The 2019 British Open final round tee times have been moved up for Sunday, as poor weather is expected later in the afternoon at Royal Portrush Golf Club.
The R&A announced Saturday afternoon the final group will go off at 1:47 p.m. local time, or 8:47 a.m. Eastern time in the United States. By comparison, the final group went off on Saturday at 3:50 p.m. local time, or 10:50 a.m. Eastern.
The Sunday forecast indicates increasingly brisk wind, going from 5-10 mph in the morning to closer to a steady 20 mph wind later in the afternoon, with a 40 percent chance of gusts above 35 mph. At that kind of wind, it’s possible the R&A would have to halt play temporarily as golf balls may oscillate or be blown over on the putting surfaces. Out of an abundance of caution and an effort to finish the tournament on Sunday — particularly with a World Golf Championships event next week in Memphis featuring much of this weekend field — the R&A is moving things up two hours.
The expectation would be the final round would be completed around 1-1:30 p.m. Eastern, depending on pace of play. If there’s a tie after 72 holes, the British Open playoff format is new this year, a three-hole aggregate-score affair that would begin immediately after the conclusion of regulation play.
As a result of the earlier start on Sunday in Northern Ireland, NBC has adjusted its 2019 British Open TV times for the final round. Now the final round will start airing at 2:30 a.m. Eastern on Golf Channel, with NBC taking over the coverage at 6 a.m.
This is the second time this year a major championship has moved up final-round tee times with the hopes of avoiding delays and a Monday finish that could be caused by poor weather. The Masters final round was played earlier in the day, with threesomes off the first and 10th tees on Sunday at Augusta National in an effort to avoid forecast afternoon storms, with Tiger Woods winning his 15th major title in the middle of the afternoon.