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Patrons drown sorrows after rain-out at course

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They left the course reluctantly, some in disbelief, some on the verge of tears and many clutching umbrellas and rain jackets they thought would keep them safe from the unthinkable.

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Sam Civello (from left), Ryan Green and Scott Yeskie of Dallas sit and talk golf after eating 45 chicken wings at the Somewhere in Augusta Bar and Grill.   MIKE ADAMS/SPECIAL
Sam Civello (from left), Ryan Green and Scott Yeskie of Dallas sit and talk golf after eating 45 chicken wings at the Somewhere in Augusta Bar and Grill.

Thunder and rain had stolen some patrons’ chance to walk the Augusta National Golf Club course and watch the professionals on their first day of practice rounds.

Tonya and John Safford of Cary, N.C., who had badges for Monday only, waited in their car for exactly 92 minutes hoping it wasn’t true.

“We thought there was just maybe a chance they would open the gates again,” Tonya Safford said. “People didn’t want to leave.”

But when the gates remained shut, many patrons who had flown from across the country, some from across the world, for a single day had an entire afternoon in Augusta to kill.

So they drank. On Monday afternoon, patrons left the National and filled bars and restaurants along Washington Road earlier than expected.

“I had to ease the pain of what I just found out,” said Jonathan Blevins, 29, of Columbia. “It sounds crazy, but it almost feels like going through a breakup, like breaking up with a girlfriend. It’s like, how do I process these feelings?”

While some were escorted away after only a few hours of enjoying the course, Blevins never even made it that far.

He walked up to the gate on Berckmans Road as hoards of patrons were leaving and police officers were waving people away from the grounds.

“At first I just thought people were tired of the rain or were getting umbrellas from their cars or something, but deep down I knew,” he said.

His stomach sank. He said he was in disbelief of his luck after buying a practice round badge on Ebay for $330 and missing what was supposed to be his first time soaking in the azaleas and rolling hills.

Like so many others, Blevins walked to Somewhere in Augusta on Washington Road, ordered a Coors Light and sulked.

“I was so upset, I ordered fries,” he said. “I never eat fries.”

Kyle Airington and girlfriend Edye Lucas traveled 900 miles from Oklahoma City to scratch one item off Airington’s bucket list.

They had enough time to walk 16 holes and spend $500 in the gift shop, but Airington’s dream was cut short by a rainstorm.

Not knowing where else to go, they spent part of the afternoon at Roadrunner Cafe – for him a White Russian and her a Crown Royal and Coca-Cola.

The badges were a gift from Lucas, which Airington opened Christmas morning and “bawled like a baby,” she said.

They flew in to Augusta on Monday night and refused to check the weather. Airington lay awake in the hotel at 4:30 a.m., too excited to sleep.

The course was more beautiful than any photo of it they’d ever seen. When Lucas was done with her ice water and wanted to put the plastic Masters Tournament cup in her purse, she caught herself before dumping a few ice cubes on the ground.

“I didn’t think I could even do that,” she said. “God has to play golf, because it was unreal.”

When they heard the storm siren sound at the course about 10 a.m., they knew it was trouble. Two Oklahomans who listen to tornado drills every Friday know their sirens.

But the day was not a total loss.

After leaving the course, they spotted Lucas Glover at the grocery store. And now there is one less item on his bucket list.

“If I died today, I’m dying happy,” Airington said. “If I had only been there for 15 minutes it would have been OK.”

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Butterman 04/07/14 - 08:43 pm

You mean none of them decided to venture down into the CBD? Shhh, don't tell WholeAugusta

rebellious 04/08/14 - 12:59 am

I sat at Atlanta Motor Speedway for 6 hours while it drizzled, then stopped, then drizzled, then stopped, then trucks tried to dry the track, then it drizzled again, and the race was moved to the next day. I had to work. But stuff happens, and weather happens. And I realize the Masters is no NASCAR race, but you get the point. Or maybe you don't. Sorry for the weather, I guess.

Someone once said "You pays your money, you takes your chances". True dat!

justthefacts 04/08/14 - 08:23 am
A shame

Too bad for those folks. Mother nature can be cruel. Hope they get another opportunity at some point.

Bizkit 04/08/14 - 08:41 am
All a part of the game of

All a part of the game of life-throw in some chaos. Scientist are good at modeling trends but those models can't account for random chaos. A long term study in evolution in Darwin's finches demonstrated that the theory was predictive for short periods over the thirty year period, but longterm chaotic events that made it unpredictable. "Evolution can be predicted in the short term from a knowledge of selection and inheritance. However, in the long term evolution is unpredictable because environments, which determine the directions and magnitudes of selection coefficients, fluctuate unpredictably." One of my old professors told me: "A theory is only as good as the model is predictive". I guess scientist still have a lot to learn, but it's a process that never ceases and never really has an answer-because it has to be continually tested to see if it is falsifiable.

iaaffg 04/08/14 - 10:01 am
wonder if the HEAT cars were

wonder if the HEAT cars were lying in wait for them when they came out of the bars?

Riverman1 04/08/14 - 10:25 am
Put The Privacy Sign On Door

A few drinks and back to the motel room for some fun.

Butterman 04/08/14 - 02:05 pm
Didn't know what they were missing

they could have forgot all about their woes in the CBD yesterday. So much to see and do! There was the dance partee inside the concrete parking deck. They could have done a pub crawl in the downtown dive bar district and met a guy named after a character on a cereal box. They could have experienced the world's finest adult entertainment on the lower end of broad street. They could have enjoyed the multi talents of the street performers who congregate out front of the Richmond Summit. They could have toured Fabulous Billy World and the parking deck that floats on air rights. For those with 'alternative' lifestyles, and just a short drive from the CBD is the resort with all the rainbow flags off Gordon hwy where I am sure there was a Masters themed 'Hole in One' party going on. Enjoy

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