That’s the news from the first day of the Bassmaster Classic in Alabama.
The Masters golf tournament, widely hailed as a harbinger of spring, starts eight weeks from today (Thursday, April 10).
But Wednesday, Feb. 12, eight weeks before the final practice round and Par-3 tournament, the home of the Masters was draped in snow and ice from the latest winter storm to sweep across the southeast.
From the looks of things, there was more white stuff on the grounds of Augusta National Golf Club than in Sochi, the balmy home of this year’s “Winter” Olympics.
The photo below, a screen shot from Augusta TV station WJBF, shows an ice-covered Magnolia Lane, the famous entrance to the club, littered with magnolia limbs snapped off by ice from trees lining the drive.
The club, whose maintenance budget budget it was once written is virtually unlimited, should be expected to get things cleaned up in time for the 77th edition of golf’s most storied tournament. But safe to say the folks at Augusta National don’t have to deal with these kinds of weather problems every year.
One would expect, though, the azaleas and dogwoods won’t have a chance to bloom prematurely like they did before the 2012 Masters.
In case you’re wondering, the only golfer with local ties who is so far qualified for this year’s Masters is former University High golfer Patrick Reed.
Reed, who won two NCAA golf team titles at Augusta State University, is in the field because of his win at last year’s PGA Tour stop in Greensboro (Reed also won the Humana Challenge in January in Palm Springs, Calif.).
At this point, it’s likely former LSU golfers Andrew Loupe, John Peterson and David Toms (the latter two played in last year’s Masters because they tied for fourth at the 2012 U.S. Open) would have to win a PGA Tour event to receive an invitation.
They’ve got eight more weeks to try to get that done, starting with this week’s Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles.