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A Three-Ring Masters
Rick Reilly
April 21, 2003
Hey, kids! Which was your favorite bizarro moment from last week's very Weir Masters?
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April 21, 2003

A Three-ring Masters

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Hey, kids! Which was your favorite bizarro moment from last week's very Weir Masters?

Was it when a man stood up in front of Martha Burk, the feminist who wants Augusta National to change its men-only membership policy, with a sign that read MAKE ME DINNER?

Or was it when a Canadian, a lefty and a hockey nut won the Masters—all in one day? It was a big week for lefties: winner Mike Weir, third-place finisher Phil Mickelson and Burk, of course.

Maybe you'd select the moment when a red minivan driving down Washington Road pulled to a crawl next to a pair of sign-carrying Burk supporters. The trousered backside of a sixtysomething man suddenly appeared in the van's open window and the guy...well, he expelled gas. It was history's first drive-by tooting. The man then stuck his face out the window and said, "Excuse me, ladies!" And they say Southern gentility is dead.

Maybe it was seeing Weir three-putt and immediately get handed $1 million? Or was it knowing that Len Mattiace—who never did putt his six-footer for double-bogey 6 on the first playoff hole—became the answer to a trivia question: Who is the first man in Masters history to shoot a 65, then an X?

Perhaps you thought the most bizarre thing was watching three days of golf on TV without a single commercial. You needed a bladder the size of a pony keg to get through it. What did Jim Nantz do, use a catheter? It wasn't easy on anybody. Thousands ran from their houses, screaming, "I'll buy anything! Sell me anything! Just no more azaleas!" And you just knew that somewhere, there was a guy going, "Honey, I promise I'll get up and mow the lawn at the next commercial."

Augusta National did allow CBS to run one ad—for First Tee, a program that teaches inner-city boys and girls "respect, honesty, courtesy, integrity" through golf. Hopefully, the boys can grow up and join CEO-loaded, prestigious clubs like Augusta National and the girls can hear all about it while making the boys' dinner.

What's amazing is that CBS still didn't find time to cover a protest that featured an Elvis impersonator ("I'm protesting that Arnold Palmer calls himself the King," he said), the KKK and a 20-foot-tall inflated pink pig, all of it happening on Saturday not 100 yards from the network's compound of trailers and production trucks. Maybe CBS had consulted Iraqi Minister of Information Saeed al-Sahhaf. Protest? There is no protest going on!

Too bad. They missed the man in a tux with a sign that read FORMAL PROTEST, the longhair wearing a T-shirt that read GOLF IS VILE (hey, tell it to Mattiace), and the woman whose sign read WOMEN DON'T NEED BALLS TO PLAY.

There were 100 sheriff's cars and a paddy wagon equipped to hold 52 prisoners. Of course Burk's crowd was so small it could've fitted nicely in a miniature-golf-course castle. You could've arrested every protester and still had room in the wagon for the McCaughey septuplets.

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