With the U.S. Open set to begin at Pinehurst No. 2 on Thursday, ESPN and NBC have ramped up their coverage of the second major of the year. The networks will combine to provide 10 hours of live first-round television coverage, but the increased coverage extends beyond the television broadcast. There will also be multiple options to follow the first round online with several live streams.
Viewers who'd like to watch the television broadcast on their computer or mobile device are in luck, as both ESPN and NBC will provide live online simulcast streams of the television coverage. ESPN's live coverage will begin at 9 a.m. ET with a stream available from WatchESPN. In order to access WatchESPN either on a computer or mobile device, viewers will need to authenticate their cable service. NBC will take over coverage from 3 to 5 p.m. A live simulcast of NBC's coverage will be available from NBC LiveExtra. Television coverage will shift to ESPN2 from 5 to 6 p.m. before finishing the day on ESPN from 6 to 7 p.m. with a live stream again available from WatchESPN.
Pairings and start time for the opening round
The season's second major arrives Thursday morning at Pinehurst, where a 156-man field will compete for America's national championship.
Online viewers won't be limited to simulcast streams, however. They'll actually be able to watch more live golf than the television coverage provides. ESPN3 will provide a live stream of hole Nos. 9 and 18 beginning at 9 a.m. That will allow viewers to catch every group for at least two holes. Several notable players will tee off before 8 a.m. on Thursday, well before the start of television coverage. While online viewers won't be able to see the early play of Brandt Snedeker, Matt Kuchar, Sergio Garcia and a few others, they will be able to watch the trio of Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose and Matthew Fitzpatrick play their entire rounds live. USOpen.com will provide a pair of marquee group streams with Mickelson's pairing getting featured group coverage in the morning. The three are scheduled to tee off at 7:51 a.m. The featured pairing in the afternoon will have a Masters feel to it, with the last three players to claim the green jacket making up the marquee group. Charl Schwartzel, Adam Scott and 2014 Masters champion Bubba Watson are scheduled to tee off at 1:25 p.m. ESPN3 will have morning and afternoon featured streams of their own. Rory McIlroy, Webb Simpson and Graeme McDowell will be featured in the morning stream with Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley and Martin Kaymer receiving afternoon coverage. The McIlroy trio will tee off at 7:40 a.m. with Dufner's group scheduled to tee off at 1:47 p.m.
Viewers who miss any of the action live and have access to WatchESPN will be able to catch up Thursday night. SportsCenter from the U.S. Open will air highlights of the first round at 7 p.m. with Best of the U.S. Open scheduled to air at 8 p.m. Both will be available online.
First round coverage
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. -- ESPN
3 p.m. to 5 p.m. -- NBC
5 p.m. to 6 p.m. -- ESPN2
6 p.m. to 7 p.m. -- ESPN
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. -- WatchESPN simulcast
3 to 5 p.m. -- NBC Sports LiveExtra simulcast
USOpen.com Featured Groups stream -- 7:51 a.m. (Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Matthew Fitzpatrick), 1:25 p.m. (Bubba Watson, Charl Schwartzel, Adam Scott)
9 a.m. -- ESPN3 live stream of Nos. 9 and 18
9 a.m. -- ESPN3 featured groups -- 7:40 a.m. (Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Webb Simpson), 1:47 p.m. (Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, Martin Kaymer)
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. -- PGA Tour Radio on Sirius-XM (Ch. 93/208)
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. -- ESPN Radio