Credit: The Sports Media Podcast

ESPN’s Matt Barrie is in Augusta this week, anchoring SportsCenter from the Masters and providing other golf coverage for the network.

Barrie also stopped by The Sports Media Podcast with Austin Karp to talk about the biggest golf tournament of the year, played as the PGA Tour-LIV Golf rivalry continues despite long-ago announced merger discussions.

Earlier this week, fellow SportsCenter host Scott Van Pelt said he thinks “People don’t give a s***” regarding the ongoing drama between PGA and LIV golfers.

“I just don’t think they give a s***,” said Van Pelt. “All they want is to see the best players in each event.”

Those comments come when PGA Tour ratings are down and LIV Golf ratings are even worse. There are high hopes that the Masters will be able to reenergize golf audiences as the world’s best golfers come back together, but Barrie worries about what the ratings numbers say about the state of golf overall.

“Ratings tell stories, right? And the ratings are down,” said Barrie. “That’s because a lot of golf fans, one, are probably a little bit tired of what’s going on in the world of golf. Two, if you’re just being realistic with everyone, it’s not the best players in the world teeing it up every week. I mean, there’s a number of them that are out there. The Scottie Schefflers. The Xander Schauffeles. Rory McIlroy. Justin Thomas. Jordan Spieth. Tony Finau. Wyndham Clark. Hideki Matsuyama. They’re out there. But there’s also a lot of major championship winners playing on LIV.

“And this event, this week, the ratings will be through the roof. Why? Because this is the first time this year that the LIV guys and the PGA Tour guys will coexist in a major championship. So you can say wholeheartedly that this is now the best field in golf. Fans want that. They wanna see the best of the best, week in and week out.”

Barrie added that he thinks the ongoing ratings and financial concerns will create a moment in which some kind of resolution needs to be made, likely sooner rather than later.

“There’s gonna be an inflection point in the sport where both sides are gonna have to figure it out,” he said. “I just find it odd and bizarre watching golf this year and not seeing Jon Rahm. And not seeing Brooks Koepka and Cam Smith, these guys that went over there. So there’s gonna have to be a decision at some point because just being around golf and being around golf fans, they’re tired of it. And there has to be some resolution at some point.”

[The Sports Media Podcast, Austin Karp]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to