Sunday, April 13, 2008

Brokaw @ Masters

Each year, Golf Digest asks a non-golfer writer of some note to come to the Masters and write a piece about the experience for the following year's tournament preview. This year, it's former NBC Nightly News anchorman Tom Brokaw.

Who even knew Brokaw was a golfer? He is, but he's hardly as avid about golf as he is about fly fishing. Brokaw, who was chatting up Dan Jenkins in the media center a couple of days ago, told the Augusta Chronicle that he took up golf about 13 years ago.

"I've been playing at it more than I've been playing it," he told the paper.

Although he has played the course once, this is his first Masters. "I'm a big sports fan and I'm a big-even fan," said Brokaw, who has been to Super Bowls, World Series and Final Fours. "This was the last on my checklist of big events I've been to. My wife said, 'I rarely see you so excited.'"

Zipped lips @ Masters

Certainly by tradition and maybe by club policy, only the chairman of the club can speak on behalf of Augusta National Golf Club.

It's almost comical to approach a green-jacketed Augusta member, who almost invariably is a captain of industry back home, and ask him the simpliest, most harmless question, only to have him respond, like a mantra, "You'll have to ask the chairman, Mr. Billy Payne, about matters pertaining to the club."

I'm not talking about questions like, "When you guys going to finally get a female member?" I'm talking about, "Is that tree new this year?" or "How are the greens running today?"

The absurdity of the policy reached a new height this week when one of the best players in the club, Jeff Knox, was drafted to play as a marker Saturday and Sunday in the Masters. After his round on Saturday with Miguel Angel Jimenez, Knox, 45, who once shot 61 from the member tees, could not comment on his round.