The 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black was about as emotional as a golf tournament could get. Just a week away from his wife, Amy, undergoing breast cancer surgery, Phil Mickelson made a brave run at the U.S. Open title, taking a share of the lead in the final round with an eagle on the 13th hole. The New York gallery was fully behind him, but it wasn’t enough. Missed putts on holes 15 and 17 ended Mickelson’s inspired run, and he would finish in second place, two strokes behind winner Lucas Glover. It was Mickelson’s fifth second-place U.S. Open finish, a tournament record. But with a win at the 2010 Masters in April, Mickelson seems fully recharged and ready to make a run at winning the U.S. Open, held this year at Pebble Beach Golf Links in California. ESPN and NBC share coverage of the tournament June 17-20. TV Schedule below, followed by releases from ESPN and NBC after the jump:
U.S. Open Golf on ESPN & NBC
Thursday, June 17 — First Round 1-3pm ET, ESPN; 3-5pm ET, NBC; 5-10pm ET, ESPN
Friday, June 18 — Second Round 1-3pm ET, ESPN; 3-5pm ET, NBC; 5-10pm ET, ESPN
Saturday, June 19 — Third Round 4:30-11pm ET, NBC
Sunday, June 20 — Final Round 3-9pm ET, NBC
ESPN’s Coverage of the 2010 U.S. Open Championship Returns to Prime Time
First and Second Rounds Live on TV, Over 65 Unique Hours Across Multimedia Platforms
In its 29th consecutive year, ESPN will present comprehensive multiplatform coverage of the 2010 U.S. Open Championship from Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, Calif., including live telecasts of the first two rounds on ESPN on Thursday and Friday, June 17-18. Additionally, there will be coverage of the National Championship across 14 platforms: ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN2, ESPN2 HD, ESPNEWS, ESPNEWS HD, ESPN Classic, ESPN International, ESPN.com, ESPN3.com, ESPN Audio, ESPN On Demand, Interactive Television and ESPN Mobile TV.
ESPN will deliver 14 hours of live first- and second-round action (1 – 3 p.m. ET and 5 – 10 p.m. ET both days). In addition, ESPN and ESPN2 will air SportsCenter presented by IBM at the U.S. Open preview and highlight shows, plus The Best of the U.S. Open presented by Titleist Friday and Saturday in the overnight hours and re-airs of the third and final rounds over the weekend. All telecasts will be in high definition.
Chris Berman, who has covered the U.S. Open on ESPN since 1986, and Scott Van Pelt will host ESPN’s live telecasts Thursday and Friday. ESPN’s golf team also includes two-time U.S. Open Champions Curtis Strange (analyst) and Andy North (on-course reporter) as well as Roger Maltbie, Terry Gannon, Gary Koch and Sean McDonough (hole announcers) and on-course reporters Bill Kratzert and Judy Rankin. Van Pelt and John Anderson will anchor SportsCenter reports from Pebble Beach. Tom Rinaldi will contribute interviews and reports and ESPN The Magazine columnist Rick Reilly will provide essays and commentary.
Among the features planned for ESPN’s television coverage:
• Was Tiger Woods’ performance at Pebble Beach in 2000 the most dominant ever?
• Pebble Beach’s 7th hole, one of the shortest and toughest holes in golf
• 50 years ago, Arnold Palmer’s big moment at the 1960 U.S. Open at Cherry Hills
• A look at what players are really thinking about in their backswing
• What does a “Swing Doctor” really do?
