One of the highlights of the three-week swing is the annual cricket match that follows the third round of the Masters, when Australian players and caddies take on the rest of the world (which basically boils down to tour regulars from South Africa and England). For the occasion the greenkeepers at Royal Pines mow a pitch in a large grassy area in front of the clubhouse and chalk off the playing field. About 500 fans turned out this year to watch what was a well-played and intense match, notwithstanding the scrums around the beer cart and such high jinks as Mardi Lunn's dumping Webb's golf bag in a garbage can in an attempt to rattle Webb's South African caddie, Evan Minster, the captain of the World team. In a disputed and thoroughly confusing finish, the Worlds secured a draw just as darkness fell. This was a hefty upset and a personal disaster for Australian captain Shani Waugh, who had been guaranteeing victory all week. She promptly outlined her plans to get the trophy back next year. ("Actually, we don't have a trophy," she said. "We need one—maybe a burning bra or something.")
1) Drink less beer. "I think our team thought that was how we were keeping score," said Waugh. "By the end we were having trouble running in a straight line."
2) Better sledging. That's the Australian term for talking smack. "They were a lot cruder than we were," insisted Waugh. "One of the guys [caddie Shaun McBride] nearly drowned the other day at the beach, and they made Baywatch jokes."
3) Get Dad to cheat. Shani's father, Robert, was the official scorer. "He was much too honest," she said.
4) Make sure Sherri Steinhauer of the U.S. plays for the World team. A few years ago she tried to hit the tennis ball (standard equipment in this game) with the wrong side of the paddle. "That's about as effective as holding the thick end of a baseball bat," said Waugh with a giggle.
Girls just want to have fun, Part IV.
During the 13½-hour flight from Sydney to L.A., the spent players spent most of the time in a sweet reverie about their own beds, coinless washing machines, Ben & Jerry's mint chocolate and a hundred other highly anticipated comforts of home. Then again, not everyone was so eager for the trip to end. Certainly not Webb, who won the Masters. Predictably, the Brits were on their way to the Great Barrier Reef for a week of snorkeling, deep-sea fishing and other adventures.
Said Davies, "The fun is just beginning."