Walking around Augusta National Golf Club is such a treat for the eyes -- the brilliant burst of color from the flowers splashed against the lush green grass and the towering Georgia pines -- that sometimes you have to remind yourself to enjoy the place with your ears as well. There are the roars, of course, that rattle through the hills, welcoming birdies, and the groans greeting disappointing shots. But then there are just the random snatches of sentences plucked from the air.
One man, walking along and holding his beer at arms lengthy so that when an uneven step jostles the cup it spills on the pine needles instead of him, says to his friend: "Remember when Sergio hit that shot back when he was a teenager?" What a reminder that was 10 years ago at the 1999 PGA Championship.
Another guy, commenting on a friend who had yet to pay off on a golf debt says, "Maybe his name is Madoff" to which is buddy adds: "Or he invested with Madoff."
And then there're was this exchange between two men:
"Are you playing tomorrow?
"Nah, it's our anniversary.
"Perfect reason to play."
"Are you playing?
"Yup, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday."
This was from a reporter rushing from the media center in hot pursuit of a story idea:
"Did you see Condi Rice out there?" he said breathlessly. "I know she's out there."
Reporters being a cynical lot, the question elicited this from a fellow member of the media: "If you find her ask her how the war's going."
When Greg Norman entered the interview room after his opening-round 70, he looked around at the waiting reporters and said: "I feel like I'm walking into the doctor's office. You now. Getting ready for an examination."
And then there is this overheard snippet that perhaps could only happen at Augusta National: "Do you have a horse in the Derby this year?"
--* Ron Sirak*