NBC Sports’s Roy Recalls Soggy U.S. Open Championship
By: Ken Kerschbaumer, Editorial Director
Tuesday, June 30, 2009 - 2:09 pm

By Ken Kerschbaumer

It’s been one week since the 2009 U.S. Open Golf Championship came to a soggy, memorable end at Bethpage Black in Long Island, NY. NBC Sports golf producer Tommy Roy says the successful telecast, and the ability to fill hours of rain delay with interesting programming, was a testament to the hard work of all involved. “Everybody kicked butt,” he says. “Everybody dug deep, from the people on the course dealing with the physical part to those in the truck making decisions every 20 seconds for 10 hours straight.”

Heading into the tournament, NBC Sports, ESPN, and the USGA were well aware of the weather situation, which sent the tournament into a rain delay on its opening afternoon and a noon start on Sunday. During rain delays, NBC Sports would typically dip into the EVS servers in the NEP production trucks and show viewers fresh golf shots that did not make it to air. But the nature of the storm Thursday left NBC Sports short of fresh material, as it was only on-air for 15 minutes before the rain came.

“We were blessed with what happened last year,” Roy says of the ability to replay portions of the 2008 U.S. Open from Torrey Pines in California that ended in a legendary playoff between Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate.

Tapes from last year helped on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, but on Sunday, NBC Sports hit the air at 11 a.m. and needed to quickly fill one hour of programming before golfers teed off at noon. “We were in scramble mode to create an hour show out of thin air,” Roy says. “We put out studio hats on and created features that were slick and fast-moving.”

While the EVS operators and editors were among the heroes on Sunday morning, the cameramen were heroes throughout the tournament. “Anybody who can put a camera on their shoulders and keep a golf ball in frame and in focus from 200 yards away is every bit the athlete as the folks they’re covering,” Roy says.

In terms of technical challenges, Roy said all of the equipment worked pretty well with only some cloudy lens issues arising in the cool mornings. The blimp also didn’t fly during the rainy portions of the telecast.

“We had some pretty good drama Monday,” Roy adds. In fact, as the final four groups headed into the final holes, it appeared that a playoff was imminent.

“We were thinking that was all we needed: another four hours on the air,” recalls Roy. “But an 18-hole playoff would have been incredible, especially if it was similar to last year with Tiger and Rocco. So after all of the hours, we were ready to go for another four hours.”

The playoff never materialized, as Luke Glover sunk some crucial putts and hit some crucial greens on the final three holes, leaving fan favorite Phil Mickelson still looking for his first open title.

“From a storyline perspective, I would love to produce the U.S. Open when Phil [Mickelson] finally wins it,” Roy adds.

  • Upcoming Events

    September 11

    SVGE-SPS2014tata-tag-01

    September 13

    SVGe_SPTAawardsCANON_tag

    October 10

    DTVagAES2014-01

    October 15

    2014SVTS

    November 7

    14Livetvlasq2

    November 11

    TranSport2014Logo-01

    December 15-16

    SVGSummitLogo_2014-01

    December 16

    HOF_Web

  • SVG Highlights

    BrasilWordCup_slider-01-220

    HOF2-
    svg-venue-logo-1
    SpringJournal2014-ThumNail-1

  • Grass Valley K2 Dyno Directory

  • Microsite Spotlight

  • Team SVG

  • Archive

    June 2009
    M T W T F S S
    « May   Jul »
    1234567
    891011121314
    15161718192021
    22232425262728
    2930  
Join SVG Today:
SVG’s goal is simple: to bring the entire sports industry closer together so that it can more effectively share information about best practices and new technologies that impact the industry. Your SVG membership will enable you to benefit from our continued educational opportunities, valuable event discounts, as well as multiple print and online resources. Click here for details
Become an SVG Sponsor:
The SVG has a variety of sponsorship options to meet the outreach and marketing needs of virtually every sports industry organization. Find out more about our range of industry-supported activities, and discover how your company can support the sports video industry. Click here for details