As The Masters has begun, ESPN gets ready to air coverage of the first two rounds, it appears that the Worldwide Leader is changing its approach of covering the golf’s biggest name.

As EA Sports and Nike have replaced Tiger Woods with Rory McIlory as their signature athletes, is ESPN moving on from the world’s former one player? Does this mean that ESPN is moving on from Tiger? Not necessarily, but it appears the network is changing its approach.

In the past, ESPN would cover all of Tiger’s moves at Augusta and other golf tournaments. There was last year’s TigerCam at the Open Championship. And it was one of the networks which conducted an interview with him after his infamous transgression five years ago. With CBS producing The Masters plus Augusta National Golf Club calling the shots this week, we won’t have a TigerCam.

And while this morning’s SportsCenter did focus on Woods’ return to Augusta after taking time off earlier this year from the PGA Tour, it hasn’t been overboard. From the “Can Tiger come back” or “Is Tiger done” stories, it’s more of the “It’s a different Tiger” or “a happier Tiger” approach. And the network has been also been focusing on other golfers including Rory.

For those who have watched Tiger and ESPN over the years, some of the coverage got to the boiling point, but now as the field seems to have lapped Woods and he’s not seen as a favorite, the network has tempered its approach and that’s a good thing.

However, if Tiger regains the magic this weekend that made him the most dominant player, then ESPN could refocus back to all-Tiger, all the time, but so far, the coverage has not been ad nauseum. But things could change at a drop of a dime and that would not be so much of a good thing.

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.