Another Short Day: Thousands of long faces poured through the north gate at Augusta National Golf Club after rain suspended play around 10 a.m. Wednesday.
“We drove 16 hours” from Mason City, Iowa, said Carl Eckenrod, a UPS manager ending his only day at the course this year. “We were happy that we just got out there.”
Eckenrod, on his second visit to Augusta, and a friend arrived early enough Wednesday to walk most of the course and ship several Masters Tournament shirts home.
“We’re OK, if that’s all we got,” he said.
Todd Rivers grew up in Augusta, so when rain stopped him at the gate, he knew it wouldn’t be his last chance to get on the course.
“We had some badges for today – we had just gotten out of the car and they blew the horn,” said Rivers, who now lives in Athens.
Tom Maier and Chuck Whibby drove in from Beaufort, S.C., for what was to be their only day at the course.
“We did not even get in through the front gate,” Maier said. “I’m somewhat incredulous they don’t do anything for us.”
Augusta National offers no refunds or rainchecks but has refunded patrons in years past.
Lost souvenir shop sales “have got to cost them a lot of revenue,” Maier said.
Bonnie Bennett heard the horn blow for the second time and didn’t want to believe it.
“I was like, no, that has to be a false alarm. Cannot be again,” said the woman from Santa Fe., N.M. “It was really disappointing, but what are you going to do?”
Like Bennett, brothers-in-law Jack Simpson and Rod Meyerholtz, from Indiana, were only in Augusta for one day. After experiencing as much as possible in the morning, the two left with bags of merchandise and smiles despite having to leave early.
“It’s my first time at the Masters and it’s a great opportunity just to be on the course,” Simpson said. “It’s well worth the trip.”
Meyerholtz said his day was done regardless.
“My wife lost her ticket, so she couldn’t get in a third time. We were done for the day anyway,” he said with a laugh.
An Aussie who came for the week, Jack Fairweather, wasn’t disappointed because he was returning the next day, but he couldn’t help but feel a little sadness about the canceled Par-3 Contest.
“We were just sitting down and saw a beautiful bunker shot off nine, then away we go,” he said.
When Life Gives You Lemons: Jill Henderson has attended the Masters for six years, and her drink of choice has always been pink lemonade. That changed this year.
“I walked up to the first concession stand and couldn’t believe it,” Henderson said Wednesday. “Pink lemonade was gone.”
Yes, there is no longer pink lemonade at the Masters. The tournament has replaced it with “regular lemonade.”
“It still tastes great,” Henderson said. “Hey, as long as I’m at the Masters, that’s what matters most.”
Concessions stands also have added two new desserts this year. A brownie and chocolate praline are both on sale for $1.50.