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{Couples} joins custom, donates membership at Masters

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Fred {Couples} for years was the one Masters champion who failed to participate in one of many many traditions at Augusta Nationwide, primarily as a result of he did not comprehend it existed.

Relationship to the primary winner in 1934, each champion has donated a membership that was utilized in his Masters victory, beginning with Horton Smith’s putter. The exception was Gene Sarazen, who donated the golf ball used for his well-known albatross on the fifteenth gap in 1935.

“I had no clue,” {Couples} mentioned Wednesday.

{Couples} realized this solely a few week in the past when he was studying an electronic mail in regards to the Masters and the way he was described as the one champion to not give a membership to Augusta Nationwide.

Not anymore. He discovered the persimmons driver — a MacGregor M85 mannequin — at dwelling in Palm Springs, California, and introduced it to the Masters. He had it on the follow vary the place Rory McIlroy and others gave it a curious look.

“Guys had been laughing,” {Couples} mentioned. “I believe they had been laughing as a result of they suppose I gained in 1970, not 1992.”

The trophy show has the sand wedge Larry Mize used to chip in from 140 ft in a playoff on the eleventh gap to beat Greg Norman. It has the steel driver Tiger Woods utilized in 1997 when he overpowered Augusta Nationwide to win by a file 12 pictures.

“For those who mentioned proper now, ‘For $5 million, stroll me into the place these golf equipment are,’ I do not even know the place these golf equipment are,” {Couples} mentioned. “In any other case, 10, 12, 15, 18 years in the past, I might have introduced a membership.”

It most likely would not have been his driver.

His ’92 victory is known for one shot. On the par-3 twelfth gap within the closing spherical, {Couples}’ tee shot got here up quick and was trickling down the financial institution towards Rae’s Creek when it mysteriously held on the financial institution.

He chipped as much as 3 ft for par and was on his method. However which wedge?

“I do not bear in mind what form it was,” he mentioned. “I believe it was an previous Wilson, and I’ve that, however I did not need to carry that as a result of I wasn’t certain.”

He was sure it was the right driver he delivered to Augusta Nationwide as a result of he saved that in a secure place. {Couples} mentioned he used that persimmons driver the remainder of that yr. Beginning with the 1993 season, he says he misplaced a guess to a pal at TaylorMade and used the steel driver, and he used one from then on.

Both method, the gathering is now full, though {Couples} misplaced his personal footnote in historical past.

“Possibly that will be a great factor to be identified for _ the one man to not give a membership,” he mentioned.