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Masters 2020: Kirk Herbstreit said no to THREE separate Augusta National invites from a legendary college hoops coach

November 11, 2020

As every golf junkie knows, there are a handful of invites you simply don't say no to. Invites that make you drop everything you're doing to get on a plane or hop in the car with your sticks. Invites that flip your entire world on its head. Augusta National is one of those invites.  

Kirk Herbstreit, co-host of "College GameDay," which will air live from the Masters this Saturday, apparently doesn't share that sentiment. During a Zoom call with a handful of reporters on Wednesday afternoon, Herbie admitted to committing one of the gravest sins a golfer can commit: saying no to an Augusta National invitation. As if that wasn't enough of a gut punch to those who dream of an invite inside ANGC's gates, Herbstreit made an even more stunning admission—he said no THREE times. 

The level-headed folks reading that may be thinking, "hey, Kirk's a busy man. I'm sure he's got very legitimate excuses for saying no to playing Augusta on three separate occasions." You'd be sorely mistaken. 

"I had some folks from Michigan State invite me to go, and, this is how bad I am and how embarrassed I am of my game," said Herbstreit. "I said no, as much as I would love to play, I said no like three different times [he] invited me." 

Good lord. Why, Kirk, why? I don't care if you can't break 200, you do NOT, under any circumstances, say no to multiple Augusta National invites. This is like saying no to a table at Rao's because you are afraid your palate isn't sophisticated enough. You're killing us, Herbie. 

Fortunately, since Kirk Herbstreit is kind of a big deal, he wasn't given the "three strikes and you're out" treatment like the rest of us peons. On the fourth invite, Herbstreit finally relented when a legendary college hoops coach basically dragged him there. 

"Finally, Izzo said, 'You're going, shut up, you're in.' And I was like, 'Man, I don't want to hurt the course, I do not want to go do this.' And they were like, 'Too bad, we're picking you up.' " 

We know what assumptions do, but we're going to go ahead and assume he's referring to Tom Izzo, legendary head basketball coach of the Michigan State Spartans. 

"So I went and played, and actually stayed on the grounds. Just had an incredible time. I was blown away with how friendly—I had a perception that 'Am I allowed to step here? Am I allowed to go here?' When you actually get there, it's the opposite of that. The members are very laid back, very welcoming, very chill, which made me relax and allowed me to just have a good time." 

And to think, had Herbie gotten away with saying no for a fourth time, we'd never have known that Augusta National is actually a "chill" place, contrary to popular belief. Thank god for Izzo, who has probably had an easier time landing some 5-star recruits than recruiting Herbstreit to play one of the greatest golf courses in the world.