Golf News for Tuesday, May 21, 2013 | Media

Double amputee Jordan Thomas' inspirational golf story featured on newest episode of IN PLAY WITH JIMMY ROBERTS

ORLANDO, Fla. -- IN PLAY WITH JIMMY ROBERTS returns Tuesday, May 21 at 10:30 p.m. ET on Golf Channel with a new slate of real-life stories that encompass the game of golf in this critically-acclaimed newsmagazine series.

Tuesday’s new episode features Rich Lerner examining the inspirational story about 24-year old Jordan Thomas, an aspiring amateur golfer who at age 16 started a foundation after losing both of his legs below the knee due to a boating accident; Jimmy Roberts visiting renowned Irish Tenor David O’Leary, who credits his singing career due to his caddying days at Winged Foot Golf Club; and a look back at the story and life of Jim Simons, the 54-hole leader at the 1971 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club, the last amateur to lead any major championship after 54 holes.

Host Jimmy Roberts, a 13-time Emmy Award-winner, has drawn critical praise for telling some of sports’ greatest stories during his distinguished career at NBC Sports, ESPN and ABC News and ABC Sports, which includes covering 14 Olympics. Described as “an enterprising new original series” by Sports Illustrated and a “gorgeously shot magazine show” by CableFAX Daily, In Play with Jimmy Roberts is a monthly series that chronicles stories ranging from celebrities to everyday people who are all unified by golf.

Scheduled features on the Tuesday, May 21 episode:

• Jordan Thomas Overcomes Handicap to Inspire Others – At the age of 16, aspiring amateur golfer Jordan Thomas was involved in a boating accident off of the Florida Keys that nearly claimed his life. After multiple surgeries, he lost both legs below the knee. Driven to get back on the golf course, Thomas started walking with prosthetics one month after the accident, and a few months later, was back on the golf course. Thomas also founded the Jordan Thomas Foundation following his accident, providing children affected by limb loss with the prostheses they need throughout childhood and adolescence and serves as a caring resource, advocate and support system for the children and their families. Now at age 24, Thomas’ foundation has grown exponentially, and annually raises more than $100,000 during the Jordan Thomas Foundation golf tournament weekend. Rich Lerner examines this inspirational story that features interviews with Thomas, his family and families who have been the recipients of Thomas’ foundation.

• Winged Foot Caddie Turned Renowned Irish Tenor, David O’Leary – David O’Leary is a renowned Irish Tenor who has performed at multiple NFL and MLB games and for President Obama at the White House. He credits much of his career connections due to his years spent caddying at Winged Foot Golf Club in New York. Jimmy Roberts visits with O’Leary at Winged Foot to discuss his journey.

• Look Back at Story and Life of Jim Simons – The 1971 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club is most remembered by Lee Trevino’s second U.S. Open victory in a playoff over Jack Nicklaus. What is lost is the remarkable tale of Jim Simons, the 21-year-old amateur who shot a 65 on Saturday to take the 54-hole lead at Merion – the last amateur to lead any major championship after 54 holes. IN PLAY will take a look back at this historic achievement – and the life that followed – for Simons, who competed on the PGA TOUR for 15 years but battled alcohol and prescription drug addictions, ultimately passing away due to a drug overdose in 2005. Interviews include longtime broadcaster and fellow 1971 Walker Cup team member Steve Melnyk, Wake Forest teammate and Golf Channel analyst Lanny Wadkins, PGA Professional and close friend Gerry James, and Simons’ family.

About Golf Channel
As the fastest-growing network on television, Golf Channel is a multimedia, golf entertainment and services company based in Orlando, Fla. The Golf Channel cable network, co-founded by Arnold Palmer in 1995 and part of the NBC Sports Group, is available in more than 120 million homes worldwide through cable, satellite and wireless companies. As part of the NBC Sports Group, professional golf coverage on NBC is branded “Golf Channel on NBC,” further extending the Golf Channel brand to NBC’s broadcast audiences. Exclusive partnerships with the world’s top tours allow Golf Channel to feature more live golf coverage than all other networks combined, added to a programming schedule distinguished by golf’s best news, instruction and original programming. Golf Channel’s digital platform of businesses is led by www.GolfChannel.com, a leading golf destination on the Internet, delivering unmatched coverage of the world of golf, as well as services that help the recreational player with how to play, what to play and where to play golf.