Behind the broadcast scenes

April, 7, 2011
04/07/11
5:12
PM ET
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Masters press room
Wright Thompson/ESPNWatching the feed.

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Hidden behind the walls of pine trees and banks of flowers is the guts of the Masters. I'm sitting right now in a small office, the center of the ESPN broadcast operation. A golf cart brought me, cutting past the Par 3 Course and the CBS trucks, including one that is golf nerd nirvana: a trailer with a sign that says Masters video archives. This office has two couches, two big televisions and several desks. I'm drinking a Diet Dr. Pepper. Various feeds come in from around the golf course, so while America watches Mickelson play, we watch Tiger hit shots on the range. He just left the course with a 1-under round. He's in position. Tiger stands over a stack of balls, hits an iron, reaches for another ball, 31 seconds passing before next contact, then 31 more seconds, then another shot. Tiger pulls the driver out. He crushes it. He lets the club spin after his follow-through, the flourish that lets you know he likes it, then tees up another. He's working, tweaking, grinding, watching the shots, hoping tomorrow is better than today.

Wright Thompson | email

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
Wright Thompson (@wrightthompson) is a senior writer for ESPN.com and The Magazine. He has been featured in seven editions of Best American Sports Writing and lives in Oxford, Mississippi.
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