The first time was in 2004, when Mike Weir was the defending champ. We had credentials to cover the tournament, but at the last second, the news director pulled the plug and said he wouldn't pay for the trip. But I went anyway. I paid my own way, and my friend Mark Walker went with me as my photographer. We still did stories for the station, even though they didn't pay for it. It was everything we dreamed it would be an more. The closer we got to Augusta from Atlanta, the more excited we got. We were like giddy little school kids. When we got there and walked onto the grounds, it was amazing. Words can never describe how beautiful that place is. We walked every inch of the course. Some of the highlights were getting a one-on-one interview with Weir while all the other reporters stood by and wondered why he was talking with me; walking Amen Corner on Wednesday evening when the course was practically empty; and sitting in the little restaurant above the clubhouse, eating peach cobbler with several players around us while sitting on the balcony overlooking the putting green, thinking we had died and gone to heaven. So awesome.
I went back again in 2012. I took my dad to the first round. His knees were shot, but he was a trooper, and walked down to Amen Corner. We waited for the first groups to come through, and ate at the snack shack by the 12th tee. To be there with him, and have him experience it was truly special. It was a gorgeous day, and we had a blast. Again, a great memory
So that's hole #1 of my golf memories. More to follow...
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