This week: The Open Championship and the Barbasol
In case you haven’t seen these previews before, I come at them from the standpoint of whether or not it’s worth your time to tune in based on a variety of factors. Field strength, TV schedule (North America) and the course are the three main factors at play when discussing the watchability of each event, along with whatever notes I can dig up that contributes to its quality. Each event is then given a Miller score (because Johnny Miller really is the best) out of ten. I usually only focus on the PGA and European Tours because that’s where my knowledge tends to sit.
This week: The Open Championship and the Barbasol Championship.
- Event: The Open Championship
- Course: Royal Troon (1878)
- Location: Troon, South Ayrshire, Scotland
- Five Consensus Favourites: Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott
- TV Schedule:
- Thursday: 1:30 AM to 4:00 PM ET (Golf Channel)
- Friday: 1:30 AM to 4:00 PM ET (Golf Channel)
- Saturday: 4:00 AM to 7:00 AM ET (Golf Channel) & 7:00 AM to 2:30 PM ET (NBC)
- Sunday: 4:00 AM to 7:00 AM ET (Golf Channel) & 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM ET (NBC)
To be perfectly honest, it feels kinda silly to post a watchability preview for the Open Championship. You guys know that you should be watching it, and with Golf Channel and NBC taking over coverage rights for the first time in North America in 2016, you’re going to have plenty of chances to sit down and watch the action from Troon this week. I mean, look at that schedule above. That is not a typo for the first two days, as they really are going to have 29 HOURS of live coverage starting at 1:30 AM and going all the way to 4:00 PM on the east coast. It’s an insane amount of golf, and even though the hours are going to have you sleepy at work, you know it’s definitely worth it, so don’t let that be a barrier to entry over the next few days. Mike Tirico, who NBC recently poached from ESPN, will be heading up the coverage on NBC and will be joined by the usual NBC golf team, including David Feherty who will be making his first appearance as a member of an Open Championship broadcasting team.
The field is great, as you would expect with all of the best players in the world teeing it up over one of Scotland’s best courses.
Troon always provides a stiff test, and it will play even tougher if the weather is as nasty as the forecast suggests. Thursday and Sunday don’t look too bad, but Friday and Saturday definitely look like days where the players will have their abilities and patience tested thanks to not only rain, but heavy winds, which makes some of the narrow driving holes, particularly on the back nine, all the more treacherous. It’s truly one of the most fun courses to watch in the Open rota, and when you throw in the difficult conditions, it really does make for must see TV.
There’s absolutely no reason good enough to miss the tournament this week, but again, you already knew that. You’ll have plenty of golf available to you from Troon this week, so make sure that you tune in.
The Open Championship earns a score of 10 Millers out of 10.
- Event: The Barbasol Championship
- Course: RTJ Trail – Grand National Lake Course (Robert Trent Jones)
- Location: Auburn, Alabama
- Five Consensus Favourites: Boo Weekley, Kyle Reifers, Martin Laird, Ben Martin, David Hearn
- TV Schedule:
- Thursday: 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM ET (Golf Channel)
- Friday: 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM ET (Golf Channel)
- Saturday: 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM ET (Golf Channel)
- Sunday: 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM ET (Golf Channel)
So, there is an opposite field event this week taking place in Alabama as the players not qualified for the Open will head to the RTJ Trail for the Barbasol Championship.
To be perfectly honest, it’s difficult to get excited about this one when NBC and Golf Channel have already dedicated about 198231 hours to the Open. The course is nothing special to look at and there really isn’t anything that stands out about it that makes it truly unique, and when you look at the consensus favourites above, it’s obviously a sparse field when you’ve got everyone over at Troon. The timeslot is decent enough in that you’ll be able to watch all of the Open before turning this one on, but if you’ve already got your golf fix for the week, no one’s going to blame you. Tune in if you have some free time, but other than that, you can probably take a pass.
The Barbasol Championship earns a score of 3 Millers out of 10.