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The Quiet Man
JOHN GARRITY
April 16, 2007
At the start of the week, unassuming Vaughn Taylor was ranked No. 2 on the list of Augustans most likely to win the Masters. By Sunday he had established himself as a bona fide contender as well as a friend indeed
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April 16, 2007

The Quiet Man

At the start of the week, unassuming Vaughn Taylor was ranked No. 2 on the list of Augustans most likely to win the Masters. By Sunday he had established himself as a bona fide contender as well as a friend indeed

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Jack Taylor, 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.

Come Sunday evening, however, the plainspoken drywall contractor and his wife, Lynn, seemed content to watch their son walk up the 18th fairway alongside his old Nationwide tour roommate--fella by the name of Zach Johnson--with thousands standing and applauding and millions more watching on television.

"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."

Pop!

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."

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