New York, N.Y. (Nov. 3, 2009) – The award-winning NBC golf announce team of Mark Rolfing, Gary Koch and Roger Maltbie will provide four hours of weekend coverage Nov. 14-15 of the Second Annual Kiwi Challenge from Cape Kidnappers in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. The event will be televised by NBC in vivid HDTV from 4-6 p.m. (EST) each day.
The event will be played live two days earlier than it will be shown, on Nov. 11-12. Tickets are available at Ticket Direct online at www.ticketdirect.co.nz at $50 (NZD) each. The local New Zealand phone number for Ticket Direct is 0800-4TICKET.
Sky TV will show coverage of the event in New Zealand on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 21-22, beginning at 6 a.m. each day. It will also re-air the program later those days at 5 p.m. and 4 p.m. respectively. Additionally, Sport 3 will carry the two-day event on Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 23-24, at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. respectively.
Rolfing and Maltbie were part of the NBC crew also on hand last year when Hunter Mahan won the $1.5 first prize in the 36-hole made-for-TV event that is sanctioned by the PGA Tour. Anthony Kim also returns, while Sean O’Hair and Camilo Villegas are competing in the event for the first time.
Together, the four are among the best young golfers under age 30. Combined, the group already has eight PGA Tour wins, more than 80 top-10 finishes and more than $40 million in career winnings. The 2009 Kiwi Challenge will offer a $2 million purse and a breathtaking setting that architect Tom Doak used to create a 7,187-yard masterpiece that is ranked 36th in the world by Golf Magazine. It is the fourth highest ranked course opened in the last 50 years!
“It’s one of the most stunning golf courses I have ever seen,” says Rolfing, a resident of Hawaii, where there is no shortage of scenic golf courses.
Rolfing will be the host in the booth along with Koch, who will provide the color commentary. Maltbie will assume his familiar post on the golf course following the players. Steve Williams, a New Zealand native who is better known as Tiger Woods’ caddie, will provide guest segments for NBC on the culture and historic background of New Zealand as well as offer playing strategies for the golf course. However, he will not be able to offer on-course commentary like last year because of his work schedule.
“I am looking forward to again being able to help NBC showcase golf in New Zealand and the beautiful golf course at Cape Kidnappers,” said Williams. “However, since Tiger is playing in the Australian Masters that same week, I think it’s a good idea to be where my boss needs me. Seriously though, I am proud to be part of both worldwide events that are happening here in New Zealand and Australia.”
Veteran television producer Jim Walton Jr. is once again producing the event in conjunction with Pithey Communications. Walton brings more than a quarter-century of television production experience to the event. He most recently produced the Golf Digest U.S. Open Challenge for NBC Sports. He was the coordinating producer for 43 episodes of the series “Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf.” One installment was the 2003 match between Fred Couples and Michael Campbell, filmed at Kauri Cliffs, the sister course to Cape Kidnappers 350 miles to the north. Both resorts are owned by Julian Robertson.
The broadcast will be shown in more than 100 countries, including countries in Latin America and the United Kingdom, China, Hong Kong, India, the Philippines, Malaysia and Canada, as well as New Zealand and Australia.
For more information on the Kiwi Challenge visit www.thekiwichallenge.com.
About the Resort
Cape Kidnappers, located in beautiful Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, is ranked the 36th best golf course in the world by Golf Magazine. The course was built by architect Tom Doak and opened in January 2004, In addition to the scenic and challenging golf course; the resort also includes The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, which offers 26 luxury suites overlooking the golf course, a working sheep farm, and the Pacific Ocean.
Cape Kidnappers, along with sister resort Kauri Cliffs 350 miles to the north, was host to the inaugural Kiwi Challenge in 2008, won by Hunter Mahan. Kauri Cliffs, which was designed by architect David Harman and opened in 2001, is ranked the top International Golf Resort by Golf Magazine. The golf course at Kauri Cliffs is ranked No. 61 in the world.
Both properties were developed by Wall Street financier Julian Robertson, and both are members of Relais and Chateaux. For more information on the Kiwi Challenge, visit www.thekiwichallenge.com. For more information about the individual golf resorts, visit online at www.kauricliffs.com and www.capekidnappers.com.
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