Small packs of
kids, in groups of six and eight, were being trained in the fine art of trash
collection. A snack-and-beverage cart, resort-course style, was piled high with
those orange crackers with the peanut butter on them, protected by plastic
wrappers that even Gary Player, a 71-year-old muscle man, struggled to open. A
parade of carts, carrying hoses and members' jackets and pine needles,
crisscrossed the grounds, pedal to the metal, with no fans to worry about.
Robins and cardinals ruled the air, and there was no blimp.
Love, a veteran
of 17 Masters, was remembering the course from the mid-'80s, when he could
carry the fairway bunker on 18 with a wooden driver. Camilo Villegas, another
Masters rookie, was remembering the course from a much softer day in mid-March,
when he was sharing the place with Jack Nicklaus and Donald Trump and Hootie
was on the giant scoreboard beside the 1st fairway, his Colombian flag among
the 18--nice number--flying above the scoreboard. Beneath the board was a
little hut, big as a breadbasket and in the shape of a Monopoly house, waiting
for pairing sheets, its green paint so fresh you could smell the oil. The
board, with 97 names on it, began with Robert Allenby ( Australia) and Stephen
Ames ( Canada) and concluded with Y.E. Yang ( South Korea) and Fuzzy Zoeller
(Floyds Knobs, Ind.). All the boxes, hundreds and hundreds of them, were empty.
No green numbers, no red numbers, nothing but white space. By the end of
Masters Sunday, all that will be different. The scoreboard will be a sea of
green, dappled with very little red, for those who can better 288 for 72
How many will
break par? If Haney's umbrella stays in its sheath and the flags atop the
scoreboard flap in the swirly April breeze and the greens get as dry as Greg
Norman's throat when he was gagging it away to Nick Faldo 11 years ago,
probably darned few.
The Sunday before
the real Sunday, all you could do was guess.
Up-to-the-minute Masters scores and photos at GOLF.com