Tiger-centric broadcast sticks to golf

On the opening day of the Masters, ESPN delivered Tiger in bulk.

In its 3 1/2-hour Thursday afternoon broadcast, ESPN went heavily on Tiger Woods but light on mention of the sordid details of the past five months. The network showed nearly all of his shots from the time the broadcast picked him up at the eighth hole to the end of his round just before the close of live coverage at 7:30 p.m.

At the top of the broadcast, announcers obliquely mentioned "scandal, scorn and scrutiny" and his "20-week self-imposed golf absence," but the words "infidelity," "sexting" and "adultery" didn't make it on air.

After Woods finished his round, broadcaster Jim Nantz referred to Woods' "secret life [and] all that came out." A post-round interview with host Mike Tirico understandably stuck to Woods' round.

Perhaps to the relief of the broadcast team, Woods' sterling play provided plenty of opportunities to wax reverential.

Cameras rarely strayed from Woods, showing him walking to the tee, teeing up, hitting off the tee, preparing to hit from the fairway, hitting from the fairway, walking to the green, lining up his putt, putting, marking his ball, waiting to putt, holing out and walking to the next tee. Not to mention multiple replays.

As broadcaster Ian Baker-Finch put it, "I think golf in general is very happy to have him back playing."