Tiger Woods started the day seven strokes back of the leaders at The Masters, but it was his playing partner Phil Mickelson*, who also began seven strokes behind who put on an early charge. But then Tiger charged as well, and at one point they were both only one shot out of the lead (with several holes still left to play for the leaders). Tiger ultimately fell back to finish the tournament eight strokes under par, while Phil finished at nine under.
There are still about five holes left to play for the leaders as I write this, and Tiger definitely can't win, which will definitely impact CBS' last one hour plus of coverage. But at least the charges from Phil, and especially Tiger, should've helped. It certainly made for some entertaining TV.
The difference Tiger makes for TV ratings is well documented. Woods' comeback victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational a couple of weeks back was the most-watched tournament since last year's U.S. Open, that was one by Woods, and out-rated both the British Open and PGA Championship major tournaments from last year. Woods missed those two tournaments after knee surgery.
Woods impact on ratings for The Masters is also quite well documented. You can see how much difference it makes for Tiger to win or be in contention in the final round.
The Masters may be a tradition like no other, but golf is perhaps the event like no other when it comes to the difference watching it in HD on a big screen makes. You can literally read the greens at times, depending on the camera work. "Amen Corner" looked beautiful.
I'm definitely rooting for Kenny Perry, who at this writing is tied for the lead at twelve under with Chad Campbell with a few holes left to play. Perry is a couple of years older than I am, and if he wins, he will become the oldest person to ever win a major, surpassing Jack Nicklaus who at 46 won The Masters in 1986.
*Note, as of this writing if those currently ahead of Phil Mickelson suffered epic chokes, it would be possible for Phil to win (or tie, and get into the playoffs) but as of this writing the leaders would have to go three over par for the final holes for Phil to get a tie.