Player of the week
Martin Laird. No offense to Inbee Park, who was dominant in a four-shot victory at the Kraft Nabisco for her first LPGA major championship. But Laird had only one way to get into the Masters, and that was by winning the Valero Texas Open. He started the final round five shots behind leader Billy Horschel, but shot a bogey-free 63 to win by two. It’s his third PGA Tour victory, and seemingly came out of nowhere: Laird arrived in San Antonio having missed four of the last six cuts, and had no finish higher than T34 this season. That changed after one very special Sunday.
Bitter, party of two?
Matt Every and Charlie Beljan aren’t playing in the Masters this week, but that didn’t stop them from taking shots at the tournament’s field and invitation policy. Every, who has never won on tour, posted this message on Twitter Monday: “Masters should have one amateur spot for the U.S. am champ. Give the rest of am spots to more deserving players who actually have a chance.” Beljan won last year at Disney, but Fall Series events don’t bring Masters invites. He replied to Every’s tweet by posting, “can’t even get in with a pgatour win. But 14 year olds are welcome,” a reference to Asia-Pacific Amateur champion Tianlang Guan. Beljan and Every must not be familiar with the fact that lifelong amateur Bobby Jones built the course and the tournament, which has always celebrated and included amateurs (there are six in this year’s 93-player field). Beljan has since deleted his Twitter message; Every, after considerable backlash, posted another message: “I’m sorry I hurt so many peoples feelings I wish all the ams good luck this week especially [US Amateur Public Links champion] TJ Vogel. I definitely don’t deserve to be in.”
It’s tough to get into Augusta National Golf Club, but that didn’t stop a North Augusta woman from attempting to drive through the club’s gates along Berckmans Road at 12:30 a.m. on April 2. According to the Augusta Chronicle, Page Miriam Hall ignored warnings issued from security and drove onto the grass, striking signs and speeding in the process, an incident that was caught on surveillance video. She was charged with drunken driving and property damage.
Quote of the week
“No. I’m a Red Sox fan, I don’t believe in any curse.”
— Keegan Bradley, asked if he believes in the Masters “Par-3 curse.” No golfer has ever won the Par-3 Contest and the Masters in the same year.