National Post

Masters gives Hadwin opportunit­y to learn

B.C. player bounces back after rough start

- Scott Stinson Postmedia News sstinson@ postmedia. com

• Adam Hadwin’s assessment of his first tours around Augusta National Golf Club could also double as sage advice for just about anything: “It’s all about figuring out where you can go, and where you can’t go,” he said on Sunday.

“Unfortunat­ely, I still found a few places where you can’t go.”

But the 29- year- old from Abbotsford, B.C., also found a lot of places he could go, finally making some noise in his first Masters with seven birdies ( and, cough, five bogeys) for a 2-under 70 that left him at 6-over for the tournament.

It was a nice bounce-back round for Hadwin after a dispiritin­g 75 on Saturday during which he said he was fighting his swing the whole day.

“I felt much better,” said Hadwin, who said he went to the range post-round on Sat- urday and discovered that he was lining himself up too far to the left. With that fixed, his struggles were largely solved.

“It was nice to see the ball, the first few holes, go where I was looking,” Hadwin said.

Hadwin said he tried to approach his first Masters like a normal week, although that was a challenge because “everybody on Golf Channel and everybody on CBS are saying that it isn’t just another event.” But he said that ultimately the objective is the same, to hit good shots and make good putts. “Once you are inside the ropes, it’s just golf,” he said.

Hadwin, who will play the RBC Heritage this coming week at Hilton Head, S. C., said he hoped to watch the finish of the Masters on television, saying it’s more fun to do now that he has played the course. “It should be fun to watch the leaders duke it out,” he said.

One of the handy things about hosting your sporting event at a club with an extraordin­arily wealthy membership is that you don’t have to worry about profits. And so, the Masters continues its tradition of being at once tremendous­ly exclusive and also weirdly accessible.

Tickets, awarded by online lottery, are $ 65 for a practice round and $ 100 for a tournament day (all prices U. S. dollars), although only a “very limited” number of them are available because most of the attendees come with yearly badges that go to associates of Augusta National members and other such swells.

Parking is free — free! — and the concession stands have not increased their prices since the 1980s, so a pimento cheese sandwich is $1.50, a bag of chips is $1 and a beer is $4.

There is one area, though, in which the lords of Augusta are not shy about making a buck: merchandis­e. All manner of caps ($ 34) and golf shirts ($ 94) are sold at shops on the grounds, where you can get a ball marker for $ 32, a watch for $ 295 or a wallet for $495.

The shops have long lines most of the day, and all of that stuff will be sold in greater numbers beginning next year when Augusta National unveils a new merchandis­e building that will be built on the site of the old press building. The backhoes will probably move in to get started the moment the winning putt falls on Sunday.

One other area where Augusta National is either very traditiona­l or woefully outdated, depending on your perspectiv­e: cellphones. The devices are strictly banned from the property, with the only people allowed to possess them being players ( in the locker- room) and media (in the press building). Being spotted with a cellphone can get one immediatel­y booted from the property, and The Associated Press wrote this week about an Atlanta businessma­n who brought his father to the course, who forgot there was a cellphone in the bottom of his bag, and later received a letter that said his badge- holder privileges were permanentl­y revoked.

Asked this week if the club would consider altering its policy — the other three golf majors all allow cellphones — chairman Billy Payne said it would never happen while he was chairman. Asked if he would like to explain the rationale, Payne responded: “Not really.”

There are a few banks of compliment­ary phones throughout the course — actual landlines — although patrons could be spotted trying to use them amid some confusion. They don’t have anyone’s number stored in them, for one thing.


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