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NBC SPORTS DELIVERS ITS MOST-WATCHED OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP FIRST ROUND ON RECORD – NOTES & QUOTES FROM SECOND ROUND AT ST. ANDREWS

First-Round Viewership on USA Network Up 28% vs. 2021, Up 15% vs. 2019

“Golfers have been walking across (the Swilcan Bridge) for the better part of five centuries. Five centuries from now they’ll still be talking about how much Tiger Woods has meant to this game.” – Brandel Chamblee on USA Network

“To find some ball-striking comparison to what Cameron Smith did on the greens today, you probably have to go to Johnny Miller, final round, 1973 U.S. Open.” – Chamblee on Live From The Open on GOLF Channel and Peacock

Third-Round Coverage – 5 a.m. ET on USA Network, 7 a.m. ET on NBC and Peacock

STAMFORD, Conn. – July 15, 2022 – NBC Sports presented exclusive second-round coverage of the 150th Open Championship from The Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland across USA Network and Peacock, capped by Live From The Open on GOLF Channel and Peacock.

Thursday’s first-round coverage on USA Network was NBC Sports’ most-watched Open Championship first round on record – up 28% vs. 2021 and up 15% vs. 2019 – also marking the most-watched first round Open Championship since 2015.

Exclusive third-round coverage begins tomorrow at 5 a.m. ET on USA Network and continues at 7 a.m. ET on NBC and Peacock.

Today’s coverage included the reunion of Mike Tirico, Paul Azinger and Nick Faldo in the booth on USA Network from 1-2 p.m. ET.

150th Open Championship – Second Round Leaderboard

PlayerTotal
Cameron Smith-13
Cameron Young-11
Rory McIlroy-10
Viktor Hovland-10
Dustin Johnson-9


Saturday-Sunday Coverage Schedule

DateUSA NetworkNBC/Peacock
Saturday, July 165-7 a.m.7 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sunday, July 174-7 a.m.7 a.m. – 2 p.m.

ON THE SECOND ROUND

Chamblee on Live From on GOLF Channel and Peacock: “Suffice it to say, this was an extraordinary day. From the emotional walkup of Tiger Woods to the extraordinary putts holed by Cameron Smith and the great golf by Rory McIlroy.”

ON TIGER WOODS (+9, Missed Cut)

Brandel Chamblee on USA Network: “Golfers have been walking across (the Swilcan Bridge) for the better part of five centuries. Five centuries from now, they’ll still be talking about how much Tiger Woods has meant to this game.”

Terry Gannon: “Watching Tiger yesterday, he did take it all in coming down the stretch…as an athlete, you don’t know how many more opportunities you’re going to get.”

Gannon on Woods approaching the 18th green: “The greatest figures in the game have made that walk. We just watched another one do just that — coming home at St. Andrews.”

Gannon on the crowd’s reaction to Woods’ final putt on 18: “Toughest two days in golf for Tiger Woods here, but they’re on their feet.”

Nick Faldo on Tiger Woods: “The golf course has decided to not give him an inch this year.”

Faldo on Woods: “Mentally, he still believes and wants to win again. The body is just not helping the golf swing. It’s incredible he still has that mental strength…in some ways, it’s a victory for him to come here and want to perform. Right from the first hole to the finish, he had a rough week, but he always gives 100%. That’s an unbelievable lesson for all of us.”

ON CAMERON SMITH (-13, Leader)

Azinger on USA Network: “There are a lot of players on this leaderboard that I do trust with the putter. I might trust him the most…a tremendous gift of speed and touch.”

Chamblee on Smith on Live From on GOLF Channel and Peacock: “We did see something today the likes of which I have never seen with regards to Cameron Smith. To find some ball-striking comparison to what Cameron Smith did on the greens today, you probably have to go to Johnny Miller, final round, 1973 U.S. Open.”

Chamblee on Smith’s record 253 feet of putts made on Live From on GOLF Channel and Peacock: “They’ve been keeping statistics on the PGA TOUR since 2004. Doing some math, that’s roughly 300,000 rounds that they’ve compiled, and what we saw today we have never seen in the statistical history of the PGA TOUR...To find its equivalent of (Smith’s putting) golf swing, you’d have to go to Ben Hogan or Adam Scott or Tiger Woods in 2000.”

ON RORY MCILROY (-10, T-3rd)

McGinley on McIlroy’s putting on Live From on GOLF Channel and Peacock: “Overall I think he’s putting great. I think he’s in a flow with the putter, he looks very natural with it. I love the creativity mindset he’s got and in this moment in time as we sit here on the eve of 36 holes going into the weekend, he’s an inspired player...When he’s in a focused mindset...that’s the mindset where I feel he plays his best.”

McIlroy to Kathryn Tappen on his round on Peacock: “The greens were definitely slowing down as we went throughout the day and just had to keep reminder myself just to get them to the hole, just to hit them. It was nice to see one drop there (on 17). I held a good putt for par on 16 before that too, so held the round together nicely and happy with the day’s work.”

McIlroy to Tappen on tipping his hat to Tiger Woods as he walked up 18 on Peacock: “I’ve spent quite a bit of time with him over the last few days, and hopefully the Open will be back here in four or five years’ time. Hopefully he has another go at it because this definitely isn’t the way any of us, especially Tiger, wants to sign his Old Course career off. Fingers crossed he’s back in a few years’ time.”

ON VIKTOR HOVLAND (-10, T-3rd)

Dan Hicks on Hovland’s hole-out eagle on 15: “A magical moment as we approach the eight o’clock magic hour here at the Old Course...This guy has long been one of the best ball strikers in the world, and that is one of the latest examples. I mean that is just perfection.”

ON MATT FITZPATRICK (-6, T-12th)

Tom Abbott on USA Network: “He came here (to St. Andrews) when he was a junior, won the event, and it was just his mom, dad and dog watching. It’s a little different playing with Tiger…He could well be in the mix for another major this weekend.”

ON PATRICK CANTLAY (-7, T-8th)

Steve Sands on USA Network: “Look out. When that putter heated up last summer, he ran his way all the way to the FedExCup title. He’s looking awfully comfortable and confident with that club right now.”

ON THE WEEKEND

Azinger on the field: “All the thoroughbreds are on top of this board. A lot of really good putters, a lot of good lag putters, good ball striking. A chance to really make history here. It’s going to be a pressure packed weekend, but we have all the guys up there we want to see.”

Azinger: “It’s probably the hardest thing to do – the wait, the anticipation the anxiety, the nerves. I’ve seen players who have had that late tee time come to the course at 10 a.m. and then go back to the hotel. You have to learn how to (prepare for a late tee time). It’s not easy. That’s part of the experience of playing championship golf, getting in a last group somewhere and teeing off 2:45, 3 p.m. or later…you want your body to feel the same as it felt the night before…sometimes when you sit around all day, your arms get heavy, your legs get heavy…you have to learn how to get ready for those big rounds.”

TIRICO/AZINGER/FALDO BOOTH ON USA NETWORK

Azinger: “The first day we were together, I was thinking I’ve known Faldo for 20 some-odd years, I’ve hardly heard him complete a sentence, it’s like someone flipped on his voice-activation system…we finally get to flip it off (laughing).”

Tirico: “You guys have history at The Open as well with each other.”

Faldo: “We sure did. (To Azinger) do you want to tell them about that one or would you like me to give the highlights?”

Azinger: “As long as we can talk some Ryder Cup after that, I’ll be happy.”

Faldo on retiring: “You know, I wasn’t sure about the decision. But after working an hour with Paul, I think I’ve absolutely done the right thing (laughing).”

--NBC SPORTS--