GOLF CHANNEL TO AIR MORE THAN 40 HOURS OF COVERAGE OF THE ANA INSPIRATION, GOLF’S FIRST MAJOR OF 2019
The LPGA Tour moves to the California Desert next week for golf’s first major championship of 2019, the ANA Inspiration, taking place at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., April 4-7. Featuring more than 40 hours of tournament and news coverage on GOLF Channel throughout the week, the ANA Inspiration field will include each of the top-25 players in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.
“It’s a week that players really look forward to,” said Judy Rankin, Hall-of-Famer and GOLF Channel’s lead LPGA Tour analyst. “I can’t express how important next week is to players, and how hard they work to be prepared for next week. In the world of the LPGA and women’s golf, it is as important as anything that happens.”
40 HOURS OF COMPREHENSIVE TOURNAMENT AND NEWS COVERAGE:
GOLF Channel will air 20 hours of live tournament coverage of the ANA Inspiration. Coverage includes 12 combined hours of early-round coverage on Thursday and Friday – featuring two windows each day to show the morning and afternoon waves – and a combined eight hours of live tournament coverage in primetime Saturday and Sunday. Additionally, a one-hour pro-am special will air on Wednesday in primetime.
Golf Central, the network’s flagship news program, will provide wraparound coverage of the ANA Inspiration throughout the week, highlighted by pre-tournament news conferences on Tuesday and Wednesday (5-6 p.m. ET) from the media center at Mission Hills Country Club. Golf Central also will preview and recap tournament coverage each day with expanded news shows. Morning Drive, GOLF Channel’s daily news show, also will expand to three hours Wednesday-Saturday (7-10 a.m. ET) to include news, highlights and analysis.
BROADCAST TEAM: Calling the action from the broadcast booth will be Terry Gannon and World Golf Hall-of-Famer Judy Rankin. They will rotate with Grant Boone and major champion Karen Stupples during Thursday and Friday coverage. Joining them will be tower analyst Tom Abbott and course reporters Jim Gallagher, Jr. and Jerry Foltz. Stupples also will be on the course when not in the broadcast booth. Lisa Cornwell will conduct interviews and report for Golf Central throughout the week.
Rankin, a 26-time winner on the LPGA Tour including this event in 1976 (then the Colgate-Dinah Shore Winner’s Circle), is entering her 36th year in television and 10th as GOLF Channel’s lead LPGA Tour analyst.
- Wednesday (Pro-Am Show) 11 p.m. – Midnight
- Thursday Noon-4 p.m. / 7-9 p.m.
- Friday Noon-4 p.m. / 7-9 p.m.
- Saturday 5-9 p.m.
- Sunday 5-9 p.m.
SHOWTIME IN PRIMETIME: ANA INSPIRATION CONTINUES WEST COAST SWING
The ANA Inspiration marks the third of the six-event LPGA Tour West Coast swing airing in primetime on GOLF Channel. Following the ANA Inspiration, the second three-week stretch includes the LOTTE Championship in Hawaii, April 17-20 (Wednesday-Saturday); the HUGEL-Air Premia LA Open in Los Angeles, April 25-28; and the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship, May 2-5 in San Francisco.
EXTRAS: New for 2019, GOLF Channel will bring an LPGA Tour player in the field into the broadcast booth to offer insight and perspective during the telecast. Two-time ANA Inspiration champion, Hall-of-Famer and 2019 U.S. Solheim Cup captain Juli Inkster is scheduled to visit GOLF Channel’s booth during Friday’s second-round coverage. In addition, LPGA Tour rookie Anne van Dam will be profiled as part of GOLF Channel’s “Rookie Spotlight” feature. Van Dam is currently making headlines for her length off the tee (292-yard average) and a swing that GOLF Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee has called the best in golf right now.
DIGITAL COVERAGE: GOLF Channel Digital will cover the ANA Inspiration throughout the week with news, highlights and analysis clips from GOLF Channel’s news programs – Golf Central and Morning Drive – as well as highlights from live tournament coverage. GOLF Channel senior writer Randall Mell will report from on-site at Mission Hills throughout the week with daily blogs, features and columns. News and tournament action surrounding the ANA Inspiration can be accessed on any mobile device via the NBC Sports app and online via GOLF Channel Digital.
NBC SPORTS GROUP AIRING 33 LPGA TOUR EVENTS IN 2019, MOST NUMBER OF EVENTS AND HOURS EVER:
NBC Sports Group will combine to televise 33 LPGA Tour events in 2019 – including four of the LPGA Tour’s five majors and the biennial Solheim Cup – featuring more than 430 tournament hours in 2019, the most number of hours in a single year in LPGA Tour history. Nearly 90% of all tournament coverage will be live, highlighted by four of the five major championships. GOLF Channel in 2019 also will air all three days of the Solheim Cup, taking place Sept. 13-15 in Perthshire, Scotland.
For the first time, NBC is bookending the LPGA Tour season, which began at the inaugural Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions in January and concludes with live coverage of the CME Group Tour Championship, the LPGA Tour’s season-ending event in November.