First, Second Rounds of Masters Tournament Airing Live on ESPN for 10th Year
Scott Van Pelt, Sage Steele in Lead Host Roles for ESPN Masters Coverage
Sean McDonough Calling Par 3 Contest on Wednesday
For the 10th year, ESPN will air live play of the first and second rounds of the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, part of extensive, multiplatform coverage of golf’s first major of the season. In addition to the live telecasts, ESPN will have news, information and analysis on television and digital outlets for the entire week of the event.
ESPN and ESPN Deportes will air live action from the first and second round on Thursday, April 6, and Friday, April 7, from 3-7:30 p.m. ET with an edited encore presentation in prime time each night from 8-11 p.m. on ESPN.
Scott Van Pelt moves into the host role for ESPN’s Thursday and Friday telecasts from Augusta National’s Butler Cabin with ESPN golf analyst Curtis Strange. Van Pelt, Strange and Tom Rinaldi, who will conduct player interviews, will join CBS’ golf announcer crew for the telecasts.
Prior to the live television windows Thursday and Friday, SportsCenter will be the premier destination for golf fans to get their live Masters updates, including highlights of play, between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Thursday morning’s ceremonial first tee shot with legendary golfers Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player will air in the 8 a.m. hour of SportsCenter. Sage Steele, covering the Masters for the first time, and Van Pelt will be lead anchors for the weekday SportsCenter segments.
ESPN also will air the traditional Masters Par 3 Contest on Wednesday, April 5, from 3-5 p.m. followed by a one-hour SportsCenter at the Masters special at 5 p.m. An encore telecast of the Par 3 Contest will air at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.
All Masters programming on ESPN and ESPN Deportes also will be streaming live on WatchESPN and the ESPN App. ESPN began live telecasts of the first and second round of the Masters in 2008.
SportsCenter at the Masters
ESPN’s flagship news and information program SportsCenter will feature live updates from Augusta National Golf Club throughout the Masters Tournament beginning the morning of Monday, April 3, and continuing through the end of the event on Sunday, April 9.
On the first day of competition, Thursday, April 6, viewers will be brought up-to-date with multiple reports per hour on SportsCenter including in-progress highlights, scores and interviews from 8 a.m. until ESPN’s telecast of live play begins at 3 p.m. Live SportsCenter updates also will air on Friday before the 3 p.m. television coverage begins. Steele and Van Pelt will be lead anchors for the weekday reports.
A one-hour SportsCenter at the Masters special will air Wednesday, April 5, at 5 p.m. on ESPN with a preview of the Tournament. Van Pelt will host with analysts Andy North and Dottie Pepper, and reporters Rinaldi and Gene Wojciechowski. The SportsCenter special follows ESPN’s telecast of the Masters Par 3 Contest from 3-5 p.m.
On Tuesday, April 4, the news conferences of several prominent players will be aired on SportsCenter, with the schedule for morning and afternoon sessions to be determined. Also, ESPN will report the Masters first-round groupings as soon as they are announced. SportsCenter airs on ESPN from 7 a.m. – 10 a.m., on ESPN2 from 10 a.m. to noon, on ESPN from noon – 1 p.m. and on ESPNEWS from 1-5 p.m. on Tuesday.
Among the features that will be presented during ESPN’s Masters coverage:
- Palmer’s Letters — Professional and amateur golfers alike reflect on the impact congratulatory letters they received after a win from Arnold Palmer, one of the legends of the game.
- Augusta Without Arnie — The Masters and Arnold Palmer are forever intertwined. But while The King’s absence leaves a great void, his memories live on in the players of the past and today, and on the grounds of Augusta National Golf Club.
- Larry Mize: 30 Years Later — Augusta native Larry Mize recollects learning the game at neighboring Augusta Country Club and dreaming of one day just being on the other side of the fence.
- Rory McIlroy Workout — Renowned workout fiend, Rory McIlroy, takes viewers through his gym routine and workout with ESPN’s Marty Smith.
- Michael Greller: Spieth’s Caddie — How a series of fortunate events turned Michael Greller from middle school math teacher to Jordan Spieth’s right hand man.
- Jon Rahm – The 22-year-old tour rookie Jon Rahm, a native of Spain, explains how he learned English by listening to rap music.
- Dan Jenkins — Sportswriter Dan Jenkins is in his sixth decade covering the Masters. ESPN’s Gene Wojciechowski details the unique relationship that Augusta National and the Masters has with Jenkins.
- Looking back at the 1997 Masters – Twenty years ago, Tiger Woods’ performance in the 1997 Masters made it the rare sporting event that makes everyone stop what they’re doing to watch. A multi-part feature looks back at the historic event when Woods became the first African-American Masters winner, with an estimated 44 million tuned in to watch the final round. Voices in the feature include those who were there: Woods’ caddie, Fluff Cowan; his second-round playing partner, Paul Azinger; his coach, Butch Harmon, and more.
Masters Par 3 Contest
The fun and family-oriented Masters Par 3 Contest will air Wednesday, April 5, from 3-5 p.m. on ESPN, with an encore telecast at 8 p.m. on ESPN2. The contest, which began in 1960 and includes many current Masters players as well as greats of the past, was first televised by ESPN in 2008. In his first time in the role, Sean McDonough will anchor the Par 3 Contest telecast along with analysts North and Strange. Rinaldi will conduct interviews.
