U.S. Open to run deep into prime time

Tiger Woods after winning the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach by 15 shots.

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PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – The U.S. Open at Pebble Beach will be televised later than ever in prime time on the weekend.

The USGA made it official Monday by releasing TV times for the U.S. Open, to be held June 17-20. The third round on NBC is scheduled to end at 11 p.m. EDT on Saturday. Coverage of Sunday’s final round is to end at 9 p.m. EDT.

U.S. Open coverage first went into prime time on the weekend at Torrey Pines two years ago, when it ended at 10 p.m. EDT on Saturday and 9 p.m. EDT for the final round. That led to the highest rating for a U.S. Open in six years, and the third-best Sunday rating in U.S. Open history. Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate were tied after 72 holes, and Woods won in a playoff the next day.

“Playing the Open on the West Coast in June allows us to showcase this championship in prime time,” said Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Universal Sports and Olympics. “It should make for a great Father’s Day weekend with the best golfers in the world competing on one of golf’s most picturesque courses in prime time.”

The USGA first mentioned the U.S. Open’s prime time coverage in February during the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

The U.S. Open returns to Pebble Beach for the first time since 2000, when Tiger Woods shattered the major championship record with his 15-shot victory.

ESPN went into prime time with its weekday coverage of that 2000 U.S. Open, ending its telecast of the first round at 10:30 p.m. EDT and the second round at 11:22 p.m.

The U.S. Open will have more than 30 hours of live TV coverage, nearly twice as much as the Masters. ESPN will provide coverage Thursday and Friday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., with NBC Sports taking the 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. window during the weekdays. NBC will broadcast the third round from 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, and the fourth round from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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