Quesadilla? Not at Augusta National, please

MARK LONG
Last updated 12:22 12/04/2014
Augusta
ANDREW REDINGTON/ Getty

OLD SCHOOL: The Masters at Augusta are a fan favourite, but there's no cameras or cellphones allowed on course.

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It's not all cut and dry at the Masters at Augusta with a variety of rules for spectators causing trouble. Here are a few comic moments from out on course.

US skier Bode Miller and wife Morgan Beck have a story to tell about the Masters.

According to the Augusta Chronicle, Miller and Beck were stopped on their way to the course Thursday and told to get rid of a quesadilla they had hoped to snack on during the first round.

''If you pay US$7500 [NZ$9000], you ought to be able to bring out a quesadilla,'' Miller said.

The couple was eating at Berckmans Place, a posh hospitality venue tucked behind trees alongside the fifth fairway. The facility, which opened last year, was available to club members, tournament sponsors and select others.

The tent had three main restaurants, walls of Masters history, areas to watch the tournament and a practice putting area that was a replica of three Augusta National greens.

HECKLING AT THE TEE

The first tee at Augusta National is a social place. The clubhouse is nearby, along with the big oak tree that has become the gathering spot during the Masters.

So everyone crowds around the opening tee, making it an entertaining spot to listen to spectator chatter.

Here are a few examples from Friday when Angel Cabrera, Ian Poulter and Gary Woodland were teeing off.

One observer on Cabrera, an Argentinian who's modestly listed at 95kg: ''He looks just like me. He has no neck.''

Another one on Poulter, a Brit who's known as much for his colourful outfits as his golf: ''Oh my God. He's wearing sherbet-lime-green shoes that perfectly match his shirt and pants. I love those shoes!''

Woodland, an American who's considered one of the biggest hitters on tour, was also fair game: ''Watch him hit a feather cut up the hill about 325.''

Hard to argue with those assessments.

TIGER FACTOR

Television already is feeling the effects of not having Tiger Woods at the Masters.

In a release, ESPN said its live telecast of the opening round Thursday had a 1.5 rating with an average audience of 2 million viewers. That's down from a 2.0 rating and 2.8 million viewers from a year ago.

LONG LINE

Getting a photo at the Masters takes patience - maybe because it's free.

Spectators weren't allowed to bring cameras or cellphones onto the hallowed grounds during the four-day tournament, so they had few chances to get precious pics on the pristine course.

And if you wanted to get one in front of the famed clubhouse, get in line - a long line.

More than a hundred people were waiting for their shot Friday morning (local time), hanging out in the warm sun for a couple quick clicks. The photos were free - quite the deal at a place where weekly passes could go for thousands of dollars on the open market.

''It's a free gig,'' a security guard told those in line.

He also had a word of caution: ''If you lose your card, you lose your photo.''

TALL TASK

John Isner should be able to find his friends fairly easily at crowded Augusta National.

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The 2.08m tall tennis player, who was ranked ninth in the latest ATP standings, arrived at the Masters on Friday and started searching for his fellow Georgia Bulldogs.

There were a bunch of them in the field.

''It's very cool,'' Isner said.

''It's crazy, really. Not to mention there's probably five or six others that have their (tour) card as well. A lot of Bulldogs, and we are in Georgia, so these guys are going to get a lot of support.''

Bubba Watson, Chris Kirk, Harris English, Russell Henley played at Georgia, and Patrick Reed started his college career at Georgia before transferring to Augusta State.

Isner won't have much trouble spotting them. After all, when you're the tallest guy on the grounds, you don't have jockey for a clear view.  

SENIOR WARMUP

Seven golfers at the Masters will have a short trip to their next event: They'll be playing at a Champions Tour in suburban Atlanta.

Fifty-four-year-old Fred Couples was the latest senior to commit to the Greater Gwinnett Championship, which would be held next weekend at the TPC Sugarloaf in suburban Atlanta.

That setup was mighty convenient. The Sugarloaf course, which once hosted a PGA Tour event, was about a 2-hour drive from Augusta National.  

Also going straight from the Masters to the Greater Gwinnett Championship were Ben Crenshaw, Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle, Larry Mize, Mark O'Meara and Miguel Angel Jimenez, who would make his Champions Tour debut at Sugarloaf. The Spaniard turned 50 on January 5.  

Of course, all seven have their minds on more important matters at the moment. Especially Jimenez, Couples and Langer, who were actually in contention after the opening round of the Masters.  

- AP

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