If you are a fan of the top players in golf or are a television executive, the first round of the British Open was likely close to as good as it gets. The stars were out in full force with Rory McIlroy in the lead and Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott and Tiger Woods all in the top 10. The second round on Friday will determine whether the leaderboard remains star-studded heading into the weekend. Once again, viewers will have multiple options to watch the round online and will be able to watch more than 11 hours of live coverage.
Woods and McIlroy were among the morning wave in the first round. Viewers will have to wait a while to see how they fare in the afternoon as both will tee off in the late groups. Woods -- who shot a 3-under round of 69 on Thursday -- will tee off at 9:05 a.m. ET, five hours later than he did in the first round. McIlroy will begin his round two groups later with a 9:27 a.m. ET tee time. McIlroy carded a bogey-free round to open the tournament and leads at 6-under.
The two former No. 1s could face an additional challenge in the second round. The conditions made scoring a much easier task in the morning with the course playing more than a stroke harder for the afternoon wave. That tends to be the case at the British Open with the course firming up as the day goes on and the wind picking up. If that proves to be true on Friday, the afternoon wave may struggle to find the red numbers they scored on Thursday.
The British Open
The British Open
It's also possible McIlroy, Woods and the rest of the late groups could benefit. There is a chance of rain in the forecast and it's scheduled to hit in the morning before clearing up. The later groups may not have to deal with that and would step to a softer course.
Adam Scott was one of the few players to find considerable success on Thursday afternoon. He opened with a 4-under round of 68. He will tee off at 4:26 a.m. ET and could take over the lead in the clubhouse with a similar performance. Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Justin Rose and Jason Dufner are among the other players scheduled to play in the morning wave.
ESPN will once again provide wall-to-wall television coverage with the main broadcast and additional offerings available online. The network's television coverage will run for 11 hours from 4 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET. There will be a live simulcast stream of the broadcast available from WatchESPN. Although a few groups will tee off before the broadcast begins and a handful of players may still be on the course when it ends, the coverage will allow viewers to watch nearly every key shot live as it happens.
In addition to the main coverage, ESPN will also offer three other streams. There will be an ESPN3 stream with the international broadcast, a featured group stream and a featured holes stream. Mickelson's pairing with Bubba Watson and Ernie Els will be the morning featured group while Woods, Henrik Stenson and Angel Cabrera will be the featured group in the afternoon. The featured holes stream will cover Nos. 13, 14 and 15. The three holes played tough in the first round with No. 14 the second-hardest hole on the course.
Friday's second round coverage
(All times Eastern)
4 a.m. to 3 p.m. -- ESPN
4 a.m. to 3 p.m. -- ESPN3 simulcast of TV coverage, Spanish feed and International (BBC) streams
4 a.m. to TBD -- ESPN3 Phil Mickelson (4:04 a.m.) and Tiger Woods (9:05 a.m.) cam, streaming every shot
4:30 a.m. -- ESPN3 featured holes stream, Nos. 13 through 15
7 a.m. to 1 p.m. -- ESPN Radio / PGA Tour Radio on Sirius-XM (Ch. 93/208)