ESPN College GameDay to Be Broadcast from Augusta National for 2020 Masters | Bleacher Report

FILE - In this Oct. 11, 2014, file photo, ESPN College GameDay hosts Lee Corso, left, and Kirk Herbstreit confer during the telecast from The Junction prior to Mississippi State playing Auburn in an NCAA college football game in Starkville, Miss. This week the Cornhuskers are front and center. Their game against No. 5 Ohio State on Saturday night was always going to be a big one. Add a visit from ESPN’s “College GameDay” show in the morning, and it becomes huge. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

For the first (and likely only) time, the Masters Tournament is getting the College GameDay treatment.

The ESPN staple will broadcast from Augusta National Golf Club on Nov. 14, marking the first intersection of college football and golf’s biggest event.

Jimmy Pitaro, the chairman of ESPN and Sports Content, said in a statement:

“Anytime College GameDay travels to a new destination it’s special, and the opportunity to be on the grounds of Augusta National Golf Club during the Masters is extraordinary. As this iconic event coincides with the college football season for the first time, we look forward to getting fans ready for a football Saturday, while also showcasing the Masters and the greatest golfers in the world.”

The Masters will be held without fans in attendance and staged in a month other than March or April—both tournament firsts—because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hosting College GameDay will offer some level of pageantry for an event that carries perhaps the most significant historical weight of any in golf.

Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley said:

“Given the circumstances brought about by the pandemic, the delivery of quality content is as important as ever to the storytelling of the Masters Tournament. While we will dearly miss our patrons at Augusta National this fall, we are excited to showcase what promises to be a truly memorable Masters in a variety of ways for viewers around the world.”

The broadcast will feature College GameDay’s regular cast of Rece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso, Desmond Howard and David Pollack, among others. Herbstreit endorsed the idea of holding College GameDay at the Masters in April, saying on Twitter that he loved the idea.

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Par 3 Contest out, ‘College GameDay’ in at this year’s different Masters

The Par 3 Contest is out at the spectator-free Masters in November, and ESPN’s “College GameDay” is in.

Augusta National announced Tuesday more changes to a Masters tournament that will be unlike any of the previous 83. The most unusual of all is ESPN’s popular college football pregame show taking place on a stage that overlooks Ike’s Pond and the ninth green of the par-3 course.

“When exploring ways to showcase a fall Masters, we were drawn to the concept of hosting ‘College GameDay’ at Augusta National to introduce the tournament to a new audience and provide even more anticipation and excitement to the event,” said Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley.


It helps that ESPN is a broadcast partner of the Masters and will televise the opening two rounds.

The coverage typically begins on Wednesday with the Par 3 Contest, a showcase of past champions and current players before an enormous gallery that rarely lacks for big roars, such as the time Jack Nicklaus had his grandson play a shot and he made a hole-in-one.

The Par 3 Contest dates to 1960 and is a big part of the tradition at Augusta National, mainly the jinx that no one has ever won the Par 3 and the Masters in the same year.

“We know that experience could not have been replicated without guests and patrons at Augusta National,” Ridley said.

So much about this Masters is different because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which shut down golf on March 13 and led Augusta National to postpone the Masters until Nov. 12-15, without spectators for the first time.

Because of the fall date and shorter daylight hours, the club said the weekday rounds would be played in threesomes off the first and 10th tees in morning and afternoon waves. The field remains set at 96 players who were eligible in April. Those who have qualified since then, such as PGA Tour winners Daniel Berger and Jim Herman, will not play until 2021.

“College GameDay” will certainly get a venue unlike any other. It typically travels to a college stadium that features a marquee matchup — Alabama has hosted it the most times since it began in 1993 — though it has gone off campus.

The most notable was in 2017 when “College GameDay” was held in Times Square. It also was held on the USS San Diego in 2012 as part of a salute to veterans.

ESPN said host Rece Davis will be joined at Augusta National by analyst Kirk Herbstreit, former Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard and former Georgia star David Pollack, among others.

“Any time ‘College GameDay’ travels to a new destination, it’s special, and the opportunity to be on the grounds of Augusta National Golf Club during the Masters is extraordinary,” said Jimmy Pitaro, chairman of ESPN and Sports Content.

