There has never been a major championship broadcast from the very first tee shot until the finish on Sunday afternoon, until this year. Golf Channel and NBC are making their Open Championship debut this week at Royal Troon, and it's the first time ever at a major for Golf Channel. Because it's, well, the golf channel, this is pretty much their entire week, so they opted to go live right from the very start.
Golf Channel is back at it again on Friday, coming on the air at 1:30 a.m. ET for "Game 1" as the term goes at The Open. So, if you were still up, or for some insane reason (like me), just getting up for the day, you saw Greg Chalmers lead it all off in the second round. Now, if you're just getting up at a normal hour back in the States, you still have a good seven or eight hours of golf ahead of you.
The good news for the American audience is that the top names in the game are all also playing during this morning stretch. We got Phil Mickelson's run at setting a new major championship scoring record in the same late window on Thursday, and now we'll get the full "Big Three" out there on Friday. Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, and Jason Day are all playing in the same wave in this first two rounds at Royal Troon. Their tee times are all in about a 30-minute cluster around 9 a.m. ET, so expect their three groups -- especially Rory and Jordan, who are both lurking -- to get a lot of the love and coverage from the Golf Channel cameras.
It's supposed to get ugly on Friday over at Troon, with the sun gone and the wind and rain picking up for some "proper Scottish golf." No one should come close to Mickelson's round of 63 on Thursday, and they should be happy with anything that's in the red. The conditions are not fun to play in, but quite fun to watch. It's a totally different and unique challenge for these players and one we're not used to seeing week-in and week-out on the American tours.
The broadcast is scheduled to run almost 14 hours. The pace of play on Thursday was pretty quick, and the final groups finished up well before 4 p.m. ET back in the U.S. But again, this is the Golf Channel so they're pretty flexible to go back and forth from the official Open broadcast to what would be their typical Live From postgame show.
Here are all your media options on Friday on The Open:
Friday's second round coverage
1:30 a.m.-4 p.m. -- Golf Channel
1:30 a.m.-4 p.m. -- Golf Channel broadcast simulcast stream
1:30-11:30 a.m. -- "First Tee" stream
3 a.m.-1:30 p.m. -- Featured holes stream, Nos. 6 to 8 (famous Postage Stamp par-3)
3 a.m.-1 p.m. -- Sirius XM PGA Tour Radio (Ch. 92/208)