College: Prestige at PGA West to be livestreamed on Golfweek.com

Image Taken at the 2018 NCAA Men's Golf Championship First Round, Friday, May 25, 2018, Karsten Creek Golf Club, Stillwater, OK. Bruce Waterfield/OSU Athletics Bruce Waterfield/OSU Athletics

College: Prestige at PGA West to be livestreamed on Golfweek.com

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College: Prestige at PGA West to be livestreamed on Golfweek.com

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PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – From the time the Prestige college golf tournament began in the Coachella Valley in 2000, tournament director Mark Weissman has had one dream: Get the tournament on television.

That wasn’t even conceivable two decades ago. College golf was not something many golf fans or television networks thought about. But through the years, as the Prestige moved from Desert Willow Golf Resort in Palm Desert, Calif., to nearby PGA West in La Quinta, college golf has grown in popularity. The NCAA men’s and women’s championship tournaments are now broadcast on Golf Channel, and other tournaments are popping up on networks as well.

Weissman’s dream is coming true, at least to a degree. The 2019 Prestige at PGA West presented by Charles Schwab will for the first time in its 19-year history be streamed live, beginning Tuesday on Golfweek.com.

“The tournament is satisfied with the opportunity at hand and what it takes to do something like this,” Weissman said. “Streaming allows for a first-class production that is similar in quality to a national television production but under terms that are affordable for college golf.”

The Prestige has established itself as one of the top tournaments in the country, attracting schools not just like event host UC Davis and long-time participant Stanford but from across the country. Oklahoma State, the defending NCAA champion, is also the defending champion of the Prestige and returns to the field. Pepperdine, which lost by a single shot to Oklahoma State on the Greg Norman Course at PGA West last year, is also back.

“Oklahoma State draws a lot of interest. We have people coming from Oklahoma just to see them,” Weissman said. “But there are other schools. Arkansas is here for the first time. Stanford is always strong. UCLA is a three-time champion of the Prestige. Pepperdine is back. Northwestern, Notre Dame, Utah, University of Sterling from Scotland – this is their fifth time back. So it’s a great field.”

By Weissman’s count, the Prestige has had 37 players go on to play on the PGA Tour. Some of those include Jon Rahm of Arizona State, now the No. 6 player in the Official World Golf Ranking, Xander Schauffele of San Diego State and Gary Woodland, winner of the Sentry Tournament of Champions on the PGA Tour in January.

Such fields are one reason Golfweek (which is owned by Gannett, the same company that owns the Desert Sun) is interested in livestreaming the tournament. The tournament will be played Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with 18 holes each day for the 15 teams on the Norman Course. The streaming coverage will be available Tuesday and Wednesday.

“Within the context of that, there will be interviews, obviously play by play, but we also want to show what goes on with this kind of event,” Weissman said. “Some of our kickoff events, the junior clinic (Sunday), which we hope to have another great crowd this year, juniors from throughout Southern California and their families. And also the college-am (on Sunday). So excerpts of that will be edited in to the broadcast.” Gwk

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