Sunday, July 17, 2016

Shot chart from NBC Sunday Open Championship telecast - 2016

I tracked the strokes televised by NBC during the Sunday round of the Open Championship. I started tracking at 9am ET to provide a decent comparison to the other majors I have tracked. The final putt was at 1:30pm so the tracking covered 4.5 hours.

NBC aired all but one stroke from winner Henrik Stenson (skipping a tap-in on 12th) and all but two from runner-up Phil Mickelson (bypassing tap-ins on #2 and #5). With those two separating themselves from the field, NBC focused heavily on that pairing. In fact, NBC devoted a whopping 56% of all televised strokes during this period to the Stenson/Mickelson duo (who didn't even tee off until 35 minutes into the tracking).

NBC televised only 224 shots during this period which worked out to 0.83 strokes per minute. This was a sizable decrease from the ESPN shot rate of 1.23 that I measured from the 2015 Open Championship and the lowest rate for any major that I have tracked. The lack of competition from the rest of the field clearly contributed to the low rate. NBC chose to aggressively spotlight the drama and excellence of the lead group (and take numerous commercial breaks) rather than fill time with relatively meaningless golf action from the rest of the pack.

For comparison, refer to the shot tracking data I compiled for CBS from the 2016 Masters and Fox from the 2016 US Open, In that Masters post, you can find links to the shot charts I did for the 2014 and 2015 majors.

NBC showed a total of 24 golfers during the tracking period. The highest finisher not shown during this span was Soren Kjeldsen who tied for 9th.

Here is the complete shot chart:

PlayerShots shownFinishPairing
Phil Mickelson63 (of 65)21
Henrik Stenson62 (of 63)11
Rory McIlroy14T511
Andrew Johnston1382
JB Holmes1033
Bill Haas8T92
Sergio Garcia7T55
Dustin Johnson5T98
Steve Stricker443
Tyrrell Hatton4T57
Jason Day4T2215
Lee Westwood4T2222
Darren Clarke4T3020
Zach Johnson3T129
Emiliano Grillo3T1211
Haydn Porteous3T3013
Tony Finau2T184
Kevin Na2T228
Thomas Pieters2T3014
Jordan Spieth2T3026
Jim Furyk2T5926
Thongchai Jaidee1T2214
Rafa Cabrera Bella1T3916
Rickie Fowler1T4624
Soren Kjeldsen0T94

Note: The Pairing column reflects the tee time groupings in reverse order, so 1 =  final pairing, 2 = next-to-last, etc.

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