I've always thought that being a golf writer at the Masters would be the ultimate gig.
The Charlotte Observer's Ron Green has just such an assignment, an all expense paid trip to spend the week at Augusta National.
Someone handed Ron the press credentials to get inside the ropes and hang out with golf's brightest stars while he gets paid for blogging and writing about golf's most storied event.
But noting that of the four comments on Ron Green, Jr's blog; one has been removed, two are timidly profane, and only one offers anything of value, I am not sure it is as glamorous as I may have dreamed.
Granted his writing offers very little controversy and even less passion. Bloggers and columnists don't generate readers or comments unless they are passionate or controversial. Still it's the Masters and you would expect some give and take and a little discussion from his readers.
"I wonder if Tiger Woods will play the par-3 tournament with his kids in the future? I hope so."
Well, Ron .... I wouldn't expect Tiger Woods to ever bring his kids to the Masters and frankly would hope he stays away from the par 3 event. Tiger will be golf's best player for the next of many years but he is not the ambassador of golf that many have hoped.
The balance of Ron's blog and column is a hunt and peck of Masters tidbits, but nothing you can wrap your arms around or get a feel for the moment, the eve of the Masters.
So Ron here's my take from the other side of the ropes.....
Larry Mize is nowhere to be found, his caddie Tim Monk is standing patiently at the edge of the putting green, chatting with patrons and checking his watch. It is said that Caddie work is a lot of ups, show up, keep up, shut up and in this case standing green side and "putting up" with a Master's Patron.
Larry Mize and Tim Monk Tuesday April 7, 2009 Photo by the Author
The wind is blowing crazy and another hour of practice at the driving range would be fine with Tim, but waiting around is getting old, and Tim's getting cold.
I ask Tim how Larry feels about Greg Norman's return to Augusta.
Oddly, everyone remembers the Shark's collapse during the 1996 Masters but few standing around me remember that it was Larry Mize who won at Norman's expense in 1987 during a sudden death playoff and yet we are all standing in the city limits of Larry's home town, Augusta Georgia.
"Of the dozens of ways Greg Norman could have lost the 1987 Masters Tournament, this had to be the unlikeliest: a 140-foot chip shot that bounced twice up a grassy bank and once on the putting surface before it rolled halfway across the 11th green directly into the hole. That this miracle shot was hit by 28-year-old Larry Mize, a local boy, no less, who had won only one tournament in his six years on the PGA Tour, and that it beat the luckless Norman, the premier player in the world, on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff, made it downright unbelievable." - from SI April 1987
Tim looks for Larry who is no longer the boy of 28 years to rescue him, my question was unexpected, and not something any caddie would ever be prepared to answer. He fidgets a bit and finally says: "I'm not sure, we've talked about it a little, ..... Greg has been playing really good, I hope he makes the cut. But my guy is ..... late."
Larry shows up about ten minutes later and they call it a day. Larry heads off to the Champions Dinner, Tim to a house he's rented with a couple of other guys and their wives for tomorrow is a big day.
The fans have left the emerald green fairways, and the greens crews are hard at work. The shadows of tall Georgia pines reach far across the perfect Augusta National grass.
Sometime Thursday morning, before the dew has left the number one fairway, Arnold Palmer will get the tournament underway as the honorary starter. Shorty after Arnold leaves the tee, golf's finest will strive to "make the cut" among them Larry Mize one of the Masters of Augusta National.
More Cedar Posts on the Masters:
Tiger Woods and Two Pickled Eggs