Patrons take different paths to Masters

Friends Sunshine Daye, Dianne Burns and Joyce Cole arrived with a group from Mercedes-Benz that’s staying this week at the Evans conservation community of River Island.

Daye, of Long Beach, Ca­lif., said she’d been invited on the trip as one of Mer­ce­des’ biggest Long Beach customers and brought Burns along.

The highlight so far for Daye was seeing Tiger Woods practice.

“Even though he lived down the street from me in Cypress, I had to come to Augusta to see him,” she said.

Burns, of Seal Beach, Calif., said being at Augusta Na­tional Golf Club was a magical experience.

“The rough is not rough,” she said.

Cole’s son, Chris, won the the Mercedes-Benz Challenge in Fort Lauderdale and was playing Tuesday at West Lake Coun­try Club. He invited her along on the trip to Augusta, she said.

Columbia transportation planner Jeff Carroll and a friend bought practice round tickets from a broker on their way to Augusta on Tuesday morning.

Standing in line to buy chairs, Carroll said his latest visit to Augusta National was as nice as ever.

“It’s the Masters. It’s beautiful. No one does it any better,” he said.

Iowa attorney Matt Ander­son and his friend were among those rained out of the 2014 first practice round, so they booked the same Aiken hotel for a return trip this year.

“You can’t even describe how perfect it is,” Anderson said. “TV doesn’t do it justice as far as the elevations.”


FAST FRIENDS: Masters patron Pat Ray shared a breakfast table with South Korean golfer James Hahn. Later they both enjoyed Hahn’s hole-in-one at No. 12 during Tuesday’s practice round.
Ray has become fast friends with Hahn, his wife, parents and baby girl who are staying at the same bed-and-breakfast in Augusta. She decided to follow the golfer on the course, and found him just as his ball fell into the cup on the par 3 hole.
“We got there just in time,” she said. “Very impressive.”
Ray, of Winnipeg, Canada, squealed when Hahn aced the hole. She had seen the golfer play on television but only knew a little about him.
TRAINING DAY: Ricardo Valdivia has learned the ropes this week volunteering for the first time as a gallery guard at the Masters Tournament.
Valdivia, of Orange County, Calif., received a congratulatory letter in November welcoming him to a temp job that many covet.
During Monday and Tuesday practice rounds, seasoned gallery guards mentored Valdivia. He shadowed them to learn the correct protocol for moving the ropes when balls lie out of bounds or if a patron needs medical assistance.
“The guys have taken me under their wings so to speak” he said.
Valdivia, 42, was assigned to the 18th hole. Each day, gallery guards rotate through different locations on the hole including the green, crosswalks and fairways.

Patrons turn to guide, maps to get grip on grounds
Tiger Woods excites patrons in practice round
Patron guide