Because of the pandemic, no spectators have been on site for the program. For the Masters, players are allowed to bring a spouse or family member, while Augusta National

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ESPN Making Some Elite Chicken Salad With This College GameDay at the Masters Recipe

ESPN’s College GameDay will broadcast live from Augusta National on Nov. 14, coinciding with third-round play at the Masters, the network announced today. Add that to the list of sentences you never thought you’d read eight months ago for so many reasons. But it’s happening … unless, of course, college football and golf are derailed by the pandemic between now and then. Fingers crossed.



a close up of a sign: Andrew Redington/Getty Images


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Andrew Redington/Getty Images

For now, let’s stay optimistic about the regular-scheduled programming holding up and the confluence of two great events dovetailing into a singular and historic morning of television. Because if you can bring yourself to look at the positives of this situation, they really are quite something to celebrate.

It’s an awesome idea only made possible by the worst of situations. So it’s not easy for a thinking person to dive head-first into the fun without a little trepidation and context. Perhaps the best thing to do is to contextualize and appreciate just how resourceful sports networks have been in adapting to this new world.

Gallery: The best athletes-turned-broadcasters (Yardbarker)

College GameDay near Amen Corner is elite chicken-salad-making. The unexpected perk slipping through the cracks of a heavy weight. Your mileage will vary on how much to enjoy the experience and if there should be any guilt.

But it’s less controversial to point out just how adroit and clever the industry has been in navigating the rapids. Especially when the twists and turns of the river make seeing around the bend impossible. ESPN choosing to steer into the weirdness of conflicting golf and football on its platforms is a not-so-subtle nod that, yeah, they get it and are doing their best. It’s a little thing but it’s indicative of the overarching outward mood content creators have been able to work their way into.

The constraints are innumerable and the challenges vast. Yet one could argue there’s never been a higher value placed on creativity in this field and, honestly, tons of others. It is both inspiring and humbling to see bravery in the form of steering into the skid and letting the car come to a rest where it may.

Who knew chicken salad could be reinvented in so many ways?

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The Masters: Par 3 contest is out, College GameDay is in

The Par 3 Contest is out at the spectator-free Masters in November.

ESPN’s “College GameDay” is in.

Augusta National announced Tuesday more changes to a Masters tournament that will be unlike any of the previous 83. The most unusual of all is ESPN’s popular college football pregame show taking place on a stage that overlooks Ike’s Pond and the ninth green of the Par 3 course.

“When exploring ways to showcase a fall Masters, we were drawn to the concept of hosting ‘College GameDay’ at Augusta National to introduce the tournament to a new audience and provide even more anticipation and excitement to the event,” Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley said.

The Par 3 contest is out at The Masters, while College GameDay is in.

It helps that ESPN is a broadcast partner of the Masters and will televise the opening two rounds.

The coverage typically begins on Wednesday with the Par 3 Contest, a showcase of past champions and current players before an enormous gallery that rarely lacks for big roars, such as the time Jack Nicklaus had his grandson play a shot and he made a hole-in-one.

The Par 3 Contest dates to 1960 and is a big part of the tradition at Augusta National, mainly the jinx that no one has ever won the Par 3 and the Masters in the same year.

“We know that experience could not have been replicated without guests and patrons at Augusta National,” Ridley said.

So much about this Masters is different because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which shut down golf on March 13 and led Augusta National to postpone the Masters until Nov. 12-15, without spectators for the first time.

Because of the fall date and shorter daylight hours, the club said the weekday rounds would be played in threesomes off the first and 10th tees in morning and afternoon waves. The field remains set at 96 players who were eligible in April. Those who have qualified since then, such as PGA Tour winners Daniel Berger and Jim Herman, will not play until 2021.

“College GameDay” will certainly get a venue unlike any other. It typically travels to a college stadium that features a marquee matchup—Alabama has hosted it the most times since it began in 1993—though it has gone off-campus.

The most notable was in 2017 when “College GameDay” was held in Times Square. It also was held on the USS San Diego in 2012 as part of a salute to veterans.

ESPN said host Rece Davis will be joined at Augusta National by analyst Kirk Herbstreit, former Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard and former Georgia star David Pollack, among others.

“Any time ‘College GameDay’ travels to a new destination it’s special, and the opportunity to be on the grounds of Augusta National Golf Club during the Masters is extraordinary,” said Jimmy Pitaro, chairman of ESPN and Sports Content.

Because of the pandemic, no spectators have been on site for the program. For the Masters, players are allowed to bring a spouse or family member, while Augusta National members

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College GameDay will be at Augusta during the Masters

How well does gentle piano music mix with a college band? We’re about to find out, because College GameDay is headed to Augusta.

Yes, in this most unusual of all sports seasons, yet another twist: ESPN’s landmark Saturday morning college football program will broadcast live on Saturday, Nov. 14 from Augusta National Golf Club. Yes, while the third round of the Masters is taking place.

