The Masters in November not what anyone anticipated at the start of 2020, but now the last major of the year is just two weeks away, and it is going to simultaneously look quite similar to and vastly different than before. Augusta National Golf Club recently announced numerous tweaks to the Masters schedule as it operates the year's most prominent major amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
For starters, this year's edition of the Masters will not include the patron-friendly -- and always fun -- Par 3 Contest. It was previously announced that patrons would not be permitted at Augusta National this year.
In another break from tradition, golfers will go off both the No. 1 and No. 10 tees in each of the first two rounds. Just like 2019, you'll be able to see every shot on every hole online, and the Masters has introduced a feature this year that allows you to "build a personalized feed of every shot from your favorite players."
Television coverage will also look a bit different. On Saturday, the lead-in to the CBS third-round broadcast will feature "College GameDay," which will be setup overlooking Ike's Pond and the Par 3 Course. Sunday's coverage will also start earlier than normal with the tournament wrapping up by 3 p.m. ET.
2020 Masters schedule, times
Thursday, Nov. 12: 1-5:30 p.m. on ESPN
Friday, Nov. 13: 1-5:30 p.m. on ESPN
Saturday, Nov. 14: 1-5 p.m. on CBS
Sunday, Nov. 15: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. on CBS
All of this will be a bit unusual, even if the course will look exactly the same, but it's an unusual year after all. Honestly, it's just nice to have a Masters this year.
"Given the circumstances brought about by the pandemic, the delivery of quality content is as important as ever to the storytelling of the Masters Tournament," said Augusta National Golf Club chairman Fred Ridley. "While we will dearly miss our patrons at Augusta National this fall, we are excited to showcase what promises to be a truly memorable Masters in a variety of ways for viewers around the world."
The best part of all of this is that we get to do it all over again in five months in April 2021. Hopefully, by that time, patrons will be able to attend. Until then, maybe the most unique Masters of our lifetime is set for a cold, strange, exciting welcome into the broader sports world.