Okay, I’m here in Augusta, ensconced safely in the press amphitheater, but wouldn’t you know it, as soon as I get comfy enough for a little snooze, the editor-in-chief of our glorious publication, George the first, sits himself down right beside me, all hyper and cheerful, and wakes me up. I hate it when that happens.
Now that I’m up though, I think I’ll go off on something of a tangent. I figure you’ll be reading enough Masters stuff, you know, about the golf course, etc., and the only real difference that I can see is that the rough is a little taller and thinner than last year. Which means not only is it the exact opposite of me, but it will be considerably more difficult to play from as it won’t support the weight of the ball. Flyer city, in other words.
For me, a major change has occurred, however. My perch behind the 15th green now has an extra camera in it, and yours truly has been moved over to the left flank of the green, into a box so small, that if I want to change my mind, I’ll have to step outside. It’s so close to the bleachers by the Sarazen Bridge, you might hear as much from the patrons as you do from me. Fortunately, Augusta National has a long history of making things right, so I’m confident that come Thursday morning, either the bleachers, or I will be somewhere else. I just hope I’m not back in Dallas.
The reason for the change is that this year, for the first time, CBS is covering The Masters in HDTV, which requires different cameras, different announcers, and of course, different TVs. So my spot up in the 15th tower has been nabbed by a high tech HDTV camera. I’m pretty miffed. Replaced by a piece of technology, what is the world coming to?
But the upside to the whole thing is that one of the HDTV announcers will be my pal, the captain of the European Ryder Cup team, hairy boy Sam Torrance. His first foray into television is The Masters, which is like being thrown in the deep end I can assure you. Actually, he’s being thrown in with Jerry Pate, who is making a welcome return to CBS air, and Don Criqui. Now, the thing is, there are more people working the HDTV broadcast, than will actually watch it, due to the fact that an HDTV set costs $850,000 at the moment, but I have seen the pictures, and frankly I think that it’s a small price to pay for a view of Tiger’s nose hairs.