• An essay on Tiger Woods by Rick Reilly
2010 U.S. Open & ESPN
Date Time (ET) Telecast Network
Tues, June 15 2-3 p.m. SportsCenter presented by IBM at the U.S. Open ESPN2
Wed, June 16 2-3 p.m. SportsCenter presented by IBM at the U.S. Open ESPN2
Thurs, June 17 1-3 p.m. First Round ESPN, ESPN3.com, ESPN Mobile TV
1-7 p.m. First Round ESPN Radio, ESPNRadio.com
5-10 p.m. First Round ESPN, ESPN3.com, ESPN Mobile TV
Fri, June 18 12-1 a.m, SportsCenter presented by IBM at the U.S. Open ESPN2
1-4:30 a.m, Best of the U.S. Open presented by Titleist (First Round) ESPN2
1-3 p.m. Second Round ESPN, ESPN3.com, ESPN Mobile TV
1-7 p.m. Second Round ESPN Radio, ESPNRadio.com
5- 10 p.m. Second Round ESPN, ESPN3.com, ESPN Mobile TV
Sat, June 19 12-1 a.m. SportsCenter presented by IBM at the U.S. Open ESPN2
3-6 a.m. Best of the U.S. Open presented by Titleist (Second Round) ESPN
1-2 p.m. SportsCenter presented by IBM at the U.S. Open ESPN, ESPN Mobile TV
5-11 p.m. Third Round ESPN Radio, ESPNRadio.com
Sun, June 20 12-1 a.m. SportsCenter presented by IBM at the U.S. Open ESPN2
3-6 a.m. Best of the U.S. Open (Third Round) ESPN
1-2 p.m. SportsCenter presented by IBM at the U.S. Open ESPN, ESPN Mobile TV
3-9 p.m. Final Round ESPN Radio, ESPNRadio.com
Mon, June 21 12-1 a.m. SportsCenter presented by IBM at the U.S. Open ESPN2
1:30-5 a.m. Best of the U.S. Open (Final Round) ESPN2
ESPN3.com will offer four unique channels of U.S. Open early round coverage Thursday and Friday, including:
• ESPN’s live TV coverage (1-3 p.m. & 5-10 p.m.)
• Holes 7 & 17 (live 1-10 p.m.)
• 18th Hole (live 1-10 p.m.)
• Historical U.S. Open Championships at Pebble Beach (1972 – Jack Nicklaus, 1982 – Tom Watson, 1992 – Tom Kite and 2000 – Tiger Woods)
The 2010 U.S. Open marks ESPN Audio’s initial foray into golf play-by-play. ESPN Radio will present live play-by-play coverage of all four rounds of the U.S. Open (1-7 p.m. ET on Thursday and Friday, 5-11 p.m. on Saturday and 3-9 p.m. Sunday). Additionally, ESPN Radio will produce preview specials on Tuesday and Wednesday (7-8 p.m.), post-championship shows and live updates within SportsCenter reports airing three times per hour. ESPNRadio.com, ESPN Deportes Radio and ESPNDeportes.com will include the U.S. Open leaderboard, Championship updates and player interviews. Sean McDonough and Bob Wischusen will host live broadcasts with other ESPN analysts contributing. Chuck Wilson and Freddie Coleman will host preview shows with Doug Brown, Marc Kestecher and Dan Davis providing post-round coverage. ESPN Radio’s coverage of the U.S. Open will also be available on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio (Sirius channel 120 and XM channel 140).
ESPN will produce the U.S. Open Mix interactive TV offering, available through DirecTV (channels 701-705), which will include four channels of live TV coverage, Marquee Group, Holes 7 & 17 and the 18th hole. U.S. Open Mix will be available all four days of the Championship.
Covering the 2010 U.S. Open from all angles, ESPN.com will provide:
• Jason Sobel’s popular daily Cover It Live analysis throughout the Championship;
• Expert opinions from featured writers that include Gene Wojciechowski, Bob Harig and Sobel;
• Interactive leaderboard and live scores;
• A golf-themed fantasy game, Best Ball Majors, U.S. Edition, the second installment of the ESPN Best Ball Challenge;
• Extensive video content, including highlights, analysis, clips from SportsCenter and press conferences;
• Also, photo galleries, podcasts, live chats, SportsNation polling and more.
• Live mobile video simulcasts of ESPN’s first- and second-round telecasts and SportsCenter presented by IBM at the U.S. Open preview shows of the third and final rounds;
• News and highlights on the ESPN mobile Web site with a U.S. Open leaderboard;
• U.S. Open Insider content, news, and columns;
• Scoring alerts for top players;
• Video shot packs of select golfers.
ESPN On Demand
Available to approximately 27 million households nationwide, ESPN On Demand will offer unique U.S. Open programming to fans, including Tiger Woods’ victories in 2000, 2002 and 2008; Jack Nicklaus’ last U.S. Open win in 1980; and a Sport Science piece focused on the spin produced by golf wedges.
ESPN Classic will pay tribute to the U.S. Open beginning Tuesday, June 15, with 35 hours of official U.S. Open highlight videos leading up to the first round Thursday, June 17.
ESPN International will televise over 26 hours of live U.S. Open action to more than 218 million homes and 133 countries outside the U.S., including viewers in Asia (ESPN Star Sports), Canada (TSN), the Caribbean, Israel, Latin America, the Middle East and Northern Africa. ESPN’s telecast in Latin America will feature the commentator team of Silvia Bertolaccini and Francisco Aleman, and in Brazil, Marco Rodrigues and Ricardo Melo. Fans in Latin America will also be able to follow ESPN’s live simulcast television coverage and a continuous feed of Pebble Beach’s signature holes, including the 7th, 17th and 18th via ESPN Play – ESPN’s signature broadband platform in the region–along with full editorial coverage on ESPNDeportes.com.
