The 2015 Open Championship gets underway from St. Andrews on Thursday and despite the time change and unusual hours in the United States, viewers will still be able to watch plenty of live golf if they are willing to sacrifice sleep. The British Open is running five hours ahead of Eastern time in the United States, so television coverage will begin bright and early at 4 a.m. ET.
A number of players will already be on the course by that time with the field scheduled to begin going off the first tee at 1:32 a.m. As is British Open tradition, every player will begin his round from the No. 1 tee box, so the first few groups will be well into their rounds when television coverage begins on ESPN. The first-round action will continue well into the afternoon with coverage scheduled to run until 3 p.m. Although the weather may not be ideal all week in Scotland, there will be plenty of daylight allowing the field to play well into the night.
After not being part of the U.S. Open broadcast, ESPN is back televising major championship golf. And with ESPN's return will come a number of viewing options. The standard television coverage will air from 4 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, but there will also be multiple online streams. WatchESPN and ESPN3 will provide a simulcast feed of the TV coverage with a Spanish feed and an international BBC feed also available.
No. 17 is the most famous hole at St. Andrews and viewers on Thursday will be able to watch every player play the "Road Hole" thanks to a featured hole stream that will begin at 4:50 a.m. Those unable to watch online or on TV can follow along with an ESPN Radio broadcast from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Coming off wins at Augusta National and in the U.S. Open, Jordan Spieth begins The Open attempting to win a third straight major and the first three legs of the grand slam. Rightfully so, he is drawing the most attention of any player in the field. He will tee off at 4:33 a.m. in the first round and viewers will be able to see every shot he hits on the opening day thanks to a featured group stream. Spieth will play with Dustin Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama and the three will make up the morning featured group. Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson and Matt Kuchar will combine for the afternoon featured group. They are scheduled to tee off at 9:34 a.m.
With ESPN on the broadcast, some familiar names and voices will be calling the action on Thursday. Scott Van Pelt, Mike Tirico and Sean McDonough will anchor the broadcast while Paul Azinger, Curtis Strange and Andy North will be among the analysts on the course at St. Andrews.
Spieth will headline the morning action, but he won't be the only big name on the course early in the morning. Tiger Woods is scheduled to tee off with Louis Oosthuizen and Jason Day at 4:55 a.m. Rickie Fowler is a popular pick this week coming off his win at the Scottish Open. He will be one of the bigger names teeing off in the afternoon as he's set to play at 9:45 a.m. with Nick Faldo and Justin Rose. The full tee sheet can be found here.
Here is a complete look at the first round TV coverage from St. Andrews. All times Eastern.
Thursday's first round coverage
4 a.m. to 3 p.m. -- ESPN
4 a.m. to 3 p.m. -- WatchESPN/ESPN3 simulcast of TV coverage, Spanish feed, and International BBC feed
4:20 a.m. ET -- ESPN3 Featured groups stream (4:33 a.m. ET -- Spieth/D. Johnson/Matsuyama, 9:34 a.m. ET -- Mickelson/Stenson/Kuchar)
4:50 a.m. ET -- WatchESPN/ESPN3 featured holes stream -- No. 17, St. Andrews' famous "Road Hole"
7 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET -- ESPN Radio / PGA Tour Radio on Sirius-XM (Ch. 93/208)