If you’re clicking around on the remote control while watching TV this weekend, odds are, you’ll stumble on som sights of Augusta National Golf Club.
The Masters in November?
Yes, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, that will be the case for the first time in the history of the illustrious tournament.
Instead of occurring before or just after Easter, this year’s tournament will take place before carving the turkey on Thanksgiving, since the Masters was postponed to this weekend from its original April time frame.
Golf’s usual first major of the year will turn into the sport’s last major of 2020, before hopefully turning back into its first major of 2021.
But this year’s Masters experience will be unprecedented. Here are five reasons why.
1.) It will compete against football.
The Masters is often front and center for TV viewing on an April weekend for sports fans, given it’s usually held after the NCAA basketball tournament, before the start of the NBA and NHL playoffs, and right as baseball season starts.
That probably won’t be the case this weekend, since now the Masters has to compete with the king sport, football, both Saturday (college) and Sunday (NFL). College football is especially known as a religion for people in the south, so we’ll see if the most famous golf tournament held in the southern U.S. will be affected.
2.) It will be a race against sunset.
The tournament in April is held after Daylight Saving Time, with daylight increasing (albeit slightly by a few minutes) each day of the tournament.
It will be the opposite this weekend.
The clocks have already been set back an hour, and sunset will be earlier each day. If there’s a playoff needed after Sunday’s round, odds are, it will have to be played Monday.
3.) Different TV times
Due to football and earlier sunsets, TV coverage will be affected. On Thursday and Friday, ESPN will televise the first and second rounds from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day. CBS will broadcast the third and fourth rounds from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, which will affect football coverage.
The scheduled Alabama-LSU game on Saturday was originally pushed back to 6 p.m., but the game had to be postponed anyway due to COVID-19. On Sunday, CBS will only televise three NFL games, all being 4 p.m. starts.
4.) Azaleas will be replaced by fall colors.
One of the reasons the Masters is often the most-rated golf tournament is the stunning sight of azaleas and other flowers throughout the course. Those will be absent this weekend for the most part, replaced in spots by fall foliage that has started in Georgia.
Most of the surroundings will still be green, but there will be hints of fall colors, too.
5.) No fans
This won’t be any different from any other golf tournament or major sporting event this year.
Still, the roaring crowds on holes such as No. 16 and No. 18 as players come down the stretch will be sorely missed.
Will you watch?