Holy crap, Masters Monday has arrived! Can you feel the excitement?? This is one of my favorite weeks of the year (aside from when the Open Championship is held at St. Andrews). It also marks the start of the “real” golf season (meaning that people other than hardcore golf fans actually care), and it’s The Masters! Excuse me if I sound a little delirious this morning, but I didn’t sleep very well (if at all). I spent the night tossing and turning because A) I was too fired up about leaving for Augusta today; and B) I was too nervous all five alarms I set wouldn’t go off and I’d miss my flight.
Why am I so revved up over a golf tournament? Um, first of all, it’s not “a golf tournament,” it’s “The Masters.” And I’ve never been. That’s right. This will be my first trip to Augusta. I don’t think it’s hit me yet because I’m relatively calm. You see, I’ve been to every other major at least twice (yep, even the Open Championship), but I’d never had the opportunity to go to The Masters — which is also the most elusive since tickets — excuse me, badges are tougher to come by than a ride on Airforce One, or heck, meeting the Pope.
Anyway, despite my gushing enthusiasm, I’m not holding any expectations because that will just stress me out and as if covering a major doesn’t already induce stomach ulcers for me. But thing is, for the last three weeks, I’ve been asking players about their first and favorite experiences at Augusta and just to hear the wax poetic about the drive down Magnolia Lane (which I won’t get to do) and you feel like you’re entering a fairytale world.
Gosh, I even can’t wait for the azaleas and dogwoods to give me debilitating allergies.
Oh, my bad — I got sidetracked before discussing some preliminary WUP programming notes.
*First and foremost, Merf and Conor will be contributing this week! (As always, head researcher Intern Kevin will be working hard behind the scenes providing invaluable, obscure information.) Woohoo! I’m working for the Wall Street Journal starting on Wednesday or Thursday, but I’ll still pop in and throw up a post on WUP when I get a minute. (If you’d like, you can follow the WSJ.com coverage at The Daily Fix here.)
*I’m thinking about hosting a WUP Live Chat on Wednesday and/or Thursday with Merf and/or Conor. I don’t have my final schedule yet, so I can’t set anything in stone, but let me know what you guys think. Good idea? Would you participate? Or you have way better things to do while procrastinating at work than talk Masters for a few hours. What two-hour time slot would work best? 12-2pmET? 1-3pm ET? Any topics in particular you’d like to address? Let us know!
*This morning I’m unveiling the first post in a series of three. Halfway through the Florida swing, I started to focus on reporting for The Masters. After all, the players are chattier in the weeks prior. As you’d imagine, the atmosphere at majors is always much more tense. So, I picked three questions and asked about a dozen guys to share anecdotes (some guys are better at this than others).
*Last year I held a “WUP Amen-Cornered Challenge.” It was a lot of fun and turned out to be a success (in my humble opinion). I’d love to do it again this year, but I won’t have the time to make and organize the spreadsheets, and enter all the scores after each round (it’s simple, just time-consuming). If someone wants to volunteer to run the contest, let me know!
*What would you like to see in WUP’s Masters coverage? Suggestions always welcome (especially if you have a super creative idea that’s not cliched!!). Thanks!
*If you’ll be at Augusta during the practice days, please take pictures and share them with the WUP community. You can send them to me via e-mail — firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love (and appreciate) your contributions!
*What else? That’s all I think. Oh, look, it’s about time I head to the airport. This is one flight I don’t want to miss. Augusta, here I come!
(AP Photo/Dave Martin)