Rain fails to dampen Masters patrons’ enthusiasm

Patron Tim Wilson of Vancouver, California, right, gets a selfie with Adam Hadwin during the Monday practice round of the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, Monday, April 3, 2017, in Augusta, Georgia. (ANDREW DAVIS TUCKER/STAFF)

Father-and-son Roger and J.T. Ross arrived early Monday “with a hope and a prayer” of attending the Masters Tournament practice rounds during J.T.’s spring break from college.

The drive from Danville, Ky., paid off – they picked up two practice-round badges in Augusta “for half what they’re going for online” and secured a hotel room in Columbia, an hour away.

The pair walked all but four holes before officials began evacuating the course at 11:45 a.m. because of rain, Roger Ross said.

PHOTOS: Patrons enjoy rainy Monday

“Everybody we have dealt with who works here has been super nice,” he said.

PGA pro Gary Balliet was with a group out of Phoenix making a “bucket list” visit to Augusta, although he played the Par-3 course three times in 2006. Even as rain continued to fall and a patron slipped nearby, hitting his head on a bench, Balliet said, “It’s still a dream come true” to be at the course.

“This is the best golf tournament in the world,” he said.