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Masters Week is a time to remember

Posted: March 29, 2016 - 11:02pm  |  Updated: April 2, 2016 - 11:49pm

A few weeks ago, a Facebook friend of mine complained about the Augusta area getting all gussied up just once a year.

I told him to think about this another way. If we didn’t have the Masters Tournament every April, would our city ever get clean?

I enjoy seeing prisoners picking up trash off the sides of the roads – do the crime, do the time cleaning up Augusta. I also enjoy seeing azaleas and dogwoods abloom throughout town. I even like seeing businesses with golf carts on their respective properties.

That’s the joy of springtime in the South.

When Masters Week officially arrives in a few days, memories from my youth will wash over me again.

One time in the 1980s, my mom and I were standing near the ropes alongside one fairway when a golfer hit a shot toward the green. A woman standing next to us let out an “Oh, Raymond!” I assumed it was Raymond Floyd’s wife, and he didn’t exactly fire one close to the pin. Oh, Raymond.

One of my friends tells a great story about a time a few years ago when he tried to get two-time Masters champion Bernhard Langer’s autograph on a golf ball. Langer’s response: “What are you going to do? Put it on eeeeeeeeeeBay?” Oh, Bernhard.

I have another wonderful Langer story from a few years back. I’ll have to tell it to you in person. So with all that, I want to know what are your favorite memories, favorite stories from the Masters? Send them to me at chris.gay@augustachronicle.com and I’ll put them in my next column.

Last year, I told my 10-year-old daughter, Hannah, I stood within spitting distance of Niall Horan during Wednesday of Masters Week. Horan, a member of the boy band One Direction, caddied for Rory McIlroy in the Par-3 Contest. Hannah was jealous. She still thinks she’s going to be Mrs. Horan one day in the future. I watched Niall shank a wedge shot into Ike’s Pond. I hope Hannah one day marries a better golfer (after she graduates from college and finds a good job).

A lot of my recollections from the Masters tend to blend together. I remember seeing a lot of golf action adjacent to the No. 2 green. If I had an opportunity to go to the tournament these days as a fan – or patron – I’d probably take my family to either Amen Corner or the bleachers next to the No. 15 green, where you can also see the 16th hole. Those are my favorite spots.

While I soaked in the golf, I also enjoyed the food. I wasn’t a big egg salad sandwich guy growing up, and I’m still not. I do like the pimento cheese sandwich (unsure if that’s my favorite Masters sandwich). One of my goals is to make my own pimento cheese. Maybe I’ll work on that this summer.

That’s one of the perks of being in the media and having a Masters credential: the free food. I look forward to all the different sandwiches – chicken, ham and cheese on rye, club, turkey and cheese. I think a few trips to the gym are in order.

So while I prepare for Masters Week, I hope you’re doing the same.

And while I don’t claim to be a grammar genius, I want all of you to remember one thing: It is not “Master’s Week.” (Why do people use unnecessary apostrophes anyway?)

It is Masters Week, a time of year we welcome back again.

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