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 24, 2014 09:09 GMT

COIN TOSS-MAYOR

LIMA, Peru (AP) -- Usually, one flips a coin to determine things like who gets the ball first in a football game or who gets first dibs at the last slice of pie or something. But to settle an election? That's what happened in a small town high in the Peruvian Andes. Two candidates tied at the ballot box -- with each getting 236 votes in the municipal election. Peru's electoral law allows tie races to be decided by a coin toss. So the coin was tossed. And the winner -- Wilber Medina. His rival says he's cool with the results. It isn't known whether heads or tails carried the day -- and the election.

PUMPKINS-PIGS

SOMERSWORTH, N.H. (AP) -- It started as a potential case of pilfered pumpkins. But it turned out to be a windfall for a group of pigs. Foster's Daily Democrat in Somersworth, New Hampshire reports hundreds of pumpkins were reported stolen earlier week. The gourds had been set aside behind a school to be sold this weekend at a craft fair. The investigation didn't get far. Turns out a farmer spotted the pumpkins and asked a school worker if he could take them to feed his pigs. The school employee didn't know the pumpkins were being saved -- and the farmer took them. Police say the only ones that turned out happy in the whole episode -- are the hogs.

FIREWORKS-FUNERAL

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) -- When the fireworks burst in the air tomorrow night over Springfield, Missouri -- it won't be the Fourth of July -- but the last of James Carver. A Missouri funeral director will be bidding farewell to his dad -- by having his cremated remains mixed with fireworks -- and launched into the sky. Carver's father is the first to try the program by Greenlawn Funeral Homes. His son Jim is the funeral director -- and says the eight-minute fireworks display will be followed by a cookout and memorial celebration.

 
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