The PGA Tour has sputtered through the first half of its season, with the game's ultimate moneymaker injured and several unknown first-time winners taking advantage of weekend stumbles by the sport's other superstar names. At the Tour's marquee event, they need the top guys to get in gear and boost the season as summer approaches. And with the strength of the field we always get at The Players Championship, some big names are bound to turn up on the first page of the leaderboard. After 18 holes this year, we have a loaded mix of young and old, international and American stars in the red and in contention as the cut line approaches.
Complete Players Coverage
If this is a strongest field of the year, as its reputed to be, then the coverage at TPC Sawgrass might be the most comprehensive on the schedule. The Tour aggressively markets this as a tournament above all the others, the "fifth major." But there's no pretension about experimenting with the coverage or creating made-for-TV elements for the tournament. For example, Golf Channel has a camera embedded in the tiny bunker on the island 17th green, in addition to several other cameras out over the water catching the hole from every angle. This is a Stadium Course, and the Tour has no issues catering to the crowds and what's best for the TV consumer, which isn't always the case at other, more stuffy big golf events (looking at you, Augusta).
The Players Championship
The Players Championship
Golf Channel will once again have the coverage exclusively on Friday, but NBC's Johnny Miller and Dan Hicks will sub in for Terry Gannon and Nick Faldo for a shift in the middle of the broadcast. Coverage is scheduled to start at 1 p.m., but Golf Channel will be on the air all morning with live look-ins of anything notable happening. Phil Mickelson, Rory Mcilroy, Sergio Garcia, and Jordan Spieth are some of the big names playing the afternoon wave during the broadcast. They will undoubtedly take up most of the camera time, and Mickelson is the only one really fighting to make the cut. The rest of the superstar names who went out during the good scoring conditions on Thursday morning are right there in contention, well under par.
On top of the extended six-hour broadcast, there will be three different streams available at different points in the day. If you're stuck at work and unable to watch, a simulcast of all the TV coverage will be available through the usual LiveExtra service. And then PGATour.com, this being their biggest event of the year, will also offer a featured groups stream and a featured hole stream, focused on the island 17th. So if you need to occupy yourself until the NFL Draft at 7 p.m., there are plenty of options to watch one of the premier golf tournaments of the year.
Here's your media schedule for Friday at TPC Sawgrass:
Friday's second round coverage
1 to 7 p.m. -- Golf Channel
8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. -- PGATour.com featured groups stream for both AM and PM group
9 a.m. to 7 p.m. -- PGATour.com featured holes stream (No. 17, with additional coverage of Nos. 8, 18)
1 to 7 p.m. -- Golf Channel simulcast stream
Noon to 7 p.m. -- PGA Tour Radio on Sirius-XM (Ch. 93/208)