NBC to air U.S. Open in primetime

Third-round of golf tournament gets special platform

Tiger Woods is going primetime.

On the heels of stellar ratings for the recent Masters on CBS, NBC will offer evening broadcasts of the upcoming U.S. Open from Pebble Beach.

The U.S. Open — the second leg of golf’s grand slam and skedded June 17-20 — is the Peacock’s premiere golf event of the year and this year’s tourney sets up an intriguing rematch between Woods and Masters champ Phil Mickelson. Both players were in contention in Augusta, Ga., but Mickelson’s steady play gave him the win over Woods, who was wildly inconsistent during the final round.

NBC will offer 6 1/2 hours of coverage of the third round (June 19), from 4:30-11 p.m. ET. The fourth round will run until 9 p.m. ET the following day.

ESPN, which has cable rights to the tournament, will go primetime for the first two rounds.

“Providing primetime coverage of the U.S. Open gives the entire nation immediate access to the drama of our national golf championship,” said United States Golf Assn. president Jim Hyler. “This up-to-the-minute window elevates the experience of the U.S. Open at one of golf’s most beautiful and challenging venues.”

If there’s a tie at the top of the leaderboard after Sunday, instead of an immediate three-hole playoff, an entire 18-hole round will be played at noon ET Monday. ESPN would cover the first two hours while NBC would telecast the playoff from that point.

CBS drew a 36% higher ratings this year than in 2009 when Angel Cabrera wore the green jacket.