The Open 2015: BBC defend decision to screen Bargain Hunt over St Andrews action

Only final five pairings will be shown on TV in full

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The Independent Online

The BBC has defended the decision to begin coverage of the delayed final day of The Open until after lunch, despite play getting under way at 7.45am this morning.

The Open is being played on Monday for only the second time in the tournament's 144-year history after weather badly affected the event.

With golf fans enthralled by the action on Sunday, those looking forward to watching 'people's Monday' cannot do so until 1.45pm due to the BBC's scheduling decision.

Only the final five pairings are being screened in their entirety, meaning the majority of players' fourth rounds cannot be seen in full. Among those that viewers will be denied seeing tee-off at the first hole os Danny Willett, England's leading light for most of the weekend, who starts at 1.30pm. Adam Scott, Rickie Fowler and Zach Johnson are among the other contenders that will not be shown in full.

The decision by the BBC not to begin earlier in the day, as it did on Sunday with coverage beginning at 11am, means programmes including Homes Under the Hammmer, Heir Hunters and Bargain Hunt have not been disrupted.

Coverage on Radio 5 Live will not begin until 1pm and the action at St Andrews is not being shown on the BBC's website either.

The BBC explained their decision process in a statement released this morning.

It read: “Our key aim today is to fully tell the most important story - who will win the Open and make the very best use of our resources on this extra day's play so audiences won’t miss any of the key action as it unfolds.”

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