The Masters is known for its various traditions and lore. It's also arguably the most anticipated golf event of the year. The only problem -- for viewers who'd like to watch the tournament live -- is one of the traditions is to limit television coverage. Augusta National chairman Billy Payne has previously said the limited coverage helps make the tournament more special. While that may be the case, it also means viewers won't be able to watch live golf on television until 3 p.m. ET.
With a field of 97 players, the action on Friday will begin early in the morning. The first group is scheduled to tee off at 7:45 a.m. ET, while the last group will make it's way to the course at 1:59 p.m. ET. That means every player will have teed off by the time television coverage begins and many will have already finished their rounds and signed their scorecards. Want to see how Bubba Watson fares in the second round after shooting an opening round 69? You'll have to utilize an online stream because Watson is scheduled to tee off at 9:57 a.m. ET and will be done with his round by the time coverage begins. The good news is that CBSSports.com and Masters.com will each offer four live streams allowing viewers to watch some of the early golf live. The bad news is those streams are limited to the back nine for some featured groups, Amen Corner and holes Nos. 15 and 16. Watching a player hit a live shot on the front nine won't be possible until the tournament heads to the weekend.
When television coverage does begin on Friday, it will be broadcast on ESPN. The coverage is set to run from 3:00 p.m. ET to 7:30 p.m. ET, with the end time ultimately dictated by the pace of play on the course. The weather was absolutely pristine at Augusta National on Thursday and the forecast calls for more of the same on Friday, but if the weather changes then a delay could also cause the broadcast to run long. For those who miss the live coverage, a replay of the ESPN telecast will begin not long after the round concludes, running from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. ET. There will be a 15-minute highlight show on CBS from 11:30 to 11:45 p.m. ET.
Most of the field won't be part of the television coverage, but that doesn't mean the broadcast will be lacking big names to focus on. Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth and first-round leader Bill Haas will all tee off at 12:53 p.m. ET or later and should be featured predominantly throughout the broadcast. All five of those players will begin the second round under par, but the television coverage on Friday will also include a handful of notable names scrambling to make the cut after sluggish starts. Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson and Ian Poulter all have work to do. Posting a low score during the TV broadcast might be a challenge if conditions are anything like they were on Thursday. The course dried out throughout the day and many of best rounds were carded during the morning and afternoon action.
While live coverage won't begin until 3 p.m. ET, television coverage will begin at 11 a.m. ET on CBS Sports Network with Live Masters on the Range. The broadcast will including highlights, analysis and interviews, offering viewers a limited glimpse into the day's action. In addition to the television coverage and online streams, there will also extensive radio coverage. Here is a complete look at the coverage schedule for Friday.
Second round coverage
(All times ET)
11 a.m. - 1 p.m.: Live Masters on the Range - CBS Sports Network
3 - 7:30 p.m.: Live second round coverage - ESPN
8 - 11 p.m.: Replay of second round coverage - ESPN
11:30 p.m. - 11:45 p.m.: Highlights of the second round - CBS
10:45 a.m. - 6 p.m.: Amen Corner live stream
11 a.m. - 1 p.m.: Live Masters on the Range
11:45 a.m. - 7 p.m.: Nos. 15 and 16 live stream
12 p.m. - completion: Featured Group 1 and Featured Group 2 streams.
2 p.m. - completion: Masters Radio - Masters.com