An unforgettable masters story – wisc georgia state university off campus housing

Instead it concerns two retired longtime madisonians, ralph andreano and tom fitzgerald, good friends and dedicated golfers who drove to augusta, georgia, for the 2008 masters’ wednesday practice round.

Fitzgerald and andreano are members of nakoma golf club. Tom had a successful business career and ralph was a university of wisconsin–madison professor of economics who did work for the world health organization and consulted with several wisconsin governors. Ralph wrote a book about baseball economics called “no joy in mudville” and testified for the state in its unsuccessful lawsuit to keep the braves from moving to atlanta.

Both tom and ralph are still going strong, on and off the golf course.

Tom is a low-handicap player with an impressive tournament resume, while ralph generally accomplishes each summer the highly difficult task of shooting his age — which will be 90 later this month.First time

That year, a good friend of theirs — I may as well admit it was me — hit the lottery for masters practice round tickets. It’s important to note that in the pantheon of tough tickets to secure for events, the masters rates, with the super bowl, at the top.

For tournament rounds, thursday through sunday, tickets have been in the same families for decades. You either need to know somebody or be willing to spend thousands of dollars on the secondary market.

But for practice rounds, monday through wednesday, the masters many years ago instituted a lottery system, giving the average fan a longshot chance at tickets. In 2008, I got lucky and scored two tickets to all three practice days. I took my son, quinn, monday and tuesday, but he needed to get back for school and a high school tournament in madison.

So weeks before we left for augusta, I sold — at face value, $35 each — the wednesday tickets to my friend tom fitzgerald, who then extended an invitation to our mutual friend ralph andreano.Augusta national I felt warm and fuzzy — at least as warm and fuzzy as a cynical journalist can ever feel — knowing my friends would experience the masters for the first time.

No question, they were excited. They decided to take their golf clubs, drive down and make a week of it. Fitzgerald was on point. He put together an itinerary that in its detail rivaled a bill belichick super bowl game plan. Tom nailed down where they would golf, eat and sleep in the days leading up to augusta. Nothing was left to chance.

Fitzgerald drove, and picked andreano up in madison early on the sunday morning before masters week. Tom’s master plan had them playing golf in indiana that day. The following day, monday, they played golf in tennessee, and on tuesday in south carolina.After golfing on tuesday, they drove to newberry, S.C. And checked into a hotel. Newberry is about an hour from augusta. They had drinks and dinner and talked about seeing the augusta national golf club course for the first time in the morning.Augusta national

Let me say here that when I flew down to georgia with my son, I had my masters tickets tucked into a hardcover book in my carry-on under the seat ahead of me on the plane. I only checked on them every 15 minutes or so to make sure they were safe.

That wednesday morning, before meeting ralph for breakfast, tom checked around the hotel lobby and found tickets were available for purchase — $400 each— from scalpers. He said, “no thanks.”

Fitzgerald was not giving up. He called his wife, bonnie, in madison. She located the tickets and gave them the numbers. Once they reached the tournament, they went to the will call window at augusta national. A woman there said, “it happens more often than you think.”

Still, it took almost an hour — and discussions with several masters officials — before ralph and tom got in. Having the numbers on the tickets and the name of the original buyer, me, probably saved the day.Golf club

They had a marvelous time. It’s probably just as well that in the decade since, I haven’t hit the masters lottery. What could possibly top that?