For Ben Wood, it was worth the wait.
The Augusta man had planned to propose to his girlfriend, Caroline Christian, during a practice round Monday at Augusta National Golf Club. They were forced to evacuate the course, however, when a storm hit before he had the chance.
“All along, the plan was to do it Monday,” Wood said. “I’m just so thankful it still worked out perfectly.”
Five days later, in ideal weather conditions, Christian said “yes” Saturday afternoon along the No. 13 fairway. When Wood dropped to one knee, the gesture was met with applause from onlookers as Christian failed to contain her emotions.
“I’m in complete shock,” she said, wiping away tears. “The Augusta National means a great deal to my family, so to have it happen here is something I’ll never forget. I’m so happy right now.”
Two years ago, Christian, 26, invited Wood, 27, to attend the Masters, and they have been together ever since. Adding more significance to the location of Saturday’s proposal, Christian is the granddaughter of Augusta National photographer Frank Christian.
“My granddaddy is my favorite person in the world,” said Christian, before quickly correcting herself. “Well, except for Ben.”
According to Wood, the difficult part Saturday wasn’t the proposal. Instead, it was persuading Christian to walk toward Amen Corner hours before the leaders arrived.
“I kept rushing her to get down here, and she was so confused,” Wood said. “She kept asking if we could go to a concession stand for an egg salad sandwich and beer.”
Added Christian: “Now it all makes sense! I mean, we’ve talked about marriage, but I had absolutely no idea this was happening today. It’s so crazy that two years ago we started liking each other (at the Masters) and now, to get engaged here, it means everything.”