These Are the Most Dedicated Fans at the Masters

April 10, 2016

Stop me if you heard this during the telecast: You can’t appreciate Augusta National’s hills on TV. That statement, albeit true, has turned into an oft-repeated cliche. But Augusta’s dramatic slopes really do create an invigorating walk for players and patrons alike. 

Now imagine trying it on crutches.

Fans lucky enough to have a ticket won’t let anything dampen their Masters experiences, including casts, slings, crutches, walking boots, you name it. We tracked down three of the hardiest fans we could find and got their story.

Elizabeth Pilcher

Age: 28

Masters attended: 16

Injury: Two stress fractures in right foot.

“My grandfather went to the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, and when the tournament first started, several members of my family applied for badges when the list was still open. We were lucky and have been able to keep the badges in our family ever since. This is my 16th Masters, and it’s a little different with the walking boot. I was training for my sixth half-marathon, got two stress fractures in the top of my foot and have been in this boot for about a week . We’re going to put down an anchor today because I walked around yesterday, and my foot was pretty sore this morning. Took some ibuprofen and am ready to go today. This boot never meant I wasn’t going to make it. Not coming was never an option.

Bob Guzy

Age: 82

Masters attended: 1

“This is my first Masters, and these are my first steps onto the course. I’m only here for one day, and I’m only here for one player: Troy Merritt. My son coached him in high school basketball at Spring Lake Park for three years. I had people in our party tell me I probably shouldn’t bring the walker since the terrain here is so famously hilly. But I decided it would be helpful. It’s got a seat and four wheels, so I can sit down and my son can push. We can really get moving that way.”

Al Brazell

Masters attended: 15

Injury: Broken fibula

“I broke my foot when I was on my way to play golf on a Sunday morning about two months ago. I was walking outside and tripped over the garage door. Broke my fibula and have been in this cast since. I never thought about not coming to the Masters. I might not walk the entire course like I have in the past — I might just grab a spot in the bleachers somewhere. I’m not sure where I’m going to sit for most of the day; there are so many good spots out there. One year, I watched Vijay Singh skip a ball in the water on the 16th and ace it. When I broke my foot, I never thought I wouldn’t make it here today. It’s just a minor consequence.”