SI Vault
 
Sunday Check-In
MICHAEL BAMBERGER
April 09, 2007
There's a quiet, leisurely charm, and a lot to be learned about what might lie ahead, on the day before Masters week officially begins
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
April 09, 2007

Sunday Check-in

There's a quiet, leisurely charm, and a lot to be learned about what might lie ahead, on the day before Masters week officially begins

View CoverRead All Articles
1 2

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 Johnson.

Villegas's name 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 holes.

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

1 2