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father of Vaughn, is a master of hyperbole. Asked last Friday how many friends
and relatives were following his son around Augusta National, he said, "You
don't have enough fingers and toes to count 'em all." Asked the same
question a couple of hours later, when Vaughn was riding high on the
second-round leader board, Jack said, "You don't have enough paper to list
'em all, and if you have enough paper you don't have enough ink." The
sparkle in his eyes told you that Jack Taylor could go on.
"Well ..." Jack said.
We leaned forward, anticipating a verbal skyrocket ending with a rhetorical aerial bomb and quotable flares.
"... we've had quite a week."
That was unexpected. But I guess you get worn down when your son, a hometown boy playing in his second Masters, is a fixture on the leader board for four rounds. You double dribble an adverb or two. You fumble a superlative.
Jack could be forgiven. After all, for most of Masters week he had the thankless job of popping reporters' balloons. Some stranger with a notepad would sidle up and float the observation that 20 years had passed since a hometown boy had won the Masters, and if either Vaughn or Charles Howell could pull it off ... nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
Jack's answer: "I'll tell you something you probably don't want to hear. I don't pay any attention to all that garbage."
Other reporters worked the rivalry angle, characterizing Vaughn, 31, as the muni-bred underdog who had to dig his game out of the dirt and Howell, 27, as the country-club kid who had everything handed to him on a silver platter.
Jack's response: "There's no rivalry, no animosity. They never really competed against each other until they were professionals, and they get along fine. Charles is a great young man, and I know his parents well."