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Mastering the Masters

April 19, 2018

 

ANDREW BELL

Sports Editor | agb022@latech.edu

 

BELL

 

If you think golf is boring, think again. Not only is Tiger Woods back, but his resurgence has opened people’s eyes to the real contenders in golf and just how entertaining it can be to watch them.

 

Even the most casual of golf fans are probably familiar with the U.S. Masters Tournament. The highly competitive and polarizing event has been a staple in the golf community for 84 years now. This year’s tournament, however, was more enamoring than ever. The return of the 42-year-old icon Tiger Woods, despite all of his off-the-course issues, had people chomping at the bit to watch what he had left in the tank.

 

On the surface, his mere appearance in the tournament had me interested. But after being hooked on by the illusion of Woods, I was reeled in by the rest of the superstardom that awaited on the beautiful Augusta National Golf Club course in Georgia. And statistics support that I was not the only one.

 

Even though Woods tied for 32nd place, shooting a pedestrian one over par for the tournament, the viewership of The Masters was up from last year on almost every channel. The first round viewership, unsurprisingly, was up over 40 percent from last year on ESPN. This is not too shocking because the hype of Woods motivated most viewers to tune in at the start of the tourney. The surprising jump was the 18 percent jump in viewership of the final round from last year on CBS. That means the viewers stuck around even though Woods was struggling.

 

My theory is people got super excited to watch Woods, but soon realized the most exciting golfers to watch had already been playing on Augusta the past couple of years.

 

Jordan Spieth, winner of the 2015 Masters Tournament, is a wizard with a putter and finds the green like none other with a wedge. Irish-born Rory McIlroy is a 14-time winner of The PGA Tour and drives the ball on the fairway with more velocity than most. And this year’s Masters champion Patrick Reed seemed to have it all as he shot -15 to take home the green jacket.

 

To say the least, Tiger Woods is not the only polarizing figure in golf.

 

This year’s tournament opened my eyes, as a sports fan who would usually tend to turn on a football, basketball or even a baseball game long before I would consider turning on the Masters.

 

It also did not hurt that there were no other sporting events on at the time, so I basically had no other options, but on the contrary, I will be looking forward to watching next year’s Masters.

 

I would encourage you to do the same and unless you hate entertainment and excitement, I promise you will not be disappointed.

 

Andrew Bell is a sophomore communication major from Alexandria who serves as sports editor for The Tech Talk.

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