Watson will join ABC booth at Royal Birkdale

by Mel Bracht Published: July 18, 2008
Tom Watson will join ABC's coverage of the British Open while also playing in the tournament. He shot a 4-over 74 in the first round Thursday. A five-time Open champion, Watson will join host Mike Tirico and analyst Paul Azinger on the broadcasts.

Tirico said he was looking forward to working with Watson, who has been an analyst on ABC's coverage of the Champions Tour Skins.

"Can you imagine Kobe Bryant playing the first half of an NBA Finals game and then coming to the (broadcast) table to be a part of the second half?” Tirico asked. "To me, that's a huge home run for the fan at home. Here's a guy who's won it five times and has just played the course.”

For the first time, ABC is using single-wing aircraft to provide aerial coverage of the Open. Coordinating producer Mike McQuade said high winds had prevented aerial coverage in the past. He said there are no blimps in the United Kingdom.

"Technology has advanced that they can fly in 40 or 50 mph winds if they have to,” McQuade said.

by Mel Bracht
Copy Editor, Sports Media
Mel Bracht is a copy editor on the presentation desk and also covers sports media. A 1978 graduate of Indiana University, Bracht has been a print journalist for 34 years. He started his career as sports editor of the Rensselaer (Ind.) Republican...
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Tom Watson is playing in the British Open this week, and will also do TV work for ABC on the weekend. Associated press

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