Friday, April 12, 2013

Historic 77th Masters of Golf
AUGUSTA, GA - I wanted to ask about the new Pope to Angel Cabrera, from Argentina, and to the golfers from Spain, José María Olazabal, Sergio García and Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño, what they think when in March, interior minister Jorge Fernández Diaz remarked that gay marriage should be banned because it doesn't guarantee the "survival of the species." Also I wanted to know their impression about the 2005 Spanish government granting work permits to nearly 700,000 unauthorized immigrants.

Unfortunately the Augusta National do not recognize the only local Hispanic journalist to their Masters tournament.

Being the only local native Spanish speaker involved with the media for years one would assume that I could be allowed to cover the Masters Tournament ®, but common sense is not a quality that the Augusta National would endures.

For years I have requested a media pass to the Augusta National but my application was declined for not being part of the established media or the big networks. I respect the decision of a private club, but at least I could be given a regular ticket at regular price. As a taxpayer of the city of Augusta I should have a little consideration since my tax money is subsidizing in part the golf club. No way? My tax money cover the water. That is only one aspect of it. And when the private club receives tax preferences I am being short with services I should get for my taxes, such as a reliable public transportation or storm sewage, to name a few.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed the conversation of the ladies behind me on the 13 hole. They were very knowledgeable about gardening and the changes of the roses every year during the Masters. The weather was perfect so I din't mind to walk a lot.

My disappointment came when I ask one of the information guys where was the museum. I was very interested to look the first tee of Arnold Palmer. Also I was curious to see the landscape of the court when the founder Bobby Jones initiated constructions of the Clubhouse in 1854, or the resolution allowing black golfers to join the tournament, or the document allowing the first two female, in 2012, to join the "all gentlemen" club. I was informed the museum was torn down some years ago.

The 77th Masters is not only different for the fact that in spite of not being invited as media representative by the Augusta National I managed to visit anyway, but due to the first time that two ladies this 2013 officially where inducted as members of the Augusta National Golf Club.

The other reason: The 14-year old Chinese golfer has been assessed a one stroke penalty for slow play at the Masters. Guan Tianlang is the youngest player ever at Augusta National and youngest to compete in a major in 148 years. He was given the penalty on the 17th hole during Friday's second round.

Meanwhile, the Rules Committee was made aware of a possible Rules violation that involved a drop by Tiger Woods on the 15th hole. Another historic event at the tournament. First ladies, first teen amateur player and first violation by the most representative player of the Augusta National.

The official statement: "After meeting with the player, it was determined that he had violated Rule 26, and he was assessed a two stroke penalty. The penalty of disqualification was waived by the Committee under Rule 33 as the Committee had previously reviewed the information and made its initial determination prior to the finish of the player's round."

At the end, Adam Scott wins Masters, the first for Australia. In addition to claiming the green jacket, he will also take home a sizable first-place prize. By winning the Masters, Scott claimed $1.44 million of the $8 million purse.

Cabrera may have lost the playoff, but he will win a consolation prize of $864,000.

In regards to merchandise, it was good to see that the chips are made in the U.S.A. I am assuming that because the international level of the tournament some t-shirts are made in Guatemala and the pins are made in China.

Fort Gordon in the Dark
But probably the 77th Masters will be remembered by a power outage at Fort Gordon that initially affected about 80 percent of the installation. Fort Gordon Spokesman Buz Yarnell said the outage occurred about 10:30 a.m. All nonessential personnel were released at 1 p.m.

A Georgia Power spokeswoman said the outage is a result of equipment issues. Crews are in the area replacing equipment and estimate that all power will be restored about 4 p.m. Georgia Power said about 40 percent of the base was without power at 2 p.m. At the Fort's Facebook some users announced they have being with power again around 6:30 p.m.

While some of the wealthier people of the world visiting the Augusta National were concerned for their securities, many soldiers and contract workers at Fort Gordon were asking if they could be reimbursed for losing a day of work or food gone bad due to a "faulty equipment."

Also, Law enforcement officials pushed back hundreds of people who were crowding around a large pile of merchandise outside an Augusta evicted grocery, just days before the Masters.

But the goods sitting in the parking lot of the Laney Supermarket didn’t make into anyone’s hands. Instead, the food people hoped to take home was tossed into the trash.

The Marshal of Richmond County, Steve Smith, says the food wasn’t theirs to give away, so they had to trash it. The first black Sheriff Richard Roundtree was in charge to avoid a riot.

The incident coincided with a new Gallup poll ranking Augusta's Richmond county as the eighth most religious metro area in the country, showing that 55 percent of residents consider themselves to be very religious.

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