So you're sitting in the Charlotte airport waiting for your connector flight back to D.C., and the guy next to you is wearing a Masters hat. He is just returning from watching a practice round at Augusta National -- his first-ever visit to golf's grand cathedral. His eyes are almost glazed, his voice wistful, just as your own eyes and voice were glazed and wistful after your first visit to the storied Georgian hills. Suddenly, as he describes what he saw, you yourself are back there, too, reliving last year's in-person experience of Phil's fine final two rounds. Somehow, though, your most vivid image isn't of Mickelson's exploits, but of Fred Couples chipping in for eagle on Saturday. You hear yourself saying that no matter how casually cool and at ease Couples usually looks on TV -- almost preternaturally so -- he somehow seems even more cool and casually at ease, with his sockless deck shoes and his trademark stroll, in person.
Then it hits you: EVERYTHING at Augusta seemed even more than it looks in the always-brilliant CBS telecasts. More beautiful. More rolling. More daunting. Everything and everybody just seems more itself or more himself. It's like going from a daguerreotype to a perfectly focused digital photograph -- and then watching it start to live and breathe in front of your eyes.
That's what the guy at the airport had just experienced. No wonder he was glassy-eyed and wistful.
The rest of Quin Hillyer's story is here go read comment.