Late May and early June are supposed to be quieter weeks on the PGA Tour. We're biding our time for the U.S. Open and the start of the summer sprint, which is especially manic this year with the Olympics condensing everything. The two-week swing through the Dallas-Forth Worth area used to be held in high esteem on the PGA Tour schedule, but they've receded over the years with Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan gone. It's a tough spot in the calendar and they're fighting for elbow room, trying to draw the stars of the game when those players are looking for weeks off before the summer really picks up.
This edition of the Byron Nelson, however, could be one of the best Sunday final rounds of the PGA Tour season. It has come together perfectly for the Dallas-based event, with hometown favorite Jordan Spieth playing in the final pairing of the final round alongside one of the top young bombers in the game, Brooks Koepka. It's an ideal scenario. The fan-favorite and the biggest draw in the game is trying to chase down one of his contemporaries who is thrilling to watch blast away each week.
You would think with this being a home event of sorts for Spieth that he's won it before, or at least consistently contended. But he's not been much of a factor since he debuted here as a 16-year-old high school amateur and went to Sunday's final round in a tie for seventh. He finished in 16th place back then, but has been quiet as a pro on a course he's known well since he was a child.
This is supposed to be one of those down weeks for the Tour's broadcast partners too. The coverage is limited compared to last week's Players Championship, which blows it out for the game's fifth major. Hell, CBS didn't even send Jim Nantz, who only skips the smallest events, to Dallas for this one (he'll likely do Colonial next week down the road in Fort Worth). But now they have Spieth, Koepka, and Sergio Garcia all inside the top five at the start of a Sunday that could be one of the year's best watches.
Spieth and Koepka will tee off at 1:50 p.m. ET and expect to see just about every shot from that final group during the Golf Channel and CBS broadcasts. Earlier in the season, you would miss a chunk of their early holes as viewers suffered through that brutal 30-minute blackout period during the switch from GC to CBS. That was allegedly to switch out graphics and talent, but every time it happened, Twitter would light up -- it became a weekend tradition over the years. But in recent weeks, PGA Tour Live and CBS have been offering a broadcast for that 2:30 to 3 p.m. stretch on the digital stream only. It's not clear how many know that has been put into effect, but that's where you can watch a good chunk of that front nine for Spieth and Koepka.
CBS will continue to take on criticism on Sunday. It's been a theme in a rough season for their coverage and it's not clear what they can do to appease the angry social media masses at this point. But it will be hard to screw this one up it seems -- show every Spieth and Koepka shot, cut some commercials down, and keep Sergio and other chasers freshly interwoven instead of nonstop Spieth swing analysis and exploring the narrative of his struggles. Here are all your media options for the final 18 from TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas:
Sunday's final-round coverage
1 to 2:30 p.m. -- Golf Channel
3 to 6 p.m. -- CBS
8:15 a.m. -- PGA Tour Live
- 8:15 a.m. -- Featured groups stream -- Jimmy Walker / Boo Weekley
- Completion of Walker/Weekley round -- Featured holes stream at Nos. 2 and 5
- 3 p.m. -- Featured groups stream -- Sergio Garcia / Kyle Reifers
1 to 2:30 p.m. -- Golf Channel/NBC Sports LiveExtra simulcast stream
2:30 to 6 p.m. -- CBS Sports/PGA Tour Live simulcast stream
1 to 6 p.m. -- PGA Tour Radio on Sirius-XM (Ch. 92/208 and streamed here)
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