U. S. Open on NBC
TIGER WOODS, PHIL MICKELSON & GOLF’S BEST COMPETE FOR 2010 U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP AT PEBBLE BEACH THURSDAY-SUNDAY ON NBC SPORTS
“This is the top of the top.” – NBC Sports’ Johnny Miller
“It is singularly the most important golf course in America.” – NBC Sports’ Roger Maltbie on Pebble Beach
Pebble Beach, Calif. – June 16, 2010 – Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, defending champion Lucas Glover and the best players in the world will compete for the 2010 U.S. Open Championship from Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California this Thursday-Sunday on NBC.
NBC Sports will provide more than 16 hours of high definition U.S. Open coverage – the most extensive coverage provided for any golf event and the only tournament with network coverage of first- and second-round play. The third and fourth rounds will be broadcast in primetime. On Saturday, NBC Sports’ third-round coverage will air from 4:30-11 p.m. ET, while final-round coverage will air on Father’s Day Sunday from 3-9 p.m. ET.
Thursday, June 17 3-5 p.m. ET
Friday, June 18 3-5 p.m. ET
Saturday, June 19 4:30-11 p.m. ET
Sunday, June 20 3-9 p.m. ET
Bob Costas will serve as event host for the third and final rounds. Host Dan Hicks and analyst Johnny Miller, together for their 11th season, anchor coverage from the 18th-hole tower. Hicks and Miller are joined by tower reporters Gary Koch, Brad Faxon, and Peter Jacobsen; on-course reporters Roger Maltbie, Mark Rolfing and Dottie Pepper; interviewer/essayist Jimmy Roberts and Golf World’s Tim Rosaforte.
“CUE BALL” CAMERAS: Similar to the ‘periscope’ cameras used at THE PLAYERS Championship, NBC Sports will employ two ‘cue ball’ cameras at Pebble Beach at the seventh and 18th holes. The 18th hole camera will provide a unique view of the players approaching the green from the ocean side and will have a point-blank view of a ball that lands in the bunker. In addition, there will be a new crane camera on the 18th hole (see Tommy Roy’s comments below).
NBC SPORTS BY THE NUMBERS:
10 Production Trucks
274 On-site staff
2,430,000 Feet of fiber cable
“IT’S NOT A FAIR FIGHT”: Roger Maltbie recounts Tiger Woods’ famous shot at the Par 5 sixth hole during the 2000 U.S. Open Championship from Pebble Beach:
“Tiger drove the ball in the right rough. I was on the Tower at 18. My thought was that most of the guys in the field would have to hack a wedge out underneath a gigantic hillside cliff. It was a very elevated, blind shot up over this hill. He put himself in a really horrible position. The next thing you know, he pulls out what I think was a seven iron and he hacks this ball up and over the cliff, and runs it onto the front of the green. All kind of grass flew everywhere.
“I was so flabbergasted that the only thought that came to my mind was ‘It’s just not a fair fight.’ No one else can do this. Sometimes the fun and the marvel of watching Tiger play is that he’ll hit shots that very few people in the world can even contemplate hitting. And when he does it, you’re just floored.”
CONFERENCE CALL: Hicks, Miller, Maltbie and NBC Sports’ golf producer Tommy Roy all took part in a conference call today to preview NBC Sports’ coverage of the 2010 U.S. Open from Pebble Beach. Following are highlights.
HICKS ON US OPEN: “It’s the greatest championship we do. When you combine that at Pebble Beach, it makes it incredibly special.”
MILLER ON A US OPEN AT PEBBLE BEACH: “This is the top of the top for me. It goes back to when I was eight years old, coming to Pebble Beach and watching the Bing Crosby…For me, it’s just the best. The Tiger Woods performance in 2000, I thought, was the best I had ever seen. It was the best in history.”
MALTBIE ON PEBBLE BEACH: “It is singularly the most important golf course in America. If you ask an international person what golf course they recognize in America, their first words will be Pebble Beach. It is a grand golf course and a huge part of the story…It is brilliant in how its laid out. It has the smallest greens in all of championship golf, and most of these players have only seen this golf course in the throws of winter when its soft and entirely different. This is a different animal this week. I’ve never seen the golf course better…Play lines from the tee have been shifted to bring the coast more into play. Of course, that’s the golf course’s singular most important feature.”
