LAMAR-MILLEDGE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL pupils Cayden Oliver, Ian Bentley and Lorenzo Jones enjoyed Friday at Augusta National Golf Club, thanks to a Salvation Army program that provides Augusta schoolchildren with badges.
“I like Bubba,” said Cayden, 7. “He’s cool.”
Ian, 11, was of the same mind, praising Bubba Watson because he “shoots hard.” Ian was inspired by his day to pursue a career in golf.
“I want to play the Masters,” he said.
NO CHAIR? NO PROBLEM. Chicago high school science teacher and golf coach Kate Ingemunson just borrows an empty one.
“We have a chair over on seven, that’s our home base,” said Ingemunson, using a borrowed seat on the 10th green. When its owner returned, she moved to another empty seat.
Ingemunson said she’s used the practice on many Masters visits and that the owners are never upset she’s using their chairs.
Like everything else, “they’re so polite about it,” she said.
TWENTYSOMETHING Pittsburgh siblings Scott, Ben, Doug and Liz Susco followed Jordan Spieth around the links Friday on a first Masters visit for most of them.
“This is better than Christmas,” said Scott Susco, 26.
Though the younger players – Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day – “bring a lot of energy to the game,” Susco said his love of golf was inspired as a youth watching Tiger Woods.
HAZEL CLARK, 92, has been attending the Masters Tournament since the 1950s, helped along the way through a close friendship with 1969 champ George Archer.
“One of the pros was a friend of ours,” she said Friday. “He died when he was just 66 years old.”
Sporting a hat covered with years of Masters badges flapping in the wind, Clark, of Tampa, Fla., got help this year from her daughter, Mary Jane Stagi, who pushed her around in a wheelchair.
The highlight? “Just being here,” Clark said.
HARTLEY KINGSMILL greatly enjoyed her first day at the Masters after moving to nearby Evans about 18 months ago.
“I like it a lot, how big it is,” she said, “and how the golfers sometimes give the fans high-fives.”
Kingsmill, 14, who attends Stallings Island Middle School, was also on the lookout for One Direction member Niall Horan, who was following Rory McIlroy on the course Friday with his entourage. She didn’t see Horan, but knowing he was near was “neat.”