Last week was Masters week in Augusta, Ga., of course, and, as it turned out for SI golf reporter Jane E. Bachman, also affectionately known as Bambi, or Bambi Jane, getting there was quite a bit less than half the fun. Her journey began on Tuesday, the day a freak blizzard struck New York, when she was forced to spend six hours at LaGuardia Airport. Her flight was eventually canceled, and when she tried again on Wednesday, she found the airport had come to resemble a zoo. The line to pick up her new ticket was two hours long, and the line to clear security appeared to be interminable. Bachman got to Augusta 29 hours late, and by the time she arrived she had traveled on nine different forms of transportation. She did, however, make it in time for the coldest, wettest opening day in the history of the Masters.
It was Bachman's third Masters and seventh major championship since she started helping our writers cover these events. Traditionally, our female golf reporters are mistaken for contestants' wives, and Bachman averaged five "wife questions" a day—"Which player do ya belong to?" is the old standard—as she trudged over the soggy fairways.
Bachman, who also serves as SI's deputy chief of research, is particularly well suited to cover golf, having practically been born with a niblick in her mouth in Wellesley, Mass. Her dad, who nicknamed her in the cradle, is a genuine golf nut, and at age 8 she saw her first major tournament, the 1963 U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline. She now dabbles in the game herself. She owns two sets of clubs, the one she lugs on trains to reach Long Island fairways and the second for show—a set with wood shafts that she bought at auction.
But Bachman is hardly a one-sport person; she grew up loving 'em all. "A matter of survival," she says, "in a household of three brothers." To prepare herself for a career in journalism she naturally majored in French at Mount Holyoke College, though, Bachman says, "I did subscribe to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, which struck all the Cosmo readers as pretty funny." She played lacrosse at Holyoke and was left wing on the school's field hockey team, a position she also held down on a pickup team during a year of study in France. Her French teammates hollered at her enough to help her become fluent in the language, and by going cross-country skiing with relatives in Norway and dashing off to sporting events all over Europe she got so she could chat away in Norwegian and German, too.
We're delighted Bachman ultimately found her way to New York and our offices in 1977, and Senior Writer Dan Jenkins was particularly delighted that she found her way to Augusta last week, enabling him to stay in the locker room and keep warm on that messy Thursday. Bachman herself says, "I don't think I'll ever make a tremendous contribution until Bernhard Langer or Philippe Ploujoux wins a tournament, or until the next great Norwegian golfer comes along."