In his Wednesday’s press conference, the Chairman of Augusta National, Billy Payne told us that the Masters committee have a “less is more” attitude to the tournament. This means that both the TV coverage and the crowd numbers are limited.
For those who do manage to make it inside the gates, the viewing experience is second to none. I spent day two following Lee Westwood and discovered that with the vast majority of the crowd watching Woods, I could comfortably see each of the Englishman’s shots without any inside the ropes access. Playing with Mike Weir and Matteo Manassero, interest in the trio was, at best limited, despite Westwood’s growing position at the top of the leaderboard. It was noticeable how many family and friends, Westwood had following him. Mixing among the Augusta crowd, it is easy to spot any Brits, especially those with Worksop accents.
Ian Poulter however, playing in the group in front of Tiger Woods had to deal with hoards of people all looking for a slice of the action. But as you probably know, Poulter isn’t afraid of the limelight and the added atmosphere only seemed to spur him on.
Whatever the future of this tournament holds, the draw has been kind to both Poulter and Westwood. Their position at the head of affairs is reason for us all to be excited, even if it is only Friday evening.