Although the PGA Tour season officially began in October, the unofficial start of golf season will happen this week at Augusta National. The best in the world will once again head to Augusta, Ga., to compete for the green jacket in the 2014 Masters.
While the field includes many of the top players in the world, there will be at least one notable absence. For the first time in 20 years, Tiger Woods will not be part of the Masters field. The No. 1 player in the world underwent back surgery recently and will be forced off the course for at least the net few months. Even without Woods, the 2014 Masters isn't lacking star power. Rory McIlroy is the betting favorite while Phil Mickelson and reigning Masters champion Adam Scott aren't far behind.
Players won't tee it up competitively until the first round begins on Thursday, but there will be plenty of action around Augusta National before then. From practice rounds, to press conferences to the Par 3 Contest, all eyes in the golf world will be on Augusta for what has really become a weeklong schedule of events.
2014 Masters Schedule:
Monday, April 7: Practice Round
Many players have already gotten a practice round or two in, but official practice rounds will begin on Monday. The gates to Augusta National will open at 8 a.m. ET with spectators allowed in until approximately 6:30 p.m. Jim Nantz frequently uses the famed line, "The Masters, a tradition unlike any other" and that proves true when it comes to television and online coverage. Practice rounds typically generate very little coverage, but practice round coverage at the Masters can be streamed online and watched on television. CBSSports.com and Masters.com will provide a live stream of Masters on the Range from noon to 2 p.m. The coverage will also air on CBS Sports Network.
Players will also begin meeting the media for pre-tournament press conferences (Jason Day and Patrick Reed are two we know about expected for Monday). Highlights from the press room will be available from Masters Live on CBSSports.com and Masters.com.
Tuesday, April 8: Practice Round
The schedule on Tuesday will mirror Monday with players getting in practice rounds and some meeting the media. Coverage will also be the same with online streams at CBSSports.com and Masters.com from noon to 2 p.m. Television coverage on CBS Sports Network will run during the same time.
First and second round tee times and pairings will be announced on Tuesday, usually before Noon, giving a preview of what's to come and who will be playing together the first two days. The "Champions Dinner" also takes place Tuesday night, and Adam Scott is expected to make it Australian themed.
Wednesday, April 9: Practice Round and Par 3 Contest
Players will be back on the course early Wednesday morning, getting in their final practice rounds before the start of the tournament. Masters.com, CBSSports.com and CBS Sports Network will provide coverage from noon to 2 p.m.
Before the field turns its attention to the first round on Thursday, some players will have a little fun by playing in the Par 3 Contest. While winning the contest may not be ideal -- no Par 3 Contest winner has gone on to claim the green jacket in the same year -- the event allows players to have some fun before focusing in the next day. Masters.com will provide live video coverage of the Par 3 Contest beginning at 3 p.m. while ESPN will have live television coverage from 3 to 5 p.m. Cute kid highlights guaranteed.
Thursday, April 10: First Round
The tournament itself begins on Thursday with the first round. Coverage for the day will begin at 11 a.m. with Masters on the Range. The show will can be streamed from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Masters.com, CBSSports.com and on CBS Sports Network. ESPN will be the television home for live coverage with the broadcast scheduled to run from 3 to 7 p.m.
In addition to the main coverage, there will be multiple streams available on Masters.com and CBSSports.com. An Amen Corner stream will run from 10:45 a.m. to 6 p.m., with dedicated coverage of Nos. 15 and 16 running from 11:45 a.m. to 7 p.m. There will also be dedicated streams to two featured groups, one in the morning and one later in the afternoon wave.
Friday, April 11: Second Round
Second-round coverage will be identical to the first-round coverage on Thursday. ESPN will broadcast live from 3 to 7:30 p.m. with the various streams and Masters on the Range available on CBSSports.com, Masters.com and CBS Sports Network. The traditional 36-hole cut is made as the sun goes down and peeks through the loblolly pines.
Saturday, April 12: Third Round
Coverage will shift slightly when the tournament heads to the weekend. Saturday will begin with Masters on the Range from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. CBS will take over television coverage with the broadcast scheduled to run from 3 to 7 p.m. The television coverage will also be available on an online stream from Masters.com.
The Amen Corner stream will run from 11:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. with the stream of Nos. 15 and 16 airing from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. There will once again be two dedicated featured group streams. The groups will be determined after tee times are announced following the cut down.
Sunday, April 13: Final Round
Final round coverage will begin with Masters on the Range from 11 a.m to 1 p.m. Like it did for the third round, CBS will broadcast from 3 to 7 p.m. with the broadcast available via a live stream on Masters.com. The secondary streams will be on the same schedule as they were on Saturday.
Once the final putt has been made, the green jacket ceremony will be held with coverage on CBS and a live stream on Masters.com.