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FOCUS ON GOLF / U.S. OPEN

NBC Puts Open Head-to-Head Against Soap Operas

June 12, 1997|LARRY STEWART

Usually, golf tournaments, even majors, don't get live coverage on a major network during the first two rounds. But the 97th U.S. Open, beginning today at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., is an exception.

NBC will have two-hour blocks of coverage today and Friday, beginning at noon, sandwiched between ESPN's morning and afternoon blocks.

This will be the second consecutive year NBC has done live coverage during the first two rounds of the tournament.

On Saturday and Sunday, NBC will have six hours of coverage each day, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Dick Enberg, the host, will be joined in the 18th-hole tower by his usual partner, 1973 U.S. Open champion Johnny Miller. Also working the telecast will be Dan Hicks, Dave Marr, Gary Koch and on-course reporters Roger Maltbie and Dan Pohl.

Heading the NBC crew is Tom Roy, who is both the executive producer of NBC Sports and the network's lead golf producer.

Twenty-five cameras will be used, most of them behind tees and greens and alongside fairways. There are five wireless mini-cameras. Roy and his crew also will use four "rat patrol" vehicles, which can roam the expansive 7,213-yard Congressional layout to provide camera shots where needed.

Additionally, NBC will have 23 videotape replay machines, including one super slo-mo camera and tape setup, a telestrator, three character generators, one movable crane camera and a blimp for aerial views.

Now in the third year of its USGA contract, which recently was renewed through 1999, NBC also will televise the U.S. Senior Open at Canterbury Golf Club in Beechwood, Ohio, on June 28-29; the U.S. Women's Open at Pumpkin Ridge, near Portland, Ore., on July 13-14; the Walker Cup at Quaker Ridge in Scarsdale, N.Y., on Aug. 9-10; and the U.S. Amateur Championship at Cog Hill in Lemont, Ill., on Aug. 23-24.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

TV Coverage

* Today and Friday: ESPN, 8-11 a.m. and 2-4:30 p.m., and Channel 4, noon-2 p.m.

* Saturday and Sunday: Channel 4, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

THE ANNOUNCERS

* Dick Enberg, host, 18th tower

* Johnny Miller, analyst, 18th tower

* Gary Koch, reporter, Holes 6, 13, 14

* Dan Hicks, reporter, Holes 5, 11, 12

* Dave Marr, reporter, Holes 7, 15, 16

* Roger Maltbie and Dan Pohl, on-course reporters.

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