ROY: “It’s the world’s greatest golfers playing on America’s best venue. There’s no need for gimmicks or television gadgetry here. It’s all about the pictures and the storytelling… I’ve been looking forward to tomorrow, the opening round, since we went off the air from here 10 years ago. Away we go.”
HICKS ON 2000 US OPEN: “It’s hard to believe that it’s been all these years since I did my first US Open with Johnny in 2000, and we all know what happened there. Little did I know that as we reflect back some 10 years ago that we would be where we are with Tiger right now, but at the time it was the greatest performance we’ve ever seen. I think, taking with Johnny and others about it through the years and even at the time, I didn’t think we’d see anything that would come close. Honestly, in my lifetime, I don’t know if we’ll every see anything like what we saw that week at Pebble Beach.”
MILLER ON TIGER’S SWING COMPARED TO 2000: “His middle and short iron swing has been pretty good. He has nice tempo. He pauses at the top like in 2000…His driver swing is like another person swinging. It doesn’t really resemble the iron swing.”
HICKS ON STORYLINES: “The storylines coming in here on this incredible golf course — a golf course that I think is going to be different than any other Pebble Beach championship of tournament that’s been staged here. With everything that’s been done with the golf course, it’s going to be absolutely off the charts and in incredible shape. It’s a beautiful day here today. The weather’s going to dictate a lot of things…The fact that we go into primetime on Saturday and Sunday…If we get the kind of story lines that we think we can get, it will be a tremendous success not only for NBC Sports but for everybody watching at home. To have this incredible golf course on display in that time frame is special.”
MILLER ON STORYLINES: “A lot of guys just cannot handle the US Open pressure. Everything plays out after the first round. I’m excited to see what does happen, to see if Tiger woods can actually come out of the box and put all his stuff behind him and actually turn back the clock to 2000 and do his thing, and whether Ernie Ells can get back on track, and Phil, the birthday boy today. There are a million stories.”
MALTBIE ON THE WEATHER: “You never know about the fog here on the coast. It will be the players’ friend, if we do get that. If we have sunny conditions with a bit of breeze, this golf course will provide a great championship. I’d be very surprised if any body broke par. I would be very shocked at that.”
MILLER ON HIS FAMILIARITY WITH THE COURSE: I could be in Italy right now and cover the US Open and you wouldn’t know it. I know every blade of grass out here. I know every break on the green. I’ve gone out and seen every pin placement, hole location. For me it’s like going home.”
MALTBIE ON THE WEATHER II: “You want it to be foggy. Fog is your friend. There is a little moisture in the grass. It slows the course just ever so slightly and usually the wind doesn’t blow when it’s foggy. If that fog goes away, it’s because the wind pushed it away…The wind will suck whatever moisture remaining in these greens out and they become extremely hard at that point in time…It changes it’s complexion completely.”
MILLER ON PRESSURE: “The pressure at the Open and the British Open and the Masters is just amazing. It’s such a great feeling when you really look at it…All Nicklaus wanted to do is give himself a chance on the back nine…Not everyone can handle it — the pressure of winning an Open…Usually you still have to hit some pressure shots and usually have to go through the gauntlet like no other. The US Open is the heaviest pressure in the world. To win the trophy that says ‘United States Open.’ I don’t think we as Americans quite appreciate what the rest of the world feels when they hold up that trophy…It’s just huge. A European hasn’t won since 1970. I think it’s just the pressure of the US Open, not so much the courses or the set up. We’re an amazing country and everyone would like to have their name on that trophy.”
MILLER ON TOM WATSON: “He’ll just play it with a lot of wisdom and cunning, and also past knowledge…Forget the age. You think, ‘well, he’s not a favorite’ but he could contend. I don’t know if he can do it for four rounds, but he’s a great part of the story if he can have a good first round.”
ROY ON 18th HOLE CRANE CAMERA: “The camera is actually on a big crane parked in a family’s backyard here. They were kind enough to let us park the crane in their backyard. They actually tore out their shrubbery in the back so we could get it in there. The tee shots at 18 will be struck right at this camera, and then the second shots will be what we call a “speed shot.” So the ball will actually come flying by our camera and then land in the vicinity of the green. It’s an angle that no one’s ever seen before here at Pebble. No one’s ever been able to put a camera in a position like that. I can tell you, it’s going to be a dramatic shot. Should be fun.”