete in separate divisions in four age groups: 7-9, 10-11, 12-13 and 14-15.

Format: Each player will compete in the driving and chipping portions of the event on the Augusta National practice range, and the putting portion will be held on the practice putting green and 18th green. Each competitor will hit two drives for distance within a 30-yard fairway, two chips being evaluated on proximity to the hole, and putts from 6, 15 and 30 feet also evaluated on proximity to the hole.

Pre-Game Show: Golf Channel will preview the competition and field with a special live one-hour pregame show beginning at 8 a.m. ET on Sunday morning leading into the live tournament competition at 9 a.m. ET.

Golf Channel Pre Game Coverage Broadcast Team:

Host: Steve Sands / Charlie Rymer / Paige Mackenzie

Golf Channel Tournament Coverage Broadcast Team:

Play by Play: Rich Lerner

Analyst: Peter Jacobsen

On Course: Charlie Rymer / Curt Byrum / Michael Breed / Kay Cockerill

Interviews: Steve Sands

-NBC Sports Group-