Monday, October 09, 2006

Golf Channel announces PGA Tour line-up

This announcement just in from the Golf Channel regarding its on-air talent line-up for next year...

Kelly Tilghman to Make History as First Female Announcer

ORLANDO, Fla. (Oct. 9, 2006) – A wealth of experience and a variety of talents unmatched in the world of televised golf will comprise The Golf Channel’s broadcast team when the network’s PGA TOUR tournament telecasts commence in 2007, with members including six-time major championship winner Nick Faldo and the first, full-time female play-by-play golf commentator in the history of television, Kelly Tilghman.

With every PGA TOUR official money event either beginning or airing in its entirety on The Golf Channel, the 10-person team will handle a full slate of 43 official events in 2007, including the first three events of the year. Viewers will first see members of the team in action on Jan. 4 during the first round of the Mercedes-Benz Championship from Hawaii.

“A team of Golf Channel professionals – who have lived and breathed golf for more than 10 years and understand its traditions – former players and seasoned golf broadcasters makes for quite an impressive lineup,” said Golf Channel Executive Producer Tony Tortorici.

Tilghman, a former touring professional who has been with The Golf Channel since its inception and has worked her way up through a variety of roles to become one of the network’s most popular on-air personalities, will pair with Faldo in the announce booth during the first three events of 2007. The other two events include the Sony Open and the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. The Golf Channel announced the addition of Faldo as its lead PGA TOUR analyst in July.

“I’m excited about this opportunity for many reasons, and I can’t wait to get things started,” said Tilghman. “All of us are looking forward to 2007.”
The complement of talent, who are expected to play a variety of on-air roles throughout the year, will include:

Peter Oosterhuis, who in 1995 paired with Renton Laidlaw to host the Dubai Desert Classic – the first golf tournament ever televised on The Golf Channel – will continue as a Golf Channel mainstay and will don several hats, including 17th tower analyst and supporting the network’s ample offering of studio shows surrounding its golf coverage.

Mark Rolfing, who has served as host for Champions Tour events on The Golf Channel, will reprise that role for numerous PGA TOUR events during the FedExCup season. With intimate knowledge of Hawaii golf, he also will serve as a tower analyst for both the Mercedes-Benz Championship and Sony Open.

Dottie Pepper will be expanding her tournament role with The Golf Channel. Already lead analyst for the network’s LPGA Tour telecasts, she will serve as an on-course reporter for a select number of events, beginning with the Mercedes-Benz Championship and the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.

Rocco Mediate, current player and five-time PGA TOUR champion, will serve as an on-course reporter. Other than through his tournament play, Golf Channel viewers have enjoyed Mediate’s personable and entertaining manner as a featured player on the network’s popular Playing Lessons With the Pros and Personal Lessons series.

Rich Lerner, ever-versatile and, along with Tilghman, one of The Golf Channel’s long-time cast, will assume several roles. He will provide play-by-play commentary for select tournaments and, as show host, he will set the scene for viewers at the beginning of PGA TOUR telecasts, as well as conducting player interviews and delivering his signature essays.

Frank Nobilo, who has lent his valuable expertise to The Golf Channel as former player with 14 worldwide wins, will serve as an analyst for select FedExCup season and Fall Series events. He also will continue to contribute as lead analyst for the network’s Champions Tour telecasts, as well as studio shows.

Jerry Foltz will supplement his duties as lead on-course reporter for The Golf Channel’s Nationwide Tour telecasts and contribute in the same capacity for the first three PGA TOUR events of 2007, as well as other select events for the balance of the season.

Steve Sands, who has been a Golf Central reporter for PGA TOUR events, will continue in that role, but will become part of the network’s Thursday and Friday telecasts conducting player interviews. He also will contribute to studio programs while covering tournament play.

During early-round, Thursday-Friday telecasts on The Golf Channel, the network also will incorporate the talents of CBS and NBC golf commentators into their team of broadcasters, making the overall mix of personalities seen on The Golf Channel a great combination of all the networks televising golf.

"The PGA TOUR is delighted with the strong talent team that The Golf Channel has assembled for TOUR telecasts next year," said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. "As the TOUR enters a new era in golf beginning in January, we're confident that The Golf Channel will offer compelling coverage of PGA TOUR events throughout the FedExCup season and the Fall Series.”

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