via press release:
Ryder Cup First Day Matches to Air on ESPN
ESPN will air 11.5 hours of live play from of the opening matches of the 39th Ryder Cup on Friday, Sept. 28, at Medinah Country Club in suburban Chicago. The telecast begins at 8 a.m. ET.
Two 12-man teams of the best professional golfers representing the United States and Europe will square off in the every-other-year match play competition. The European team has won four of the five Ryder Cups held since the turn of the century, including a victory in the most recent event held in Wales in 2010. The American team won in 2008, the last time the event was played in the U.S.
Among the members of the American team are Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson and 2012 U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson, while World No. 1 Rory McIlroy heads the European team along with Luke Donald, Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood.
Mike Tirico will anchor ESPN’s Ryder Cup telecast, joined for analysis by 2008 Ryder Cup winning captain Paul Azinger. Two-time U.S. Open champions Andy North (on-course reporter) and Curtis Strange (hole announcer) also will contribute to ESPN’s coverage along with Scott Van Pelt (hole announcer) and Bill Kratzert (on-course reporter). ESPN the Magazine and ESPN.com columnist Rick Reilly will present essays.
Van Pelt, North and Reilly also will appear on SportsCenter from the Ryder Cup.
Among ESPN’s digital platforms, ESPN.com will surround the Ryder Cup competition with a full week of coverage, highlights and analysis. Senior golf writers Bob Harig and Farrell Evans, senior national columnist Gene Wojciechowski and Reilly will be writing news, features and columns around each day of play, while news items from earlier in the week will be covered with daily blog postings.
ESPN.com’s “CoverItLive” live chat with Michael Collins will take place during each day of play, while Harig, Evans and Collins also will conduct live chats from Medinah starting on Monday afternoon.