Masters' Web site has high scores, too

Billy Payne got off to a memorable start in his first Masters Tournament as chairman of Augusta National Golf Club.

Exploring new media coverage for the Masters was a hit, too, so to speak.

Augusta National said there were more than 106 million page views on its Web site (www.masters.org) during the week, up 35 percent from the previous year.

The Web site again provided extra video coverage called "Amen Corner Live," and this year added a bonus hour of coverage on the Internet of the tournament. That allowed viewers to see Phil Mickelson open his final round with a triple bogey, and Zach Johnson respond from an opening bogey with birdies on his next two holes.

Payne said the Internet numbers were proof the Masters provided fans coverage they wanted, which was the goal. And he indicated there could be additional features next year.

"I want to emphasize that 'Masters Extra' and 'Amen Corner Live' were initial steps, and we look to provide more extensive and dynamic applications in the future," Payne said in a statement.

The Masters already has more TV viewers than any other major. CBS Sports said an estimated 41.4 million viewers watched the Masters over the weekend, an 11 percent increase from last year, and up 6 percent from 2004 when the final round also was on Easter. CBS said it was the highest number since 47.9 million viewers when Tiger Woods won in 2001 for his fourth consecutive major.

The preliminary national rating was 9.1, up from 8.4 in 2006 and up from 7.3 in 2004.

Augusta National also said it served 4 million video streams of live golf and approximately 45 hours of live video over the four days. The club said viewers spent an average of three hours per visit on either masters.org or CBS Sportsline.com.

NEXT YEAR: Tom Pernice Jr. made a bogey on the final hole of the Masters, and it could prove costly.

It dropped him into a tie for 17th, which is significant only because the top 16 from the Masters are eligible for next year. It was only the third time Pernice, 47, had played in the Masters. He got in this year by finishing 25th in the money list. Also finishing out of the top 16 was Mark Calcavecchia, who took triple bogey on the 13th hole Sunday to ruin an otherwise great round. He shot 73 and tied for 20th.

Among those assured of returning were Jerry Kelly (tied for fifth) and Ian Poulter (tied for 13th). Everyone else in the top 16 likely would have made it back through the world ranking or having won majors.

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