There are so many honors in attending the Masters. Augusta National Golf Club possesses so many opportunities, both small in significance and magnificent in grandeur. For an example, you get an opportunity to see Amen Corner before the shadows cloak it in its familiar mystique. Growing up watching the tournament I had just assumed it was forever positioned at a point where the Sun caught the tree tops at just the right angle as to lengthen the legends' shadows. Then you get there early one morning and realize Amen Corner is actually here on Earth, susceptible to the Sun's light in a very normal fashion.
It'd been two years since I'd last made the walk in Augusta. No, I'm not just referring to the stroll along the 11th fairway towards the raucous crowd at Amen Corner. And not the one to the concession stand for yet another round of egg salad and pimento cheese sandwiches. I'm also talking about the one outside of the main entrance. You emerge from the parking lots readying your badge for inspection and quickly checking your pockets to make sure they don't contain any contraband. You ease up to the crosswalk with a gathering of other patrons. And then it happens. For your troubles you are promptly called a fornicator, a habitual sinner and other inauspicious insults. And Martha Burk is no where in sight! WTH?!?
A couple dudes waving Bibles are trying to out-shout each other and you are the target. You thought you were about to enter one of sports most prestigious and beautiful arenas. Instead you're evidently about to enter Hell. It's all a little much to take in, especially since I'd had oatmeal for breakfast and mostly driven the speed limit in getting to Augusta. I even changed my underwear that morning. Luckily you eventually get to leave them behind to harass the next group. By the time you get to the security check you can no longer hear them calling you out for being lucky enough to have a badge. You can't hear them scold you for being a good person with an agenda for the 14th green.
Yes, it is then that your transgressions are truly washed away. The practice area is alive with activity and the bathroom line is short. It's going to be a good day, and no dude in jeans violently waving a Bible can convince me otherwise. Why don't these overly aggressive "preachers" descend on the transgressions just down the road where the scalpers are enticing patrons to cash in on their badges? Talk about an inexcusable sin.
|via Anti-Orange Page|
- Just a terrific Masters Tournament. So much to follow and a Dawg wins it.
- Nice write up here by ABH's Chris White on who Bubba Watson is and where he might go from here.
- Oh, and that double-eagle Titleist that Louis Oosthuizen casually tossed into the gallery? It eventually made it's way into the hands of Augusta National officials. Enjoy your return trip Mr. Mitchell!
- Who better to extend some congrats to Bubba than Streit at Bubba 'n Earl's. Also, ecdawg thinks it might be an omen.
- In other alumni news, John Isner...just doing his thang.
- The GymDogs reached the NCAA semis by crushing Auburn on their home floor.
- Blutarsky likes the meat on these Cocktail Party bones.
- Corey Moore is doing his best to step in at safety amidst the injuries and impending suspensions.
- Looks like we won't get to see Keith Marshall in Saturday's GDay game after all.
- After Alex Wood's terrific performance Friday, the Diamond Dawgs faltered in the weekend series against Arkansas.
- Hey you know The Lady Sportswriter. Well, make sure you change your bookmark for her new blog address. And check out her thoughts on the possibility of signing 30 tackle football players in 2013.
- Still early, but doesn't appear as if Petrino's job is going to be taken from him as support for him swells. Personally, I don't care either way as long as the pig's family and Josh Morgan are as comfortable as possible with the outcome.
- Lastly, one more golf link. And if you like (or dislike) Phil Mickelson you're going to want to click it. Save it if you have to, cuz Posnanski nails it like a floopty doopty.
Whether you're lining up an impossible shot from the pinestraw off #10 in a playoff or simply sitting on the other side of the ropes enjoying an egg salad sandwich, Augusta National is the perfect place to spend an afternoon in April. Even the I'M GON' SCREAM AT YOU AND THIS CAPTIVE AUDIENCE SO THAT YOUR SOULS CAN BE SAVED FROM ETERNAL DAMNATION!!! washes away as soon as you walk through the gates. You've arrived in God's backyard and the scalpers and fornicator haters are well out of earshot. The beer is cheap and the hosts all smile and remind you to do the same. You are at the Masters after all.
You might as well be a million miles away from your email, yard work, boss, 2012 election campaign ad...or any other worry and hassle. Which is what amazes me with the people that run the risk of smuggling in their cell phone, electronic device. These are strictly forbidden and I can't imagine the embarrassment of getting caught and losing the badge. Have I thought about jumping the rope, blindsiding Padraig's caddy and assuming the role in his stead? Sure, but the consequences are much heavier than the bag itself. Have I stood behind the 18th tee box and wished I could snap a picture? Absolutely. But like Dad said they'll sell you one in the clubhouse, and in the end that's cheaper than handing over the badge.
No, for me I'd rather leave the contraband behind and enjoy an afternoon of just golf, tucked inside the pines and between the splendor that is the course itself. Text messages can wait. In truth they are the furthest thing from my mind. After all Dad and I have the difficult task of reading the 14th green. It may be the only hole on the course without a sand trap but the golfers are rewarded with a glass-like surface that has several extremely delicate changes in altitude that must be negotiated carefully and cautiously. There's no time for the camera phone and your BookFace status can wait. What? Are you just going to leave that downhill putt to Patrick Cantlay and his caddie (who's probably some dude he pulled out of his surfboard mechanics class at UCLA) while you tweet something out about how you just bought a Masters sweater and umbrella for just $130!! ?
As the PGA commercial says, these guys are good!. Sometimes they're even great. But without Dad's help Justin Rose never makes birdie at 14 Saturday. He parred it every other round. You think that's just a coincidence? I think not! The patrons every other day were probably playing Words with Friends on their iPhones. Or worse...thinking about fornicating!
But not you Reader. You're too classy for that crap. But not so classy that you can't get some gravy on your chin. Here's your napkin. Hurry up so you can make the turn.