At one point on Saturday, it appeared the Masters was headed for a rather tame final round. Bubba Watson was pulling away from the field, leading by five strokes. He had yet to three-putt and had carded just three bogeys all week. He was seemingly on his way to double-digit red figures and a sizable lead heading into Sunday. But four bogeys in his final 13 holes and surges from Jordan Spieth and others changed things, and now the Masters is set for a classic final round.
Getting past Tiger
Getting past Tiger
Watson is still in the mix, tied with Spieth for the lead at 5-under. The leaders are two of 15 players who will begin the final 18 at even par or better. That group includes Matt Kuchar at 4-under, Rickie Fowler at 3-under. Jim Furyk at 2-under and Justin Rose at 1-under. Fred Couples is also hanging around at 1-under. With such a crowded leaderboard, it could be anyone's tournament at this point. Watson could rebound from his 74 on Saturday and claim his second green jacket in three years. The 20-year-old Spieth could make history and become the youngest player to ever win the Masters. There are too many possible scenarios to detail, but fortunately for viewers, there will be an extra hour of live television coverage to watch it all unfold.
CBS will once again handle the television coverage with the broadcast scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. ET, an hour earlier than it did on Saturday. That won't allow viewers to watch the entire final round, and a few notable players will be on the course before coverage begins, but it will allow viewers to watch most of the key action live. The final pairing of Spieth and Watson aren't scheduled to tee off until 2:40 p.m., so their entire rounds will occur during the broadcast. Most of the players near the top of the leaderboard will tee off at 2 p.m. or later. Barring a player like Rory McIlroy or Hunter Mahan going very low early in the day, the shots that decide the Masters will likely be broadcast live.
The final few groups will initially receive most of the coverage and there won't be a shortage of story lines. The final three pairings include a rising star in Spieth, a well-known champion in Watson, arguably the best player yet to win a major in Kuchar and two other rising stars in Fowler and Jonas Blixt. That's without mentioning possibly the most interesting man in golf, as Miguel Angel Jimenez will tee off with Fowler in the third-to-last pairing.
Now, whether or not those players play well remains to be seen. The late groups had plenty of problems during the first three rounds with the course playing easier early in the day. If it remains dry and the greens get progressively faster throughout the day, the final round could be about survival more than it is about making a charge. Regardless, it should be a very interesting final day at Augusta National.
In addition to the main television broadcast. CBSSports.com and Masters.com will provide live online streams. One will cover Amen Corner while another will be dedicated to holes Nos. 15 and 16. There will also be a pair of featured group streams. The television broadcast will conclude with the green jacket ceremony.
Final round coverage
11 a.m. - 1 p.m.: Live Masters on the Range - CBS Sports Network
2 - 7 p.m.: Live final round coverage - CBS
11 a.m. - 1 p.m.: Live Masters on the Range
11:45 a.m. - 6 p.m.: Amen Corner live stream
12:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.: Nos. 15 and 16 live stream
12:30 p.m. - completion: Featured Group 1 and Featured Group 2 streams. Exact times TBD
Conclusion of play: Green jacket ceremony
2 p.m. - completion: Masters Radio - Masters.com