The British Open is my favorite of golf’s four majors. There’s just something awesome about the game being played on the isle of its birth, on those old majestic Royal & Ancient courses. The 2009 Open Championship will be played at the Ailsa Course at Turnberry Golf Club, Scotland, July 16-19. This is the fourth time Turnberry has hosted the Open (previously held there in 1977, 1986 and 1994).
Padraig Harrington (pictured) has won the two previous Opens, and will look for a third championship this weekend. Harrington followed up his 2008 British Open victory with a win at the PGA Championship. But Harrington has struggled this year, and many expect a strong showing from Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia, Anthony Kim, Steve Stricker and Paul Casey.
It’s the final year that TNT will air the British Open, as coverage of all four rounds goes to ESPN/ABC beginning in 2010.
2009 British Open Championship TV Schedule
July 16 — First Round, TNT (7am-7pm ET/PT)
July 17 — Second Round, TNT (7am-7pm ET/PT)
July 18 — Third Round, TNT (7-9am ET), ABC (9am-2:30pm ET)
July 19 — Final Round, TNT (6-8am ET), ABC (8am-1:30pm ET)
More details on TNT and ESPN/ABC’s full British Open coverage plans after the jump.
British Open on TNT
TNT’s telecast of The Open Championship will feature an expert panel of announcers including two-time Emmy winning host Ernie Johnson who will be joined by 1991 British Open Champion winner and TNT analyst Ian Baker-Finch. Analyst/course reporter Bill Kratzert will also be a part of the coverage along with Jim Huber who will provide interviews and essays. TNT will once again partner with ABC to share coverage of the tournament, with ABC airing the duration of the third and final rounds.
The network earned an Emmy Award for its coverage of the British Open in 2005, which included Jack Nicklaus’ farewell to major championship golf from the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland.
2009 British Open Championship on TNT Programming Schedule
Thurs., July 16, 6:30am ET/PT – Preview Show
Thurs., July 16, 7am-7pm ET/PT – First Round Coverage
Fri., July 17, 7am-7pm ET/PT – Second Round Coverage
Sat., July 18, 7-9am ET/4-6am PT – Third Round Coverage
Sun., July 19, 6-8am ET/3-5am PT – Final Round Coverage
British Open on ABC/ESPN
ABC & ESPN to Present The Open Championship
Commentating Team: 14 Major Championships, Including Open Champions Tom Watson and Tom Weiskopf
ESPN’s production of The Open Championship from Turnberry in Ayrshire, Scotland, will be on ABC, including live third and final round coverage Saturday, July 18 (9am-2:30pm ET), and Sunday, July 19 (8am-1:30pm ET). Additionally, on ABC, SportsCenter at the Open Championship late-night highlight shows will air following the Thursday and Friday rounds from 1:05-1:35am ET/PT and Saturday and Sunday from 5-6pm (2-3pm PT).
ABC’s commentating team includes some of the most notable names in golf history. Tom Watson, who won the Open Championship at Turnberry in 1977 in a classic duel against Jack Nicklaus, will work with Tom Weiskopf, winner of the 1973 Open Championship. Watson (eight major championships, including five Open Championships), and Weiskopf join Curtis Strange (winner of two U.S. Opens), Andy North (winner of two U.S. Opens) and Paul Azinger (winner of one PGA Championship) on the ABC telecasts. Together, they have won 14 major championships. Judy Rankin, a World Golf Hall of Famer, will also be part of the broadcast team.
Mike Tirico will anchor the telecasts alongside Azinger, Watson and Weiskopf. Peter Alliss and Terry Gannon will serve as hole announcers with on-course reporters North, Rankin and Bill Kratzert. Tom Rinaldi will provide essays and interviews and Rick Reilly will contribute commentary.
Production highlights for the 2009 Open Championship include a feature on Watson’s classic duel with Nicklaus in the 1977 Open Championship at Turnberry. The two were paired together for the final two rounds. Nicklaus played the third and fourth rounds in 65-66. But Watson played them in 65-65 to win by a stroke. Other features will focus on Turnberry’s history as a former airfield in World War I and II as well as a look back at Greg Norman’s near-historic run at Royal Birkdale last year.
X-Mo: a super-slow motion camera that provides great detail of the swing and impact on the ball.
Golf Trak: an application that utilizes real-life aerial footage in a 3D environment to enhance the telecast.
An aerial camera, mounted on an airplane, will show Turnberry from a bird’s-eye perspective.
Highlights and coverage of the Open Championship will be made available on ESPN Mobile TV via ESPNEWS. Coverage on ESPN.com will be highlighted by:
- Daily real-time leaderboard updates, recaps, video highlights, chats, photo galleries, podcasts and analysis.
- Daily on-site contributions from Jason Sobel, Gene Wojciechowski, and Bob Harig.
- Sobel’s popular live blog each day of the Championship.
- Ten years after his dramatic collapse at Carnoustie, Jean Van de Velde looks back at his brush with history at golf’s oldest major.
- Archival video from of some of the best moments in Open Championship history.
- A look at two-time defending Open champion Padraig Harrington’s chances for a fourth major championship at Turnberry.
- News, analysis and features from Golf World and Golf Digest, in collaboration with ESPN.com.
- Post-event wrap-up and breakdown of the Championship.
The schedule on ABC:
Friday, July 17
1:05-1:35am (ET/PT) — SportsCenter at the Open Championship Highlights
Saturday, July 18
1:05-1:35am (ET/PT) —SportsCenter at the Open Championship Highlights
9am-2:30pm — Open Championship Third Round
5-6pm — SportsCenter at the Open Championship Highlights
Sunday, July 19
8am-1:30pm — Open Championship Fourth Round
5-6pm — SportsCenter at the Open Championship Highlights
Beginning in 2010, ESPN and its family of networks and digital platforms will present all four rounds of The Open Championship including expanded coverage on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ABC, ESPN360.com, ESPN Mobile TV and interactive television.