By Jeff Babineau
Sunday’s final-round network telecast of the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give, which will be on CBS (2-4 p.m. EDT), will feature a familiar voice as anchor in the booth: former Golf Channel announcer Kelly Tilghman.
Tilghman stepped away from full-time broadcasting five years ago, walking away after the PGA Tour’s Arnold Palmer Invitational to devote more time to her family, specifically her daughter, Ryan, who was 6 at the time.
Tilghman was a college golfer at Duke who played briefly in the professional ranks, and was serving a television internship in West Palm Beach, Fla., when she had a timely meeting with Scott Van Pelt, the ESPN personality who at the time was employed at Golf Channel in Orlando. He told Tilghman where he worked, and it piqued her interest. There was a network devoted solely to televising golf? She contacted Golf Channel, started in the network’s library, and ended up on the air, a career that covered 22 years.
In 2007, Tilghman became the first full-time female play-by-play commentator on the PGA Tour, joining six-time major winner Nick Faldo in the booth. Sunday at Blythefield, Tilghman will anchor final-round national coverage alongside Karen Stupples, the former Women’s British Open champion who has been part of this week’s daily telecasts for Golf Channel. Tilghman also worked with CBS at the Masters in April.
Earlier-round coverage of the fourth round on Sunday begins on Peacock at noon, and on NBC/Golf Channel (1-2 p.m.) before CBS comes on at 2.
Saturday, Golf Channel got creative in its third-round coverage with on-course reporter Tom Abbott, who first went live from J. Brewer’s/Frederik’s Pavilion, a highly popular dining experience at the Meijer next to the fourth hole, and then spent time broadcasting from a kayak from the adjacent Rogue River, which borders some of the holes in the early portion of Blythefield Country Club’s back nine.