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April 9, 2008
Lunch with a legend
I just found out that I'm having lunch later today with golf legend Billy Casper, winner of the 1970 Masters. Casper, a San Diego native, had arranged to have lunch with my housemate Tod Leonard, who is the golf writer at the San Diego Union Tribune. When I found out about the lunch, I asked Tod if I might be able to tag along and he said fine.
I always get excited when we go and eat at the clubhouse and I just see a former champion in the same room, so to actually get a chance to sit down with a player who owns a green jacket and gets a chance to attend the Champions Dinner each year, it's a dream come true. Tod had lunch with Casper several years ago here at the Masters and Casper took him into the Champions lockerroom for a look around. I would never ask, but if the chance comes up, I will definitely take advantage of it.
Before that I will be attending the State of the Masters meeting, led by chairman Billy Payne. Payne, who ran the 1988 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, is a very bright man and the perfect person to lead Augusta National into the future. In his two years running the club, he's made some wonderful moves.
The most recent was allowing kids 8-16 on the grounds for free when accompanied by a paying adult. It's a wonderful idea and one that other tournaments should consider making as a way to expose more kids to the game. I'll blog later about the meeting and my lunch.