Golf goes to Netflix and it has competition from tennis

Jan 18, 2022, 11:18 AM | Updated: 11:44 am
Brooks Koepka watches his tee shot on the second hole during the first round of the Tournament of C...

Brooks Koepka watches his tee shot on the second hole during the first round of the Tournament of Champions golf event, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022, at Kapalua Plantation Course in Kapalua, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

HONOLULU (AP) — Formula One racing got a huge boost in interest in North America through the Netflix series “Drive to Survive.”

Netflix now is expanding to a documentary series on golf, with the PGA Tour and the organizers of the four major championships granting access for a behind-the-scenes look. Among those who have signed up (without pay) to participate are multiple major champions like Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa. Also on the list are Max Homa and Joel Dahmen, who have revealed their personalities through various social media.

For the players, it’s a chance to increase their exposure and grow their brands. Koepka was said to have spent an hour with the producers during the Hero World Challenge.

Rick Anderson, the chief media officer at the PGA Tour, said the Netflix series will allow golf to tap into a new and diverse audience and “give fans an an authentic look into the real lives of our athletes, and what it’s like to win — and lose — during a season on the PGA Tour.”

Golf, however, will have competition in the Netflix sports documentary space.

Tennis also will have a series with Netflix in partnership with the ATP Tour, the WTA Tour and the four Grand Slam tournaments, starting with the Australian Open this week. That is sure to include the drama of Novak Djokovic, who is not vaccinated against COVID-19 and was given an exemption to enter Australia, only to be deported when Australian authorities revoked his visa.

What makes the tennis series different from golf’s is that it will include men and women, who play their Grand Slam events at the same venues.

Missing from the list of PGA Tour players is Jon Rahm, the No. 1 player in the world, FedEx Cup champion Patrick Cantlay and Rory McIlroy. Also missing is Bryson DeChambeau, who said last week while promoting the Saudi International that it “wasn’t a deal that was struck that was very well for my side.”

DeChambeau said people already get a good look at his life through a YouTube channel and Instagram. He said the Netflix golf series would be “cool to see” and have interesting stories to be told about players not as well known, like Harry Higgs.

“I don’t want to take the light away from them for their potential to grow themselves in a manner that’s unique to them, where they’re already pretty far behind,” he said. “They have the opportunity to grow a lot more than I do in that regard.”

TIGER AND HEALTH

Tiger Woods is a lead investor in a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that hopes to raise $150 million in an initial public offer to acquire a sports and health technology company.

The SPAC is Sports & Health Acquisition Corp., and it indicated in a prospectus filed with the SEC that it wants to target a company valued between $600 million and $1 billion.

A SPAC is often referred to as a “blank check” entity designed to go public without having to deal with the traditional IPO process.

The prospectus, filed last week, said it wanted to target business in the sports and health technology sectors with three verticals — fan engagement, consumer-facing health and fitness technologies, and health and well-being.

Woods is joined by former tennis star Caroline Wozniacki and her husband, David Lee, a two-time NBA All-Star when he played for the Golden State Warriors.

Woods, a 15-time major champion with a record-tying 82 wins on the PGA Tour, badly injured his right leg and ankle in a car crash last February outside Los Angeles. He played in the PNC Championship with his 12-year-old son in December but has not said when he can return to the PGA Tour.

GOING ‘PUBLIC’

One regret PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan has about the Player Impact Program is when he said at the Tour Championship that the results will not be made public.

“I didn’t handle that well when asked the question,” he said.

Monahan said once the results of the PIP are finalized — Phil Mickelson already announced on Twitter that he won the $8 million top prize — they will be known.

“We’re going to release it to the players, and therefore it will be released publicly,” he said with a smile.

The PGA Tour player of the year vote has never been publicized even to the players. For years, the tour has announced only who was on the ballot and who won, and there have been some years when the margin likely was close, such as Tiger Woods over Vijay Singh in 2003 and Patrick Cantlay over Jon Rahm last year.

Monahan said he is considering releasing vote totals this year. If that’s the case, it would also indicate voter turnout.

“That’s OK,” Monahan said. “It might get guys to vote.”

PLAYER ADVISORY COUNCIL

Two of the top four players in the world are on the 16-member Player Advisory Council, which consults with the PGA Tour board and the commissioner on various issues.

Jon Rahm (No. 1) has served before, while Patrick Cantlay (No. 4) is on the PAC for the first time.

Cantlay, Webb Simpson, Billy Horschel and Peter Malnati are now on a ballot to determine which two should be co-chairs of the PAC, and then move up to become player-directors on the PGA Tour board for a three-year term starting in 2023.

The election ends Feb. 14, the Monday after the Phoenix Open.

Asked why he agreed to be on the ballot, Cantlay said, “I hope to be playing the PGA Tour for a long time, and if I have a chance to make it better, I probably should.”

The other PAC members are Paul Casey, Austin Cook, Joel Dahmen, Harry Higgs, Russell Knox, Brooks Koepka, Justin Lower, Graeme McDowell, Maverick McNealy, Trey Mullinax and Will Zalatoris.

YOUTH IS SERVED

The player who finished third in the Singapore International on the Asian Tour was five years younger than the winner, not extraordinary except the winner, Joohyung Kim, was only 19.

