While other patrons were about to watch Phil Mickelson tee off at the Masters Tournament on Sunday, Sam Felton made a bee-line for Augusta National Golf Club’s exit gates.
He had the chance to see his favorite player up close and personal, but he’d rather be in front of the TV at home where he wouldn’t miss a shot.
“You just get better coverage that way,” Felton said. “You can see all the holes for certain players that you would miss trying to walk all around this place.”
On the final tournament day, many patrons decide the best way to see their favorite players is by leaving the course and sitting in front of a TV. They don’t see it as a missed opportunity as much as a strategy.
“Plus you’re in the air-conditioning,” said Felton’s son, Sam Felton, Jr.
Friends Tim Dalyrymple and Marshall Gaines of Alpharetta, Ga., said it’s best to spend time walking the course and soaking up the atmosphere early then call it a day when it’s time to stay glued to a player.
They spent the morning Sunday watching golfers come to Amen Corner and tee off at No. 1 but headed to the exits when Mickelson and leader Peter Hanson were getting ready to start their rounds at 2:40 p.m.
They went to The Executive Club off Washington Road to eat salmon and drink beer in front of big screens.
“We want to get an idea of what everyone is doing,” Dalrymple said. “It’s the way to do it for sure.”
However, Aaron Cummings said he wouldn’t leave the course for anything. In his last three Masters, the 21-year-old had to leave before Sunday afternoon to drive back to work in Richmond, Va.
This year, he was determined to be at the No. 18 tee when the players hit their final tee shots.
“There’s no comparison to what it looks like on TV,” Cummings said. “There’s nothing like being here, seeing the golf, smelling the smells.”