Masters -- now, it's spring - 04/08/14

  I love the Masters golf tournament. I've been to the World Series, the NBA finals, the Rose Bowl, and various NFL games, but nothing is like going to the Masters -- or watching on TV, for that matter.
  For me, the Masters is spring. The NCAA Final Four tells me winter is coming to an end, but the Masters tells me the sun will shine again, the temperature will rise for good and the flowers will bloom. Literally, in the case of the azaleas that come out (almost always) in sync with the tournament in Augusta.
  It also honors tradition. How can you avoid thinking about Jack Nicklaus winning six of them -- his last at the age of 46? Or Arnie and his army taking the course by storm, winning four times with a swing that always seemed a little out of control. Tiger in 2005, chipping off the green on 16 and watching his ball hesitate for what seemed like forever... before dropping in the hold for a birdie. And then there's the shot by Phil Mickelson behind a tree in the pine needles on number 13 in 2010. (By the way, he missed that eagle putt. But the birdie kept him going.)
  That's another thing. Augusta is the only pro course where I know almost all the holes by their numbers, some even by their names. I've watched the best players heading into Amen Corner, hitting into the "postage stamp size green" on number 12. I've seen them hit the ball on the wrong side of the fairway on 13 so they won't be able to get home in two on the iconic par five. And I've cheered on the players to "skip it" across the lake on 16 on practice day (Wednesday) and booed them with everyone else in good humor as the ball bounces several times and then disappears into the water short of the green. I've sat in the stands on number 8 and watched a player take a wedge out of his bag to play a ball just off the green and, with everyone else who'd been sitting there for an hour, nod knowingly when the perfectly hit ball rolled off the green on the other side. (We could have told him, on these greens, you should have used a putter.)
  Yes, the Masters is something special. It's finally spring.
 

 

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Last Update on October 23, 2014 09:10 GMT

BEAR CUB-STORE

ASHLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Stuffed teddy bears on drug store shelves may be a common thing. But shoppers where in for a surprise over the weekend when they saw a bear cub scurrying down the aisles. Witnesses say the cub first showed up Sunday at a nearby hotel, hopped out a window and crossed the street to the Rite Aid in Ashland, Oregon. KGW reports that customers snapped pics and videotapped the litte bear until police arrived and scooped the youngster into a shopping cart. Oregon wildlife officials are holding the cub until it can be moved to a rehab center or a zoo.

TOE SQUEEZING CHARGE

MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. (AP) -- A foot fetish went too far in the parking lot of a New Jersey supermarket earlier this month. Mount Laurel police say 30-year-old Derrick Johnson Jr., was arrested Tuesday and charged with harassment for the bizarre confrontation on Oct. 4. Police say Johnson approached the woman while she loaded groceries into her car. He complimented her on her toes, then allegedly touched and squeezed two of them. When the startled woman told Johnson to stop touching her, he allegedly told her he was obsessed with toes and ran off.

FIREWORKS-REMAINS

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) -- A Missouri funeral director is sending his father out with a bang. Well, his father's ashes, actually. Greenlawn Funeral Homes will hold its first Firework Memorial program on Saturday night, when fireworks packed with James Carver's cremated remains will be launched into the sky as part of his family's goodbye. Carver's family is the first to try Greenlawn's new program. His son is funeral director Jim Carver. He says his father, who died in 2008, loved watching fireworks and would appreciate the unusual send off. The family will follow the eight-minute fireworks display with a cookout and memorial celebration. The Springfield News-Leader says the fireworks memorials range from $300 to the "Ultimate Goodbye" as much as $10,000.

INMATES-FINANCIAL EDUCATION

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Prisoners will get the chance to learn how to balance their checkbooks and set budgets. Or at least some will in West Virginia jails. The West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority plans to offer a four-week financial education program in November to inmates serving sentences for misdemeanor convictions. The state says the program covers the basics, including how to cut debt and save for emergencies. Officials say inmates can reduce their sentences by five days for taking the course. Prisoners can also reduce time in the can by taking a life skills course.

 
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