The Masters was a big event for the world of golf last weekend. It's the premier tournament for the sport and always draws a huge crowd.
The latest entry into the tournament's history was particularly popular, though. According to Golf.com, it was a massive weekend for the network and the game:
"Per CBS’s release, the network averaged some 12.058 million viewers during the five-plus hour broadcast window on Sunday afternoon at Augusta National, peaking with some 15.021 million viewers at the conclusion of Jon Rahm’s victory around 7 p.m. ET."
"The average audience represents a jump of some 19 percent over Scottie Scheffler’s snoozefest final round in 2022."
With the weather derailing the events prior to Sunday's finale, things were difficult for CBS. However, that apparently had little to no effect on the viewership for the fourth round, which drew an unbelievable 15 million viewers.
Many viewers might have been watching due to the heated contest between Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka. The Masters had a front row seat to the epic clash between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour.
Phil Mickelson's epic run on the final day probably brought some viewers in, too. Golf.com also mentioned:
"While PGA Tour viewership has held steady (averaging around 2 million viewers on normal weeks), and LIV has managed to wrangle audiences averaging a few-hundred-thousand people, the majors could be the beneficiary of a surge in casual viewership amplified by the LIV-PGA Tour undercurrent."
The PGA Tour and LIV Golf tournaments were outdone by the major, so it's very possible that the drama led to more viewers.
Was the Masters too slow?
Many golfers reported pacing issues with the latest Masters. Patrick Cantlay said he felt like the game was slow-moving and that everyone had had issues (via Yahoo! Sports):
“I mean, we finished the first hole and the group in front of us was on the second tee when we walked up to the second tee. We waited all day on pretty much every shot. We waited in 15 fairway, we waited in 18 fairway. I imagine it was slow for everyone.”
T2 finisher Brooks Koepka blamed Cantlay for being slow:
“The group in front of us was brutally slow. Jon went to the bathroom like seven times during the round, and we were still waiting.”
Cantlay defended his pace of play:
“When you play a golf course like Augusta National where all the hole locations are on lots of slope and the greens are really fast, it’s going to take longer and longer to hole out."
"I think that may have been what attributed to some of the slow play on Sunday, and then also when the wind is gusting and the wind is blowing maybe inconsistently, that’s when guys will take a long time, too. I think it’s just the nature of playing professional golf, where every shot matters so much.”
Ultimately, it didn't matter much, but it was an interesting divide between two of the premier players involved in the Masters.