Gates crowded; roads, too, but no unexpected delays around Augusta National

Monday, April 5, 2010 7:54 AM
Last updated 1:19 PM
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Golf fans streamed through the gates of the Augusta National Golf Club this morning, the first day of practice rounds for the Masters Tournament.

The day had more anticipation than most Masters Mondays with the expected return of Tiger Woods to competition.

While Woods remained the focus of national media, most of this morning's fans said they were ready for golf.

"I didn't think I'd ever be able to go," said Allen Snyder, a first-timer from Raleigh, N.C., "so it's a surprise this year."

Snyder had come courtesy of his friend Bob West, of Hartsville, S.C., a regular at the tournament.

"I come every year," said West, who described the course as "unbelieveable. TV can't do it justice."

Jeff Fournier, of Monroe, Ga., agreed.

Sitting up his seats with family around the 18th green this morning, he called the course unique. He said he had lived in Monterey, Calif., and had been to Pebble Beach, but the Augusta course was "unbelieveable," particularly on a Monday morning when things opened up.

Jim Toner, of Memphis, had similar comments. Standing in front of the large scoreboard to the left of the first hole, he said, "Monday at 8 a.m. the course is pristine."

By Sunday, the tournament's drama may build, but the grass has been worn away by the thousands of fan footsteps, but on Monday every thing is new.

Jim and Judy Gordon of Ottawa, Canada were ready. They said they gave up a week's vacation in Florida for one day at Augusta National. The tickets were a Christmas gift from their daughter.

"We're definitely golf fans," they said.

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WW1949 04/05/10 - 08:15 am
What a beautiful course-Thank

What a beautiful course-Thank you Augusta National and what a beautiful time in Augusta-Thank you Lord

disssman 04/05/10 - 09:13 am
WW1949 I hope you aren't

WW1949 I hope you aren't thanking the man above for the blanket of pollen around my house.

dadspeach 04/05/10 - 02:07 pm
There was no place to post

There was no place to post this in the "photo" section but it said that there were 60 pictures of this mornings practice round. Why is it that they were all pictures of Tiger Woods? I have been there ...there are several guys that practice on Monday morning. Why no pictures of them?

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