Masters 2021: Overheard from the (limited) gallery at Augusta National
Patrons at Amen Corner during Tuesday's practice round at the 2021 Masters Tournament.
AUGUSTA, Ga. — The patrons are back! The patrons are back! Well, a good amount of them, at least. If there's one thing we know about the 2021 Masters before it even starts, it's that it's going to be louder than last year's version.
A limited number of fans, sorry, patrons, are in attendance at Augusta National this week and it's good to see some familiar faces. You know, like overserved guy and under-sunscreened guy. Missed those guys.
Seriously, though, at the risk of bumming out some people who lost out on having a chance to go, this would be the year to go. Despite the absence of grandstands, you can see the action so clearly. And the lines for food and restrooms are almost non-existent. Even with only every other urinal in use, which is also nice for those who like their space in public restrooms.
Anyway, as we strolled around Augusta National during Tuesday's practice round, here were some of the things that caught our ears (and eyes):
"This place is unreal. I'd feel so bad chunking the s#*! out of one." Same, man. Same.
"I think I'm putting money on Jordan Spieth this week!" Again, same. Although seeing Spieth hit a putter cover put on the 13th green by his caddie, Michael Greller, from 87 yards out on his first try would cause anyone to bet on Spieth. Speaking of Greller. . .
"Michael Greller was a math teacher. He's very good at calculating things." Hey, he's not wrong.
"This is the first time I've taken out my camera since 2014." Patrons—even ones who have been here many times before—are feeling extra fortunate to be here this year. That being said, some things are different. . .
"You can sit and watch, but you can't eat or drink? Huh." In the seating sections (where patrons place their own chairs), that's correct! It sounds bizarre, but it's to keep people from taking off their masks when they're more tightly bunched.
"Look it up." One patron to his friend when pondering Phil Mickelson's world ranking. Then they both laughed. You still can't bring a phone out on the course. That's one thing that might never change at this place. Speaking of Phil. . .
"He won this once, right? Because it was a big deal." It was a big deal. Each of the three times Phil won.
"It's so hilly out here. The cameras just don't do it justice." Someone says this every five seconds at Augusta.
"My brother went to G-Tech so there was a big house divide." Someone also mentions UGA or G-Tech every five seconds at Augusta.
"Watch how far I hit it past these guys." OK, so that wasn't a patron, but Fred Couples, who was playing with Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay, two guys whose combined age don't equal the 1992 Masters champ. For the record, Freddie didn't hit it past either of them off the eighth tee. Also for the record, that threesome has to have the lowest collective heart rate of any group out there. Unless you were counting guys playing as a single. . .
"You see Patrick Reed playing with all his friends?" Yes, the 2018 Masters champ was playing solo, but he wasn't the only one. It did look a bit jarring, though, considering he was stuck behind a foursome of Vijay Singh, Cameron Champ, Lanto Griffin, and Jim Herman. And no, they didn't let him play through.
"Is that a bathroom right there? I've got to GO!" Yes, it is. And we're guessing this patron was pleasantly surprised when he didn't have to wait in line, either.
MORE MASTERS 2021 STORIES FROM GOLF DIGEST:
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• How to watch the Masters on TV and streaming online
• The entire 2021 Masters field, ranked
• How to win a green jacket in 7 simple steps
• Our 13 best bets to win the 2021 Masters
• 50 defining moments in Masters history, ranked
• The complete changes to Augusta National
• When should a past champion call it a career at Augusta?
• 9 famous Masters myths—separating fact from fiction
• The most memorable rules issues in Masters history
• At Augusta, the jockeying for position begins with practice rounds
• What a limited-patron Masters will look like this week
• What’s it like to play at Augusta National as a guest