Thursday, June 24, 2010

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — NBC Sports says the third round of the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach earned a 4.5 rating in prime time, up 22 percent from a year ago at rain-soaked Bethpage.

The third round finished at 11 p.m. EDT, the latest a major championship has ever been broadcast on network television. Tiger Woods shot a 66, his best round of the year to move into contention, and Dustin Johnson matched it to build a three-shot lead over Graeme McDowell. Woods was five shots back.

The 4.5 overnight rating with a 10 share compared with a 3.7 rating and a 9 share a year ago at Bethpage, when Saturday's coverage featured mostly second-round play that ended before prime time. Rain last year in New York led to a Monday finish.

The rating peaked at 5.0 from 11 p.m. to 11:15 p.m. EDT when Johnson finished his round.

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