In this most unusual year, the tradition like no other returns … a bit late, next week. I checked the forecast and the boys will have somewhat spring-like conditions. This post begins (and possibly concludes?) our coverage. Check Masters.com for more information.
Almost let this one slip. Today – not next week! Today is inaugural Women’s Championship day. Kids tomorrow. The Gentlemen crank up practice Monday morning. More to come.
I could get used to this new Masters thing. Sierra Brooks/Golfweek.
CBS can fill you in on the tournament if you didn’t see it previously.
Here’s something you won’t be able to see until tomorrow:
Perrin’s Sneak Peak of Augusta’s (North Augusta’s) Incredible New Baseball Stadium, SRP Park:
I think this is a coming Crown Plaza:
Even the parking deck is nice:
Supposedly a beer garden somewhere in there:
Just nice, first class:
This “highly respected web log” isn’t just about loving guns and cigars nor hating on GubMint. The roving source for sporting news…
They used to have a bumper sticker in Augusta: “Pray for me. I drive on Washington Road.” Sure, several places in America have heavier traffic, but that strip between Calhoun (John C. not Algonquin J.) Expressway and … the lake? is bad enough. Now it’s not even safe to stand off to the side of it on a Friday morning. Everyone’s favorite neon golfer, John Daly, learned that the hard way.
AUGUSTA, Ga. – John Daly injured his right knee on Friday when a car travelling down Washington Road lost control and ran off the road, crashed through a line of temporary fencing and into his RV that was parked next to a restaurant.
Daly, who sells merchandise from his RV each year during the Masters, was standing in front of his RV with his fiancée, Anna Cladakis, when the accident occurred.
“It whaled into the front of the bus,” Cladakis told GolfChannel.com. “John dove out of the way, he tweaked his knee.”
I heard a rumor that the lady behind the offending wheel was DUI. Then again, one hears a lot of rumors in Augusta this week: kids’ golf, women’s golf, THE END OF CIGARS ON THE COURSE (yeah….), hi-rise hotels, property purchases, monorail, private airport, the true belief that screaming at a ball may direct its course towards a hole, someone knows a guy who knows a guy that saw something, etc.. Strange times in a strange town.
All know seeing this bus at Hooters each year is not strange:
The Daly Bus in happier times. Perrin.
I read a couple of stories about the incident from the popular press. First, maybe it’s the golfing and New York media that are “outlandish.” John is merely outrageous. For that, we love him. Him and his … eye-catching … merchandise. We even love his signing:
He’s pretty good! Happier times… Perrin/YT.
We just don’t want him hurt, thank you.
I’ve ranted before about how bad
many most America drivers really are. This week in a-town witnesses some of the worst of the worst. John’s wasn’t the only big bus “accident” of the week. This woman, if she was drunk, wasn’t the only one. In fact, if she was sober, she could have been the only one. I think a house cat might assume better control of a car. Confidence is not inspired. **Americans: either learn to drive or else await the robo cars (not long…).**
Happily, Daly, tweaked knee or not, is okay. I verified as much.
I see him from time to time, year to year. He figured into my Happy Little Cigar Book even.
Daly and some cigar-crazed nut in happier times. Perrin.
As luck – or purposeful maneuvering – would have it, I caught up with Big John last night. He was limping but otherwise moving well and pretty quick. I asked how he was. He replied: “It hurts a little but we’re alright.”
Then, we’re all alright.
Fore! Anna Cladakis.
It’s that time again, Sports Fans. Wednesday in Augusta. Old Mr. Sunshine made his appearance a short time ago. Follow all the action, remotely, courtesy of the Tournament:
Throwback. That’s not a lady bug…
Best of luck to the field. Y’all have a grand time. And let’s not forget the other “Par Three” festivities at the tent, tonight.
Alas … there was no Par Three Contest this year! Yesterday’s weather terminated activities around Noon. Dustin Johnson went home only to find a banana peel on the stairs…
Well, here’s a look back at Par Threes of the recent past:
Oh, weather or not, I did run into Mrs. Par Three, 2017, last night:
There was that!
The other evening, under the big tent at Hooters, I talked cigars with some gentlemen from Tampa. On one of the 300 or so big TeeVee screens the news lingered over Lexi Thompson’s tragic loss at the ANA Inspiration.
The stain that will always hang over this tournament is that for the third time in less than a year, one of golf’s major championships was marred by a rules situation that could have been avoided. This time, Thompson was the victim. It cost her a second title at the ANA, for moving her ball less than an inch.
Someone who apparently has little going on in their life sent an email to the LPGA fan website during Sunday’s final round, pointing out that Thompson had misplaced her marked ball on No. 17 in Saturday’s third round.
That email arrived as Thompson and Suzann Pettersen were on No. 9 on Sunday, playing in the final twosome of the day. Two rules officials went to the TV compound to study the tape and as Thompson walked off No. 12 green with a two-stroke lead, she was notified she’d been penalized four strokes.
Lexi lost as a result. Visibly shaken, she told an official, “that’s just ridiculous”. Maybe it was though I do not know the rules involved. Others agreed with her. Tiger Woods tweeted: “Viewers at home should not be officials wearing stripes. Let’s go @Lexi, win this thing anyway.”
