Augusta National on Howell's mind


ATLANTA – Charles Howell III grew up in the shadow of Augusta National and has spent a good portion of his adult life vying for a spot in the Masters. It’s an ever-present reality that has turned bitter-sweet in recent years.

Howell last played the Masters in 2008, which makes his first trip back to the Tour Championship since 2007 much more than just a decent perk for a solid year. For Howell, it’s a reason to look forward to April again.

“I showed up at the Monday qualifier this week and no one was there,” joked Howell when asked his thoughts on his Masters invitation via this week’s stop at East Lake. “(Augusta National chairman) Bill Payne must have canceled it.”

Of course, there is no Monday qualifier for the Masters. Even better news for Howell, he wouldn’t need to play in it anyway.