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GOLF CHANNEL


As part of the PGA TOUR’s television agreement with Golf Channel that was signed in 2007, the network will remain the exclusive cable television home of PGA TOUR Champions through 2021. The Orlando, Fla.-based network, broadcast in over 190 countries and territories worldwide, will provide complete coverage of 23 PGA TOUR Champions tournaments in 2017, including two majors - the Regions Tradition and Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship. Golf Channel employs its own production team for all of its telecasts. Jack Graham is the network’s Vice President of Live Events. Graham, Brandt Packer, Glenn Savadski, Jesse Wesp and Ray Jacobs will serve as producers for all of the telecasts. Golf Channel also airs a weekly series on Tuesday evenings, “PGA TOUR Champions Learning Center.” Every episode is dedicated to analysis, tournament highlights and instruction.


Hosts

Bob Papa
Bob Papa joined Golf Channel in 2012 and serves as a play-by-play host for the network’s PGA TOUR and Champions Tour events. A 20-plus year sports broadcasting veteran, Papa is the radio play-by-play voice of the New York Giants and has hosted telecasts for NBC’s coverage of the Olympic events since 1992. The Fordham University graduate started his play-by-play career out of college by working with the Utica Blue Sox baseball team. The Bronx native has been the voice and face of numerous sports programs since 1986 and currently resides in Chatham, N.J.
Whit Watson
Whit Watson joined Golf Channel in August 2010 and currently serves as a play-by-play host for the network’s Web.com Tour, PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour tournament coverage. In addition, Watson works as a host for Golf Central, the network’s daily evening news program, as well as a co-host for Morning Drive, Golf Channel’s daily news and lifestyle show. Prior to joining the network, the Orlando native was a familiar face to Florida sports fans as a host, reporter and play-by-play announcer for cable networks Fox Sports Florida and Sun Sports, where his coverage of the NBA, NHL, MLB, and NCAA football and basketball earned him four regional Emmy Awards. Watson also spent nearly seven years as an anchor for ESPN in Bristol, Conn., where he was featured on many of the network’s most visible programs. Watson’s broadcast career began while still a student at Cornell University, where he graduated with honors in 1993. He currently lives in Orlando with his family.


Analyst

Lanny Wadkins
The PGA TOUR and Champions Tour veteran and World Golf Hall of Fame member returned to the broadcast booth in 2012 as an analyst for Golf Channel’s Champions Tour coverage. The winner of 21 PGA TOUR events, including the 1977 PGA Championship and a former U.S. Ryder Cup captain, Wadkins is recognized as one of the fiercest competitors of his generation. He won the U.S. Amateur in 1970 and turned professional in 1971. He captured his first victory in 1972 and was voted Rookie of the Year. He went on to win the 1977 PGA Championship in a three-hole sudden death playoff at Pebble Beach and was the runner up in four subsequent major championships. He finished third at the Masters three times. He won THE PLAYERS Championship in 1979 and was voted PGA Player of the Year in 1985. He played for the U.S. in eight Ryder Cups between 1977 and 1983, tying the highest number of appearances by an American. He captained the team in 1995. He joined the Champions Tour in 2000 and divided his time between competition and broadcasting for CBS Sports as a golf analyst until 2007. Wadkins was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2009.  His younger brother, Bobby, also plays on the Champions Tour.


Hole Announcers

John Mahaffey
The former University of Houston star began his broadcasting career with Golf Channel in 2004. He will continue to provide analysis in 2015, bringing an impressive list of competitive achievements and his own Texas flair to the telecasts. His 10 PGA TOUR wins include one major, the 1978 PGA Championship, and the 1986 PLAYERS Championship. Mahaffey captured one Champions Tour title, the 1999 Southwestern Bell.
David Marr III
The Bucknell University graduate made his Champions Tour debut in August of 2004. In addition to his live announcing responsibilities, Marr hosts the popular "Champions Tour Learning Center" each week on Golf Channel. He is the son of the late Dave Marr, the 1965 PGA Championship winner and 1981 U.S. Ryder Cup captain. Like his father, Marr remains heavily involved with the PGA of America.


On-Course Reporter

Billy Ray Brown
A four-time University of Houston All-America and NCAA Championship medalist as a freshman, he played 12 seasons on the PGA TOUR, winning three times. He was the 54-hole leader at the 1990 U.S. Open at Medinah Country Club, missing the playoff by one shot. Over the last several years Brown has worked numerous PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and LPGA events for Golf Channel and CBS Sports.