Golf's final major of 2019 — the Open Championship —- is coming down to the wire. Shane Lowry holds a four stroke lead heading into today's final round, but a number of top golfers, from Tommy Fleetwood to four-time Major winner Brooks Koepka, are within striking distance. Whoever winds up claiming the Claret Jug, you don't have to miss a moment.
Because the Open Championship is a major television event, there's coverage available on multiple networks, so it's easy to watch today's final round, whether it's on TV or via a live stream.
Here are all your options for watching the Open Championship, including the best VPN to use if you find yourself traveling during the tournament. So read on to discover how to live stream The Open.
When can I watch the Open Championship?
The start of today's final round is being moved up due to a forecast calling for heavy rain later in the day. The fourth round got underway at 7:32 a.m. GMT (2:32 a.m. ET) local time. The tournament's leaders, however, are scheduled to tee off at the more civilized hour of 8:47 a.m. ET.
TV coverage in the U.S. was originally scheduled to start at 4 a.m. ET/1 a.m. PT, but it's possible the times will be moved up given the Open's earlier start. Regardless, you might want to invest in a good alarm clock — and some strong coffee or tea.
Which channels carry the Open Championship in the U.S., UK and Canada?
In the U.S., NBC and the Golf Channel are splitting the coverage. Now that it's the weekend, coverage starts off on the Golf Channel before flipping over to NBC. The Golf Channel was set to begin coverage of today's final round at 4 a.m. ET, with NBC once again picking up coverage at 7 a.m. But again, those times may be in flux due to moved-up start times. Check your local listings.
In the UK, the Open Championship airs on Sky Sports Golf. Viewers without a Sky Sports subscription can opt for a Now TV Sports pass, which costs £8.99 per day.
Canadians can watch the Open Championship on TSN.
How can I use a VPN to live stream the Open Championship?
If you're traveling and unable to watch the final round through your regular channels, a virtual private network, or VPN, can come to your rescue. With a VPN, you can appear to be surfing the web from your home country, allowing you to pick up streaming websites that would otherwise be restricted.
We've tested many different services, and we've found that the overall best VPN is ExpressVPN. Its superb speeds will meet the needs of most users, and it offers excellent customer support. Still, there are other options available. Here are the three VPNs we recommend the most.
ExpressVPN: The best overall VPN will set you back from only around $6 for a monthly subscription, thanks to a 49% discount and 3 months free with an annual subscription. Still not sure? ExpressVPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if you're not satisfied.
ExpressVPN stands out as the very best option out there thanks to its speed, security and sheer simplicity to use. Whether you've used VPNs before or are completely new to them, ExpressVPN is a fantastic choice.View Deal
NordVPN: A month with NordVPN costs $11.95, though as with other VPN services, the rate drops if you commit to a longer period of service. If you're particularly obsessed with privacy, you may want to do that with NordVPN: it uses 2084-bit encryption, and it's also easy to use with streaming services.View Deal
TunnelBear: Performance was only average with TunnelBear in our tests, but the reason to get this service is that it's pretty simple for novices to use, and its monthly service only costs $9.99.View Deal
How can I live stream the Open Championship?
The nice thing about golf is that there's usually some free option to watch at least a portion of a major championship. That's the case with the Open, which will be featuring some live streaming on its website.
Specifically, you can live stream holes five, six and seven on the Open Championship website. And it's also been featuring marquee groups as they make their way around the links.
Golf Channel is also streaming some of the tournament on its website, with coverage of three holes streaming from 10 a.m. GMT/5 a.m. ET on Sunday. (Those times may be adjusted for the earlier start times.) You'll find marquee groups on Golf Channel, too.
One caveat about the Golf Channel's website and the NBC Sports app: both require you to sign in with login info from your cable or satellite TV provider. (The Golf Channel website does give you a free 10-minute preview.) So if you've ditched your cable TV subscription, forget about live streaming that way.
Can I watch the Open Championship without a cable subscription?
There's other ways to pick up Open Championship coverage, but you'll need to turn to a subscription streaming service to do it. Make sure whichever option you pick carries both the Golf Channel and NBC. (Some streaming services don't always offer the local channels in your area such as your NBC affiliate.) These streaming services all have free trials that would allow you to watch the Open Championship within the trial period.
DirecTV Now: If you want to pick up the Golf Channel's coverage of the Open Championship, you'll need to opt for DirecTV Now's Max package, which costs $70 a month. Only NBC is included in the less expensive Plus tier.
DirecTV NowView Deal
FuboTV: FuboTV skews toward live sports so the Golf Channel is included in its $55-a-month package, as is NBC. A cloud DVR feature lets you record up to 30 hours of programming if you'd rather not get up the crack of dawn to watch the Open Championship.
Hulu + Live TV: Both the Golf Channel and NBC are part of Hulu's $45-a-month service. There's a cloud DVR service that holds up to 50 hours of recordings, and Hulu has an option for upgrading that if you'd prefer to record even more shows.
Hulu + Live TVView Deal
PlayStation Vue: As with DirecTV Now, you'll have to move up a tier from the starting package if you want the Golf Channel through PlayStation Vue. The service's Core package is where you'll find Golf Channel alongside NBC. The Core tier costs $55 a month after a recent $5 price hike.
PlayStation VueView Deal
Sling TV: It's a good news/bad news situation with Sling TV and the Open Championship. A current sale is cutting the price of Sling TV's two packages by 40% to $15 a month. Unfortunately, the Golf Channel isn't included in Sling's standard channel offerings. Instead, you need to buy a $10-a-month Sports Extra add-on on top of what Sling's Blue package, bringing your monthly total to $25. Sling TV doesn't include local channels, except in a handful of markets, so you're likely on your own for NBC's coverage.
Sling TVView Deal
YouTube TV: The Golf Channel and NBC are among the 70-plus channels available through YouTube TV, which costs $50 a month and includes unlimited storage of recorded programs.
YouTube TVView Deal