The 79th Masters Tournament has been nothing short of historic. From Jordan Spieth’s record setting performance, to the final farewell for two-time champion Ben Crenshaw, Augusta National has once again set viewers up for a Sunday to remember at Augusta.
Here’s five things to watch for as you get set for your Master’s Sunday:
1. Jordan Spieth’s quest for the green jacket.
The 21-year-old has been absolutely incredible at Augusta this week. The Texan set a new Masters Tournament record with his 14-under par through 36 holes. Saturday, Spieth shot a 2-under 70 to move to 16-under (also a Masters record). If not for a double bogey on 17, he’d be at 18 under and hold a six shot lead over the field heading into Sunday. So can Spieth hold on? He’s four shots clear of Justin Rose and five shots clear of Phil Mickelson. A 3-under 69 would give him the all-time Masters scoring record, and his first green jacket. He’d also be the first winner to wire the field since Raymond Floyd in 1976.
2. Can Mickelson get green jacket number four?
The three time Masters champion has played great golf this week, and if not for Spieth he’d be the main headline on this Masters Sunday. Lefty has shot 70-68-67 and currently sits five shots back of Spieth at 11-under. Mickelson will be paired Sunday with Charley Hoffman (-10). For Mickelson to have a real shot at catching Spieth, he’ll have to shoot somewhere in the neighborhood of 66-67 and hope Spieth falters.
3. Rory McIlroy paired with Tiger Woods.
This should be fun. The 2:30pm tee time features none other than 14 time major winner Tiger Woods (-6) and the world No. 1 Rory McIlroy (-6). Woods has played better than anybody expected him to this week. He’s shot back-to-back rounds in the 60’s for the first time since 2005, when he won the last of his four green jackets. McIlroy was the prohibitive favorite entering the week. While his 6-under is nothing to sneeze at, Rory did bogey two of his last three holes on Sunday, and should be starting his day at 8-under.
While it will be hard for both golfers to catch the leader, the fact that these two are paired together for a Masters Sunday is just awesome for viewers and golf fans. It will be must see TV.
4. Don’t forget about Justin Rose.
Justin Rose (-12) was a trendy sleeper pick this week, and has played extremely well at Augusta. The 2013 U.S. Open champion has shot 67-70-67, and is only four shots back of Spieth. He’ll be paired with the leader Sunday, which will be extremely important, as he can be the one to put the pressure on. Rose opened yesterday’s round with bogeys on two of the first five holes. At just 5-under, Rose went on a tear and birdied five of the final six holes, including a birdie chip from the bunker on 16. Look for him to play very well again on Sunday.
5. The television ratings.
Expect monster ratings for the Masters on Sunday. We won’t know the numbers until Monday the earliest, but they will be big. Rory and Tiger playing together, Mickelson in the hunt, and Spieth on a historic pace have CBS executives grinning ear to ear.
If you remember last year, according to a Sports Media Watch report, the weekend ratings for Bubba Watson’s second win at Augusta National were the lowest for CBS since 1957 – the year before Arnold Palmer won the first of his four green jackets.
This year, the ratings are already off to a hot start. ESPN’s live telecast of the first round of the 2015 Masters Tournament on Thursday, April 9, attracted the largest audience and highest rating for the first round since the record-setting 2010 telecast, according to Nielsen Media fast national data.
2015 could be one of the highest rated telecasts ever. Enjoy your Masters Sunday!