AUGUSTA, Ga. - On a warm, sunny Tuesday at the Masters, golf people gathered under the huge live oak behind the Augusta National GC clubhouse. For the first time in a long time, one golf person wasn't there.
"I'd be there but the doctor told me I couldn't be around crowds and have someone bump this shoulder," said golf course architect Rees Jones, recuperating in Florida from a badly broken right shoulder suffered in a Feb. 21 fall. "It was a really bad break, but I hope I'll be able to go to the U.S. Open. I'm already getting more mobility."
Jones, who has a five-inch plate and 10 screws in the joint, doesn't believe he has missed a Masters since 1965, when he was in the Army. He's going through painful, daily rehab with the goal of being able to play golf again.
"The surgeon cautioned me that I might not able to get my arm above my shoulder if he had to put an artificial ball in there, but fortunately he was able to put the pieces back together," said the 68-year-old Jones. "As he wheeled me into surgery, I told him if he could get me so I can play golf again, I would take him anywhere in the world he wanted to play. When I came out of the operating room, my wife asked him if I'd be able to play. He said, 'Yes, and I'll be going with him with my bucket list.' "
-- *Bill Fields