Day 1 at the 2010 Masters has to go down as the most compelling first day in the storied tournament’s history, with so many storylines to follow that Tiger Wood’s much ballyhooed return to competitive golf may have been dwarfed (or at least put in perspective) by 50 year old Freddy Couples who took the tournament lead at 6 under, and 60 year old Tom Watson who was just one shot behind. And then, to add a bit more ageless zip to the proceedings, there was 70 year old Jack Nicklaus joining 80 year old Arnold Palmer to hit the ceremonial first ball. It was feast for the boomer and beyond crowd — and then of course there was Tiger Woods, beating expectations by shooting his lowest first round ever at the Masters and placing himself firmly in contention, two shots back at 4 under par. As a longtime lover of the game in general and the Masters in particular, all I can say is “wow”, and hope for more of the same today.
We all know about how steeped in tradition the masters is — the $1.50 pimento cheese sandwiches, the $1 soft drinks, the ‘limited commercial interruption’ of the TV coerage. But like lots of us I was/am a bit frustrated by the stodgy old Masters leadership’s insistence to limit the TV coverage to four hours a day when the appetite for wall to wall coverage is clearly there. But the good news is, they’ve got the most amazing website you’ll ever see so cruise on over to Masters.com and check it out. The site gives a sense of what a terrific multi-media website can actually accomplish, with four channels of HD TV, an interactive leaderboard that lets you click on a player’s score on an individual hole of his scorecard and see video highlights of how he got the number you’re clicking on. As I write this, Freddie couple is playing number three on Day 2 and they’ve already got the highlight of him making a birdie on number two up on the site. So even if it’s not got conventional wall to wall coverage, the website coverage more than makes up for the TV deficiency.
The great website leads to a crisis — do I leave the website on in the background of my desktop throughout the workday, or do I do what I did yesterday — which is tune out all media and DVR the whole thing, then watch it at night. Time to start the official workday, so I’ve got to make a decision. I think it’s DVR again.