Amazing how far some people will go to secure Masters tickets. Consider the tale of Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols, who, using official Public Service Commission letterhead, “went straight to the Augusta National Golf Club to request two complimentary practice round tickets to this year's Masters, long after tickets had been distributed to one of the world’s most prestigious golf tournaments through a lottery system.” Kristi Swartz of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has the details:
After more than a week passed without a response, Echols informed the club that he planned to do some regulating.
Echols has since said that he should not have asked for the tickets because of the “appearance of impropriety.” Experts say Echols' letters broke no laws but agree there's a concern about appearances.
“It’s clear that he’s trying to use the office as if there’s some royal entitlement to complimentary tickets,” said Emmet Bondurant, an Atlanta lawyer whose specialties include ethics cases.
In [the] letter, Echols wanted access to the grounds of Augusta National during the early rounds of the tournament so he could, with an armed Department of Public Safety official, check limo drivers to see whether they were properly licensed with the state.
Augusta National denied Echols access, and he later called off the operation after pressure from other commissioners.
“I don’t know that there has been another public service commissioner to be so aggressive in the transportation sector with enforcement as I was trying to be, and my fellow commissioners were uncomfortable with me pursuing rogue companies so aggressively,” Echols said. “... I take my position as transportation chair of the Public Service Commission very seriously and want to serve these groups of people in the best way that I possibly can.”
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Henley birdied No. 16 and was 2-up going into the final two holes. Cantlay chipped in a shot for a birdie on the 17th hole. He putted another one in on No.18 to send the match into sudden death. And the fun was just getting started.
Both players eagled No. 1, which was the first hole of sudden death. “We both hit shots in the fairway,” Cantlay said. “We both hit shots pin high right on the putting green. I was 35 feet, and he was about 25 feet.”
Cantlay rammed in his shot and thought that might be enough to wrap up the match. But Henley followed suit and they went to the second hole. “We didn’t talk too much during the match,” Cantlay said. “But we both said ‘good putt’ to each other.” Both players got pars on the second hole, but Cantlay won with a par on the third hole.
“I will remember this match for sure,” Cantlay said. “It was the craziest match I have ever been a part of and if you told me all that stuff would have happened the way it did, I wouldn’t have believed you.”