Bringing Masters to the masses

News 12 at 6 o'clock, April 10, 2009

AUGUSTA---Watching the Masters in person can be a real challenge. Some people pick one golfer and follow him all day long. Others pick a spot and let the golfers come to them. But millions more won't even have to take a step to keep up with the action on every single hole.

The Masters is the longest-running sporting event broadcast on one network. It's the 54th year for CBS and the Masters. And for those of you not near a television set, the coverage just got even better.

Not all Masters fans are lucky enough to be out on the fairways in person. Most are stuck at home or the office. But there's something special for them, too.

The CBS compound at Augusta National is a satellite village, home this week to some very famous announcers, like Verne Lundquist.

"I think it means a lot. It means a lot to the viewing public, it means a lot to us. There's very much a comfort factor in how we go about producing this event, and how the Masters wants us to produce it."

Verne covers all the action from his tower on the 16th hole. From Jack to Tiger, he's seen it all.

"Every time Tiger comes through 16, I remember where he was and what I said," Verne told News 12, remembering that famous shot that lingered on the edge before finally falling in. "And I feel the same way about 17 and Jack. I know when the pin's in a certain place I could tell you how far he was."

But long before Verne climbs that tower and begins his coverage, CBS Sports is already on the air--or rather, online.

Ian Eagle and Matt Gogel will spend seven and a half hours in the Amen Corner Room, watching all the action on a big screen TV and talking about what they see to millions of people watching online. They call this coverage Amen Corner Live. It's live streaming video of the 11th, 12th, and 13h holes.

Announcers in another room cover 15 and 16.

And in a back room in the media building all the way across the golf course, IBM runs Last year, more than 5 million people watched the Masters online.

No matter how you watch it, Verne says he still has the best seat in the house.

"Get me up and let me sit at 16 and I'll stay there as long as I can," he said.

No matter how you watch the Masters, it's always great to hear those familiar voices from CBS Sports.

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