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ESPN Putts Golf Tourney to NBC Sports

NBC Sports Group will begin its coverage of the 145th Open at Royal Troon in 2016 as part of a deal reached between NBC, ESPN and Open rights holder R&A.

NBC, which earlier this summer reached a 10-year deal with R&A for British Open rights that were set to begin in 2017, said Monday it has also required the rights to the 2016 event from prior rights holder ESPN.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The deal, which also includes coverage of The Senior Open Championship and RICOH Women's British Open, provides NBC Sports with an unprecedented 12-week stretch of premiere golf events in 2016, including coverage of the sport during the 2016 Summer Olympics games, said officials.

“First and foremost, we want to congratulate ESPN for their company’s successful stewardship of The Open for the last several decades, and we thank them for allowing us to start our partnership with The R&A one year early,” said Mark Lazarus, Chairman of NBC Sports Group. “2016 promises to be exciting for all of golf, as The Open kicks off a historic stretch, including the Rio Olympics, the PGA Tour, FedExCup Playoffs and Ryder Cup on Golf Channel and NBC.”