Saturday, August 30, 2014

NBC Sports Group’s ‘Road to the Ryder Cup’ Begins Sunday

U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson & Europe Captain Paul McGinley’s Picks to Air Live on Golf Channel, Sept. 2

(ORLANDO, Fla.) – With anticipation building for the 2014 Ryder Cup, NBC Sports Group on Sunday will begin an unprecedented, month-long slate of Ryder Cup-themed programming leading into the Friday, Sept. 26 through Sunday, Sept. 28 matches from Gleneagles in Scotland.NBC and Golf Channel will take viewers inside the ropes for a look at everything that makes this event one of the most compelling in sports when the three-part series, Road to the Ryder Cup, premieres Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC, with replays of each episode airing on Golf Channel.

On Tuesday, Europe Captain Paul McGinley will announce his captain’s picks live on Golf Channel during Morning Drive (7-10 a.m. ET). And later that night in primetime, U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson’s Captain’s Picks press conference will air before an audience of fans and invited international media at NBC’s famed Studio 8H, the home to Saturday Night Live for nearly 40 years at NBC’s “30 Rock” headquarters. Coverage begins at 6 p.m. ET with an hour-long special edition of Golf Central, hosted by Rich Lerner and featuring invited guests, who will break down the current roster and analyze the potential picks available to Watson. This will be followed by live coverage of the PGA of America’s press conference with Watson and live via satellite interviews with his three additions to the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup team.

Road to the Ryder Cup
Golf Channel on NBC on-course reporter Mark Rolfing, who will be working his 12th Ryder Cup since his debut event at the famous “War by the Shore” in 1991, serves as host of the Road to the Ryder Cup series that will feature in-depth conversations with golf’s most influential Ryder Cup players, recount some of the Ryder Cup’s most incredible stories and introduce viewers to Gleneagles where USA and Europe will compete for pride and country.

"This series is truly a look behind the curtain with some of the highest profile Ryder Cup personalities – the Captains Tom Watson and Paul McGinley; the players, Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter and Keegan Bradley – and even Tiger Woods and “His Airness,” himself, Michael Jordan,” said Rolfing. “I think people will be surprised by what they will see and hear in this Road to the Ryder Cup.”

- Episode 1
Sunday, Aug. 31, 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC
Wednesday, Sept. 3, 6:30 p.m. ET on Golf Channel
Rolfing begins the series by explaining everything fans need to know about the Ryder Cup, and soon segues into telling one of the most amazing stories in recent Ryder Cup history. The incredible European comeback in 2012 at Medinah Country Club just may have been influenced by one of the greatest athletes of our generation, Michael Jordan. A huge Ryder Cup fan, Jordan was brought in by U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III to help motivate his team, but his actions, instead, may have motivated Ian Poulter, who has become known over the years as a Ryder Cup force for the Europeans. As Saturday’s afternoon matches were underway, the Americans were dominating on the scoreboard, and Poulter and playing partner Rory McIlroy were facing Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson in a must-win match. Jordan, sensing this match could turn the tide for the Europeans, followed the group and verbally taunted Poulter along the way, even going as far as poking him in the chest. In a rare sit-down interview, Jordan tells the tale of the battle inside the battle, which, ultimately, was won by Poulter (Video Sneak Preview). Later in the episode, Tiger Woods tells Rolfing what it’s like to miss another Ryder Cup due to injury and what he thinks are the keys to a U.S. victory.

- Episode 2
Sunday, Sept. 7, 1:30 p.m. ET on NBC
Wednesday, Sept. 10, 6:30 p.m. ET on Golf Channel
Known for his candid commentary, Golf Channel on NBC analyst Johnny Miller sits down with Rolfing to discuss the U.S. and European Ryder Cup Teams. Who made it and who didn’t, and what fans can expect from their renewed rivalry.   Then, Rolfing will meet with U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson in New York City – just hours after making his three picks to complete his 12-man roster – to get the golfing legend’s take on the tough decisions that had to be made and why he thinks he has the right team to win back the Ryder Cup. World No. 1 Rory McIlroy explains how another Ryder Cup victory will cap off what has already become for him one of the greatest in golf history.

- Episode 3
Wednesday, Sept. 17, 6:30 p.m. ET on Golf Channel
Sunday, Sept. 21, 1:30 p.m. ET on NBC
Rolfing introduces the men who will lead their teams into competition: Tom Watson for the USA and Paul McGinley for Europe. Then, the show will take a look at the 2014 rookies for both sides, including Jordan Spieth and Jimmy Walker for the USA, and Victor Dubuisson for Europe, and what they have to do to contribute to the success of their teams. And wrapping up the series, Road to the Ryder Cup will showcase Gleneagles and its Centenary Course, which will serve as the competition grounds for the 2014 Ryder Cup.

2014 Ryder Cup Coverage on Golf Channel and NBC
NBC and Golf Channel will provide live coverage of the 2014 Ryder Cup from Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland, Friday, Sept. 26 through Sunday, Sept. 28. This will mark the first European-hosted event to be televised live in its entirety in the United States. Earlier this year, Golf Channel acquired the exclusive Ryder Cup telecast rights in North America for Friday’s matches, which will be the first time the network has provided live coverage of this event. Both networks combined will air 26.5 hours of live golf – the most ever for a European-hosted event – from the opening tee shot on Friday through the final putt on Sunday. Live from the Ryder Cup and Morning Drive also will showcase all the news surrounding the Ryder Cup, offering more than 50 combined hours of live coverage, Monday, Sept. 22 through Sunday, Sept. 28.

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