There won’t be hordes of sign-waving fans in the background this time; the Masters will be closed to patrons this year. Instead, the College GameDay team will set up overlooking the placid Ike’s Pond and the Par 3 course behind Butler Cabin, a short distance from the 18th green. The show will broadcast from 9 a.m. to noon Eastern, just prior to CBS’s coverage of the afternoon.

The different time of year presents some logistical challenges for Augusta National and CBS. The first two rounds of the tournament will use a split-tee start, with some groups going off Hole 1 and others off Hole 10. Additionally, the tournament broadcast day will end at 5 p.m. on Saturday to make room for Alabama-LSU in the evening, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday to make room for CBS’s afternoon NFL slate. 

College GameDay will have ample opportunity for walk-on guests. Justin Thomas went to Alabama, for instance, and there’s a whole contingent of Georgia golfers in the field. Plus, the secretive members of Augusta National might just have a college football legend or two among their green-jacketed ranks…

Anyway, a few key questions remain:

A tournament unlike any other gets a College GameDay unlike any other. That seems about right.

College GameDay will overlook Ike’s Pond and the Par 3 course … without patrons in attendance, of course. (Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

_____

Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jaybusbee or contact him with tips and story ideas at [email protected]

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Wish and it will come true: College GameDay is officially coming to the 2020 Masters | This is the Loop

Back in April, as rumors of the Masters’ November postponement swirled, our own Chris Powers sewed a tiny (and much-needed) seed of optimism for suffering sports fans everywhere: What if College GameDay, he asked, happened AT THE MASTERS?

It was a pipe dream, a Flutie-esque hail mary, a joke between ESPN colleagues, but nothing more. In fact, even Powers himself admitted as much, pouring cold water on the fire emoji of an idea. “The tiny problem with this idea,” he wrote, “is that it has no chance of happening, at least on the hallowed grounds of Augusta National. Something tells me Lee Corso putting on a mascot head behind the 18th green while some drunkard holds up a “F— LANE KIFFIN” sign in the background wouldn’t fly at ANGC.”

Well, thankfully for all of us, he was wrong. Wonderfully, gloriously wrong.

On Tuesday, in perhaps the greatest press release ever crafted in the wide world of sport, Augusta National Golf Club, in concert with The Masters tournament and ESPN College GameDay, confirmed that on Saturday, November 14th, Rece, Kirk, Desmond, and Lee’s creepy trunk of disembodied mascot heads will be heading to the autumnal expanses of ANGC for a GameDay unlike any other. Please allow yourself a moment to freak out.

OK, now that we have gotten that out of our systems, it’s on to the logistics. According to the release, College GameDay will air from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday morning, before CBS’ live Moving Day coverage gets underway. The studio will be perched overlooking Ike’s Pond and the 9th green of the Par 3 Course, helping to make up for a lack of all those “F—K LANE KIFFIN” signs. Notable games that afternoon include Alabama-LSU, Wisconsin-Michigan, Penn State-Nebraska, and Notre Dame-Boston College in the Jesuit Bowl. In other words, you better put that quintuple-screen command deck on layaway at Rent-A-Center now.

Unfortunately balance in the sports universe must always be maintained, and thus the announcement of College GameDay x The Masters arrived with confirmation that the Par 3 Contest—always a charming amuse bouche on Masters week—has been cancelled due to COVID-related circumstances, which by now need no greater explanation. Still, however, this is net positive news and you can bet your spot in the Masters pro shop’s online shopping queue that we’ll be watching, slack jawed and smiling, all morning long.

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Par 3 Contest out, ‘College GameDay’ in at different Masters

The Par 3 Contest is out at the spectator-free Masters in November.



FILE - In this April 4, 2007, file photo, cloudy skies appear above the clubhouse at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. The Par 3 Contest is out at the spectator-free Masters in November. ESPN's “College GameDay” is in. Augusta National announced Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, more changes to a Masters tournament that will be unlike any of the previous 83. The most unusual of all is ESPN's popular college football pregame show taking place on a stage that overlooks Ike's Pond and the ninth green of the Par 3 course. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)


© Provided by Associated Press
FILE – In this April 4, 2007, file photo, cloudy skies appear above the clubhouse at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. The Par 3 Contest is out at the spectator-free Masters in November. ESPN’s “College GameDay” is in. Augusta National announced Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, more changes to a Masters tournament that will be unlike any of the previous 83. The most unusual of all is ESPN’s popular college football pregame show taking place on a stage that overlooks Ike’s Pond and the ninth green of the Par 3 course. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

ESPN’s “College GameDay” is in.

