The first major of the year is here. The golfing world will hone in on Augusta, Georgia for golf’s most popular tournament: The Masters. This year’s event has a little more pop to it thanks to the emergence of LIV Golf, a new Saudi-backed tour that will have 18 players in The Masters field. Add that to the fact that Tiger Woods is playing, Scottie Scheffler has a real chance to win it back-to-back, and Rory McIlroy is trying to complete the career grand slam, it’s clear this year’s Masters has it all. Let’s take a look at the TV schedule and our favorite storylines to follow at Augusta National. DISH subscribers can enjoy the event starting on Wednesday, April 5 at 3pm ET with the Par 3 contest on ESPN. The full Masters TV schedule is as follows:
2023 Masters TV Schedule
Par 3 Contest Wednesday: 3-5pm ET on ESPN
Round 1 Thursday: 3-7:30pm ET on ESPN
Round 2 Friday: 3-7:30pm ET on ESPN
Round 3 Saturday: 3-7 pm ET on CBS
Round 4 Sunday: 2-7pm on ET CBS
*Additional coverage of The Masters on Masters.com, The Masters App and ESPN+. Includes featured groups, and featured holes.
LIV Golfers Return For The Majors
Let’s cut to the chase: The players can try to play down the LIV controversy as much as they want, but the reality is that this is a real story. Brooks Koepka said it’s something the media is building up, but when there is a lawsuit against the PGA Tour from LIV Golf, petty jabs flying around press conferences, and Patrick Reed has run-ins with Rory McIlroy on the driving range, the media is going to bring attention to it. In the end, I don’t think anything will come of the LIV players being at Augusta this week. If anything, having the best players in the world all competing for golf’s premier prize only adds to the drama. An interesting bit to keep an eye on is LIV golfers being required to sport subtle nods to LIV on their clothes or bags. It will mostly come in the form of their LIV team logo. Should a LIV player win, it’ll only help the upstart league, which has struggled to garner viewership and attention.
When Tiger plays golf, he’s the most-watched and talked about player in the field. Woods will make his first start since he finished t45 at the Genesis Invitational back in February. Tiger had an up-and-down week highlighted by a 69 on Thursday and a 67 on Saturday. Now, the five-time Masters champion will head to a golf course he knows like the back of his hand. The biggest challenge for the Big Cat this week won’t be beating Scottie Scheffler or Jon Rahm, but his health. Augusta National is one of the hardest walks in golf due to its rolling hills and awkward lies. Tiger lamented that his ankle is ‘moving target’ when it comes to treatment, and the forecasted weather isn’t going to help (see below). Making the cut at this tournament last year was an incredible, downright absurd achievement. Should Tiger make the cut again, and find himself within a stone’s throw of the lead going into Sunday, then buckle up.
It’s going to be a wet one down in Augusta, Georgia this week. The forecast calls for precipitation all four days, with the brunt of it coming on Saturday. Augusta National has gone to extreme measures to lengthen the golf course over the past couple of years and the damp conditions will only make it play longer. The famous Par 5 13th hole is the latest hole to get lengthened and it will be under a microscope this weekend. The soft conditions will likely favor the longer hitters and those with elite approach shots. It will be interesting not only to see how the players manage the moisture, but how Augusta manages the set up.
Scottie, Rory, Rahm and Who Else?
No one has won back-to-back green jackets since Tiger Woods did it in 2001-02. After a dominant 2022 season which saw Scottie Scheffler rack up four wins (including his Masters title), the Texas Longhorn has already added two more trophies to his cabinet this year. The world’s number one golfer is in great form and is hard to pick against at Augusta. Scheffler has been playing hot potato with Rory McIlory and Jon Rahm for the number one ranking, but Scheffler has been the most consistent. The three have tallied six wins in total this season and are the headliners. Rory is still trying to complete the career grand slam, while Jon Rahm is trying to secure his second major title. But who else can sneak into the fold at Augusta? On paper, Collin Morikawa seems to fit the bill, but he had a weird 2022 where he looked elite, then pedestrian, in a span of 24hrs. Max Homa and Jason Day have been consistent all season long, and you always have to wonder about Jordan Spieth. Then you have the LIV players. Cam Smith and Dustin Johnson have always played well here, while Sergio Garcia, Bubba Watson, and Patrick Reed have won the green jacket before. Long story short, the field is deep, and it’s anyone’s guess who will be in Butler Cabin on Sunday.