Even after 20 years, memories still tingle

Bob Warters's picture
Fri, 25 Mar 2011

I eventually commandeered  the services of a 6ft 4in tall ex-basketball player called James Moon - nicknamed Blue - who agreed to carry my bag of borrowed clubs on one shoulder and that of another of our fourball on the other. The price: $100 plus tips. I can't image what the going rate might be today!

As rain clouds gathered through the gloom of a new dawn, we were duly called by the starter who ticked off our names and asked if we minded going off the tenth tee as a group from Nippon TV had already commandeered the first.

Mind? We'd play the course naked if that's what it took to get a tee time at Augusta National!

We pushed each other forward to take the first hit as CBS commentator Jim Nance and his colleagues marched out of range down down the wide sweeping, dog leg left fairway.

And I could hear my heart beating and my bones rattling as I selected a 3-wood and stepped nervously forward.

Thankfully I made contact with the ball and with a low flight disappeared into the distance, obscured by the rain which was now falling like a tropical storm.

I recall hitting my second into the finger-shaped bunker in the middle of the 10th fairway and after escaping from the pure white sand hitting my fourth on the severely back to front sloping green.   Three putts later I recorded a seven and when I hit my third into the lake beside the 11th green wrote down an identical score. I wondered whom, in Augusta history, had been six over after two holes!

Already i was in the middle of Amen Corner and facing one of the most daunting shots in global golf the 140-odd yards of 12th hole - Golden Bell.

Continued over the page...



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