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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Making Sense of This Week's Golf

Monday is Labor Day in the US and Labour Day in Canada -- essentially the same holiday in both countries, although Canada's is older -- and as a result it plays havoc with the PGA Tour schedule. Some people like a Monday finish and some don't, but it definitely affects what's on TV. I'm going to try and make some sense out of the schedule, just to give you an idea what's on when.

After all, there are 5 tournaments being televised (at least, here in the US).

THURSDAY: The European Tour stop is the ISPS Handa Wales Open (at Celtic Manor). It will run normally Thursday thru Sunday, and the first round broadcasts Thursday morning at 10am ET on GC. (In fact, all of the golf Thursday is on GC.) I took a quick look at the entry list and it doesn't look like any of the players who missed the FedExCup "cut" are there, although it looks to be a pretty good field. (I know the FedEx players wouldn't have known in time to make a last-minute entry, but they could have entered anyway, knowing they could withdraw if they made the cut. Unlikely, I know, but possible.)

Golf Central Pre-Game is scheduled for 2pm ET, leading into the Tour event at 3pm. This is the Hotel Fitness Championship, the first of the 4 new qualifying events that are taking the place of Q-School. The Top 75 from the Tour money list and numbers 126-200 from the big tour. (You can read more about it here.) Bear in mind that the Top 25 from the Tour already earned PGA Tour cards; except for Michael Putnam, who finished 1st and got full Tour privileges, the others are jockeying for position.

After the fourth event, 25 more Tour cards will be awarded. The #1 player at the end (assuming it's not Putnam) will also receive full Tour privileges, and everyone else will get seeded according to their order of finish. In other words, you could have finished #2 in the regular season Tour money list but end up seeded #50 if you don't play well over the next 4 weeks. I expect some bellyaching over that!

Anyway, the regular Golf Central show comes on at 5pm, then the LPGA comes on at 5:30pm for 3 hours. The Safeway Classic will be the last event before the newly majorized Evian Championship (after a week of no LPGA golf). The big news at this point is that Inbee Park has withdrawn because of illness, so she'll get no warmup before heading out to defend her victory at the original Evian Masters last year.

And don't forget that On The Range moves to Thursday this week at 8:30pm, right after the LPGA broadcast.

FRIDAY: (All of this is still on GC.) The Euro Tour starts at 9:30am ET, the Tour at 12:30pm, Golf Central Pre-Game at 2:30pm, and then we get to the FIRST round of the PGA Tour's Deutsche Bank Championship. At this point Tiger is registered to play, so we know he plans to tee off with Scott and Mickelson Friday morning.

Regular Golf Central starts at 6pm, then the LPGA event at 6:30pm, AND THEN we get the Champions Tour! The Shaw Charity Classic starts at 8:30pm.

SATURDAY: Again, everything is on GC. All times are ET:
  • 8:30am -- Euro Tour
  • 12:30pm -- Golf Central Pre-Game
  • 1:00pm -- Tour
  • 3:00pm -- PGA Tour
  • 6:00pm -- Golf Central
  • 6:30pm -- LPGA Tour
  • 8:30pm -- Champions Tour
SUNDAY: Now it gets confusing. Please note that NBC gets into the act with the PGA Tour today.
  • 8:30am -- Euro Tour
  • 12:30pm -- Golf Central Pre-Game
  • 1:00pm -- PGA Tour
  • 2:30pm -- Tour
  • NBC 2:30pm -- PGA Tour
  • 5:00pm -- Champions Tour
  • 7:00pm -- LPGA Tour
  • 9:30pm -- Golf Central
  • 10:00pm -- PGA Tour (rebroadcast)
MONDAY: This is an odd day because the only new golf is the PGA Tour. GC will be mostly rerunning last week's tournaments, so I'm only listing the PGA Tour golf on both channels.
  • 10:00am -- Golf Central Pre-Game
  • 11:30am -- PGA Tour
  • NBC 1:00pm -- PGA Tour
  • 6:00pm -- Golf Central
  • 7:00pm -- Golf Fix
  • 8:00pm -- PGA Tour (rebroadcast)
Wow, is that a mess or what? At least you'll be able to watch golf when you aren't at a barbeque or some other holiday celebration!

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