By Andrew Zuhosky
You saw the promos all the way throughout March Madness, you heard the majestic, sweeping piano music and you probably lost count of the times you heard the phrase, “A tradition unlike any other.”
It’s time for the 2017 Masters Tournament, four days of the world’s top golfers converging on Augusta National Golf Club’s course for the first major event of the year in the sport, competing for a share of $10 million in prize money.
Just like in 2016, the champion will receive $1.8 million.
Here’s something you might be interested in: The holes on the golf course each have their own names.
Prior to Augusta National being a golf course, it was a garden. Each hole on the course was named for trees or shrubs, ranging from Tea Olive on the first hole to Holly on the 18th hole.
As usual, CBS Sports and ESPN will carry the action over the next four days, with ESPN having aired yesterday afternoon’s Par 3 contest and CBS airing 15-minute late night highlights after rounds one and two tonight and tomorrow at 11:35 p.m. EDT.
ESPN will also rerun its coverage of rounds one and two tonight and tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. EDT in case you miss it live.
Streaming video of the Masters will also be available through masters.com, cbssports.com and ESPN3.
CBS’s streams include feeds of Amen Corner (the 11th through 13th holes on the course at Augusta National), featured pairings and the 15th and 16th holes.
Here’s one thing I’ve noticed about the Masters:
There are people who look forward to the Masters throughout winter and will watch the Masters that whole weekend but not watch any other golf tournaments other than the majors for the rest of the year.
This is what’s called a casual golf fan.
A casual golf fan will be quick to tell you that England’s Danny Willett captured the Masters championship a year ago, overtaking 2015 champion Jordan Speith on the final day, erasing a five-stroke deficit to win the first major title of his pro career.
What a casual golf fan may not be able to tell you is the winner of the tournaments directly preceding and following the Masters.
A golf fan who watches tournaments week in and week out and probably has Golf Channel as the power-on channel on their cable box will be able to tell you that the United States’ Jim Herman was the champion of last year’s Shell Houston Open preceding the Masters.
They’ll also tell you that South Africa’s Branden Grace won last year’s RBC Heritage following the Masters.
So, the question is simply this one: Are you planning to devote any of your time over the course of the next four days to watching some or all of this event?
I’ll probably split some of my time this weekend between watching the Masters because it’s such a prestigious, majestic sporting event and watching baseball because it’s the first weekend of the season and I want to see how some of my favorite players are doing.
Moreover, I’ll watch the baseball scoreboard on the bottom of the screen to see if any games wind up getting rained or possibly snowed out. As any meteorologist will tell you, it can still snow in early April in some parts of the country.
With that having been said, I guess there’s nothing more left for me to say but enjoy the Masters this weekend.