Apr
13
2012
Post-Masters Friday-after hangover
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Hold up, hold up

I’m catching up on the good ol’ blog since I took a much-needed respite the last few days. (Yes, I’m in Hilton Head for The Heritage, but I made my grand entrance into the media center only today — hey, it was at 7am, though!) I’ve obviously watched Bubba Watson on Letterman, along with several other moments of his dazzling post-Masters victory media tour in NYC. There were a few other gems that came out of the woodwork, while I was sleeping resting.

Let’s take a gander:

*Remember how Louis Oosthuizen flipped his ball into the crowd after retrieving it from the second hole? Not just any ball, but The Albatross Ball. Well, it was first albatross/double-eagle ever on the par-5 No. 2 and only the fourth in Masters history, so the lucky patron — Wayne Mitchell — had a very, very valuable souvenir, one that the ANGC members would want to get its hands on. Mitchell reportedly “donated” the ball to Augusta National, according to the Augusta Chronicle:

“He caught my eye and threw it to me,” Mitchell said.

A quiet day at the Masters became a whirlwind. Patrons across the course were talking about the man who caught Oosthuizen’s ball. Journalists and photographers swarmed Mitchell, and a huddle of Augusta National Golf Club members arrived in a golf cart to escort him to the clubhouse.

“I came here anonymous and I don’t feel so anonymous,” Mitchell said.

With the ball tucked in his left pocket, Mitchell said he wasn’t sure what he’d do with it. He’s never been the type to keep souvenirs and couldn’t think of the last one he’s held on to.

Patrons around Mitchell said the moment was electrifying.

“When it fell into the cup, it was almost disbelief,” said Steve Ganz of Leesburg, Va. Ganz was two rows behind Mitchell when Oosthuizen tossed the ball.

Ganz said the reaction of the gallery was nothing rowdy. There was no scuffle to grab the ball or take it from Mitchell.

But Ganz wondered what Augusta National would offer Mitchell in exchange for the historic ball.

“Maybe a membership?” Ganz said. “It would be like, ‘Oh, there’s the CEO of IBM and there’s the guy who caught the Oosthuizen ball.”’

In the end, an Augusta National spokesman said Mitchell chose to donate the ball to the club’s archives. He did not have information about what Mitchell may have been given in return.

Does anyone else find this photo below kinda creepy? I mean, isn’t the way the green coat has his arm hooked around Mitchell strange? Isn’t that how you’d apprehend someone instead of rewarding him for a very gracious gesture?

Photo via Augusta Chronicle

Anyway, I hope Mitchell was appropriately compensated for his “donation” — it doesn’t sound like he was, but I think his generosity is good for a lifetime-worth of badges (not just one, but, like four). Apparently, right afterward, someone on Twitter offered Mitchell $20,000 for the ball. Consider that the opening bid. Of course, Mitchell had no way of knowing since patrons can’t bring their phones inside the hallowed grounds of ANGC.

*There are about two dozen different ways to pronounce “Oosthuizen.” Thanks to Deadspin for compiling this hilarious video montage of the myriad of options there are to butcher Louis’ last name.

*On Monday morning, 2012 European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal was stopped by a deputy in southeastern Georgia for going 97mph in a 65mph zone, according to Deadspin:

“As a Spanish national, Olazabal was forced to follow officers back to the station and pay bond before being released. Cpl. Jason Bragg, director of communications for the Effingham County Sheriff’s office, says Olazabal was cooperative and told deputies that he had just left the Masters, about two hours away in Augusta, and was on his way to the Heritage Classic in Hilton Head, S.C., which begins this week.”

I wonder which route he took. I also made the trek on Georgia back roads and I may or may not have matched Olazabal’s speed, but I can’t say for sure. As an American citizen, I guess I wouldn’t have been dragged to the Sheriff’s office, but I’m assuming Olazabal’s ticket wasn’t cheap. (It’s always good to have a deputy on speed dial, too.)

*Speaking of run-ins with the law, a 40-year-old Masters patron was arrested for attempting to steal sacred sand from Augusta National’s treasured bunkers, following the completion of play, according to the Augusta Chronicle:

Richmond County sheriff’s Capt. Scott Gay said Clayton Price Baker, of Ohio, slipped under the ropes following the tournament and attempted to put the sand in his cup.

After a short foot chase by Augusta National security and sheriff’s deputies, Baker was apprehended and charged with disorderly conduct.

Gay said Baker, who was drinking heavily at the time of the incident, was unsuccessful at getting any of the sand in his cup.

*2012 Masters champ Bubba Watson had a grand time, calling all sorts of attention and enjoying the limelight, while promoting himself and “Bubba golf” around NYC on Tuesday. John Paul Newport of the Wall Street Journal had the privilege of joining Bubba for the ride:

Masters champion Bubba Watson marched through Manhattan Tuesday in the modern equivalent of a ticker-tape parade. 20th-century golf heroes like Bobby Jones and Ben Hogan drove in open-top cars through the canyons of Wall Street before thousands. Watson sat on couches with talk-show hosts and “talked good,” as he put it, with millions.

When the 24-hour lightning tour ends early Wednesday afternoon, Watson will have made at least eight television appearances and that many more on the radio. Not that any of this turned Watson’s head. He was cracking jokes like a borscht belt comedian. When a producer at CNN tried to impress him with the size of the audience for “Piers Morgan Tonight—”The show will repeat at midnight, then at 3 a.m. and then it will start airing internationally” —Watson replied, “If it’s going that quick to re-runs, it means nobody’s watching.”

*In case you haven’t seen this yet, Bubba did good on Letterman.

 

*He also impressed Darren Rovell. I was impressed with my friend John Carney’s tweet, referring to Bubba’s appearance in the CNBC studio.

Well, that’s all for now. Stay tuned for reports on sundresses, drinking on yachts in the harbor on The Heritage perhaps later today and over the weekend. My God, it’s Friday?!
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)