Later when managing Seve I gained an insight of the event through his lens. He always stayed in the same Days Inn motel room that he stayed in from his first Masters appearance. He was comfortable there, incognito as was possible for him as ‘Seve’. He would have breakfast in the communal breakfast room with the normal run of the mill fans that couldn’t believe that Seve was among them. I remember him telling me that week that when he came to his first Masters in 1980 at 23, there were 84 players in the field. For the matador Seve his mission was clear for the week, win or die, like the matador against the bull. His job was to put 83 players to the sword, mostly Americans which always focused his attention more. A birdie would slay 10 or so and an eagle maybe twenty. That’s how he saw it in his mind. By the time he reached the back nine on Sunday, he had a ten shot lead. They were all dead, laid waste on the greens behind him in a sea of blood. Now that was a problem. Nobody else to kill!! He dropped a couple of shots around Amen Corner and opened the door to the field. But then he had some adversaries to kill again and proceeded to finish the job in style. Who else in golf ever approached a Major in that way??
I have probably played and attended over 1,000 golf tournaments in my life in addition to many other world class events. Nothing has ever come close to the sheer perfection of the way the Masters is run. You cannot find a cigarette butt, a piece of litter or a weed anywhere on the property. Nobody runs; they walk (you are not allowed run). Even the dreaded ‘get in the hole’ shouters are frowned at and removed from the course quietly by the ever-present Pinkerton men. There are no second chances at Augusta. You break the rules and you are out – for good. I am convinced you could leave your Rolex watch on your green Augusta picnic seat, where you and your friends and family have camped every year for decades and it would not be touched. The hallowed ground ‘under the tree’ beside the front lawn of the clubhouse is protected by a simple white rope separating the Members, in their coveted green jackets, and clubhouse patrons from the season ticket holder patrons. Nobody ever touches that rope let alone crosses it. Everybody attending the Masters is a Patron. Every player is an Invitee. They are invited to play, and can therefore be uninvited, as Bobby Jones wanted it to be.
In 1962, my father was first touched by Bobby Jones when he received the Bobby Jones award for promoting goodwill, sportsmanship and international fellowship through golf. He was so proud of that award.
The most treasured letter my father ever received was a personal letter from Bobby Jones in response to his accepting an invitation to play in his first Masters in 1967. He played again in 1968 and 1969.