For the second year in a row, viewers are frustrated by the overloading of commercials during U.S. Open coverage. Jun 16, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Patrick Cantlay reacts after missing a putt on the 9th green during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Los Angeles Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

The best golfers in the world have descended upon Southern California for the U.S. Open, the first ever played at Los Angeles Country Club. But for those watching at home, the low scores haven’t been the primary story from the first two rounds of the 2023 U.S. Open. The commercials have dominated the coverage.

Commercials were abound during the first round of the U.S. Open on Thursday.

Jason Lusk of Golfweek detailed just how prevalent they were.

“In the first 12 minutes and 45 seconds of coverage starting at 2 p.m. ET, USA Network showed 15 commercials,” Lusk detailed. “That was compared to just 11 golf shots. The network also showed a one-minute, in-broadcast promotion for the USGA, featuring Whan. In all, that was six minutes of commercials (both full-screen and split-screen with the playing-through feature), one minute of promotion and 5 minutes and 45 seconds of actual full-screen golf coverage.”

The trend continued the following hour, with Lusk noting that starting at 3 p.m., the first 24 hours featured nine minutes of ads and 15 minutes of golf.

And, this wasn’t a one day anomaly. As Friday’s coverage continued, with the players either looking to get themselves into contention for the weekend or trying to make the cut, the commercials continued to dominate the coverage.

Frustrated fans took notice.

What adds to the frustration is that this is the second consecutive year with viewers noting a commercial overload. And while commercials are a necessary part of sports (and television in general), USGA CEO Mike Whan heard those complaints and sought to do something about them. Before the tournament, Adam Schupak of Golfweek reported that the plan was for commercials to be cut by 30%.

That may ultimately prove true. But if it does, it will be largely over the final two days. Golf fans will head into Saturday and Sunday’s rounds frustrated by the frontloading.

[Golfweek: Jason Lusk, Adam Schupak]

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