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 December 18, 2014 08:09 GMT

FAT BIKES

SHERIDAN, Wyo. (AP) -- Cold and snowy? To some it's perfect bike weather. A new style of bike is gaining traction for winter use -- it's the so-called fat bike first developed in Alaska. The bike gets its name from the 4-inch wide tires that can get a grip in snow or sand. The tires are about twice as wide as those on a conventional mountain bike. Jeff Stine is the co-owner of Backcountry Bike and Mountain Works in Sheridan, Wyoming. He tells the Sheridan Press a fat bike buyer can get two sets of wheels, for summer or winter use. But a winter bike could give your wallet a chill. Prices start at about $1,500.

WREATH THIEF

WESTERLY, R.I. (AP) -- The wreath thief has been busted. Police in Westerly, Rhode Island, report Christa Bradley turned herself in after a home security video was posted on Facebook. Police Chief Ed St. Clair says the video shows a woman walking up to Mary Sullivan's front door and walking off with her homemade wreath. The Westerly Sun reports Bradley is now charged with larceny under $1,500 and is due in court in about a month.

PISTOL PACKING HANDBAGS

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) -- Paula Summers has the purse -- for ladies who are packing. She's a Washington state private eye and found it difficult to carry a gun. Summers did some research and found a number of purses designed to carry concealed pistols. But she felt there had to be a better way to market them. So, she's created gun-packers.com -- "for women who pack heat." Her handbags range from $45 to just under a-grand. But there's more to carrying a gun than the right handbag. Summers tells The News Tribune potential gun-owners need to be trained and licensed according to their local laws.

MOOSE FRIENDS

GWINN, Mich. (AP) -- Sunshine and Jumper have some human buddies. Sunshine and Jumper are male moose in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Food is short, so some people pals have been putting out healthy snacks, like alfalfa, apples and carrots for the moose. The animals have become regulars at an area cabin. The cabin owner asked not to be named by the Grand Rapids Press, so no one will come around to bother the moose. Their human buddies say the moose now eat out of their hands.

 
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