I only got to see highlights of his victory Sunday so the thing that stuck me the most was how Tiger Woods was staring down his approach shots. Holding a pose, like a hitter who was looking for a fastball and got one. With two weeks to go to the Masters, Tiger is dialed in — and that’s why we’ll all be watching, on TV, or online, when the Masters happens.
In the long run another win at the Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Invitational presented by MasterCard won’t mean much in Woods’ long string of victories. But No. 72 was more important than most given the long stretch of time between it and No. 71. November of 2009 was the last time Woods was victorious in a regular Tour event, and we all know what else happened in between. Nothing short of one of the more epic personal meltdowns and letdowns of all time. For some of that he will never be forgiven, and rightfully so. But when it comes to golf it appears Tiger is ready for some major redemption.
And whether he makes it all the way back or not — whether he resumes his chase of Jack Nicklaus and the Golden Bear’s 18 major titles — we will all be compelled to watch what is probably the best and most pure event broadcast in sports today, the Masters. If you’re watching on TV it’s nothing short of heaven, since there are so few commercials, maybe just a few an hour. It’s nonstop golf in one of the world’s premier settings.
And online, the Masters has long set the standard of what Internet coverage should be. The tournament was the first to really show different views online, including a steady diet of “Amen Corner,” which is a great way to watch — instead of the television bounce-around with a focus on the leaders the Amen Corner cams watch holes 11, 12 and 13 and you get to see every group go through there. There’s also separate “channels” for holes 15 and 16, which are interesting in their own right. There may be many things you can call the Masters “stodgy” for but online coverage isn’t one of them. Here’s Chairman Billy Payne from last year, talking about how the Masters thinks about online coverage:
We continue to work hard on our Internet presence. Our website offers the many options that its visitors have come to expect: Live, high-definition quality video, realtime scores and comprehensive coverage. But this year we have added groundbreaking enhancements with up to nine live video feeds and some truly amazing beauty sequences showcasing Augusta National at its best.
As I’ve said before over the last several years, to the extent that emerging technology is
allowed, the development of digital media will continue to be a part of our larger communications efforts and will hopefully present the Masters and the great game of golf in a unique and exciting manner.
Every year, the Masters is great viewing, either on TV or online. And now with Tiger in form, it will be even more compelling.
Heading home now and I can’t stop smiling. Thanks to Otown fans and everyone watching for all the love. Get well soon, Arnie.
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) March 26, 2012