NBC/Golf Channel kick off LPGA Tour season with coverage at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic

Lexi Thompson

Golf Channel release on upcoming LPGA Tour events.

ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 25, 2018 – Following a 2017 season where NBC Sports Group recorded its most viewed LPGA Tour season ever, Golf Channel will continue to ride the wave of momentum as the 2018 LPGA season begins today with the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, airing live today-Sunday, Jan. 25-28.

33 LPGA EVENTS ON GOLF CHANNEL IN 2018, MOST IN HISTORY: Golf Channel will televise 33 LPGA Tour events – the highest ever on Golf Channel in a single year – taking place in North America and 14 countries around the world in the season-long Race to the CME Globe. NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the 2018 LPGA season also will feature coverage of four of the five women’s major championships and the UL International Crown, a biennial team competition featuring the top-eight countries from around the globe, taking place outside of the U.S. for the first time at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Incheon, South Korea in October.

Nearly 22 million viewers tuned in to LPGA Tour coverage across Golf Channel and NBC in 2017, the most-viewed LPGA Tour season since Golf Channel joined the NBC Sports Group in 2011. Additionally, 2017 tied 2013 as the LPGA Tour’s most-watched year across NBC Sports since 2011. Coverage drew an average of 221,000 viewers per telecast in 2017 (+24% vs. 2016), according to data released by The Nielsen Company.

“We are excited to kick off our 2018 LPGA season with the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic and continue our long-standing and successful partnership with Golf Channel,” said Brian Carroll, the LPGA’s senior vice president of television and new media. “As our devoted fans know, LPGA players are among the most accessible and dedicated athletes in the world, and our friends at Golf Channel do a fantastic job of bringing their stories and our tournaments to viewers around the country.

“Golf Channel’s LPGA Tour coverage last year was fueled by the most hours ever and showcasing the game’s emerging and established stars through storytelling via our news, live tournaments and digital platforms,” said Molly Solomon, Golf Channel executive vice president of content and executive producer. “With coverage of four of the five major championships, we will continue to build on this momentum in 2018 with 10 months of coverage and our most number of LPGA events in history.”

PURE SILK-BAHAMAS LPGA CLASSIC: The event begins a series of seven LPGA tournaments airing live on Golf Channel over the next 10 weeks leading into golf’s first major championship of 2018, the ANA Inspiration. World No. 1 Shanshan Feng, reigning Race to the CME Globe winner Lexi Thompson and defending champion Brittany Lincicome headline an international field that also includes So Yeon Ryu, I.K. Kim, Ariya Jutanugarn, Brooke Henderson, Danielle Kang and Michelle Wie.

Live coverage of the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic will air on Golf Channel today and Friday from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. ET, and will continue on Saturday from 3:30-5:30 p.m. ET and Sunday from 3-5 p.m. ET.

Hall-of-Famer Judy Rankin returns as lead analyst for NBC Sports Group’s LPGA tournament coverage in 2018, and will be joined by Grant Boone as play-by-play host for the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic. Tom Abbott will serve as a hole announcer with Jerry Foltz and Karen Stupples reporting from the course. Chantel McCabe will conduct post-round interviews and provide reports for Golf Central.

ANA INSPIRATION, GOLF’S FIRST MAJOR OF 2018: Following the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, the LPGA Tour will travel to Australia, Thailand and Singapore for a three-week stretch before returning to the U.S. in March for three weeks, concluding with the ANA Inspiration, golf’s first major championship of 2018 (Thursday-Sunday, March 29-April 1). Taking place at historic Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., Golf Channel will air comprehensive news and tournament coverage, headlined by 20 hours of live tournament action.

NBC SPORTS GROUP’S 2018 MARQUEE LPGA EVENTS: Golf Channel will have coverage of four of five women’s major championships in 2018, with three majors airing on NBC: the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, Ricoh Women’s British Open and The Evian Championship. The biennial UL International Crown, taking place in October in South Korea, will have complete coverage on Golf Channel.