Monday, April 14, 2014

Tracking the shots CBS showed during Sunday Masters telecast

For the Sunday round of the Masters, I tracked the number of times CBS showed each player making a stroke. I only tracked strokes from the Sunday round, so I disregarded the highlight shots CBS aired from earlier rounds or previous years. And for the shots CBS aired multiple times, I only counted these once.

CBS showed a total of 344 strokes played during the telecast. CBS came on the air at 2pm ET and the final putt was at 6:52, so this worked out to 1.18 strokes per minute. CBS showed all but one shot from each golfer in the final group, skipping only a Bubba Watson tap-in on #2 and a Jordan Spieth tap-in on #17. Spieth scored 72, so the other "missing" stroke was the penalty drop on #12.

Early in the telecast, CBS seemed to be rooting hard for Fred Couples and cut to him frequently at the expense of other contenders until a double bogey on #11. After that, CBS focused almost exclusively on the final two groups and wound up showing a high percentage of shots from Matt Kuchar and Jonas Blixt. Overall, 74% of the on-camera strokes came from these two pairings.

The highest finisher who was not shown was Lee Westwood who came in 7th place. CBS showed a total of 20 golfers, but only seven players appeared for more than five strokes.

Best use of non-stroke air time: Jim Nantz paying tribute to the late Pat Summerall and Ken Venturi.

Worst use of stroke air time: CBS showing the out-of-contention Couples putting out for the double bogey on #11.

Here is the complete shot chart (including the three top-10 finishers not shown on the telecast):

PlayerShots shownFinishPairing
Jordan Spieth70 (of 71*)T21
Bubba Watson68 (of 69)11
Matt Kuchar58T52
Jonas Blixt57T22
Fred Couples29T206
Miguel Angel Jimenez1543
Rickie Fowler14T53
Jim Furyk5T144
Thomas Bjorn4T85
John Senden4T87
Rory McIlroy4T812
Jose Maria Olazabal4T3417
Kevin Stadler3T86
Adam Scott2T149
Joost Luiten2T2625
Justin Rose1T145
Ian Poulter1T208
Hunter Mahan1T2616
Sandy Lyle1T4423
Oliver Goss14921
Lee Westwood074
Jimmy Walker0T812
Bernhard Langer0T813
total344

* Spieth took 71 "shots" plus one penalty stroke for a score of 72.

Note: The Pairing column reflects the tee time groupings in reverse order, so 1 =  final pairing, 2 = next-to-last, etc.

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