AUGUSTA, Ga. – Attending the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club is on the bucket list of sports fans around the world, and some actually get the opportunity to do it.
Even sports journalists are not immune to the draw of the Masters.
This week, SportsCenter anchor Michael Eaves is working at the event for the first time, contributing to the week-long coverage of golf’s first major of the season. And in the process, Eaves, who joined ESPN in May 2015, is completing his professional bucket list.
“My dad got me involved in the game at a very young age, and I always remember the beginning of golf season growing up in Kentucky when it became Spring, we were watching the Masters,” he said.
“I’ve been watching this tournament since I was seven or eight years old, and know every hole on the golf course just from television,” Eaves said. “And then finally to get here and see it in person has been a lifelong dream of mine.”
Eaves got his first look at Augusta National when he arrived Monday morning.
“Everyone tells you the exact same thing when you come here for the first time, that you can’t believe how beautiful it is until you see it in person,” he said. “And that’s absolutely true – just looking at that grass and how perfect it is, and the bunkers how white they are – everything that people say about this place is true, and it doesn’t do it justice until you see it in person.”
Eaves had covered professional golf during every stop of his professional career before he joined ESPN. Last year, when Tiger Woods was attempting to make a comeback from back surgery, Eaves returned to the sport when he reported on Woods for SportsCenter from several tournaments.
The assignments were warmups for the Masters.
“I’ve done Super Bowls, I’ve done Final Fours, and last year I covered the Olympics for the first time,” he said.
“I’ve done other major championships in golf; I’ve just never come here,” he said. “It’s bringing me a lot of emotion thinking about my father, wishing he could be here to see it, or even wish he could see me here working, so it’s been a really cool experience so far and it’s very nostalgic.”
ESPN will air the first two rounds of the Masters on Thursday and Friday, April 6-7, from 3-7:30 p.m. ET.