The PGA Tour had what commissioner Tim Finchem described as "robust" conversations with Fox Sports in two of the last three television negotiations until scheduling conflicts with the network kept the discussion from going anywhere.

Fox entered the golf landscape in a surprising manner three weeks ago by signing a 12-year deal with the U.S. Golf Association worth about $100 million a year. Fox, which does not televise any golf, is to start with the U.S. Open and other USGA championships in 2015.

The USGA accepted its bid over a strong offer from NBC Sports, which had been televising the U.S. Open since 1995. NBC also has 12 other PGA Tour events this year, and it broadcasts the Ryder Cup.

Johnny Miller, the former U.S. Open champion and NBC golf analyst, said when the Fox deal was announced that the tour "must be licking their chops" and that Fox might offer "crazy money to get the tour package."

The PGA Tour has contracts with two networks, NBC and CBS, and with the Golf Channel through 2021.

Even so, Finchem said Wednesday that having Fox involved in golf is good for the tour over the long run.

"It's always nice to have multiple entities in the sport," Finchem said at the Deutsche Bank Championship, which begins Friday in Norton, Mass. "There are positives -- a few negatives, but there are positives. To have companies invested in the sport in any way results in more focus on the sport from those broadcast companies."


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He said the tour has spoken to Fox "a number of times" in the last 10 to 15 years.

Fox is to deliver 146 hours of USGA golf, including at least 70 hours of its three main events -- the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open and U.S. Senior Open. Fox Sports 1, the company's new cable channel, was launched Aug. 17.

"It's going to be a work in progress," Finchem said.

Greg Norman has said that Fox has contacted him about being the analyst for the U.S. Open.

"I don't think he has the interest in doing it, but I think he would be good at television," Finchem said. "There are a lot of options out there. But I think he'd be good."

  • Second-ranked Stacy Lewis is set to return to play Thursday in the Safeway Classic in Portland, Ore., after withdrawing from the Canadian Women's Open last week.

    Meanwhile, top-ranked Inbee Park pulled out of the tournament because of flu-like symptoms.

    "I've never withdrawn before. It was physically hard for me to call the official and withdraw ... mentally, I was fried," said Lewis, who withdrew after the first round in Edmonton, Alberta.

    The Women's British Open champion was exhausted after a draining and disappointing Solheim Cup in the U.S.'s blowout loss to Europe.