All times Pacific Daylight Time...
6:31 - Watched the first half hour in bed with Jeeves serving me tea and crumpets. Great to have Faldo-Azinger-Tirico back, what a difference in style. Azinger was wearing his granny glasses when their on camera opening started, creating the first opportunity for ribbing.
6:32 - Is Ivor Robson selling programs on the first tee? I'm not so sure about that podium and umbrella.
6:41 - DiMarco birdies 17, heads to 18 -5 on the day and -3 for the tournament. Writers can feel their "all 4 majors will be over par stories" slipping away.
6:45 - Sergio birdies No. 1, goes to -7 with a three shot lead over Weir, Stricker, Jimenez, Choi.
6:48 - Tiger fails to his his chip close on No. 12, Terry Gannon sounds dejected as they can feel his chances slipping away. Are ABC execs crying in his headset?
6:50 - A UK reader says they're talking grooves on the BBC, with Wayne Grady saying: "18 years ago they said there was no problem. Now they say there is. I could have told you that 18 years ago. Square grooves make it easier to control the ball." Uh Wayne, being able to drive the ball 300 yards with ease also makes it easy to control your second shots a lot better too!
6:54 - DiMarco sticks it on 18, with a chance to get to tie the course record with his birdie putt.
6:55 - ABC's GolfTrack graphic thingy is pretty cool, showing us that weird clump of grass added in the midst of the third fairway. It doesn't look too great.
7:03 - Synergy baby! ABC features Tiger talking about the last four holes at Carnoustie...courtesty of his EA sports game, complete with EA logo and graphics of computer-generated Tiger playing the holes.
7:11 - You know I thought that first hour featured an unusual amount of golf. And now I know why, here comes the commercial catch up. Plenty of time to read the paper. Why now when Alliss is in the booth!?
7:22 - Tirico asks Alliss what he thinks of the setup: "a bit too easy" and he wishes more drivers would be hit, but he doesn't know how you do that without the players using a "softer ball."
7:24 - And it's time for our third commercial break of the hour! Wow, really playing catch up!
7:33 - 1999 flashback and we get to hear Melnyk and Curtis Strange commentating. Oh how they aren't missed.
7:37 - And now it's time for the affiliates to pay their bills. I think we can get two more breaks in before Tiger hits 18 tee!
7:44 - Next commercial break, I think we could two more in before 8 am PDT!
7:50 - Stricker drains a long par putt on 15 (well, he did it like 10 minutes ago). Remains 7 under on the round, course record in jeopardy, all balconies of that ugly hotel behind 18 are shut down as facility goes on a John Philp suicide watch.
7:53 - And guess what, another commercial break! No. 6!
7:54 - Our UK eyes report that Wayne Grady counted 53 people inside the ropes following Tiger as he played No. 18!
7:57 - Azinger counts 34 people and four carts in the fairway behind Tiger!
8:01 - Tiger scraps it around for a 69, Alliss says a lesser man would have been over 80.
8:02 - Garcia and Choi have taken an hour and 30 minutes to play the first seven holes. And we've seen an hour and a half of commercials. Yes, we're taking the first break of the 8 o'clock hour. Think we can match the six breaks last hour?
8:11 - Cool flashback of ABC's 1962 Open coverage at Carnoustie. Arnold Palmer tells Jim McKay that Troon was the toughest course he had ever played.
8:12 - Sergio moves to -8, takes a two shot lead over Stricker who has 18 to par for a new course record.
8:15 - Second commercial break of the hour. Long way to go to catch up with last hour!
8:17 - Uh, I'm going to the mall soon to pick up one of those Sergio caps. Where should I go first? The adidas store or Hot Dog On-A-Stick?
8:28 - And now yet another word from our sponsors.
8:38 - Wow, Steve Stricker is getting choked up in his interview with Tom Rinaldi. Steve, hang in there bud, we need you strong for tomorrow so you can bring the trophy home. Oh wow, and he said "sorry" after Rinaldi passed it back to Tirico. Great to see such genuine emotion from one of our own!
8:42 - Okay, the Jack playing 18 at St. Andrews RBS ad was cool the first time, but the third time and during our fourth commercial break, well, it loses its luster.
8:53 - Back, wanted to really focus on commercial break 5, especially that Titleist NXT ad which has been airing all week. Goose bumps!
8:55 - From our UK eyes and ears, Peter Alliss on BBC talking to Sam Torrance: "I heard your father was a tremendous success the other night at the golf writers' dinner. Brought the house down."
9:08 - The golf course is fantastic [this time], no one could tell." -Stewart Cink on the difference between 1999 and 2007
9:11 - Okay, I'm all for quirk on a links course, but watching John Senden's shot ricochet off the OB fence right, then hit the OB post left of 18 green and then bounce back onto the green, is just a bit much.
9:17 - Garcia -9, Stricker, -6, Weir -4, Choi -4, Jimenez -4
9:18 - Tom Meeks is here, mentioning the movable obstruction cables, was that Azinger snickering in the background? And watching the Tiger drop from early in the week, Meeks noted that the cables seemed movable but the man on the ground determined they weren't. Boy what a difference he got in terms of lie! From thick rough to matted down stuff. Ah, doesn't matter, he's not going to win...right?
9:44 - I'm back, Had a little browswer upgrade to run. I know you were worried that I'd nodded off. How could I with a course letting a great leaderboard play, and doing it all at a reasonable pace? I wish the US Open and Masters moved at this pace.
9:48 - What's with the lukewarm applause for Sergio's incredible shot on 16!? Wow, what a shot. Are they all wearing mittens!?
9:53 - Uh, could those guys pile up a little more gear behind Sergio on 16? Are we setting up camp?
9:55 - Garcia -9, Stricker -6, K.J. Choi -4, Els -3, Furyk -3 and remarkably, ABC doesn't find a way to put Tiger's name on that mini-leaderboard.
9:59 - Azinger: "if it weren't for Steve Stricker shooting 64, this would be a walk."
10:05 - Sergio's second shot to 17 plunks a cameraman, naturally, all of the other photographers start taking a photo of their fallen comrade. Lovely. Sergio looks concerned when checking on the poor lad. Then pulls out a glove to sign. What do you write in a situation like that? "To The Poor Bastard I
Nailed Plunked Hit With A Ball At Carnoustie On Open Saturday, Warmest Regards, Sergio."
10:09 - Whoa, Sergio hits a pretty little lob shot about 3 feet, gets up and down to stay -9. ABC stat: No bogies for Sergio in the last 23 holes, make that 24 now.
10:21 - Sergio calls for his second to "BE GOOD" on 18 and as Faldo notes, one of the rare 100% calls, as he sticks it 10 feet. What a shot. 220 yards, it's dark and rainy and cold with the burn to carry.
10:24 - Why is it that every year the unreserved seating in the grandstands is full, while the reserved seating is always about half empty?
10:26 - Sergio misses, but posts 68, leaving him at -9. Stricker is -6, oh wait, there's Walter Driver shaking hands with Sergio. So glad he was out there to observe the round! They truly will let anyone inside those ropes.