Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ice Cube, Mecca and Barbecue (alternatively, My Observations from The Masters)

Sunday at Augusta. If you’re a golf fan, those words are magical (though I wonder how much of that feeling of wonderment comes from CBS’ constant chugging of The Masters Kool-Aid and abandonment of any journalist integrity regarding the event.) Nevertheless, I got to spend Easter Sunday at the Mecca of golf. I tried to work in a Passover reference, but couldn’t make it work.

Forget the flowers, look at us.
This was not my first time going to the Masters, but it was my first time going for the final round. We got there just as the gates opened at 8 a.m. to put our chairs at the 18th green where we hoped to see the newest Masters champion claim his title*. The good news is we did get our chairs there. The bad news is by sitting there we pretty much just got to see the back of a lot of people’s heads who, in turn, also saw the back of other people’s heads. Well, that and owing to a playoff, the title was actually claimed on the 10th green. If only I’d had the foresight to not only put my chair at the 10th green, but then leave it there fully expecting a second playoff hole. Had that been the case, I’d have been golden.

*You can set your chair in a spot and leave and it’ll still be there, undisturbed, when you get back.

Listening to people around me throughout the day as we walked around, Sunday was actually a kind of boring day for a final round. Sure, there was Louis Oosthuizen’s double eagle on the second hole (which I missed) as well as Bo Van Pelt’s hole in one on the 16th (which I also missed, though only because the wife wanted to stop by the bathroom on our way to watch that hole.)

Proof that I was at least at The Masters
(Or really good at Photoshop)
I did, however, get to see Adam Scott’s hole in one, so if you had “know someone who saw a hole in one at The Masters” on your bucket list, you can now check that off.  Some unsolicited advice for those people: you should probably add yourself to some of your bucket list items rather than living vicariously through other people. That was really cool to see. My wife, however, was off following Phil Mickelson around the course, so she missed it. So really, I have no witnesses I could call to verify that I actually saw it. You’re going to have to take my word for it.  

As you would expect, we walked around the course, marveling at how pristine the grass was and bemoaning the fact the azaleas had already bloomed. We talked to a woman from Oregon who paid $900 for one day for her ticket (we paid $125 for two tickets). I cursed the concession stand for running out of barbecue sandwiches late in the afternoon. I may or may not have walked outside the designated walkway for a step or two to say I walked on the Masters playing surface.  We ran in to some fellow Georgia Southern graduates who were taking commemorative photos in front of the clubhouse (they and press members were the only ones allowed with cameras.)  

As for the drama playing out on the course, for the last two hours of the tournament, we sat at the 18th green and watched the top of the flag blow in the wind. That’s basically all we could see of the green from our seats. So instead, we cheered every time they changed the giant scoreboard updating us as to not only what happened at 18, but also throughout the rest of the course. We only found out that Bubba Watson had won when the scoreboard was updated, which was probably a good three or four minutes after everyone watching at home knew.

As Ice Cube said, "Today I didn't even have to use my A.K.. I got to say it was a good day. 

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