2 arrested at course during Masters Week

Two people left Augusta National Golf Club in handcuffs during the Masters Tournament.

 

Almost every year since 2010, at least one person has ended up behind bars. Generally, the arrest stems from overindulgence in alcohol. This year was slightly different, with one marijuana-related arrest and another related to shoplifting.

Ken Petronis, 59, of California, received a citation for misdemeanor possession of marijuana Friday after police said they found him smoking at Augusta National. Richmond County sheriff’s Capt. Scott Gay said people were complaining about the smell. A Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent who was working on the grounds witnessed the incident and made the arrest.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Petronis is a program director at Discovery of Learning Charter School in Indio, Calif., and a member of the adjunct faculty at University of Phoenix.

Rebekah Sarah Moore, 30, of Waynesboro, was charged with theft by shoplifting Sunday after her shift as a security officer at the main pro shop. Moore was employed by Securitas, a third-party company providing security during the Masters.

According to a sheriff’s office incident report, a pro shop employee saw Moore pick up several items but only paying for two of them at the register. Moore admitted she did not pay for the items, authorities said. The items included a navy tote, a rain jacket, a Masters belt, a cup and a flag, which totaled $272.

Last year, David Fitzgerald Key, 47, of Pennsylvania, slipped into a sandtrap and was charged with disorderly conduct. Police said he was “highly intoxicated” at the time.

In 2015, three men were arrested when they made an unsuccessful attempt to scale a fence off West Vineland Road to get onto the golf course during the final days of the tournament. The group included a father and son from North Carolina – Lloyd Stephen Wilkinson, 53, and Conor Wilkinson, 20 – and John Bradley Boyd, 18, of Massachusetts, who was a friend to the younger Wilkinson. A short foot chase preceded their arrest.

In 2014, Joseph John Murphy, 50, of Pennsylvania, attempted to drive into Augusta National twice, authorities said. The Saturday before play started, he drove past a gate and guards. Two days later, he returned in a rented Mercedes Benz and attempted to drive onto Magnolia Lane. When confronted, he claimed he was the father of 2013 Mas­ters champion Adam Scott.

In 2013, a Tennessee street preacher was arrested when he became aggressive toward Masters patrons based on their clothing. He was later acquitted.

In 2012, an intoxicated patron, Clayton Price Baker, 40, of Ohio, attempted to take some bunker sand for what he called his collection of dirt from famous sports venues. He was unsuccessful at getting the sand but did lead police on a foot chase.

Charges were dropped when his lawyer told the judge that Baker suffered embarrassment, lost his Masters badge and had the meter running on his private jet while he sat in jail.

There were no arrests in 2011, but in 2010, a drunken Canadian man made headlines when he took off his shirt and jumped into a pond near the 16th hole. He told police he did not know it was against the rules, even though he had to cross a rope line to get there.

Police said Masters patrons typically cause few problems and conduct themselves well, if for nothing else than fear of losing their badges.

 

Reach Bianca Cain Johnson at (706) 823-3486 or bianca.johnson@augustachronicle.com.

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