NBC Sports Group Primed For An Unprecedented More Than 110 Live Coverage Hours for U.S. Open Championship, June 8-16

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMay 29, 2013, 6:51 pm

Unprecedented television coverage dedicated to the 2013 U.S. Open Championship is on tap for golf fans, with NBC and Golf Channel scheduled to present more than 70 live hours of tournament and news coverage, June 9-16.

“Golf Channel on NBC” will present 17 hours of live tournament coverage of the season’s second major championship Thursday through Sunday, June 13-16, from famed Merion Golf Club, located in Ardmore, Pa., just outside Philadelphia.  Complementing NBC’s live coverage, Golf Channel will air 56 hours of wraparound programming, featuring the latest news and highlights on its franchise show, LIVE FROM THE U.S. OPEN; top instruction from the range at Merion Golf Club with Michael Breed on THE GOLF FIX; lively discussion and debate with GREY GOOSE 19th HOLE; and an original documentary, 1971 U.S. OPEN:  LEE TREVINO AN AMERICAN CHAMPION, chronicling Trevino’s dramatic U.S. Open playoff victory over Jack Nicklaus at Merion in 1971.

NBCU digital properties – GolfChannel.com, NBCSports.com, CSNPhilly.com and mobile applications NBC Sports Live Extra and Golf Live Extra – are teaming up to provide the most comprehensive digital coverage of the U.S. Open to date.

Hosting its fifth U.S. Open Championship, Merion Golf Club and the Philadelphia region boast a rich history with the sport.  Providing comprehensive daily coverage from a regional perspective, the NBC Sports Group’s Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia and NBC’s owned and operated NBC10 station will present an additional 44 hours of U.S. Open coverage as Philadelphians celebrate the City of Brotherly Love’s 10th Major Golf Championship.

TOURNAMENT BROADCAST TEAM:  Bob Costas will reprise his role as network host, when “Golf Channel on NBC” presents its weekend U.S. Open coverage.  Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller will anchor NBC’s four-day coverage, and will be joined by tower reporters Gary Koch and Peter Jacobsen; on-course reporters Roger Maltbie, Mark Rolfing and Notah Begay; interviewer Steve Sands; and essayist Jimmy Roberts.  The team brings intimate knowledge of Merion’s challenging layout, with Miller, Jacobsen, Maltbie and Koch having competed in the U.S. Open the last time it was played at the course in 1981.

June 13                 Thursday                             Round 1                               3-5 p.m.
June 14                 Friday                                    Round 2                               3-5 p.m.
June 15                 Saturday                              Round 3                               Noon-7:30 p.m.
June 16                 Sunday                                 Final Round                        Noon-7:30 p.m.

56 LIVE HOURS OF NEWS COVERAGE:  Fans will keep connected to the competition and players through 56 hours of live wraparound news coverage of the U.S. Open throughout the week, featuring highlights, inside analysis, player interviews and news conferences, special guest appearances and compelling features.  LIVE FROM THE U.S. OPEN begins Monday with pre-tournament player news conferences and airs throughout the week before and after tournament play. LIVE FROM THE U.S. OPEN will originate from two sets at Merion Golf Club – the main stage overlooking the clubhouse and a stage positioned near the player practice range.  The U.S. Open will be the topic of discussion all week on MORNING DRIVE, the network’s daily morning show.  Co-host and travel expert Matt Ginella will highlight some of the best places to play if you’re heading to Merion or visiting Philadelphia anytime, and Gary Williams will walk the course with USGA Executive Director Mike Davis to discuss Merion’s unique set-up and how Davis gets the course U.S. Open ready.  John Cook, who tied for fourth place in the 1981 U.S. Open at Merion, will be in studio all week.  Additionally, THE GOLF FIX  (Monday, 6-7 p.m. ET) and GREY GOOSE 19th HOLE (expanding to one hour Wednesday, June 12, 6-7 p.m. ET) will air live from Merion Golf Club.

