Patrons disappointed, yet understanding, of 2021 Masters Tournament ticket selection news
For some, the news was good. For many others, there's always next year.
At the end of last week, patrons began receiving emails notifying them of the status of their 2021 Masters Tournament and Augusta National Women's Amateur tickets.
Augusta National announced last week that the Masters, Drive Chip and Putt National Finals and women's amateur would be going forward with a limited number of patrons.
The tickets and badges were rolled over from last year's November tournament, which had been delayed from its traditional April dates because of COVID-19 precautions. The number of patrons selected is unknown because Augusta National does not share its attendance figures.
Kevin Enright, 55, of Augusta is one of the lucky ones to have his practice round tickets selected. Enright has been receiving practice round tickets since 2019.
“They’re going to do what they think is right and I can’t fault them for it," he said. "As far as the Masters, they do everything the right way. They didn’t have to let us have tickets and last year, without patrons, they gave us access to the gift shop. They take care of Augusta more than people know.”
For every Enright, there were many others who received a different message in their email. The Chronicle spoke with several local tournament badge holders that were notified their badges were not selected.
"We did get the email saying we weren't selected," said Bernie Thomas, who has been attending the Masters since the early 1960s. "Frankly, I'm not surprised. Even a limited number of patrons is a lot of people out there."
Like with the news from last year, Thomas said he's looking forward to next year when things are 'hopefully back to normal.' An avid golf fan, he added that he'll be glued to the television during the tournament, taking it in any way he can.
“I still honestly think it’s too early to decide, but I understand their protocols and the logistics of putting the tournament together," the 41-year-old Augusta native said.
Hendrickson takes solace because he will be able to purchase tickets next year, but he and Thomas also hope the Patron Shop will make a return in 2021. The status of the Patron Shop is still being decided and more information is expected in the coming weeks, an Augusta National spokesman said.
As Georgia sees a drop in COVID-19 cases, Enright has few reservations about attending the tournament. According to the club, details are still being finalized regarding safety measures for patrons.
“By that time I’ll have my second shot so I’ll have even less doubt," he said, referring to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Enright added that any number of patrons may give a boost to local businesses after missing out on the usual influx of visitors during last year's tournament and the general damage the pandemic has caused.
“I think it’ll give them some hope," he said.
The 2021 women's amateur is scheduled to begin Wednesday, March 31, and the Masters practice rounds begin Monday, April 5. The Drive, Chip & Putt finals is scheduled for Sunday, April 4.