In today's digital age, a sporting event is rendered instantly irrelevant without having streaming options for its fans. People are more mobile than ever, and having these events available on tablets and phones are the only way to get viewership that otherwise would have walked out the door.
Known as a tradition unlike any other, the Masters hasn't always been the most forward-thinking place. Conservatism is applauded on the course, both in terms of outward expressions of emotion and dress. There are some who would even say Augusta National is a tradition unlike anything this century.
So it may come as a shock to those people that the 2013 Masters has a wonderful array of streaming options and phone applications for their event. Thursday's first round launched with a day-long camera capturing the action on Amen Corner, along with the entire rounds of a few groups selected by the Masters organizers.
If you wanted to see Tianlang Guan make history, he was one click of the mouse away. And while live television coverage of the Masters doesn't begin on ESPN until 3 p.m., the event's official website will be running from nearly the crack of dawn with action from the course.
Especially for those looking to break the monotony of a Friday work week, watching the Masters from your cubicle is a fantastic way to waste the time until happy hour. With that in mind, here is a complete breakdown of all the live streaming options for Round 2 of the Masters.
|10:45 a.m. - 6 p.m. ET||Live at Amen Corner|
|11 a.m. - 1 p.m. ET||On the Range|
|12 p.m. - 7 p.m. ET||
Featured Group 1
|3 p.m. - 7 p.m. ET||
Masters Live In-Depth Coverage and highlights
For more information, head to Masters.com.
Golfers to Watch
While the 14-year-old sensation won't be a part of either featured group—he was, however, featured on Thursday—it will be impossible for the golf world to turn away from Tianlang Guan in Round 2. Guan, who is the youngest player ever to compete at the Masters, carded a 73 on his first round and sits in a tie for 46th place heading into Friday's action.
Guan's opening round was mesmerizing television. Carding nine non-par scores, the Chinese sensation was as up and down as one would expect from someone undergoing their adolescence on a national stage. But just when his day finally seemed to be heading for a disastrous end—and that happened plenty on Thursday—Guan persevered.
Obviously, his most triumphant moment of the day came on hole No. 18. Standing just off the green as his ball lie on the fringe, Guan read the green and let go a veteran stroke that sent the Augusta crowd into an uncharacteristic tizzy.
For that one moment, Augusta National felt almost like the U.S. Open.
Guan teeing off at 9:06 a.m. on Friday almost certainly excludes him from any live television coverage, which means live streaming on the Amen Corner may be fans' only option. And if the first round was any indication, no one is going to want to miss Guan try to make history.
Stop me where when you've heard this before: Sergio Garcia has an early-round lead in a major golf tournament. He is also looking to capture his first major championship.
Perhaps phrasing it that way was incorrect. We've heard those two sentences eleventy billion times (I'm guessing) over the course about Garcia, who is a perpetual whirling dervish of major championship failure. Once considered the true rival to golf overlord Tiger Woods' throne, Garcia's past few PGA Tour seasons have amounted to little more than irrelevancy.
Yet here we are again. Garcia shares the 18-hole lead at Augusta with Marc Leishman after uncorking a six-birdie, zero bogey round of 66 that was just incredibly efficient to watch. Even when Garcia missed the fairway, he somehow found a way to persevere to save par—and he even had couple birdies from initially untenable situations.
It was a jarring change of course for Garcia in majors. According to Justin Ray of ESPN, Garcia was a total of 21 over par in his last eight rounds in major championships.
Conveniently enough, those fans hoping to see whether Garcia can keep it up will get every opportunity. His pairing with Angel Cabrera and Adam Scott will be a part of Featured Group No. 1 for the live streamers on the Masters' official website. So either golf fans will get to see potential history in the making or watch with schadenfreudian glee as Garcia flames out again on the biggest stage.
Either way, it should be a great show to watch.
Carding a two-under score of 70 on Thursday might seem like a shrug-worthy round for the world's No. 1 golfer. When you're Tiger Woods, scores of 70 go in one ear and out the other for mainstream fans.
What they don't see, however, is that Woods' opening 18 holes have put him in a great position to take home his fifth green jacket. During his entire storied history at Augusta, Woods has exactly one opening round in the 60s—and never in a tournament that he's ultimately won.
In fact, three of Woods' four green jackets have come after an opening-round 70. While stats that include samples from over a decade ago are usually innocuous enough to dismiss, the key for Woods is that he didn't play himself out of the tournament. Tiger is historically a slow starter, even at courses like Augusta that he could play in his sleep.
Thursday saw Woods struggle in a way few expected him to coming into Augusta: with the short stick. Woods hit 13 greens in regulation and hit 64.3 percent of his fairways—both way better than his season averages—but averaged 2.3 putts per green in regulation. Considering Woods was the second-best putter on tour behind only Kevin Na coming into the tournament, his struggles with the putter were disconcerting.
At the very least, it makes his Friday round a must-watch. If Woods' putting does not improve and he regresses even to his season averages off the tee, then he could be looking at an ugly over-par second round. And if the opposite turns out to be true, with Woods returning to form with the short stick, then we may look back on the second round as the day Tiger put the stranglehold on his fifth green jacket.