Saturday, April 11, 2009

Midnight While Augusta Sleeps

Most of Augusta is already in bed, thousands of volunteers fast asleep after a long day making the Masters tournament come to life. Many more paid staff from as far away as Atlanta and Savannah are housed in remote hotels or make the drive both ways each day.

The rumble of thunder has pushed across Georgia, and before long the fairways and greens of Augusta National are drinking in vast amounts of water. What rain isn't consumed pours into Rae's Creek which at midnight is still spilling over her banks.

The steady rain dances across the parking lot, and I suspect that Tiger Woods is throwing his clubs around a rented home somewhere close to Augusta National, his Friday round at the Masters like his Thursday round had moments of brilliance, followed by amateurish mistakes and fits of disgust. He is golf's spoiled brat, who once considered a mentor to black youth has never achieved mentor status, and in doing so has failed to deliver what golf needed most diversity.

Tiger represents golf hubris at it's most ugliest. If he cared about want matters he's show up at the lesser tournaments and put his celebrity status to work for something other than his own ego and bank account.

Other players are scattered about this quiet southern town tonight like golf balls on a driving range, a cluster here a group there and a few just off by themselves way over here.

In Augusta tonight are golfs greatest stars but most look like the rest of the crowd and fit in just about anywhere. Steve Stricker and Lee Westwood shared a table at Outback Steak house and rumor has it the Phil Mickenson and a group of 12 had dinner at Olive Garden

John Daley is here, he's not playing, he's selling autographed golf balls and "John Daley" memorabilia out of a 100 thousand dollar motorhome adjacent to Hooters. I suspect he's inside the Hooters tent which doubles the size of the Washington Avenue restaurant each April for about two weeks.

The crowd is still going strong at well past midnight and though it's Saturday morning most are not concerned with an early wake up call and plan to sleep in. Media Coverage of the Masters has pushed the Saturday start times to 10:35 when Ryuji Imada of Japan and Stuart Appleby of Australia will be called to the first tee, so most patrons will arrive around 9AM after a short trip to the waffle house or hotel buffet.

Throughout the night Security and police are visible around the fences of Augusta National, they are also out in force at Hotels along Washington Avenue and I-20 where flashes of lighting brighten the night sky.

A two days from now golf will move on to Hilton Head, Tiger will go home and others will take his place on the tour, and those who play golf for a living will continue to search for a pure swing and steady putter elsewhere.

Left behind until next year is Augusta Georgia, a place where few will note what happens after Sunday'a green jacket is awarded. Sports writers have little interest outside the ropes at the Masters.

They like Tiger Woods move on like a spring thunder storm and so it goes.


Most players seem unaware that at least one tornado had passed through the area around 10:30, causing damage and power outages around Augusta. Several injuries and two fatalities are also being reported.


Anonymous said...

I have an absolute love for the game of golf and it will always remain my favorite pasttime, bar none. The thought of Augusta has always been my "if only I could" dream to play. The excitement, the class with which it is put on, the majesty of the entire event. Good luck to all the players, and than you Augustus for the memories!

Anonymous said...

Thanks CP for posting this story is sure brings back some memories.