Sports are great for entertainment and drama and storylines, but they’re also good for economic impact. The Masters, for example, brings roughly $150 million to Augusta, with the average Masters-goer spending $500 on merchandise alone.
“Yeah, except me,” Sports Business Insider Rick Horrow said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “I spent $690 in the last two days. I’m an idiot. How many times am I going to do that?”
There’s also ticket sales. Ticket prices reportedly jumped 12 percent when it was announced that Tiger Woods would play in the Masters.
“And maybe even more,” Horrow said. “I was trying to troll the grounds today, trying to get a real number, and I actually heard from one of the ticket resellers that he just got a gentleman to pay $4,500 for (Friday) – and (Friday) is a big day. If Tiger continues to play maybe two or three over, he doesn’t make the cut. And so, (Friday) is the day that everybody thinks that they may get a last glimpse of Tiger and maybe a coronation of a new king. It is kind of interesting how well Jordan Spieth is playing.”
You could say that.
Spieth, 21, lapped the competition – and then some – on Day 1, birdying his last putt for an 8-under-64. It was the best opening round at Augusta National in 19 years. That last birdie gave him a three-shot lead over Charley Hoffman, Justin Rose, Ernie Els and Jason Day going into Day 2, making him the youngest player to ever lead the Masters after the first round.
Spieth was one shot away from tying the Masters record of 63 put up by Greg Norman in 1996 and Nick Price in 1986.
So yeah, not a bad day for the Dallas native who finished runner-up to Bubba Watson at the Masters in 2014 – at the age of 20.
Of course, given Spieth’s upbringing, perhaps his disciplined dominance should come as no surprise.
“This probably helps explain how well-grounded he is,” Horrow said. “His father – there’s no B.S. in the Spieth household. It’s a very well-grounded family. His father is the co-founder of the company called MVPindex and Stout. They’re the ones that we use when we talk about Q Scores and likability for corporate America as far as social media is concerned. They invented a lot of the metrics. They invented some of the scores that we use – and (Spieth’s) dad, Shawn, is the guy that founded all that.
“So he comes from really good stock,” Horrow continued. “When you watch him, he doesn’t get ruffled. It’s really fun to watch a golfer who doesn’t lose it on the course.”
Woods, if you’re curious, shot a 1-over-73 on Thursday. He is nine stokes behind Spieth, who, as Woods joked earlier this week, was in diapers when Woods won the Masters in 1997.
Spieth has a Day 2 tee time of 9:57 a.m. ET, with Woods set to begin at 10:30 a.m. ET.