SBD/April 11, 2013/Media

Tiger Woods' First Round At The Masters Not Available For Viewing On TV, Online

Woods was omitted from two featured groups shown online during 1st round play
Tiger Woods will "play the bulk of the first round of the Masters out of view of audiences with access via television or computer," according to John Strege of GOLFDIGEST.com. Woods teed off at 10:45am ET today, but "coverage of the Masters on ESPN begins" at 3:00pm. Live coverage of "two featured groups will be shown at Masters.com or via a Masters app, neither of them featuring Woods." Woods will not make his "first appearance on the web until he arrives at Amen Corner, and then at the 15th and 16th holes, each part of live coverage at Masters.com" (GOLFDIGEST.com, 4/10). USA TODAY's Nick Schwartz wrote missing Woods today "wouldn't be such a big deal if it wasn't completely avoidable." He is in a "featured group on Friday (players are allowed to be in a Masters.com featured group only once), but his late tee time of 1:41 p.m. means the majority of his round will sync with live television coverage anyway." By putting Woods in a featured group today, fans would have "been able to see just about every one of his first 36 holes as they happen" (USATODAY.com, 4/10). GOLFCHANNEL.com's Jay Coffin wrote Augusta National has "always struggled with the concept of giving the viewer everything they want vs. leaving them wanting more." This year is "no exception." It "doesn’t seem to make sense that Joe Viewer won’t get to see the prohibitive favorite, the No. 1 player in the world" (GOLFCHANNEL.com, 4/10).

FAMILY MATTERS: GOLF.com's Sarah Kwak wrote since ESPN began televising The Masters' Par-3 Contest in '08, it has "turned into midweek must-see TV." The on-screen action at times is "unbearably cute," as scenes include kids "sporting white coveralls, taking putts for their dads or granddads; proud mothers standing by smiling while snapping photos of their sons signing autographs for fans." The event attracts fans because it "gives a glimpse into the players' lives, showing them interacting with their families, as if they were chipping shots in their backyard." The Par-3 is a "low-stake couple of hours where personality puts on a good show-and who knows what will happen out there" (GOLF.com, 4/10).

ALL HANDS ON DECK: In Augusta, Wayne Staats notes Golf Channel’s studio at Augusta National this week includes "three sets -- the patio that overlooks the practice facilities, the library and the fireplace." Golf Channel anchor Rich Lerner said, "It’s a beautiful set and location. It’s stunning. We’re able to sort of maximize the space here to represent different looks, but it’s in keeping with the club itself." When one set in the 23 foot-by-25 foot studio "becomes the stage, the other two become work stations or the place to oversee filming." The net will provide "about 70 hours of live news and coverage of this year’s Masters." Meanwhile, ESPN will have updates from Augusta began at 9:00am and will return "every 30 minutes" until live coverage begins. Scott Van Pelt and Andy North "work alongside the production team, watching the action together." If there is a "particular shot North wants for the night’s segment, he’ll share his thoughts, and the crew will try to work it into the show. Meanwhile, ESPN VP/Producation Mike McQuade said that there will be "almost as many segments exclusively for online as there are for television" (AUGUSTA CHRONICLE, 4/11).

IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS: Blogger Ed Sherman notes veteran golf writer Dan Jenkins is "back tweeting at the Masters this week," and he is a "must follow." You will "never read a better use of 140 characters in social media." Golf Digest Exec Editor Michael O'Malley "assists Jenkins with his tweets at golf's four majors and the Ryder Cup." O'Malley said of the World Golf HOFer, "He throws out a line and I'll plug it in, and if he's exceeding the 140-character capacity, we'll talk it out." He added Jenkins is "the wittiest, funniest, most knowledgeable golf writer of this or any other generation" (SHERMANREPORT.com, 4/11).
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