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Masters First Round Produces Highest Rating Since 2010

Masters 2015: Rory McIlroy Lacks His A-Game at Augusta
During Friday's GOLF.com Live From Augusta recap show, Sports Illustrated's Alan Shipnuck says Rory McIlroy's play and Augusta National's course do not agree with each other.

The Masters earned its best opening-round rating since 2010, according to Nielsen Media.

In a press release issued Friday, ESPN said its Thursday telecast earned the highest rating since the network’s record-setting 2010 broadcast, which featured Tiger Woods' return to the course after his sex scandal and registered a 3.4 rating and an average of 4.936 million viewers. Thursday’s telecast earned a 2.2 rating and averaged 3.218 million viewers, a year after the first Woods-less Masters since 1994 produced a 1.5 rating and average audience of barely more than 2 million.

MORE MASTERS: Aerial Photos Of Augusta National | Watch Our Best Masters Videos

Columbus, Ohio, and West Palm Beach, Florida, led the nation with 4.2 ratings.

A major difference also came online, as WatchESPN reached a record 234,000 unique viewers Thursday, which was up 263 percent from 2014.

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