ESPN described Tiger as another “victim” of the same scenario with a similar rule at the 2013 Masters. If I recall correctly, Tiger’s error was more egregious, an over-liberal placement drop. At the time some speculated he could have been disqualified.
Again, I don’t know the rules exactly. However, when it comes to ball placement I imagine they call for exactness and no moving, intentional or accidental. If this creates victims (and what doesn’t), then that’s for others to call. Things used to be different.
Another champion once succumbed to a tournament loss for nearly the exact same reason as Lexi. Bobby Jones lost the 1925 U.S. Open due to a one-stroke penalty. At some point Jones inadvertently moved his ball ever so slightly. It seems the same rules applied then as now.
The differences are several. In 1925 there was no risk of television interference. No viewers at home saw anything. In fact, no one saw anything period. Jones called the penalty on himself. “Praised for his classy move, Jones quipped, ‘You might as well praise me for not robbing banks.'”
Jones was no robber. Nor a victim. Things change.
All caught up in the rules of victimhood…
The good news in Augusta is that the John Daly just finally rolled up to Hooters yesterday. Rules or not, all is once again right.
Big John’s Big Bus.
Monday commences the greatest week in sports. Actually the fun starts Sunday though the revelers are rolling in now.
If you’re in town feel free to roam Washington Road and adjacent areas – nice and clean and ready to entertain this one week out of the year. It’s not always like that.
If you return to Washington Road any other week of the year, the stores will all be as you remember them, and the traffic almost as bad as you remember. What’s gone, however, is the frisson: Gone are the smiling white men in Easter egg-hued pants streaming onto the grounds clutching their golden badges. Gone are the entrepreneurs selling those men Macanudos and Cohibas and Ashton Churchills as fat as a pipefitter’s fingers. Gone is the tent for the Christian Motorcyclists Association Resurrection Riders with tattooed men in “Riding for the Son” jackets hawking pop the color of antifreeze, and the black guy on the sidewalk with a hand-lettered sign advertising “cold juicy apples” from an old Styrofoam cooler that appears to have recently held bait. Hooters — yeah, it’s still here, still packed, but now the crowd comes for Monday Night Football, not the Green Jacket Bikini Contest.
What’s gone, in short, is the party, and the feverish city-wide embrace of golf and belief in its saving powers, or at least belief in the redemptive power of golf’s money, and the feeling — for a single week in April — as real and heady as the azalea-drenched air that, just maybe, all things are possible here.
Summer doesn’t abandon Georgia by late October. Step outside and a soft washcloth-slap of humidity reminds you that you’re in the South. The sky has the kind of look that wouldn’t be welcome if on a boat a far piece from land — bright but reconsidering, edged with cauliflower cumulus. In the yards not far from the National, the azalea blossoms have been replaced by red Georgia football pennants. This is Dawg country. The only challenge to their popularity is the political yard sign. It’s election season in Augusta. And many Augustans say the autumn’s mayoral race is crucial — the indicator whether this city will finally grope its way forward.
This is a city still shaking off the blows of its past, some of them subtle, some as sharp as grenade blasts: a violent race riot in 1970 that drew national attention, suburban malls that sprang up in the late ’70s, further decimating the once-vibrant downtown. Between 1950 and 1986, the city’s population dropped more than 40 percent, from a high of 72,000 to 42,000. Augusta was dying. So in 1996 voters agreed to merge governments with the surrounding county.
Suddenly — immediately — shrunken Augusta became swollen Augusta-Richmond County, the second-largest municipality in Georgia behind Atlanta — 200,000 people today. A chunk of Georgia that spraddles from high-rises to piney-woods, all under the name Augusta. During last year’s Masters, the local newspaper, The Augusta Chronicle, reported the arrest of a local man for making moonshine.
The consolidation was supposed to be salvation, but it hasn’t worked out that way.
Chris Solomon wrote those words ten years ago, yesterday. And salvation still alludes Georgia’s second city. Some things have changed for the better: the interstates have been rebuilt and widened, making escapes faster. Others changed for the worse: Darius Rucker continues to plague the area each Spring. A few more government contracts and monies, a little more traffic, more sex trafficking. Most Augustans are willfully oblivious to most of reality. The sacred pile of magic bricks collapsed late last year, casting a pall of misery over the already struggling Detroit of the South.
There is the Masters though. And the big tent at Hooters!
Not all is bad in the Dead City…
Ah! The sun is out, the azaleas are in bloom and John Daly is in front of Hooters. It is Masters week in Augusta! Tomorrow they commence the 79th Tournament. Today I make my predictions. It’s hard with such a stellar field of talent. Here I go:
I will always maintain Miguel Jimenez is the baddest man to ever swing a golf club. With him anything is always possible. Last year he finished with a career best fourth place. Let’s call him my number one pick.
To be realistic, I have a short list of contenders. The Southerner in me is pulling for Bubba. I’m also a big Patrick Reed fan – his star has been rising of late. As a former big guy I can’t help but like Kevin Stadler. Then there’s Rory, Adam Scott, and everyone else. Incredible talent. I give Tiger until Friday.
If you’re in the Garden City on Friday night, stop by Hooters and see my buddy’s band, Shinebox. Another friend of mine will supply the cigars. It’s a guaranteed good time. Just leave your drone at home…