There’s been an interesting dance behind the curtain of the networks that cover professional golf. No doubt dozens of phone calls and emails have been traded between executives and Augusta National Golf Club trying to solve this riddle: In the absence of the Masters in the second week of April, postponed because of the COVID-19 epidemic, how do you satisfy the public’s desire to get lost in the beauty of Amen Corner or experience even modest green-jacket goosebumps?
It’s taken weeks to work out the logistics between the broadcast partners, but they finally came up with a solution.
CBS will show the final rounds of two memorable Masters on Saturday, April 11, and Sunday, April 12, and this isn’t much of a shock: It’s Tiger and Phil.
The Saturday broadcast, from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., Eastern time, will feature the 2004 Masters victory by Phil Mickelson—his first major win and an otherwise highly entertaining final round. Then on Sunday (12:30 p.m.-6 p.m. EDT), it’s Tiger Woods day. CBS had four wins to choose from, and it picked last year’s improbable triumph that ended a nearly 11-year drought in majors for Woods.
Golf Digest reached out to CBS to inquire about its picks, but a spokesman said the network would have no further comment.
On social media, Masters.com and @TheMasters will have complementary archival and never-before-seen content from those final rounds.
Kicking off Saturday’s coverage on CBS, from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. EDT will be a look back at the 1975 Masters, with Jack Nicklaus outdueling Johnny Miller and Tom Weiskopf.
With much more time to fill, ESPN, starting on Wednesday, will take care of a couple other Woods’ victories (1997, 2005), as well as arguably the greatest Masters final round of all time—Jack Nicklaus’ 1986 win at the age of 46. Other final rounds that ESPN will show: Bubba Watson’s playoff win over Louis Ooosthuizen in 2012 and Adam Scott’s 2013 victory in a playoff over Angel Cabrera.
Golf Channel has yet to release its schedule for next week. This Saturday at 1 p.m. and 9 p.m. EDT, it will re-broadcast the final round of the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur. Golf Channel also has replays of the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals, with the 2018 competition airing at 3:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday and 2019 at 8 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. EDT on Sunday.
While the 2020 ANWA has been postponed, this year’s DCP was canceled and rescheduled for next year, with the same juniors set to compete.
The first major of any normal golf year is the LPGA’s ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage, Calif., and it was supposed to be played this week. It’s been postponed until Sept. 10-13. In lieu of live coverage, Golf Channel has encore telecasts beginning today. Third- and final-round coverage of the 2018 event (won by Pernilla Lundberg in an eight-hole playoff) are today and Friday (noon-4 p.m. EDT), with the last two rounds of the 2019 tournament (won by Jin Young Ko) airing at 5 p.m. EDT on Saturday and Sunday.