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The Mystery Behind Magnolia Lane

The Masters tournament at Augusta National Golf club is one of the most special weeks in all of sports, and even pro golfers want to make the most of it
Jeff Williams
From the Print Edition:
Matthew McConaughey, March/April 2011

(continued from page 4)

“I have an assistant that made the housing arrangements. I took care of the tickets, my brother took care of managing the tickets once I had them. He ran to the will call all the time, leaving tickets, dropping them off. It’s a real shuffle.”

Just to throw a little reality into this idyllic world, Lehman’s last trip to Augusta in 2006 was out of the ordinary. He was on his way to the Augusta airport to pick up his family on Tuesday night after a practice round, driving his courtesy Cadillac. A car pulled up along side him, and the next thing he knew, he heard a pop—the driver of the car had fired a shot at him, the bullet passing through the rear passenger door just in back of the driver’s seat.

“When I picked up my family they said ‘you can’t believe what a terrible trip this was,’ ” says Lehman. “So I say, ‘well you won’t believe what a bad trip this was to the airport’ and I show them the bullet hole in the car.” Their complaining stopped. A man was later arrested and imprisoned for the crime.

Nick Price’s experiences were far less eventful but no less memorable. “For me, the Masters was always an extra special tournament, coming back to the same course, seeing the same people, having relationships with the waiters and the locker-room staff and the security guards, and the members,” says Price. “When you stop playing there, it’s not so much that you miss the tournament, especially since you are not being competitive anymore. It’s the people you miss, the sort of family experience of it all.”

Lehman, like all other players who earn that coveted invitation from Augusta National, relishes his time at the Masters and knows that everyone around him did, too.

“To everybody, it was the best, the best, the best,” he says.

Just listen to what Jhonattan Vegas, a native Venezuelan, had to say after he won the Bob Hope Classic this year, qualifying him for the Masters and giving him his in.

“I know it’s a dream that my dad and my American friends have, to go to the Masters, just to walk around,” Vegas says with a broad smile. “That’s what they told me. It’s like, ‘Before I die, just please get me to the Masters.’ ”

Jeff Williams is a contributing editor for Cigar Aficionado.


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