Ratchanon Chantananuwat, the 14-year-old Thai amateur, made a strong run and had the lead at one point in the final round. A double bogey on the 17th hole gave him a 69 and left him two shots out of the playoff.

Chantananuwat twice made the cut on the Asian Tour when it resumed late last year, including a tie for 15th. With a third-place finish in Singapore — the teen’s first time playing outside Thailand — he becomes the youngest player to crack the top 500 in the world ranking.

The previous record belonged to Ryo Ishikawa, who won the first professional event he played at the Munsingwear Open KSB Cup on the Japan Golf Tour at 15 years, eight months. He started his OWGR record at No. 397.

Chantananuwat is at No. 463.

DIVOTS

The Cazoo Classic on the European Tour will be played this year at Hillside Golf Club, the links course adjacent to Royal Birkdale. … Cameron Smith of Australia reached No. 10 in the world for the first time by winning at Kapalua. He lasted only one week, bumped out by Hideki Matsuyama winning the Sony Open. … The Sony Open was the second time Hideki Matsuyama played a bogey-free weekend to win. He also did that at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai in 2016.

STAT OF THE WEEK

The 14 times Rory McIlroy has started a new year as a pro, he has been runner-up five times and finished third five times. He has only finished out of the top five on two occasions — a tie for 11th in 2008 and a missed cut in 2013, both in Abu Dhabi. He starts this week in Abu Dhabi.

FINAL WORD

“Every week you have a chance to do something great.” — Matt Kuchar.

___

More AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


              Matt Kuchar hits out of the first bunker during the final round of the Sony Open golf tournament, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Matt York)
            
              Patrick Cantlay hits from the ninth tee during the Tournament of Champions pro-am team play golf event, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, , at Kapalua Plantation Course in Kapalua, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Matt York)
            
              Phil Mickelson walks to his ball after missing his birdie putt on the 13th green during the third round of the Tournament of Champions golf event, Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022, at Kapalua Plantation Course in Kapalua, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Matt York)
            
              FILE  -Tiger Woods fist bumps his son Charlie Woods on the 16th green during the second round of the PNC Championship golf tournament, Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. Speculation for 2022 starts with where Woods will show up next on the PGA Tour. (AP Photo/Scott Audette, File)
            
              Bryson DeChambeau walks off the first green after making par during the final round of the Tournament of Champions golf event, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, at Kapalua Plantation Course in Kapalua, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Matt York)
            
              Brooks Koepka watches his tee shot on the second hole during the first round of the Tournament of Champions golf event, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022, at Kapalua Plantation Course in Kapalua, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Matt York)

AP

FILE - A fuel trucks drives along a highway in Frankfurt, Germany, Jan. 27, 2023. European Union go...
Associated Press

Europe bans Russian diesel, other oil products over Ukraine

The new sanctions create uncertainty about prices as the 27-nation European Union finds new supplies of diesel from the U.S., Middle East and India.
17 hours ago
FILE - Visitors arrive at the Adventureland Park amusement park, July 6, 2021, in Altoona, Iowa. On...
Associated Press

Ride at Iowa amusement park where boy died will never reopen

ALTOONA, Iowa (AP) — The ride at an Iowa amusement park where an 11-year-old boy was killed in 2021 will never reopen, the park’s owners said. Bill Lentz, Adventureland’s general manager, said in a letter posted on the park’s website Friday that after spending months reviewing the safety of the Raging River ride, officials decided […]
17 hours ago
East Palestine resident Kathy Burr waits for help at the Norfolk Southern Assistance Center at the ...
Associated Press

Evacuations urged in Ohio town as train wreck smolders

EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (AP) — A smoldering tangle of dozens of derailed freight cars, some carrying hazardous materials, has kept an evacuation order in effect in Ohio near the Pennsylvania state line as environmental authorities warily watch air quality monitors. About 50 cars derailed in East Palestine at about 9 p.m. Friday as a train […]
17 hours ago
This image released by Universal Pictures shows Dave Bautista, from left, Abby Quinn, and Nikki Amu...
Associated Press

‘Knock at the Cabin’ knocks off ‘Avatar’ at the box office

NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time in almost two months, the box office doesn’t belong to blue people. After seven weeks as the top film in theaters, “Avatar: The Way of Water” was finally knocked out of the No. 1 spot by the M. Night Shyamalan thriller “Knock at the Cabin” and the […]
17 hours ago
NASCAR Cup Series drivers Chris Buescher (17) and Alex Bowman (48) participate during a practice se...
Associated Press

Ally Financial expands NASCAR spend with 2 new partnerships

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ally Financial has expanded its growing portfolio as a top NASCAR sponsor with a deal to become the official bank of the stock car series and NASCAR-owned race tracks. The multiyear deal was announced Sunday ahead of NASCAR’s exhibition extravaganza at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and led to the creation […]
17 hours ago
President Joe Biden speaks at the Democratic National Committee winter meeting, Friday, Feb. 3, 202...
Associated Press

Biden’s State of the Union to tout policy wins on economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will use his second State of the Union address on Tuesday to remind Americans of how their lives have been improved over his first two years in office, as he tries to confront pessimism in the country and navigate the tricky politics of a newly divided Washington. Rather than […]
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
Golf goes to Netflix and it has competition from tennis