Matthew Fitzpatrick Surprised by Low 2024 Masters Viewership, Offers Explanation

"Obviously you've got everyone playing together, like everyone wants, and the viewership's down."

by Sead Dedovic
Matthew Fitzpatrick Surprised by Low 2024 Masters Viewership, Offers Explanation
© Andrew Redington/Getty Images Sport

Since the arrival of LIV Golf on the big stage, much has changed. Once, the primary focus was on major tournaments and individual performances. Now, things are somewhat different. The emphasis is largely on money, individuals chasing money and the conflict between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf. 

Although this situation has attracted attention even from those who are not golf fans, many believe that golf is in a much worse state than it was before the arrival of LIV Golf. The division in the golf world is the primary reason why fans are frustrated. 

Golfers often seize the opportunity to comment on happenings in the golf world, also expressing anger and disappointment. After the last Masters, Matthew Fitzpatrick decided to react to the data showing that the final round of the Masters drew less interest, with 9.59 million viewers, representing a drop of 2.50 million from the previous year. Fitzpatrick said that he is surprised, expecting different figures.

"I am surprised by that, to be fair," he said, as quoted by Golf Magic!

"Obviously you've got everyone playing together, like everyone wants, and the viewership's down. 

But, yeah, it's bizarre. I think, for me, speaking to people at home and stuff, people are fed up with hearing about the money. I think that's the biggest thing."

Fitzpatrick saw the repetitive focus on players' earnings and prize fund increases, suggesting that such topics become boring quickly. Fitzpatrick speculated that perhaps the decreased viewership could be attributed to a general disinterest or possibly due to the recognition that Scottie Scheffler's dominance might lead to a predictable outcome, resulting in a lackluster Sunday. 

Matthew Fitzpatrick
Matthew Fitzpatrick© Jamie Squire/Getty Images Sport

He emphasized his belief that the excessive focus on money may be an important factor contributing to viewer exhaustion. Additionally, Fitzpatrick expressed his surprise at the viewership decline, especially considering the prestigious nature of the Masters and the participation of top players from both tours.

Some expected that this year's Masters would generate even greater interest for several reasons, and there are many; One reason is the return of LIV Golf stars to the big stage. Considering that LIV Golf events do not attract as much attention because fans believe that this competition is not competitive, the arrival of LIV Golfers at the Masters was expected to garner attention. Additionally, Tiger Woods' recovery and participation in the Masters emphasized that fans would be even more interested. Of course, Rory McIlroy must not be forgotten. Year after year, the Northern Irishman attracts huge attention, as everyone awaits his completion of the Grand Slam Career. McIlroy did not succeed in his intention this year either.

Rumors continue to swirl day by day about the possibility of individuals from the PGA Tour leaving this competition and joining LIV Golf. Fitzpatrick has not yet been linked to LIV Golf, as he emphasized. He doesn't want to be part of that narrative and isn't interested in such an option in the future. His intentions are to play in major tournaments and attract everyone's attention.

"There's been no rumours about me.

For me, I want to stay out of it. I don't really have any interest. I want to play tournaments like obviously the RBC Heritage, I want to play The Players Championship, I want to go and play BMW Wentworth."

He mentioned some of the tournaments such as the Players Championship, RBC Heritage, and BMW Wentworth. He emphasized that these are important competitions for him, and he intends to achieve great results by playing there. Fitzpatrick hopes that PGA Tour leaders and the advisory board react appropriately and address the changes and rumors.

Matt Fitzpatrick on the conversation with Andy Cohen

Fitzpatrick expressed that the only positive aspect he found was his conversation with Andy Cohen from the SSG Group, which clarified things and gave him a more positive outlook on the future regarding that partnership. He feels comfortable and optimistic about it. However, he's hesitant to engage further because he doesn't feel prepared to handle it and questions the impact his opinion would have in the grand scheme of things.

Fitzpatrick believes that as an individual, he lacks the power to make any powerful changes and hopes for a brighter future for himself and the world of golf. One option that many golfers are hoping for is a merger between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, which has been talked about for months. Although it was expected that an agreement would have been reached by now, there's still no deal in sight. 

It will be interesting to see how the situation unfolds in the golf world, as more departures from the PGA Tour are expected, as well as some changes regarding golf in general. It must be admitted that it's exciting to follow golf, although there is a sense of disappointment due to many factors.

Matthew Fitzpatrick