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Two Simple Suggestions to Fix Masters Ratings, Which Were at a 28-Year Low on Sunday

By Stephen Douglas
Hideki Matsuyama at the 2021 Masters.
Hideki Matsuyama at the 2021 Masters. / Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
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The Masters ratings on Sunday were both good and bad. They were good in that they were up quite a bit (68 percent) from the November 2020 Masters. However, they were also bad because they were the lowest they had been since 1993. So do you prefer recency bias (good here!) or historical context (very bad!)? Either way, we can fix The Masters ratings next year and beyond. Here's how.

First, let's look at the 2021 Masters. Hideki Matsuyama entered the final round with a four-stroke lead over Marc Leishman, Justin Rose, Xander Schauffele and Will Zalatoris. Matsuyama then played a decent round and never let anyone get closer than two shots until the final putt gave him a one-stroke win. If that sounds boring, you are right. Not even an awesome racially inspired one-liner could have saved the Sunday ratings.

Now let's look back at the 1993 Masters. Bernhard Langer entered the final round with a four-stroke lead over Chip Beck and Dan Forsman, two people who definitely existed. Beck pulled within two shots and stayed there until Langer eagled 13. Langer won by four.

So what do we do with this information? The one thing those tournaments have in common is that Tiger Woods was not involved. If you don't have Tiger Woods, you lose a lot of interest. So The Masters should concentrate on some of the other big-name golfers being prominently involved in the final round. Bryson DeChambeau generates a lot of headlines. Have him play better. Dustin Johnson, Jason Day and Jordan Spieth would be great to have involved. Phil Mickelson making a late-career run would be a nice story. You know, golfers that make people stop and say, "I know that guy!" That's who should play in the final groups on Sunday.

It also appears that people don't want to watch golf tournaments where the score is not close. In the future The Masters should encourage golfers to have closer scores going into the final round. Perhaps even have everyone be the same distance from par by the time that the third round ends.

It is that easy! The Masters should simply have the most popular golfers sitting atop a tight leaderboard on Sunday morning. People would watch that.

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