Tomorrow marks the start of the 114th US Open. There is also another sporting event which gets underway. 

Will people bother watching the action from Pinehurst? Or will everyone be distracted by what is going on in Brazil.

James Savage and James Tompkinson debate whether or not the US Open will pale into insignificance this year.

JS – Thursday is a great day in the sporting calendar. We’ve even got the start of the Test cricket as well. I will be watching the football on Saturday night but will also be following the US Open with just as much enthusiasm. The England game doesn’t start until 11pm so there is plenty of time to take in the action from Pinehurst. What a time to be a sports fan. 

JT – It is hard to recall a better weekend for sport than the one coming up, but I think that unfortunately the US Open will slip into insignificance when you have the World Cup at the same time. Unfortunately, the World Cup games are all in the evening and will clash directly, and they are all on terrestrial TV. I just think the US Open will go completely under the radar this time around.
I think interest in the football will be at its highest over the US Open tournament days JS – I think the true golf fans will be just as up for the US Open this time around. The World Cup being on may even work in favour for some people as their partners may want to watch anything other than football. The World Cup lasts for a few weeks and we won’t be able to escape it for the most part. I think we could be in for a classic US Open and the action from Pinehurst is only five hours behind. It will be finished for the day when much of the football is still on. It’s a win-win if you love both.

JT – If the World Cup was into its second or third week when the US Open was on then I’d be inclined to agree with you, but as the first round falls exactly on the same day as the opening World Cup game, I think interest in the football will be at its highest over the US Open tournament days. You have the England match on the Saturday night, which means people will watch that rather than the golf. You could well get an upturn in viewing numbers on the last day, but otherwise I’m not sure people will be switched on. Also, I’m not sure my other half would be best pleased if I said, “I’ve just watched two football matches and am now switching over to watch the golf for three hours…”

JS – When England get hammered by Italy in the opening game, fans will be glad of some golf as a distraction. We can all enjoy the US Open whoever wins. 

JT – Nice to see some positivity there! The reality is that there will be very few people who choose to watch the US Open over the England match. Remember the last time a US Open clashed with the World Cup? G-Mac pulled off the biggest win of his career and nobody even realised this side of the Atlantic.

JS – That can happen with West Coast events anyway. Not this time.