Stories of interest you might have missed…
Last year, Jordan Spieth won the Masters with a score of 18-under par. This year? Not likely, David Westin of the Augusta Chronicle writes, as players expect the setup to be less forgiving. “I’m pretty sure they don’t want 18-under to win,” Jason Day said this week of Augusta National Golf Club. “I think they’ll set the course up a lot tougher. I think 13-under averages the win here. I think if they keep it around that it would be perfect.”
“Vaughn Taylor was set to play golf this week at Cartagena, Colombia. Jim Herman was set to watch golf this week from his Palm City, Fla., home, in between daddy duties. The Masters Tournament had other things in mind. Taylor and Herman are both here, inexplicably and delightedly. If that sounds a little mystical, so be it. If you golf, you know who has control. It’s not you,” Los Angeles Daily News columnist Mark Whicker writes of two unlikely Masters entrants.
“There are no half measures at the Masters, a golf extravaganza that generates so much revenue, it has to find ways to spend the money and seems never to run out of ideas,” Cam Cole of Canada’s National Post writes on how nothing is impossible at Augusta National. “On TV, it may always look like your father’s Masters. But outside the ropes, on Billy Payne’s watch, it’s not the same old Augusta National. ‘They built a new data centre down there by the end of the range,’ said one staffer. ‘A friend of mine said they had a tree beside it that turned brown. He went out for lunch and came back an hour-and-a-half later and there was a 30-foot green tree in its place.’”
Kevin Kisner once was a Masters regular, from outside the ropes, Steve Hummer of the Atlanta Journal and Constitution writes in this profile of Kisner. “I liked to go over there and sit near No. 16 and gamble on closest to the pin with my buddies, and make them go get beers when I won,” Kisner recalled last month. “I never went to go watch golf. I went over there to have fun with those guys.” Hummer writes, “Coming of age a mere 20 miles from the pearly gates of Augusta National, just across the state line in Aiken, S.C., Kisner arrives this year to experience the tournament for the first time from inside the green ropes. That’s where the grown-up memories are made. Finally, it is someone else’s turn to bet on him sticking one tight on the yawing deck that is the 16th green.”