In addition to news and expert analysis, Golf Channel’s LIVE FROM THE U.S. OPEN telecasts will incorporate special production elements to bring viewers even closer to the players.  Robotic and jib cameras providing sweeping video will be positioned throughout the player practice area, capturing unique inside-the-ropes footage.  And a special “Fly Cam” will be fixed to a cable stretched across the entire length of the practice range and over the players, designed to feature unique angles of players as they prepare for competition.  This footage also will be utilized during NBC’s live coverage to showcase the leaders as they prepare for competition.

LIVE FROM THE U.S. OPEN GUEST CONTRIBUTORS:  In addition to Golf Channel’s team of analysts and reporters, LIVE FROM THE U.S. OPEN will welcome 2013 World Golf Hall of Fame inductee Colin Montgomerie and PGA TOUR pro Arron Oberholser as guest analysts during the week.   And with the unpredictability Mother Nature has already wrought on the 2013 golf season so far, LIVE FROM THE U.S. OPEN will keep on top of the weather conditions that may affect play with the help of The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore, who will serve as the show’s weather expert.

• The Boutique Open – Merion Golf Club’s friendly confines and tight layout will be a difficult test for the players, who will need to have a clear strategy of attack.
• Nobilo Goes Tee to Green – Nobilo recently scouted the Merion Golf Club layout and will host a series of features that will provide insight into the various ways players will try to conquer the golf course.
• Michael Breed Tutorial – Merion features seven, par-4 holes less than 430 yards, so a short game will be critical to success.  Breed, host of THE GOLF FIX, will demonstrate how wedge play could mean the difference between success and failure.
• Merion History – Merion Golf Club has played host to more USGA Championships than any course in America and has created some of the most memorable moments.  It’s where Bobby Jones completed golf’s Grand Slam at the 1930 U.S. Amateur and where Ben Hogan striped the awe-inspiring 1-iron on the 72nd hole in the 1950 U.S. Open.
• Jim Simons – Simons was the last amateur to lead a major championship after 54 holes but, despite his success in the tournament, his career, subsequently, fell on hard times.
• David Graham – Graham won the 1981 U.S. Open with a score of 67 on Sunday, what some say was the perfect round of golf.
• The Francis Ouimet Story – 100th anniversary of Ouimet’s unlikely victory as an amateur at the 1913 U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., against the likes of superstars Harry Vardon and Ted Ray has been credited with bringing golf to the American sporting mainstream.
• Jim Furyk:  As part of Golf Channel’s celebration of Father’s Day, Golf Channel will celebrate the 10th anniversary of Pennsylvania native Jim Furyk’s 2003 U.S. Open win at Olympia Fields Country Club outside Chicago.  Furyk has always been coached by his father, Mike, who has nurtured one of golf’s most unusual homemade swings.
• The First Tee – A look at the amazing life story of youngster, Zakki Blatt, who overcame the odds with the help of The First Tee.  The feature also takes a closer look at the Philadelphia chapter of The First Tee.

TREVINO 1971 U.S. OPEN RETROSPECTIVE:  As the U.S. Open prepares for its return to Merion, NBC and Golf Channel will present 1971 U.S. OPEN:  LEE TREVINO AN AMERICAN CHAMPION, a 60-minute retrospective documenting Trevino’s life and victory at Merion in 1971, and how he claimed his place among the great champions in U.S. Open history by beating the great Jack Nicklaus in a Monday playoff.  Produced in association with the United States Golf Association, the documentary will premiere on NBC on Sunday, June 9 at 5 p.m. ET, and air throughout June on Golf Channel.


Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia and NBC10 Philadelphia will present Philadelphians with the most comprehensive local coverage of the 2013 U.S. Open Championship, with the majority of content originating from Merion Golf Club:

Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia:
• U.S. Open Preview – Philadelphia sports icons Jimmy Rollins, Jeremy Roenick, Jay Wright and Comcast SportsNet’s Neil Hartman hit the links at Merion for this special preview titled An Open Challenge, premiering Saturday, June 8 at 6:30 p.m. ET.
• Made in Merion – U.S. Open special nightly presentations, hosted by Comcast SportsNet anchor Neil Hartman from Merion Golf Club featuring interviews and analysis with golfers and experts. Made in Merion premiers Sunday, June 9 at 7 p.m.
• Philly Sports Talk – Daily roundtable hosted by Michael Barkann from Merion Golf Club airing each day at 5 p.m.
• SportsNite and SportsRise – Comcast SportsNet’s daily news programs will provide daily reports, live leaderboard updates, historical “Fast Facts” and golfing tips. SportsNite airs at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.  SportsRise airs at 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. weekdays and 7 a.m. on weekends.
• Vignettes:  A series of 30-second vignettes focused on the U.S. Open will air leading up to and including U.S. Open week.  Several examples include:
    o A Championship Moment will feature the history of the U.S. Open through the eyes of golf historian and Golf Channel contributor Martin Davis.
    o Merion Moments is a series featuring famous athletes, such as Julius “Dr. J” Erving, U.S. skier Bode Miller, boxer Bernard Hopkins and many others discussing the U.S. Open.
• Online Coverage:  CSNPhilly.com will create a special section on the website dedicated to U.S. Open coverage from CSNPhilly.com and GolfChannel.com writers.

NBC10 Philadelphia:
• Themed specials – NBC10 will televise six, 30-minute specials titled Tee off at Merion, touching on everything U.S. Open, from history to tournament updates.  The specials, hosted by Vai Sikahema, John Clark and Jacqueline London, will air:
    o Saturday, June 8, 7:30 p.m.
    o Thursday, June 13, 7 p.m.
    o Friday, June 14, 7 p.m.
    o Saturday, June 15, 7:30 p.m.
    o Sunday, June 16, 11:30 a.m.
    o Sunday, June 16, 11:30 p.m.
Updates and Vignettes:  NBC10 will provide extensive coverage in all newscasts, and will air 18 vignettes focused on Merion Golf Club’s 18 holes. 

DIGITAL COVERAGE:  NBC and Golf Channel digital properties – GolfChannel.com, as well as mobile applications NBC Sports Live Extra and Golf Live Extra – are teaming up to provide the most comprehensive digital coverage of the U.S. Open to date.

Live Streaming
Live tournament coverage will be streamed on NBCSports.com and via the NBC Sports Live Extra app.  Fans who are customers of participating cable, satellite, telco and other video subscription services, will be able to enjoy 24/7 streaming of Golf Channel content via GolfChannel.com and Golf Channel’s mobile application, Golf Live Extra.

Editorial, Blogs & Live Chats
GolfChannel.com’s dedicated staff of writers – including Rex Hoggard, Jason Sobel, Randall Mell, Ryan Lavner and Jay Coffin – will be on site at Merion Golf Club all week, providing the most up-to-date news, features and blogs posts.  Joe Posnanski also will post from NBCSports.com.  The team will preview the U.S. Open with features exploring the five-year anniversary of Tiger Woods’ last major championship win; Rickie Fowler on the challenge of Merion, while reflecting on his play there in 2009 as part of the U.S. Walker Cup team; a history of Merion; and a profile of David Graham, the last winner of the U.S. Open at Merion and an International Team captain who was ousted by his players during a Presidents Cup competition.  Sobel and contributor John Hawkins also will host live chats during each day of competition.

GolfChannel.com features the Golf Channel Social Lounge (www.GolfChannel.com/sociallounge), a recently launched social center that aggregates all social media posts related to the U.S. Open in one location on the site.  The Social Lounge currently is aggregating all content on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram mentioning @usopengolf.

PACE OF PLAY:  Golf Channel will mark the beginning of its U.S. Open coverage on June 1 with a unique, month-long program dedicated to help promote ideas and initiatives that improve pace of play and assist with the growth of the game.   Titled “It’s About Time,” the company-wide campaign will be conducted in partnership with the United States Golf Association, with each week of the month tied to concepts that will help golfers and golf course operators understand the problems and adopt new strategies for faster play.

XFINITY LIVE!:  Philadelphians can join the fun at XFINITY Live! Philadelphia, the dining and entertainment district in the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, where NBC and Golf Channel will host a public celebration of the U.S. Open Championship, complete with golf simulators, putting greens, photo booths, contests and giveaways, Golf Channel personalities and animated characters from favorite Universal Pictures feature films.  The two events will take place Friday, June 14 from 4-8 p.m., and a more family friendly gathering on Saturday, June 15, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

NBC Sports Group U.S. Open Coverage

Show                                           Network                           Airtime (all times ET)
Saturday, June 8
An Open Challenge                        CSN Philly                           6:30-7 p.m.
Tee off at Merion                           NBC10                                7:30-8 p.m.

