“Global Golf Adventure” & “Golf Therapy: Life, Lessons and the Pursuit of Par” to air before Senior Open coverage on Saturday and Sunday
NEW YORK – July 29, 2010 – Fred Couples, Tom Watson and Senior British Open champion Bernhard Langer lead an impressive field at the 2010 U.S. Senior Open from Sahalee Country Club in Seattle, Wash., this Saturday and Sunday from 4-7 p.m. ET live on NBC Sports.
Host Dan Hicks and analyst Gary Koch anchor coverage from the 18th hole tower. They are joined by tower reporter Mark Rolfing, and course reporters Roger Maltbie and Dottie Pepper.
Couples, a Seattle native in his rookie year on the Champions Tour, has played nine events this year with three wins, two second-place finishes and seven Top 10s. Watson has a win and three Top 10s this year in six appearances. Langer won this past week’s Senior British Open and propelled himself into first place on the points list. The field includes other popular Champions Tour players, including: Tom Lehman, who won the Senior PGA Championship earlier this year; U.S. Ryder Cup team captain Corey Pavin, who finished second to Langer last week at the Senior British; and defending champion Fred Funk.
This is the U.S. Senior Open’s first trip to Sahalee Country Club, rated one of the top 100 courses in America. Sahalee, which means “High Heavenly Ground”, opened in 1969 among the tall majestic Cedar and Douglas Fir native to the Pacific Northwest. The club hosted the 1998 PGA Championship and the 2002 World Golf Championship-NEC invitational.
ROLFING ON U.S. SENIOR OPEN: “It’s the most important event in senior golf. When you talk to players about the one more event that that they want to win, almost to a man it’s this event.”
ROLFING ON FAVORITES: “The travel schedule from last week in Scotland to this week in the Pacific Northwest is going to be difficult. It’s a real test of stamina, both physical and mental. Experienced players will benefit. Tom Watson comes to mind. He’s been through so much…I see this more as a ball-striking week than a putting week. The course favors a player like Fred Funk.”
ROLFING ON SAHALEE: “It’s a big course. You will hear shots echoing through the course when balls bounce off the trees. It’s pretty unique. People are going to have trouble comprehending that this is a senior golf event. It’s going to feel like a U.S. Open, not a U.S. Senior Open. It will have a big event feel to it. You’re going to have to drive the ball well. It’s not a course you can really overpower. I expect experience and veteran players rising to the top by Sunday.”
Prior to its U.S. Senior Open coverage on Saturday and Sunday, NBC Sports will air two golf specials. On Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports will air the third installment of Global Golf Adventure hosted by Mark Rolfing. On Sunday at 3 p.m. ET, NBC will air Golf Therapy: Life, Lessons, and the Pursuit of Par featuring Brian Baumgartner of NBC’s The Office. Below are descriptions of each program.
GLOBAL GOLF ADVENTURE – Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET
NBC Sports will present an exciting new episode of Global Golf Adventure, a groundbreaking first-of-its kind golf, travel and adventure show produced and hosted by NBC Sports golf personality Mark Rolfing this Saturday, July 31st at 3:30 p.m. ET immediately prior to the network’s third-round live coverage of the U.S. Senior Open.
The third installment will feature Wales, host country of the 2010 Ryder Cup, and interviews with the ever popular Fred Couples and U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin, who are also competing in the U.S. Senior Open. LPGA legend Nancy Lopez will offer a golf tip for TV viewers about the importance of pre-shot routines.
“This travelogue of Wales will appeal to and captivate the golf fan and the travel enthusiast alike,” says Rolfing, a world traveler, who visited Wales for the first time for this show. “Wales is a beautiful country with a wonderful variety of links golf destinations. The anticipation and excitement for the Ryder Cup matches this October is palpable.”
In their conversations with Rolfing, Couples reflects on his career, his longevity and his rejuvenated golf game on the Champions Tour, while Pavin shares thoughts on his preparations and predictions for the 2010 Ryder Cup.
Couples On Why His Game Has Been Rejuvenated at 50: “You know when I got out here in ’80 (rookie year), I didn’t know if I’d be out here in ’81 or ‘82 and now we’re 2010 still grinding. My game with the help of the equipment really has gotten better…why that is I don’t know. I seem to hit better shots, I’m not nearly as erratic. And when I feel good, I really feel like I can compete at a high level.”
GOLF THERAPY: LIFE, LESSONS, AND THE PURSUIT OF PAR – Sunday, 3 p.m. ET
“Golf Therapy” opens with Brian Baumgartner (“The Office”), who is an avid golfer in real life, confiding in his therapist that he’s having nightmares about his annual appearance in the American Century Championship, an annual Lake Tahoe celebrity golf tournament.
To prepare him for the event, Brian’s shrink, played by Rachael Harris (“The Hangover”), sends him to visit with superstar athletes who offer mental and physical tips to elevate his golf game.
Baumgartner: “This project has been an amazing experience for me. My goal is to create content for television that is funny, but utilizes the unique voice of current and past stars from the world of sports. I could not be more pleased.”
Among Baumgartner’s celebrity coaches are: Pau Gasol (Los Angeles Lakers center), CC Sabathia (New York Yankees pitcher), Michael Strahan (former New York Giants defensive lineman), and Nastia Liukin (U.S. Olympic Gold Medal-winning gymnast), Justin Tuck (New York Giants defensive lineman), Laila Ali (boxer and daughter of Muhammad Ali), Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers quarterback), and Ozzie Smith (Major League Baseball Hall of Famer).