Just Another Masters Monday

No more chipping, no more driving, no more putting, no more watching

It’s wet, y’all.

Hard rain started falling at Augusta National sometime around 4 p.m. and there’s more in store. But we’re not going to let it dampen our spirits. Oh no.

Tiger Woods played nine holes this morning. He didn’t talk (to the media) so I stalked him for a few hours and wrote some words. Just doing my duty out there in the rye grass jungle. Tiger hasn’t putted so well this year. He looks very 43 on the greens.

I think Justin Rose is going to win the Masters. You can put your money where my mouth is at about 12-1 odds in Las Vegas, or Philadelphia – Pennsylvania or Mississippi, either one – or with your friendly neighborhood bookie, if you have one of those. Also, trying to predict golf tournament winners is hard. Justin Rose came to the interview room for his scheduled 15 minutes and I wrote more words.

Texas Tech 58, Virginia 53.

There’s a strict no cellphone policy at Augusta National, media included. We’re required to leave our phones in this beautiful building when we head out on the course. Each time, before I sit down in the golf cart that shuttles us to the area right of the first fairway – where the old press building was located – I double check my pockets to make sure I haven’t mistakenly left my phone in my pocket. I do not want to find out what happens to those who forget. I’ve been in my share of trouble on this Earth. While not having a phone can be inconvenient such as when you need to contact an editor and tell him the perfectly excellent reason you haven’t returned to the media center in four or five hours, it’s also refreshing as hell to look around a large group of people and see faces and not the tops of heads. People, myself at the top of the list, are forced to be present and observe. Nobody is shooting videos or snapping photos or hollering at somebody to watch the video they just shot or photo they snapped. It’s civil, really. As in civilized. Nobody loves their phone more than I do but being free of it for hours at a time is part of what makes this a special week.

Earlier today I interviewed another of my musical heroes, Warren Haynes, for 10 minutes from the back porch of the Augusta National Media Center. What a life this is. He’s playing Greenfield Lake in Wilmington the end of the month with his heavyweight band, Government Mule.

Bears in the kitchen, Tigers on TV …

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