Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Justin Thomas Defends at Sony Open in Hawaii, Airing Live and in Primetime on Golf Channel Tour Kicks off 2018 Season with Bahamas Great Exuma Classic, Saturday-Tuesday, Live on Golf Channel

(ORLANDO, Fla.) – World No. 4 Justin Thomas defends at the Sony Open in Hawaii, airing live and in primetime Thursday-Sunday on Golf Channel.

The Tour kicks off its 2018 campaign with the Bahamas Great Exuma Classic beginning Saturday and concluding on Tuesday.

Ernie Els and Charl Schwartzel headline the field in their native country at the BMW South African Open. PGA TOUR Champions and LPGA Tour players will join celebrities spanning the world of sports and entertainment at the Diamond Resorts Invitational, airing Friday-Sunday on Golf Channel.

Two 12-player teams representing Europe and Asia will convene for the third edition of the EurAsia Cup in Malaysia.

Sony Open in Hawaii
Dates: Jan. 11-14
Venue: Waialae Country Club, Honolulu, Hawaii

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern)
Thursday 7-10:30 p.m. (Live) / 2-5 a.m. (Friday replay)
Friday 7-10:30 p.m. (Live) / 1:30-5 a.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday 7-10:30 p.m. (Live) / 2-5 a.m. (Sunday replay)
Sunday 6-10 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)

Golf Central Pre and Post Round Coverage on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 6-7 p.m. / 10:30-11 p.m. (Live)
Friday 6:30-7 p.m. / 10:30-11 p.m. (Live)
Saturday 6:30-7 p.m. / 10:30-11 p.m. (Live)
Sunday 5:30-6 p.m. / 10-11 p.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Mackay to split duties at Waialae: As was announced on Saturday, NBC Sports on-course reporter Jim “Bones” Mackay will fill in as Justin Thomas’ caddie this week at the Sony Open in place of Thomas’ regular caddie Jimmy Johnson who is battling plantar fasciitis. Mackay also will contribute to Golf Channel’s coverage in his familiar on-course reporter role during times when Thomas otherwise isn’t competing during the live telecast.

Thomas defends: Justin Thomas finished seven shots clear of the field to earn his fourth PGA TOUR victory.
Headlining the field: Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Marc Leishman, Xander Schauffele, Brian Harman, Kevin Kisner, Daniel Berger, Si Woo Kim, Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner.

Golf Channel Broadcast Team
- Play by Play: Whit Watson
- Analyst: Frank Nobilo
- Tower: Mark Rolfing / Curt Byrum
- On-Course: Notah Begay / Jerry Foltz / Jim “Bones” Mackay

 Bahamas Great Exuma Classic
Dates: Jan. 13-16
Venue: Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern)
Saturday 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)
Sunday 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (Live)
Monday 2-5 p.m. (Live) / 6-8 p.m. (Replay)
Tuesday 1:30-4:30 p.m. (Live) / 5:30-8 p.m. (Replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Saturday-Tuesday event: First round coverage of the tournament will kick off on Saturday, with the final round scheduled to conclude on Tuesday.

Headlining the field: Cameron Champ, Lee McCoy, Wyndham Clark, Erik Compton, Ken Duke, Max Homa, Jason Gore, Shaun Micheel, Scott Langley and Steve Marino.

Golf Channel Broadcast Team
- Play by Play: Steve Burkowski
- Analyst: Craig Perks
- Tower: Phil Blackmar
- On-Course: Tripp Isenhour / Gary Christian

BMW South African Open
Dates: Jan. 11-14
Venue: Glendower Golf Club, Ekurhuleni, South Africa

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern)
Thursday 3-5 a.m. / 7-10 a.m. (Live) / 5-7 a.m. / Noon-5 p.m. (Replay)
Friday 5-7 a.m. (Tape delay) / 7-10 a.m. (Live)
Saturday 5-9:30 a.m. (Live)
Sunday 5-9:30 a.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Storm defends: Graeme Storm defeated Rory McIlroy on the third playoff hole to claim his second European Tour win.

Headlining the field: Ernie Els, Charl Schwartzel, Branden Grace, Retief Goosen, Dylan Frittelli, Trevor Immelman, Mike Weir, Chris Wood and Graeme Storm.

Golf Channel Broadcast Team
- Host: Mike Ritz
- Play by Play: Dominik Holyer
- Analyst: Denis Hutchinson / Jay Townsend
- On-Course: Paul Eales

Diamond Resorts Invitational
Dates: Jan. 12-14
Venue: Tranquilo Golf Club at Four Seasons Resort Orlando, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern)
Friday 1:30-4:30 p.m. (Live) / 9-11 p.m. (Monday replay)
Saturday 1:30-4:30 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-1 a.m. (Monday replay)
Sunday 1-4 p.m. (Live) / 9-11 p.m. (Tuesday replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Format: The field consists of 28 PGA TOUR Champions and four LPGA Tour players, along with 50 celebrities from the world of sports and entertainment. Each competitor will play their own ball and utilize the same set of tees for 54 holes in a modified stableford format.

Austin, Mulder defend: PGA TOUR Champion Woody Austin and former MLB All-Star Mark Mulder are both in the field this week to defend their 2017 Diamond Resorts Invitational title.
PGA TOUR Champions players in the field: John Daly, Nick Faldo, John Cook, Mark Calcavecchia, Lee Janzen, Woody Austin.

LPGA Tour players in the field: Brooke Henderson, Brittany Lincicome, Brittany Lang, Gerina Piller.
Notable celebrities in the field: Larry Fitzgerald, Jon Lester, Patrick Peterson, Brian McCann, Jeremy Roenick, Mardy Fish, Terry Francona, Chris Harrison, Alfonso Ribeiro, Mark Mulder, Rob Riggle, Brian Urlacher, John Smoltz, Denny Hamlin, Ray Allen and Greg Maddux.

Golf Channel Broadcast Team
- Play by Play: Bob Papa
- Analyst: Lanny Wadkins
- Tower: Tom Abbott
- On-Course: Billy Ray Brown / Karen Stupples
- Interviews: Damon Hack

EurAsia Cup
Dates: Jan. 12-14
Venue: Glenmarie Golf & Country Club (Garden Course), Shah Alam, Malaysia

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern)
Thursday 11 p.m.-2 a.m. (Live)
Friday 11 p.m.-1:30 a.m. (Live)
Saturday 11 p.m.-2 a.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Format: This is the third edition of the biennial competition featuring two 12-man teams representing Europe and Asia. The competition consists of six four-ball matches on Day 1, six foursome matches on Day 2, and 12 single matches on the Final Day.

Europe defends: The European team won in convincing fashion, 18 ½ - 5 ½ two years after the inaugural edition of the event ended in a 10-10 tie.

Team Europe: Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Paul Dunne, Ross Fisher, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Alex Noren, Thomas Pieters, Henrik Stenson, Bernd Wiesberger, Paul Casey, Alexander Levy, captain (non-playing) Thomas Bjorn.

Team Asia: S.S.P. Chawrasia, Gavin Green, Phachara Khongwatmai, Poom Saksansin, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Yuta Ikeda, Anirban Lahiri, Haotong Li, Byeong Hun An, Nicholas Fung, Sung Kang, Hideto Tanihara, captain (non-playing) Arjun Atwal.

Golf Channel Broadcast Team
- Play by Play: Dougie Donnelly
- Analyst: Warren Humphreys / Dom Boulet
- On-Course: Julian Tutt


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