Sunday, June
Made in Merion                              CSN Philly                           7-7:30 p.m.

Monday, June 10
Morning Drive                               Golf Channel                        7-9 a.m.
Live From the U.S. Open                Golf Channel                        11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (news conferences)
Philly Sports Talk                          CSN Philly                            5-6 p.m.
The Golf Fix                                 Golf Channel                         6-7 p.m.
Live From the U.S. Open               Golf Channel                          7-8 p.m.
Made in Merion                             CSN Philly                             7-7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, June 11
Morning Drive                              Golf Channel                          7-9 a.m.
Live From the U.S. Open               Golf Channel                          9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Philly Sports Talk                         CSN Philly                              5-6 p.m.
Live From the U.S. Open               Golf Channel                          7-9 p.m.
Made in Merion                             CSN Philly                             7-7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, June 12
Morning Drive                              Golf Channel                          7-9 a.m.
Live From the U.S. Open               Golf Channel                          9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Philly Sports Talk                          CSN Philly                             5-6 p.m.
Grey Goose 19th Hole                   Golf Channel                          6-7 p.m.
Live From the U.S. Open               Golf Channel                          7-9 p.m.
Made in Merion                             CSN Philly                             7-7:30 p.m.

Thursday, June 13
Morning Drive                              Golf Channel                          6-7 a.m.
Live From the U.S. Open               Golf Channel                          7-9 a.m.
U.S. Open Live Coverage              ESPN                                     9 a.m.-3 p.m.
U.S. Open live coverage                NBC                                      3-5 p.m.
Philly Sports Talk                          CSN Philly                             5-6 p.m.
U.S. Open live coverage                ESPN                                     5-7 p.m.
Made in Merion                            CSN Philly                              7-7:30 p.m.
Tee off at Merion                          NBC10                                   7:30-8 p.m.
Live From the U.S. Open               Golf Channel                           7-9 p.m.

Friday, June 14
Morning Drive                              Golf Channel                           6-7 a.m.
Live From the U.S. Open               Golf Channel                           7-9 a.m.
U.S. Open Live Coverage               ESPN                                     9 a.m.-3 p.m.
U.S. Open live coverage                NBC                                       3-5 p.m.
Philly Sports Talk                          CSN Philly                              5-6 p.m.
U.S. Open live coverage                ESPN                                      5-7 p.m.
Made in Merion                             CSN Philly                               7-7:30 p.m.
Tee off at Merion                           NBC10                                    7:30-8 p.m.
Live From the U.S. Open               Golf Channel                             7-9 p.m.

Saturday, June 15
Morning Drive                              Golf Channel                            7-9 a.m.
Live From the U.S. Open               Golf Channel                            9-11 a.m.
Morning Drive                              Golf Channel                            11 a.m.-Noon
U.S. Open live coverage                NBC                                         Noon-7:30 p.m.
Made in Merion                             CSN Philly                                7:30-8 p.m.
Tee off at Merion                          NBC10                                     7:30-8 p.m.
Live From the U.S. Open               Golf Channel                              7:30-9:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 16
Morning Drive                              Golf Channel                              7-9 a.m.
Live From the U.S. Open               Golf Channel                              9-11 a.m.
Morning Drive                              Golf Channel                              11 a.m.-Noon
Tee off at Merion                          NBC10                                       11:30 a.m.-Noon
U.S. Open live coverage                NBC                                           Noon-7:30 p.m.
Made in Merion                            CSN Philly                                   7:30-8 p.m.
Live From the U.S. Open               Golf Channel                               7:30-9:30 p.m.
Tee off at Merion                          NBC10                                        11:30 p.m.-12:05 a.m.

Getty Images

Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

"Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

Getty Images

Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

Getty Images

13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

“An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

Getty Images

McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

“I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

“Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.