Stories of playing Augusta National

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 8, 2008, 4:00 pm
Last week we asked you to send us your stories about the day you played Augusta National Golf Club. Dozens replied. As we read through the entries, one question came to the top of our minds: How can one place spawn story after story, each unique to its teller? That answer is left unknown, and that's fine. We enjoy it that way.
Without further adieu, here is our effort to capture some of the best stories, as told in their entirety by the storytellers themselves:

Sharing Augusta with the family
“He told me to try and keep a few weeks open come October for ‘a few rounds at Augusta.’ This didn’t really register with me at first. When my mother came back on the phone, I asked her if he meant what I thought he meant.”
Read Full Story
Playing Augusta with a Masters champion
“It was 1995, and my good pal and two-time Champion Bernhard Langer gave me the call that fulfilled a life long dream. I had an invitation to go play Augusta National.”
Read Full Story
Surprise birthday at Augusta
“‘Hey, you with the paper in front of your face. You want to play Augusta?’ That was my clue. I lowered the paper and shouted, ‘Count me in!’ My brother, not knowing I was even in Atlanta, almost fell off his chair. That's how the day started.”
Read Full Story
Breaking down the barrier
“There being no locker room for ladies, my host took me upstairs to the Champions' Locker Room. He asked which locker I wished to use, and without hesitation, I chose Arnold Palmer's locker. What a thrill! With a warm smile, my host suggested that I should tell my women golfing friends of the fine hospitality shown to women at Augusta.”
Read Full Story
From Burger King to Magnolia Lane
“I was not allowed on the grounds until the man I was replacing had left the property. I spent two hours in a Burger King on Washington Road waiting for his departure.”
Read Full Story
Playing Monday after the Masters
“Some of us ‘media’ types that were staying in the same rented house would get to the course before they opened the gates and then race like NASCAR drivers to the media parking area and then sprint to the press building to be first in line.”
Read Full Story
All alone at Amen Corner
“I'd been to the Masters several times but never saw it like it was that evening. I spent about 45 minutes wandering from hole to hole before returning to the cabin to dress for dinner. The only person I saw was a single carrying his own bag.”
Read Full Story
The Alister MacKenzie connection
“It is hard to describe just how fast and tricky those greens are. It’s an Alister MacKenzie design like Pasatiempo so we were used to fast and tricky greens but Augusta’s are exceptional.”
Read Full Story
Once is enough
“I could tell in a second it was Jack Nicklaus and the member who took us out that day starting walking toward him. I followed closely behind and got the opportunity of a lifetime to say hi and shake Jack's hand.”
Read Full Story
Playing Augusta with a certain SEC head football coach
“From the moment we arrived and had lunch until we left 24 hours later, he was absolutely perfect. He made this most special privilege even more memorable. He made sure we saw everything, even the places that perhaps we weren't supposed to see.”
Read Full Story
Masters volunteer
“What is remembered the most is standing on the first tee in front of a gaggle of fellow volunteers, and trying to pull that driver back. It feels like it weighs 100 pounds. If you smooth one down the middle, your year is complete.”
Read Full Story
Right place, wrong outfit
“After one of the rounds, the group retired to their cabins to freshen up and later gather together at the dining room. Knowing only coats and ties were required, he asked his host if a blue and white pinstripe outfit was OK. ‘Sounds OK with me,’ he was told.”
Read Full Story
Tragedy denies Augusta trip
“How often does someone forfeit his chance to play Augusta National and lose his mother on the same day? However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel here.”
Read Full Story
Best Augusta story from a pastor
“The caddy, Bull, said, ‘Let it die right here,’ and pointed to a spot 10 feet left and 20 feet above the hole. Amazingly I did, and watched with disbelief as the ball picked up speed and turned toward the hole. All the time Bull was commanding the ball, ‘Slide for me now, slide for me now.’ It obeyed and my 60 foot putt disappeared into the cup.”
Read Full Story
'Am I dreaming?'
“Strangely, I never felt any disappointment with any golf shot. I simply kept playing with no idea how I was doing. Time seemed to stand still. I felt as if I was literally floating down the fairways. I knew at some point that this round had to end and I really didn’t want that to happen.”
Read Full Story
Playing Augusta with Mr. Palmer’s caddie
“We had a little match and while playing #13 I hit a big drive and was fixing to go for the green. I told Iron Man, ‘Can’t you hear the crowd saying, ‘He’s going for it’?’ He said laughing, ‘Boss, aint nobody here.’”
Read Full Story
Playing Augusta with brothers
“We really took in the tradition, read all the plaques, walked across the bridges very slowly and tried to feel what it was like when people like, Sarazen, Hogan, Nelson, Palmer, and Nicklaus and the like traveled the same steps as we took.”
Read Full Story
Getty Images

Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.