The Masters on ESPN Deportes
ESPN Deportes, ESPN’s multimedia, Spanish-language sports brand dedicated to providing the widest variety of sports to the U.S. Hispanic sports fan, will have live television coverage of the first and second rounds of the Masters Tournament on Thursday and Friday, April 6-7, from 3-7:30 p.m. Francisco Aleman (analyst), Silvia Bertolaccini (play-by-play) and John Sutcliffe (player interviews) will call the action from Augusta National Golf Club. Luis Alfredo Alvarez and Sergio Dipp will host coverage from the ESPN Deportes studio.
ESPN Deportes Radio will have live updates of the Masters during Zona ESPN (Monday-Friday, noon-2 p.m.). In addition, ESPNDeportes.com will offer extensive Masters coverage at its golf index page.
The Masters on ESPN.com
Coverage of the Masters Tournament on ESPN.com will be extensive and will include:
- News, reactions and columns from golf writers Bob Harig, Michael Collins and Jason Sobel, and ESPN.com national writers Ian O’Connor and Kevin Van Valkenburg.
- “Digital Drive,” an exclusive ESPN.com program hosted by Van Pelt and North will be produced each night Wednesday-Sunday of Masters week.
- Collins and Sobel will do a nightly podcast on the sights and sounds from Augusta National all week long (Monday-Sunday).
- Links to masters.com incorporating traffic roll-up of live feeds from Amen Corner, Holes 15 and 16 and Featured Groups as well as driving range video.
- Video clips from ESPN golf analysts North, Strange and Pepper.
- Photo Gallery wrapping up the year’s first major
- Live scoring from masters.com.
Among features that will appear on ESPN.com during Masters Tournament coverage:
- Tuesday, March 28 — Harig on the impact of Tiger Woods’ 1997 Masters win and how it brought people into the sport (just not the minorities that many had expected).
- Thursday, March 30 — Doug Williams on how Tiger’s 1997 Masters win made it cool to play golf.
- Friday, March 31 – Likely the last Masters for Ernie Els (Harig).
- Sunday, April 2 — It’s been 20 years since Tiger Woods won his first Masters in historic fashion. Harig talked with the players who teed it up with Woods that week during all four rounds (Nick Faldo, Paul Azinger, Colin Montgomerie, Constantino Rocca) to pick their brains about the memories they had of Tiger’s 12-shot victory.
- Monday, April 3 — Defending champion Danny Willett (and 1996 Masters winner/fellow Englishman Nick Faldo) both shot under-appreciated final rounds (bogey-free 67’s) that saw the player expected to win come up short. (Bob Harig). Also, a shell-shocked Jordan Spieth faces Augusta National’s 12th hole — the par-3 that crushed his chances at a second green jacket in 2016. (Sobel)
- Tuesday, April 4 – Experts’ picks for the Masters and a Masters betting guide.
- Wednesday, April 5 — Matt Cooper on where Danny Willett really won the Masters last year (hint: it wasn’t at Augusta National). Also, Collins’ Top 25 rankings.
Additional coverage of the Masters on ESPN platforms:
Mike and Mike, which airs on ESPN Radio and ESPN2, will have live interviews from Augusta on Thursday morning at 8:05 a.m. with Andy North and on Friday with Curtis Strange at 9:05 a.m. (subject to change).
This year 53 countries will see the Masters on ESPN platforms and can follow the event on ESPN television, online, mobile and broadband platforms.
- In Latin America and the Caribbean, all four rounds and the Par 3 Contest coverage to 52 countries and more than 70million households.
- A live 30-minute studio preview show will air prior to all four rounds of the Masters in Spanish-speaking Latin America.
- The Par 3 Contest, all four rounds of the Masters and exclusive broadband coverage of “Amen Corner,” Featured Groups of the day, Holes 15 & 16 and Masters On The Range will be streamed live on ESPN Play in Spanish-speaking Latin America and the Caribbean; and via the WatchESPN platform in Brazil. In addition, starting at 10a.m. ET on Thursday & Friday, select Featured Group coverage will also be televised in Latin America and the Caribbean
- In Canada, TSN will air the first two rounds of the Masters and the Par 3 Contest live with same day re-airs in primetime of the third and final rounds; RDS will carry all four rounds live in French language and the TSN.ca/RDS.ca digital platforms will stream exclusive live coverage of “Amen Corner,” a Featured Group of the day, plus Holes 15 and 16. TSN’s/RDS’ television networks reach nearly 12 million households.
ESPN Classic will feature 43 hours of highlights of past editions of the Masters in a two-day tribute leading up to ESPN’s live coverage of the event. The tribute begins Tuesday, April 4, at 8 p.m. with an airing of highlights of the 1978 Masters won by Gary Player, followed by the 1960 Masters won by Arnold Palmer. Highlights of every Masters since 1960 will then air consecutively, running straight through until 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 6, when ESPN’s live coverage of the 2017 Masters begins.
The Masters Tournament – Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, GA
(all times Eastern)
|Wed., April 5||Masters Par 3 Contest||3 p.m.||ESPN|
|SportsCenter at the Masters||5 p.m.||ESPN|
|Masters Par 3 Contest (encore)||8 p.m.||ESPN2|
|Thu., April 6||First Round||3 p.m.||ESPN, ESPN Deportes|
|First Round (encore)||8 p.m.||ESPN|
|Fri., April 7||Second Round||3 p.m.||ESPN, ESPN Deportes|
|Second Round (encore)||8 p.m.||ESPN|
All Masters programming on ESPN and ESPN Deportes also will be streaming live on WatchESPN and the ESPN App
Click HERE to visit ESPN’s online golf media kit containing commentator bios, schedules and more.
Media Contact: Andy Hall, [email protected]