On the Tiger trail at Augusta National
Got a look at Tiger Woods during the second round of the U.S. Masters … sort of.
I saw Woods — at least I was pretty sure it was Woods — slam his opening drive down the middle of the fairway, saw the top of his black baseball cap on his second, caught a glimpse of one of his shoes on his third and saw nothing but heard the roar on his putt to save par.
By the time I reach the second hole, Woods has teed off. From the tee box I can see him — at least I think it’s him — sizing up his second in the distance.
Quickly, I scamper down to the green where Woods drives in a putt for a second par.
At least I believe it was him. There is no chance to actually confirm it was the 14-times major winner while standing at the back of a seething gallery gathered 30 deep around the second hole.
Time for a beer — which at Augusta is one of the true bargains in all of sport at just $2.75.
When following Woods at Augusta National you need meticulous shot planning.
If you are stalking Tiger, you need a map of the Augusta layout, binoculars and plenty of patience.
Unlike other golf tournaments, journalists and photographers have no inside-the-ropes privileges at the Masters leaving us to be pulled along by the Tiger tidal wave that sweeps the masses from hole-to-hole until you are washed ashore at the 18th.
Try to get ahead of the crowd and you risk running afoul of one of Augusta National Golf Club’s many rules.
“We don’t run at the Masters,” a stern security guard scolds as I flashed my press badge like a get out of jail free card.
If you grow weary chasing Tiger, do not lie back on the lush green grass because if you do you will be told to sit-up.
A golfing magazine asked readers if you could get into the Masters for free but had to agree to be Tazered at the gate each day would you? Over 50 per cent said yes.
But no need for a Tazer.
Follow Tiger Woods around Augusta National for nine holes and you feel like you’ve been zapped.
PHOTO: Tiger Woods watches his shot out of a sand trap on the ninth green during second round play at the 2009 Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, April 10, 2009. REUTERS/Brian Snyder