FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

NBC SPORTS GROUP TOURNAMENT AIRTIMES & NOTES (April 2-5): ANA Inspiration; Shell Houston Open; Drive Chip & Putt Championship National Finals

World No. 1 Ko Vying for First Major Title This Week at ANA Inspiration

Spieth, Mickelson Headline the Field at the

Shell Houston Open in Final Tune-up Before the Masters

Golf Channel Kicking off Masters Week by Featuring 80 Junior Golfers Competing in Drive, Chip & Putt Championship National Finals

from Augusta National Golf Club

 

ORLANDO, Fla. (March 31, 2015) – Golf’s first major championship of 2015 gets underway this week, as 17-year-old Lydia Ko – No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings – goes for her first major championship title at the ANA Inspiration. World Golf Hall-of-Famer Annika Sorenstam will serve as a guest lead analyst during the early window of Golf Channel’s first and second round coverage Thursday-Friday. The PGA TOUR is in Texas for the Shell Houston Open, the final event on the schedule before the Masters next week, with Jordan Spieth and Phil Mickelson headlining the field. This Sunday, to kick off Masters Week, Golf Channel will feature live coverage of the 2015 Drive, Chip & Putt Championship National Finals beginning at 8 a.m. ET from Augusta National Golf Club as 80 junior golfers – ages 7-15 – will compete from across the United States and Canada.

 

LPGA TOUR

ANA Inspiration
Dates: April 2-5

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

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):

Thursday         Noon-3 p.m., 6-9 p.m. (Live) / 1-4 a.m. (Friday replay)

Friday              Noon-3 p.m., 6-9 p.m. (Live) / 1-4 a.m. (Saturday replay)

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

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

Broadcast Notes:

Ko goes for record: This week, in addition to trying to claim her first major championship title, Lydia Ko also will attempt to break Annika Sorenstam’s record for most consecutive rounds under par on the LPGA Tour. Ko enters Thursday’s opening round with 28 straight rounds under par, one behind World Golf Hall-of-Famer Annika Sorenstam’s all-time record of 29.

Sorenstam to serve as Golf Channel analyst on Thursday-Friday: 72-time LPGA Tour winner and three-time winner at Mission Hills Country Club, Annika Sorenstam, will join the booth as an analyst during the early window (Noon-3 p.m. ET) of Golf Channel’s first and second round coverage. She will be alongside Terry Gannon and Judy Rankin (Thursday only).

Golf Central special: Ko, Park, Lewis press conferences airing Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET: Golf Channel and Golf Central on Wednesday – beginning at 5 p.m. ET – will feature press conferences with Lydia Ko, Inbee Park and Stacy Lewis from the media center at Mission Hills Country Club.

ANA Inspiration Pro-Am airing Wednesday, 9 p.m. ET: Golf Channel will televise the ANA Inspiration Pro-Am on Wednesday, beginning at 9 p.m. ET, as players make their final preparations for the season’s first major.

­­­­­­­­­­­Thompson defends: Lexi Thompson won by three shots over Michelle Wie for her fourth career LPGA Tour victory, and first major championship.

Headlining the field: Lydia Ko, Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis, Hyo Joo Kim, Shanshan Feng, So Yeon Ryu, Suzann Pettersen, Michelle Wie, Lexi Thompson, Cristie Kerr and Amy Yang.

Golf Channel Broadcast Team:

Play by Play: Terry Gannon

Analyst: Judy Rankin (Thursday-Friday, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday) / Annika Sorenstam (Thursday-Friday, Noon-3 p.m.)

Tower: Tom Abbott

On-Course: Jerry Foltz / Karen Stupples / Phil Parkin

Interviews: Lisa Cornwell

 

PGA TOUR

Shell Houston Open

Dates: April 2-5

Venue: Golf Club of Houston (Tournament Course), 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 event leading into the Masters: 36 players in the field at the Shell Houston Open are in the Masters field, using this week as the final tune-up leading into the year’s first major. The remaining players in the field can gain entry into the Masters only with a win this week.

Jones defends: Matt Jones defeated Matt Kuchar with a chip-in birdie on the first playoff hole for his first career PGA TOUR win.

Headlining the field: Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia, Rickie Fowler, Patrick Reed, Martin Kaymer, Matt Kuchar, Lee Westwood, Bill Haas and Matt Jones.

Golf Channel / NBC Sports Broadcast Team:

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

Analyst: Curt Byrum (Golf Channel) / Johnny Miller (NBC)

Tower: Gary Koch / Mark Rolfing

On-Course: Roger Maltbie / Notah Begay

Interviews: Todd Lewis

 

Drive, Chip & Putt Championship National Finals

Date: April 5

Venue: Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Ga.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):

Sunday            8-9 a.m. (Live, Pre-Game)

9 a.m.-1 p.m. (Live, Tournament Coverage)

Broadcast Notes:

Tournament Field: 80 boys and girls ranging from ages 7-15 years old are in the field, courtesy of local and regional qualifiers throughout the United States and Canada. The boys and girls will compete in separate divisions in four age groups: 7-9, 10-11, 12-13 and 14-15.

Format: Each competitor will participate in the driving and chipping portions of the event on the Augusta National practice range, and the putting portion will be held on the 18th green. Competitors will hit two drives for distance, two chips being evaluated on proximity to the hole, and two putts, also evaluated on proximity to the hole.

Live From the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship coverage begins at 8 a.m. ET: Golf Channel will preview the competition and field with a live, one-hour pre-game show from Augusta National beginning at 8 a.m. ET on Sunday morning, leading into live tournament competition at 9 a.m. ET.

Golf Channel / NBC Sports Broadcast Team:

Play by Play: Rich Lerner

Analyst: Peter Jacobsen

On-Course: Michael Breed / Charlie Rymer / Kay Cockerill

Interviews: Steve Sands / Jimmy Roberts

 

-NBC Sports Group-