For the Masters Patron

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By Rachel Nevil

Guess what? It’s Masters week. Time for Augusta to prepare for the influx of golf fanatics and the many others wanting to experience the culture surrounding the event. The place where fans are referred to as patrons and the rest of Augusta National’s rules need to be followed. Augusta, the home of one of the most famous golf courses in the world.

A few rules for the Masters ‘patron’: 1. Don’t lay down on the grass. You will be instructed to sit back up.   2. Don’t take off your shoes. If you are spotted barefoot, you will be instructed to put your shoes back on.   3. Don’t run. When the gates open and patrons rush to stake their place for their chair, a great speed walking competition will ensue.   4. No cell phones. Augusta National, unlike the PGA Tour, stands firm during the Masters regarding phones. Augusta National has a large supply of payphones in case of emergency.   5. Don’t scalp your tickets. There are stiff penalties for trying to sell tickets on your own outside of Augusta National’s gates.   6. Don’t steal anyone’s seats. Trying to steal someone’s seat may end up with you going home to sit on your couch.  The items on the Prohibited list include cell phones, cameras (except on Practice Round Days), alcoholic beverages, coolers, radios, strollers, flags, weapons, large bags or purses, etc.GuanCrenshaw

Back to the players, it is projected that Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy have the best odds to win.  An interesting standout this year is Guan Tianlang. Guan is 14 years old from China. He is the youngest player to ever participate in the Masters and the youngest player at any major in over one hundred years. Winning the Asia Pacific Amateur Championship last fall gave him a chance to play on the prestigious greens of the Masters. Tianlang, too young to play on the high school golf team, has brought his eighth-grade homework with him to Augusta National. Guan seems excited and is more than happy to learn and absorb tips from Ben Crenshaw, Tiger Woods and Tom Watson. It is crazy and remarkable that someone Guan’s age gets to participate in the Masters.

Tiger Woods was 21 when he won the 1997 Masters. Although he may not be all the way back in his legendary status, but you can’t argue with the guy who has won three out of five tournaments. Today (Tuesday) Woods will hold his pre-tournament news conference and that will be interesting to watch, especially with him being the favorite to win. Woods isn’t only a favorite where predictions are concerned; Guan has been looking up to him since he was around 4 years old. Guan said, “I played with him twice in the past couple years, and he gives me many advice and I will say every time I play with him, I feel a lot better and give myself some confidence and it’s very good.” For me, it will be interesting to see how little 14-year-old Guan does on Thursday. For him, it is more about the experience than the score, but Woods and Crenshaw (among others) seem to be treating him like a little brother. Age seems to have no limits in the golf world.

For more information and times, see the Masters schedule.

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