I have a lot of great memories about the Masters. Billy Casper's win in 1970. Watching Jack Nicklaus out duel Johnny Miller and Tom Weiskopf in 1975. Finding a newspaper at the MTC to find out Tom Watson won it in 1977. Jack's epic win in 1986. Mike Reid's close call in 1989, leading with 5 holes to play. Dan Forsman leading on the final day until he hit the water on #12 on Sunday. Couples, Crenshaw, Tiger. And of course Mike Weir's win in 2003.
I've been fortunate to be able to go back to Augusta twice, once in 2004 when Weir was the defending champ, and last year, when I took my dad. That first time was epic. I was grinning from ear to ear as we got closer to the course-an hour away, 30 minutes away, 10 minutes away. When we finally arrived, it was better than I could have ever imagined. The course is perfect. Everything about the place was perfect. Getting a one-on-one interview with Weir while dozens of other reporters looked on, wondering why I got to talk to him. Seeing Tiger play in person for the first time. Watching Mickelson make a clutch birdie from the fairway bunker on the first hole on the first day. Buying shirts and hats and loving every minute of it.
Going back last year was something special. To be able to take my dad was...awesome. We got to Amen Corner before the golfers came through on the first day, and we bought some some food and just sat there and soaked up the atmosphere until the players made the turn. Even though my dad had a hard time walking, it was just so cool to be there with him and enjoy a special moment. I will never forget it.
I would like to go back someday and take my sons. But for now, just watching it on TV is good enough. It's the Masters. It's the best.