This week will be quite busy in sports. The U.S. Open at Torrey Pines marks not only Tiger Woods’ return to golf, but also marks the start of three major golf tournaments in three months.
We’ll all be interested to see how Tiger fares in his first tournament back since knee surgery. The USGA couldn’t be happier to have Tiger in the Open. ESPN and NBC couldn’t be happier because his participation means big ratings. Plus with the 3rd and 4th rounds in primetime on Father’s Day weekend, it means plenty of eyeballs will be watching golf. Unfortunately, Chris Berman who was not present at The Masters in April will be present at the only golf tournament he covers during the year. ESPN has coverage starting Thursday at 1 p.m. ET with NBC taking over at 3 p.m. Then ESPN will start again with late afternoon coverage from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. On Saturday, NBC’s coverage goes from 4 – 10 p.m. and on Father’s Day Sunday, it will go from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. Primetime golf will be fun to watch.
In a related note, HBO will premiere another in its series of “Sports in the 20th Century” documentaries. On Wednesday, the day before the U.S. Open, HBO will air “Back Nine at Cherry Hills: The Legends of the 1960 U.S. Open“. Detailing the last 9 holes of the 1960 U.S. Open where Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus all converged with a chance to win, this documentary, written by Mary Carillo, is one of the best ever produced. I have already seen it and the HBO sports documentary unit has hit another home run. I’ll have a review of the documentary before it airs, but I can safely say that the documentary which not only looks at the action between the three men and their fathers who shaped them, is done extremely well.
Euro 2008 continues this week with round robin action and ESPN2 and ESPN Classic will have extensive coverage for the US audience. The game schedule can be seen here.
The NBA Finals shift to Los Angeles this week for Games 3 and 4, Tuesday and Thursday respectively. ABC couldn’t be happier to have the Celtics and Lakers in the finals. With a Sunday-Tuesday-Thursday schedule, the games are spread out over 16 day period. All games will begin at 9 p.m. ET meaning some kids won’t be able to stay up late to watch them. Anyway, the NBA Finals will be one of the sports highlights of the week.
For baseball, this weekend marks another edition of Interleague play. Among the more interesting matchups, the Red Sox travel to Cincinnati to take on the Reds, the Yankees will take on Houston at Minute Maid Field, the Cubs take on Toronto at the former Skydome, and there will be three “natural” rivalry series, the A’s take on the Giants in the Battle of the Bay Area, the Twins take on the Brewers in a matchup of former American League rivals and there’s the Battle of Florida as the Marlins go to Tampa to take on the Rays.
NASCAR heads to Michigan for the Lifelock 400 next Sunday.
Those are among the events that will take place this week.