Originally created 04/10/03

Golfers take swing through Augusta eateries

Two-time Masters Tournament champ Ben Crenshaw received a standing ovation Sunday night.

Not on a golf course, but at Luigi's Restaurant on Broad Street.

Cynthia Ballas Moorehead, whose brother owns the downtown restaurant, said Mr. Crenshaw is a Masters Week regular and was accompanied Sunday by his wife, Julie, and about seven or eight other diners.

"Everyone stood up and applauded, and he was so gracious," she said.

Mr. Crenshaw apparently has a great memory for faces, too.

Mrs. Moorehead said that when he spotted her on the course, he said, "There's the Luigi's crowd," and gave her a big hug.

  • Golf fans should note that the French Market Grille is a great hangout for golfer spotting.
  • On Monday night, Jay Haas, of Greenville, S.C., was in for dinner. Mr. Haas is playing the tournament this week after qualifying as one of the 10 leaders on the 2003 money list.

    With Mr. Haas was Bob Goalby, the 1968 Masters champ.

    The 1976 U.S. Open Championship winner, Jerry Pate, stopped by the restaurant Tuesday night. Mr. Pate lives in Pensacola, Fla., but was born about 120 miles from Augusta in Macon, Ga.

  • He must have gotten great directions, because golfer Brad Faxon and his entourage of 16 ended up at that out-of-the-way spot, Raes Coastal Cafe. Mr. Faxon, who hails from Rhode Island, was among the top 16 players in the 2002 Masters.
  • The cuisine at La Maison on Telfair Street isn't the only international flavor at the restaurant this week.
  • The tables have been filled with members of the international news media, including broadcasters and print journalists from Ireland, England, France and Australia.

  • Spotted: NASCAR champion Rusty Wallace walking the grounds at Augusta National Golf Club.
  • LOCALS NIGHT: While some Augustans grouse each year that Masters Week events are more for visitors than residents, Tuesday's concert at Broad Street's newest live music venue, The Blind Pig, proved them wrong.

    The Atlanta-based group Mother's Finest played to a standing-room-only crowd cranking out a powerful set of rocking, soulful classics.

    At least 400 mature (the 40-plus set) music lovers and local musicians enjoyed the band, which featured original lead vocalist Joyce Kennedy.

    "I knew it would all happen in Augusta, Ga.," she told the crowd as the group finished its 90-minute show.

    Club owners Sharon and David Bryan were ecstatic, considering the performance helped christen the new nightclub.

    NOTED: Anti-National activist Martha Burk may not have her preferred protest spot, but she does have a song. It's probably one she won't be humming anytime soon.

    Local musician Greg Connell of the Free Beer Band said he was inspired to write the song after reading a newspaper's coverage of Ms. Burk.

    "I completely thought this was ridiculous," Mr. Connell said of Ms. Burk's protest. "It was my duty to do a tribute."

    Not all the lyrics can be printed in this newspaper, but here's a small sample: "I don't drink my beer from a glass, but Martha Burk has no class."

    The Free Beer Band will perform Friday and Saturday nights at the Cotton Patch, 816 Cotton Lane at Riverwalk Augusta.

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