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Golf’s Downfall? Low Ratings for 2020 Masters

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Written by Katherine Clatterbuck

The 2020 Masters teed off on Thursday, November 12th at Augusta National Golf Club. Following its postponement in April due to the coronavirus, the November start date caused problems for the green and for the players. During the first round on Thursday, the golfers were met with harsh conditions and a rain-soaked green. This led to a delay in the first round, which the tournament overcame to finish by Sunday’s final round. As the Masters is usually held in the spring, fall weather, including low temperatures and rain, have not played a role in tournament delays. Another factor that affected this fall time Masters was the texture and height of the grass. The grass was noted to be a different thickness by players, a change attributed to the different time of year. 

The reigning champion from the 2019 Masters Tournament, Tiger Woods, was met with many challenges this weekend. Unfortunately, Woods was met with a water ball on hole 12 that led to a score of 12. This followed a performance of 3 in his 2019 hole 12, leading him to the win in 2019. After a four day tournament, Dustin Johnson, a South Carolina native, was victorious in his first Masters win. Johnson broke the tournament’s record score of 270, which was held by Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth, in their 1997 and 2015 championships, respectively. Walking away with the prize money, Johnson celebrated with his fiancé and friends in the Caribbean. 

Not everyone was celebrating, however, as there was obviously a missing aspect from this year’s event. With COVID-19 safety protocols, there were no fans allowed at the event which greatly limited the amount of noise and excitement on the television broadcast. Furthermore, the television viewership was at an all-time low, suggesting a lack of interest from the public. While the golfers and golf fans were excited for this weekend, the lack of interest is a problem for the industry to overcome in later years, as it works to raise popularity with the public. 

Although there were many changes due to safety concerns, the 2020 Masters Tournament provided fans with the beloved dedication of players and the glory of accomplishing the championship.