90-Minute Live Special on Golf Channel to Originate from Hotel Van Zandt in
Austin, with Bracket Drawn Before Live Audience to Reveal 64-Man Field
NBC Sports Group Tournament Coverage to Feature Nearly 35
Live Hours of Matches on Golf Channel and NBC, March 22-26
Heather Cox Making Golf Channel Debut in World
Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play
ORLANDO, Fla. (March 15, 2017) – Four of the top players in the world, Rory McIlroy (No. 3), Jordan Spieth (No. 6), Justin Thomas (No. 7) and Paul Casey (No. 15) are scheduled to join the live World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play Bracket Special on Monday, March 20 at 7:30 p.m. ET on Golf Channel. The 90-minute live primetime special will originate from Hotel Van Zandt in Austin, Texas, and feature golf’s own version of a March bracket-style tournament selection format under the guidance of PGA TOUR competition officials.
Being staged at Austin Country Club Wednesday-Sunday, March 22-26, the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play 64-man field will learn their match opponents for round-robin play (Wednesday-Friday) during Monday night’s special from inside Hotel Van Zandt’s Ladybird Ballroom. The show also will feature several special guests taking part in the selection process, including:
- World Golf Hall of Fame members Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite
- Texas Governor Greg Abbott
- Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dell Technologies, Michael Dell
- Award-winning actor Luke Wilson
- Current University of Texas head football coach Tom Herman
- Former University of Texas head football coach Mack Brown
- Former University of Texas quarterback Colt McCoy
Ryan Burr will host the show, with Brandel Chamblee and Tim Rosaforte offering insight and analysis on the field as each group is unveiled. Todd Lewis and Cara Robinson will conduct interviews with players in the field. The special also will showcase Little Hurricane, who will add some authentic rock and blues music flavor to the Ladybird Ballroom.
The top seed for each of the 16 four-player groups will be filled by the top 16 players in the field by order of their position in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR). Subsequently, the remaining three players in each group will be determined by a blind draw from three separate pools based on each player’s overall standing in the OWGR. Each group will play round-robin matches within their group Wednesday through Friday. The player with the best record in each group advances to the Round of 16 for single-elimination match play.
Below is an example of how the seeding process could play out next Monday:
No. 1-ranked Dustin Johnson would be the No. 1 seed in the tournament given his standing in the OWGR. He would be the No. 1 seed in group 1.
The final three spots in his group would be randomly drawn from the pools below:
Pool B – Players seeded 17-32
Pool C – Players seeded 33-48
Pool D – Players seeded 49-64
Group 1 example
Player A – Dustin Johnson (Ranked No. 1)
Player B – Russell Knox (Ranked No. 21)
Player C – Martin Kaymer (Ranked No. 44)
Player D – Jhonattan Vegas (Ranked No. 59)
As the show progresses, completed groups will be posted live to PGATOUR.COM and fans will be able to follow analysis and commentary throughout the draw. A live stream of the show will also be available on Golf Channel Digital, the PGA TOUR mobile app and on PGATOUR.com.
Live Tournament Coverage: Wednesday-Sunday, March 22-26
NBC Sports Group will feature nearly 35 live hours of tournament coverage from the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. Golf Channel will carry live coverage of round robin matches Wednesday-Friday, March 22-24. On Saturday, March 25, Golf Channel will provide coverage of the Round of 16, followed by the Quarterfinals matches airing on NBC. On Sunday, March 26, Golf Channel will showcase the Semifinals matches, followed by the Championship and Consolation matches airing on NBC.
The tournament broadcast team will include Terry Gannon and Nick Faldo (Golf Channel), along with Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller (NBC) positioned in the 18th tower. For telecasts on both networks, Gary Koch and Peter Jacobsen will report from tower positions, while Roger Maltbie, David Feherty, Mark Rolfing, Notah Begay and Steve Sands will follow the matches on the ground as on-course reporters.
NBC Sports Reporter Heather Cox to Make Golf Channel Debut
Heather Cox, who joined NBC Sports Group on a full-time basis at the 2016 Rio Olympics, will make her Golf Channel debut at the Dell Technologies Match Play, as a reporter for Golf Central, alongside Lewis. Cox, a reporter on multiple high-profile sports properties and events over the past two decades, also will serve as a reporter for Golf Central at Zurich Classic of New Orleans in April.
WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Airtimes (all times Eastern):
Monday, March 20
WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Bracket Special 7:30-9 p.m. Golf Channel
Wednesday, March 22
Day One – Round Robin 2-8 p.m. Golf Channel
Thursday, March 23
Day Two – Round Robin 2-8 p.m. Golf Channel
Friday, March 24
Day Three – Round Robin 2-8 p.m. Golf Channel
Saturday, March 25
Round of 16 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Golf Channel
Quarterfinals 2-6 p.m. NBC
Sunday, March 26
Semifinals 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Golf Channel
Championship and Consolation Matches 3-7 p.m. NBC
-NBC Sports Group-