The Loop

ESPN's longest day: 13 hours later, sun simultaneously sets on Scotland, Tom Watson's British Open career

July 17, 2015

More than 13 hours later, the sun simultaneously (and appropriately) having set on Scotland and Tom Watson's British Open career, ESPN called it a night.

The second round was suspended because of darkness through which Watson played the 18th hole on the Old Course at St. Andrews. He made somewhat of a mess of it, including a semi-shanked second shot, none of it mattering to the story unfolding.

ESPN anchor Mike Tirico relayed a report from colleague Gene Wojciechowski that people in town were running through the streets to get to the 18th hole to watch Watson take his final bows. Though the bleachers behind the green were virtually empty, people crowded the road adjacent to the hole to capture a glimpse.

Among those standing by to pay their respects were Watson's family, of course, but also Matt Kuchar and Graeme McDowell, among others.

ESPN, thankfully, extended its Friday coverage more than two hours, allowing Watson to provide a wrap on a long day that earned kudos from television competitors.

It will be a short night. Play is scheduled to resume Saturday at 2 a.m. EDT, with leader Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth still to play third shots at the par-5 14th hole. ESPN will be there. Here's its announcement:

"Round 2 of The Open, golf's oldest major, at St Andrews in Scotland will be concluded on Saturday morning. The round started more than three hours late Friday morning because of inclement weather.

"ESPN has expanded its telecast schedule for Saturday to include the majority of the conclusion of Round 2, which is scheduled to begin at 2 a.m. ET (7 a.m. in Scotland). Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods are among the players who will be finishing their rounds.

"ESPN will leave the air and return at 7 a.m. ET (noon in Scotland) for its regularly-scheduled telecast of Round 3."