Augusta, Georgia, United States: NBC Sports has announced its broadcast teams for the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals.
Announced last year, the Augusta National Women’s Amateur is a new, pre-eminent championship that will showcase the world’s top female amateur golfers competing at Augusta National Golf Club.
Preceding the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals, the Augusta National Women’s Amateur serves as an additional prestigious event hosted by Augusta National Golf Club the weekend prior to the Masters.
Live coverage of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur will air on NBC on Saturday, April 6, and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals will air on GOLF Channel on Sunday, April 7.
“Golf’s future is bright as the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals both take centre stage at one of the most iconic venues in sport,” said Mike McCarley, President, GOLF, NBC Sports Group.
“We look forward to showcasing historic moments and lasting memories that will inspire young athletes everywhere to dream new dreams. NBC’s rich history in covering women’s sport and our passion for golf, coupled with our ability to reach broad audiences, will help introduce the game to new fans,” he added.
Molly Solomon, EVP of Content and Executive Producer, GOLF Channel, said: “The Augusta National Women’s Amateur is not only ground-breaking, but the event further represents another opportunity for young women today to dream bigger as they set goals to achieve their definition of greatness.
“Our high-quality coverage of both the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals will elevate golf’s robust pipeline of female amateurs and juniors, highlighting the strength of the game’s future from the picturesque setting of Augusta National Golf Club.”
Mike Tirico will serve as play-by-play host for both the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and – for the first time – the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals.
Tirico has a well-established career of providing coverage from the biggest events in sports, including NBC’s Olympics coverage, Football Night in America, marquee PGA Tour and LPGA Tour events, The Open, Notre Dame Football and NBC Sports’ inaugural coverage of the Indianapolis 500 this May.
“In different ways, Augusta National has captivated all of us who love the game,” said Tirico. “To see this weekend with the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur and Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals together will undoubtedly inspire young golfers across the country. It will be an honour to join our NBC Sports team, sharing the stories of these golfers making history at one of the world’s most-iconic locations.”
Joining Tirico in the broadcast booth for the Augusta National Women’s Amateur will be NBC Sports golf analysts Paige Mackenzie and Gary Koch.
Kay Cockerill, a two-time US Women’s Amateur champion, and Frank Nobilo, a 15-time winner around the world who finished tied fourth at the Masters in 1996, will be hole announcers for NBC’s coverage of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
Steve Burkowski, GOLF Channel’s college insider who has covered collegiate golf for more than a decade, will deliver news and notes throughout the broadcast alongside NBC Sports’ reporter Steve Sands, whowill conduct post-round interviews.
The Augusta National Women’s Amateur is a 54-hole, stroke play tournament featuring an international field of 72 top female amateur golfers. The first two rounds will take place at Champions Retreat Golf Club (April 3-4) near Augusta. The entire field will play Augusta National for an official practice round on April 5 and the event culminates with NBC Sports providing three hours of live broadcast coverage of the final round on April 6, featuring the top-30 competitors who make the cut.