Jim Williams: Coverage of Masters still unlike any other golf tournament

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Sports,Golf,Jim Williams

Augusta National Golf Club was founded by the legendary Bobby Jones and his business partner, Clifford Roberts, in 1933. One year later, the first Masters tournament was held. The winner was Horton Smith.

The beautiful golf course, set in a sleepy southern town, remains home to the most coveted prize in golf, the green jacket given to the Masters champion. It holds the distinction of being the only major on the PGA calendar that is held at the same course each year.

CBS has been the Masters' only broadcast television partner, and the two are celebrating their 58th consecutive year together this week. Unlike the three other majors -- the U.S. Open, the British Open and the PGA Championship -- the Masters does not want complete, 18-hole coverage of the entire tournament.

Augusta National and CBS have worked together so you can see live, 18-hole coverage of the top two groups Saturday and Sunday.

ESPN will air the first two rounds Thursday and Friday from 3 to 7:30 p.m., with a prime-time replay starting each night at 8. The CBS production team will handle the coverage with its crew, led by Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo, joining Mike Tirico and Curtis Strange. CBS will handle the entire weekend coverage from 3 to 7 p.m. on Saturday and from 2 p.m. to the conclusion of the tournament Sunday. CBS Sports Network will air a replay of the CBS coverage starting at 7:30 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday after the event concludes.

"It's unlike any sporting event in the world, unlike any golf tournament in the world," CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said. "We try to convey what is different about the Masters and what is different about Augusta National, show the beauty around the clubhouse, around the golf course."

Nantz, host of the telecast for the 26th year, put it this way: "There's just a presence. On top of it all, there's a link to the history of the tournament. [Augusta National does] such a fabulous job keeping that tradition alive. There is a reason why we call this event a tradition unlike any other."

Examiner columnist Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. Follow him on Twitter @wordmandc.

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