AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – It has already been a busy and exciting first few hours at Augusta National as patrons are excited to be there, especially those who are coming to these hallowed ground for the first time.
Gates opened Monday at 7 A.M. and patrons poured onto the grounds in droves, and the ones who are visiting Augusta National for the first time gushed with excitement.
“I’m super excited. I’ve never seen something so pretty,” says Kathy Elmore, a patron. “The grass is what’s getting me. The grass. I’m like, ‘oh my gosh, it doesn’t look real!’
Billy Rushing says he’s entered the Augusta National lottery every year for more than a decade.
Rushing says he found out he won last July, and he came all the way from Texas with his dad.
“He’s a pastor. He missed Palm Sunday, but we were able to worship at First Baptist in Atlanta yesterday,” says Rushing. “So, he was able to do that with me. It’s just been a deal that we’ve always wanted to be a part of. And just to see this…it’s been amazing. We’re looking forward to the day.”
As far as what’s on people’s bucket list, visiting Augusta National seems to top the list.
“To be honest, I’m excited about going to the pro shop,” says Tereance Elmore, a patron. “I’ve seen some of the players before. But, um…just to see some of the iconic holes and going to the pro shop is my two priorities.”
The Liebl family traveled from Chicago and were some of Monday’s first patrons to arrive.
“My husband and I play golf together,” says Caroline Liebl. “I’m not great at it, but I’d like to get better. And, you know what, my husband has been talking about the Masters since the day we were married, or even before… that he’s always wanted to come here.”
“I’m just happy to be here,” says Kate Liebl.
Many of the first-time patrons say that being here in Augusta at the Masters can be described as a “dream come true”.