NBC Sports Group Tournament Coverage to Feature a Tournament Record, Nearly 35 Live Hours of Play on Golf Channel and NBC
Bracket to be Drawn Before Live Audience Revealing 64-Man Field from Austin’s Paramount Theatre, Featuring Players in the Field; Univ. of Texas’ Colt McCoy & Charlie Strong, Golf Hall of Famers Ben Crenshaw & Tom Kite
ORLANDO, Fla. (March 18, 2016) – Kicking off one of golf’s most unpredictable weeks of the season, Golf Channel will feature a two-hour primetime show on Monday, March 21, revealing the 64-man field – to be drawn live and in primetime on Golf Channel – with the World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play Bracket Special from Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas from 7-9 p.m. ET. PGA TOUR players Rory McIlroy (World No. 2), Rickie Fowler (No. 5), and Branden Grace (No. 12.) are all scheduled to take part in the special.
Golf’s own version of a March bracket-style tournament, the selection process for the WGC-Dell Match Play – which will be staged at Austin Country Club next Wednesday-Sunday, March 23-27 – will be conducted in front of a live audience at the Theatre under the guidance of PGA TOUR competitions officials. The special will feature a conversation with University of Texas standouts and World Golf Hall of Famers Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite on the impact of bringing an event to Austin. University of Texas head football coach Charlie Strong and former quarterback Colt McCoy also are expected to attend and take part in the selection process.
Ryan Burr will host the special on Golf Channel, with Brandel Chamblee and Tim Rosaforte offering insight and analysis on the field as each group is unveiled. Todd Lewis will conduct interviews, and Cara Robinson also will serve as a reporter.
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.
Courtesy of the PGA TOUR, below is an example of how the seeding process could play out next Monday:
No. 1-ranked Jordan Spieth 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 – Jordan Spieth (Ranked No. 1)
Player B – Matt Kuchar (Ranked No. 28)
Player C – Victor Dubuisson (Ranked No. 40)
Player D – Marcus Fraser (Ranked No. 64)
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 GolfChannel.com, through the Golf Live Extra and PGA TOUR mobile apps and on PGATOUR.com.
Live Tournament Coverage: Wednesday-Sunday, March 23-27
Golf Channel and NBC will feature nearly 35 live hours of tournament coverage from the WGC-Dell Match Play, the most-ever in the history of the event. Golf Channel will carry live coverage of round robin matches Wednesday-Friday, March 23-25. On Saturday, March 26, Golf Channel will provide coverage of the Round of 16, followed by the Quarterfinals matches airing on NBC. On Sunday, March 27, 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, Notah Begay and Steve Sands will follow the matches on the ground as on-course reporters. Todd Lewis will serve as a reporter and conduct interviews, while Jimmy Roberts will provide essays.
WGC-Dell Match Play Airtimes (all times Eastern):
Monday, March 21
WGC-Dell Match Play Bracket Special 7-9 p.m. Golf Channel
Wednesday, March 23
Day One – Round Robin 2-8 p.m. Golf Channel
Thursday, March 24
Day Two – Round Robin 2-8 p.m. Golf Channel
Friday, March 25
Day Three – Round Robin 2-8 p.m. Golf Channel
Saturday, March 26
Round of 16 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Golf Channel
Quarterfinals 2-6 p.m. NBC
Sunday, March 27
Semifinals 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Golf Channel
Championship and Consolation Matches 3-7 p.m. NBC
-NBC Sports Group-