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Golf News

John Swantek on the growth of PGA Tour Live, keeping his voice in shape, and that time he broke news of the NFL’s biggest trade

Golf fans are used to John Swantek’s presence across a variety of platforms, but they’re going to see and hear the longtime digital voice of the PGA Tour even more in 2019. As host of PGA Tour Live, the tour’s streaming video service that will more than double its hours of coverage this year across 28 tournaments, Swantek’s play-by-play duties have grown with the amount of live action available to consumers. Also, Sam Weinman and Hally Leadbetter joined me to chat about Matt Kuchar’s resurgence, Ho-sung Choi’s Pebble Beach invite, and one of the greatest ball-striking rounds in PGA Tour history.

2019 Desert Classic tee times, viewer’s guide

The PGA Tour begins its West Coast swing this week with the Desert Classic, most recently known as the CareerBuilder Challenge. The event, which was first played in 1960, features a 54-hole cut and is held on three different golf courses, PGA West’s Stadium Course and Nicklaus Tournament Course, and La Quinta Country Club. The final round is held on the Stadium Course.

Golfer Rory McIlroy To Play In Farmers Insurance Open

LA JOLLA, CA – Rory McIlroy has committed to play in the Farmers Insurance Open for the first time, organizers announced Tuesday. McIlroy was eighth on the Official World Golf Ranking released Sunday. He finished in a three-way tie for fourth in his most recent tournament, the Sentry Tournament of Champions, which concluded Jan. 6. The 29-year-old from Northern Ireland is a 14-time winner on the PGA Tour, including four majors. His most recent victory was in last year’s Arnold Palmer Invitational. The field for the tournament to be played Jan. 24-27 at Torrey Pines Golf Course also includes Englishman Justin Rose, the world’s top-ranked player, and sixth-ranked Xander Schauffele, a Scripps Ranch

Stricker looking to play more on PGA Tour this year

Steve Stricker came to Hawaii for two weeks of work, just like the old days, but with a twist. Instead of starting at the winners-only field at Kapalua and then going over to the Sony Open, he started at the Sony Open and heads to the winners-only field on the Big Island for the PGA Tour Champions opener. It’s a question Vijay Singh and Davis Love III have contemplated over the last few years.

New rules answer some questions on the European Tour while raising a few new ones

All were gathered in a meeting room adjacent to the Abu Dhabi Golf Club, on the eve of the fourteenth Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, what will be the first European Tour event played under the myriad new rules put into place on January 1st. Paramor spoke first. Holding up a copy of the new “player’s rule book,” the 43-year veteran announced the text “easier to understand and navigate” before launching into a nine-hole long series of examples designed to illustrate how the changes will affect play on golf’s second-biggest tour.

Where can you play golf in London

Fear not, you don’t have to head to the Scottish highlands to find great golf courses (although, we would also highly recommend that). After much research and endless lugging of golf clubs on crammed buses, we’ve found the best places to golf in London. Note to reader: You will have to be prepared to take your clubs onto busy Tube carriages so get used to taking a reduced set in a pencil bag.

Bernhard Langer: Built From Bricks

For years I didn’t know who Jack, Arnold Palmer or Ben Hogan even were. There were only a hundred or so courses in all of Germany. It was a magical putter, and I quickly became the best putter at the course, Golfclub Augsburg, and possibly all of Germany.

LPGA will play for record $70 million, but long way from parity

The discrepancy roughly parallels the difference in television ratings in the United States between the tours, according to LPGA commissioner Mike Whan, with the women mainly shown on the smaller audience Golf Channel while the men’s circuit is broadcast on free-to-air network television. “The difference in purses is the difference in total viewership,” Whan told Reuters in a television interview ahead of the Tournament of Champions season opener that will be held in Florida. With 19 vacant weekends on the schedule, however, there is plenty of room for the LPGA to grow and Whan sees one gaping hole that he would love to plug with a new tournament or two.

Westwood would ‘love’ to captain European Ryder Cup team in 2022

Lee Westwood removed himself from consideration for the 2020 European Ryder Cup captaincy, but that won’t be the case when the matches head to Italy two years later. “I’d love to have it in Italy. Indeed, Westwood, who turns 46 in April, snapped a winless drought with his victory last November at the Nedbank Challenge.

Sergio Garcia in no hurry to be Ryder Cup captain

Ryder Cup star Sergio Garcia said Tuesday he is in no hurry to captain the European team despite his record playing success, stressing his focus is on defending the title in 2020. Garcia, 39, was on dominant form as Europe beat the United States last year in France, and in the process became the cup’s all-time points leader, eclipsing Nick Faldo’s 21-year record. Speaking ahead of the start of the Singapore Open on Thursday where he is the defending champion, Garcia said the memory of the Ryder Cup victory was still fresh.

U.S. Golf Market Sales on the Upswing, Rising 8 Percent as Consumers Show Renewed Interest in Spending on the Sport, Reports The NPD Group

In the 12 months ending November 2018, Callaway Golf, Titleist and Wilson were the fastest-growing golf brands among the top 10 Following shakeups in the U.S. golf retail business over the last few years, the market has not only recuperated but experienced a significant uptick in sales over the last 12 months. Golf sales in the mass/sporting goods retail space generated $2.6 billion and grew by 8 percent in the 12 months ending November 2018, after facing declines the year prior, according to The NPD Group. “The macro environment for golf has been in a turbulent state, fueled by Golfsmith’s bankruptcy, major brands cutting back on their golf business, and courses closing. But today, we’re starting