Augusta National announced Tuesday more changes to a Masters tournament that will be unlike any of the previous 83. The most unusual of all is ESPN’s popular college football pregame show taking place on a stage that overlooks Ike’s Pond and the ninth green of the Par 3 course.

“When exploring ways to showcase a fall Masters, we were drawn to the concept of hosting ‘College GameDay’ at Augusta National to introduce the tournament to a new audience and provide even more anticipation and excitement to the event,” Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley said.



FILE - In this April 10, 2019, file photo, Dustin Johnson and son Tatum stand on the ninth green during the par-3 golf tournament at the Masters in Augusta, Ga. The Par 3 Contest is out at the spectator-free Masters in November. ESPN's “College GameDay” is in. Augusta National announced Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, more changes to a Masters tournament that will be unlike any of the previous 83. The most unusual of all is ESPN's popular college football pregame show taking place on a stage that overlooks Ike's Pond and the ninth green of the Par 3 course. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)


© Provided by Associated Press
FILE – In this April 10, 2019, file photo, Dustin Johnson and son Tatum stand on the ninth green during the par-3 golf tournament at the Masters in Augusta, Ga. The Par 3 Contest is out at the spectator-free Masters in November. ESPN’s “College GameDay” is in. Augusta National announced Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, more changes to a Masters tournament that will be unlike any of the previous 83. The most unusual of all is ESPN’s popular college football pregame show taking place on a stage that overlooks Ike’s Pond and the ninth green of the Par 3 course. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

It helps that ESPN is a broadcast partner of the Masters and will televise the opening two rounds.

The coverage typically begins on Wednesday with the Par 3 Contest, a showcase of past champions and current players before an enormous gallery that rarely lacks for big roars, such as the time Jack Nicklaus had his grandson play a shot and he made a hole-in-one.

The Par 3 Contest dates to 1960 and is a big part of the tradition at Augusta National, mainly the jinx that no one has ever won the Par 3 and the Masters in the same year.

“We know that experience could not have been replicated without guests and patrons at Augusta National,” Ridley said.

So much about this Masters is different because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which shut down golf on March 13 and led Augusta National to postpone the Masters until Nov. 12-15, without spectators for the first time.

Because of the fall date and shorter daylight hours, the club said the weekday rounds would be played in threesomes off the first

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A Masters unlike any other could be most challenging of Tiger Woods’ career

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Tiger Woods is less than a month away from his 23rd start at the Masters which, for a monsoon of reasons, may prove to be his most challenging trip down Magnolia Lane.

He’s the defending champion. He’s won five green jackets. He’s still the most intimidating player in the game when he’s coming downhill at Augusta National, even at 44 years old. And, of course, he’s Tiger.

Under normal circumstances, all those things would weigh heavily in Woods’ favor, but it’s painfully obvious to all that these are not normal circumstances.

In April, when the azaleas are ablaze and the pollen thick, Tiger is a finetuned machine, ready for anything following more than two decades of trial and very little error. In the spring, he begins tooling his game during the Florida swing, working on shots, envisioning drives, dialing in his short game. By the time the year’s first major arrives every box has been checked.

This year, well, it’s 2020.

Zozo Championship: Full-field tee times | Full coverage

After missing the cut at last month’s U.S. Open, Woods took four months off, worked on his game and body and returns to action this week at the Zozo Championship, where he’s defending his first title on the PGA Tour since 2014. On Tuesday he offered a strangely uncertain answer when asked his “blueprint” for this year’s Masters.

“I think my plan is just to play and practice. I don’t know if I’m going to play Houston [Open] or not. I’m not playing next week, and we’ll see how this week goes and make a decision from there,” he said.

Woods has never played the Houston Open. He’s never played the week before the Masters. He’s never really been one to “see how this week goes.” That’s not a plan, it’s a rough outline, and it’s not Tiger.

To Tiger’s credit he doesn’t have much of a choice.

When the pandemic winds blew the Tour’s schedule into chaos and two majors into the fall, the players rolled with it. If playing the Masters in November without patrons is the only way, then that’s what they will do. For Tiger, that meant reworking his routine and coming up with a new plan.

Tiger Woods weighs in on the latest distance discussion

Things didn’t play out well at Winged Foot, where he missed the cut with rounds of 73-77, and Tiger has played just 18 rounds of Tour golf in the last 246 days, the byproduct of pandemic, poor play and personal preference. It all makes this week’s Zozo Championship, with apologies to the fans in Houston, his likely last start before the Masters.

“It’s not normally this time of year. It’s not normally played this way, the configuration of events. We’re not in a Florida swing. This is all different,” he said. “This whole year’s been different for all of us. The fact that the Masters will be held in November, it’s unprecedented, never been done before.

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