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Shane Bacon

The Masters extends coverage an hour, but why not more?

Shane Bacon
Devil Ball Golf

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For golf fans, there is absolutely nothing better than Masters week. Maybe it's because we haven't had major championship golf in eight months. Maybe it's because it is the one venue we all (sans Martha Burk) fall in love with year in and year out. Maybe it's the traditions, and the holes, and the prestige and the beauty that seems almost artificial at times, but it is the best week of the year.

On Tuesday, Augusta National chairman Billy Payne told ESPN that the Masters would be extending its coverage in 2011 by an hour, starting at 3 p.m. ET instead of 4 p.m.

While this is great news for anyone that loves Augusta week, it seems like pellets on an army tank. Why just an hour?

Even with the extended coverage, the Masters is still the least televised of all the major championships. While I'm sure we can all agree that watching the PGA Championship all day is fine, we'd rather spend our spring with Amen Corner, Rae's Creek and Camellia.

Sure, the Masters committee does get a pat on its back for the moves it's made in the last decade. We can all remember the days when CBS wasn't allowed to show the front nine, and the coverage at Augusta National seemed as lengthy as a Modest Mouse song.

The changes are coming, but they need to continue. Depriving viewers of Masters coverage isn't just bad for the fans, it's bad for golf. We'd love to be able to watch both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson play their entire rounds on Thursday and Friday.

There is no point in showing us taped versions of their rounds when we have the outlet and means to do something about it. If nothing else, why not show the extended Masters coverage that goes online all morning? It's great that Augusta National is utilizing the Internet, but there is so much more that could be done to get us all Masters, all the time.

If there is a person in the world that would cut off his family and friends for a chance to play those wonderful 18 holes, it's me, so just know that all these requests are coming from a true fan.

Give us more, Augusta. I promise we aren't being greedy.

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