They always say that The Masters doesn’t begin until the Back 9 on Sunday.  Well, when Jordan Spieth made the turn Sunday for the Final Round leading by five strokes, it seemed like it was marking the end of the tournament instead of the beginning and he would have an easy Sunday stroll to victory.

Well, the ghosts of Augusta wouldn’t have any of that nonsense, would they?

The old adage rang true yet again as The Masters delivered in the drama department like it usually always does.  A seemingly insurmountable lead disappeared in less than an hour as Spieth collapsed through Amen Corner, making a quadruple bogey on #12 and opening the door for talented young Englishman Danny Willett to claim his first major.

For CBS, would the drama of Spieth’s stumbles be able to draw in the viewers that his record-tying triumph did last year?  Close, but not quite.  SBJ’s Austin Karp reports an 8.5 overnight rating for this year’s final round, down 11% from last year but an improvement on 2014.

It should be said that 2014 was a record low for The Masters, so it’s encouraging that this year’s numbers didn’t at least reach those valleys again.  It’s not a terrific number for CBS, but that could be because a lot of fans packed it in early when Spieth had such a commanding lead midway through the round.  Had Spieth had a chance coming up 18, the rating would likely be higher as well.

If it holds up in the final numbers, an 8.5 rating should be right around what the tournament has been able to draw over the last several years.  And since golf ratings have leveled out now that we’re past the Tiger Woods Era, the number isn’t that much of a disappointment compared to past tournaments.

And if there is anything encouraging for CBS and The Masters, this sets up a fantastic narrative for next year’s tournament to see how Jordan Spieth will rebound.  In his first three Masters, he’s never finished lower than second.  That makes it a good bet that he’ll be in contention next year and in a lot of years to come.  As Spieth, Day, McIlroy, and maybe now Willett, all become household names, golf can continue to build for the future.