On-course player interviews debut at Augusta National

Published: Apr. 7, 2023 at 11:51 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. - Augusta National Golf Club allowed a walk-and-talk interview during the opening round when Rory McIlroy answered questions for the ESPN telecast while playing the ninth fairway.

Then Max Homa later joined the fun, making a live guest appearance during his round.

CBS, which is producing the Masters, first broke out the technology at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. Trevor Immelman was in the booth and held a Q-and-A with Homa as he played the 13th hole. Homa went on to win.

NBC also did the walk-and-talk with a player during the six weeks leading to the Masters.

McIlroy went as far as to tell viewers his yardage and what club he would be hitting into the ninth green.

McIlroy said it wasn’t a distraction because the interview was conducted through an earpiece rather than having someone place a microphone in front of him as he walked, so it felt more natural.


“The club reached out to us last week and just inquired if I would be interested in doing it,” McIlroy said.

“I thought it would be a cool thing to do. I did it in Austin and didn’t feel like it took me out of my rhythm in any way or made me think about things too much,” he said. “So it’s nice to provide the audience at home a little bit more insight into what’s going on out here.”

McIlroy said Augusta National has “a great balance of blending that history and that tradition but also making sure we’re keeping up with the times.”

Which player would McIlory most like to see do it?

Tiger. There’s only one answer there,” he said.

What are the chances of that happening?

“Zero,” McIlroy said with a laugh.