Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Feherty talks with golf's biggest newsmakers for season's fantastic finish

The list of guests joining David Feherty to help close out the successful second season of his hit primetime series on Golf Channel will feature some of golf’s biggest newsmakers, including golf super-agent Chubby Chandler, two-time major champion Fuzzy Zoeller, a host of patriotic stars for a special Independence Day show, Hall-of-Fame player and commentator Peter Alliss, and one of the most enigmatic personalities in the history of golf, John Daly.

Debuting in 2011 as the most-watched premiere of an original series in Golf Channel history, Feherty has maintained its momentum in 2012, moving to a new night and lifting the network’s Monday primetime lineup ratings by 64 percent year over year.

On tonight’s new episode (10 p.m. ET), Feherty takes a ride to the Florida coast to interview golf super-agent Andrew “Chubby” Chandler, founder of England-based International Sports Management and manages a stable of golfers including World No. 3 Lee Westwood, Open Championship winners Darren Clarke and Louis Ousthuizen and Masters champion Charl Schwartzel. Feherty and Chandler’s relationship spans nearly four decades when both men played on the African Tour and were “sunburned and penniless.” 

Their conversation includes the origination of his “Chubby” nickname, early life on tour, Chandler’s decision to start a management company, the significance of signing Darren Clarke as an amateur in 1990, and the departure and shock of losing Rory McIlroy as a client following McIlroy’s U.S. Open victory in 2011.

On July 2, Feherty celebrates the U.S. military and Independence Day with a diverse group of American patriots at the Patriot Cup golf tournament and gala, hosted by the Folds of Honor Foundation and The Patriot Golf Course in Tulsa, Okla. In an enormous hangar with antique warbirds serving as a backdrop, Feherty visits with PGA TOUR pros Rickie Fowler and Ben Crane to talk about their careers, the origins of the Golf Boys and their fellow group member Bubba Watson’s career-changing Masters victory, and the impact social media can have in golf. Conversations with other participating golfers include Corey Pavin and Tom Lehman talking about the significance of the Ryder Cup, and Craig Stadler and Gary Woodland providing insight about playing pro golf in separate generations. Feherty also sits with country music star Vince Gill and actor Craig T. Nelson to talk about the entertainment industry’s impact on golf, and tries to convince country music group Rascal Flatts that he should become its opening act. Feherty also squeezes in a ride in an F-16 fighter jet with Major Dan Rooney.

Two-time major champion Fuzzy Zoeller sits down with Feherty for the July 9 episode, which was shot at Zoeller’s southern Indiana estate. In addition to compelling conversation about the state of golf, his controversial comments about Tiger Woods after Woods’ historic 1997 Masters victory and the next chapter in his life – which includes a new venture into the vodka making business and car racing sponsorship – the two men try their hand at fishing and Feherty creates hilarious moments with some of the animals on Zoeller’s farm.

On the cusp of his induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame in May, Peter Alliss, former player and the charismatic BBC television golf commentator for nearly 40 years, sat with Feherty to discuss his life in the game, which included 21 tournament victories, eight Ryder Cup appearances and a stellar commentating career, which earned him the nickname as “The Voice of Golf.” On the July 23 episode, the two men discuss the current state of golf – Alliss is a big proponent of faster play – and share some great stories along the way. Perhaps the most poignant part of the interview is when Alliss talks about the death of his daughter, Victoria, who was born with irreparable brain damage and died at age 11.

On the series' final episode on July 30, Feherty travels to Dardenelle, Ark., and the home of John Daly to find out how Daly has become one of the least- and most-liked personalities in golf, and if “Long John” has any shot in recapturing some of his glory days on tour. In between playing golf, serenading Daly’s girlfriend and enjoying a traditional Arkansas barbecue in the backyard of Daly’s home, Feherty reveals how Daly’s party image was created and how he has dealt with the aftermath; how his four marriages have not turned him away from love, but made him more cautious; how his father’s abusive discipline have influenced his desire to be a better father; and if he lives to the age of 50, whether or not playing on the Champions Tour is in his future. Parts of the interview take place in front of a huge, hand-painted mural in Daly’s home that is supposed to depict his extraordinary – and unlikely – moment in the sun in 1991 when he won the PGA Championship as an alternate. Daly says he not only dislikes the depiction, he also says it is inaccurate. Daly and Feherty come up with a plan to make their own surprising corrections to the painting.

Called "a cross between Oprah Winfrey and Johnny Carson" by The New York Times, Feherty displays an uncanny interview style that engages his subjects and brings out answers both honest and revealing. This season, Feherty has gone one-on-one with celebrities across golf, sports and entertainment including former President Bill Clinton, golf legend Bill Russell, real estate magnate Donald Trump, actor Samuel L. Jackson, and golfers Graeme McDowell, Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia and Michelle Wie.


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