Digi-Blog goes to Masters in search of: Tiger Woods (UPDATED: He’s here)

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Signs

I looked almost everywhere for Tiger. But not in the restrooms. I don't want to jeopardize my membership chances. I hear I'm on deck.

(UPDATE BELOW WITH WOODS SHOWING UP)

AUGUSTA – I went to Augusta National. Looked on the practice tee. Looked on the practice putting green. Looked in the interview room. But no Tiger Woods.

So then I fooled him. Went to Hooters and he no show up. (Chico Marx, copyright.)

“I would think he’d be smarter than to show up here,” said my new best pal, Amanda Collins. “If he came here, that would be kind of risky. Don’t you think?”

True. Tiger is not one to take risks.

Wait a minute . . .

Amanda not only will bring you wings and a beer with a smile, but here it was Easter Sunday morning and she already was sweeping up trash in the tented expansion of the Hooters off Washington Road, just down the street from Augusta National, host of this week’s Masters and Tiger-palooza.

Honestly, the scene early Sunday was relatively low key. Most fans and even golfers were expected to arrive late in the day. Swapped messages with Stewart Cink Saturday night. He’s coming in Monday. But here are a few snapshots that should give you a feel for the atmosphere, as Digi-Blog (scaled back version) goes to Augusta. (Professional photos by Curtis Compton, as noted. Amateur photos by me.)

HootersHootersSignThis is Amanda. You didn’t think I would quote Amanda and not run a picture of her, did you? That wouldn’t be journalistic. If you would like to see more of Amanda — pause for effect; keeping pausing; almost there; OK, long enough — she will be in TWO pageants this week at the Augusta Hooters: The “Miss Par 3 Bikini Contest” Wednesday night and the “Miss Green Jacket Bikini Contest” Saturday night. “I’m nervous,” she said. Don’t be, dear. After watching her for what must’ve been hours, I can state that she elevated sweeping to an art form. For the record, Chad Stawicki, the general manager of the Hooters, is not happy with the way things have been spun this week by the media, particularly by TMZ. The bikini contests, he says, are annual events held in conjunction with the Masters, and not a “Tiger Special.” And that’s pretty much all corporate wants him to say about Woods. His business is five times that of  the other 51 weeks of the year, he said, necessitating the tent in the parking lot. He has never seen Woods in Hooters. But he has seen Vijay Singh, Justin Rose, Todd Hamilton, Vaughn Taylor, Boo Weekley and, of course, John Daly (who used to have an endorsement deal with the company and, I believe, slept on one of the tables.

FrisbeeGolfShould my membership application at Augusta National fall through, this is my fallback plan. Watch out for the ice cream truck near Amen Corner.

JimmyBThis is Jimmy B. And this is Jimmy B’s office, smack on Washington Road, in front of the Parkway Inn motel, about 100 yards from the Augusta National gates. Want to buy a ticket to a practice round? Jimmy B. can hook you up for between $200 to $750, depending 0n the market and how much he likes you. Want a badge for the week? Right now they’re tracking at about $2,300. How many badges does Jimmy B. have access to? “Can’t talk about that,” he said. “Kind of sensitive.” Jimmy B. said he hasn’t sensed an increase in the market this year because of the Woods’ soap opera, but added: “It’s just average, but we consider that good because it’s a recession year,” he said. “Because of the economy, other events are down. So being average is good.” His view of the Tiger scandal: “I don’t care. That’s his business. I like Tiger. You know, I taught him how to golf when he was a kid. And another thing: These girls used to chase me around and then they went to Tiger. Now that he’s off the market, maybe they’ll come back to me again.” Jimmy B. has been in the sun too long. His wife, meanwhile, was standing nearby listening, until she went looking for Elin Nordegren’s six-iron.

mastmedia.0405+CC10As you can see, Jimmy B. isn’t the only independent contractor set up on Washington Road. But they’ve all been pushed a little further down the street as Augusta National keeps buying up property. My guess is, they’ll buy Fulton County by 2012 and put in a par 3 course, just east of the state Capitol. One scalper, Dan Phillips, told our Mr. Compton: “I’ve been laid off for six months and I figured there will be money to be made here this year with all the Tiger frenzy.” And that’s the extent of his business plan. Suppose he’s a Harvard MBA? (Photo by Curtis Compton)

mastmedia.0405+CC1

Television crews and photographers are moving into position. How bad is it? Donny Thompson, the owner of Windsor Jewelers across the street from Augusta National, says he has had TV networks ask if they could rent space on the roof of his tall brick building. Why? Because it gives a clear view of the practice tees — and, therefore, Woods. Thompson decided against it. Didn’t need the money. I guess diamond and gold sales are holding steady near the gates. Thompson told an AP reporter, “This just started when Tiger was talking about coming back.” (Photo by Curtis Compton.)

FrostedFlakesFound him!

♦ UPDATE ♦


Furyk to Woods: "Hi, what's new with you?" Kidding. (Photo by Curtis Compton)

Furyk to Woods: "Hi, what's new with you?" Kidding. (Photo by Curtis Compton)

Tiger’s here. Still no Joslyn James sighting. Maybe I should text her.

Woods showed up at Augusta National in the early afternoon. He chatted with Jim Furyk. He hit over a dozen practice putts. He hit several shots at the driving range. Then he headed out to the 10th tee. Reporters were not allowed to follow him, as the course is closed the Sunday before the Masters. Woods went out with friend Mark O’Meara and another player, who hit the trees with his first tee shot. After a better second drive, O’Meara joked with reporters, “I gagged on my first one. I’m not used to playing with this kid.” Woods did not speak to reporters, beyond a tongue-in-cheek greeting to one.

For previous full-fledged Digi-Blogs, click here.

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC and on Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

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26 comments Add your comment

william cranman

April 4th, 2010
2:00 pm

Looks like quite the spectacle Jeff. Look forward to your blogs all week.

Clay

April 4th, 2010
2:07 pm

With everything going on with Tiger Woods, I’m betting most golfers avoid Hooters like the plague.

[...] AJC photographer Curtis Compton gives a quick glimpse of the late-morning scene in Augusta, and for a more detailed search (including a stop at Hooters) check out AJC’s Jeff Schultz’s search for Tiger Woods. [...]

Lanny Simons

April 4th, 2010
2:08 pm

Oh, man, this is great! Just bookmarked it and look forward to following you for the next week.

Truthpaste

April 4th, 2010
2:21 pm

It seems like the same old routine this year, but I’ll follow you for the details.

Reid Adair

April 4th, 2010
2:24 pm

Fantastic work, Jeff. One of your best digi-blogs yet. Glad to hear that Ms. Collins is such an outstanding employee for Hooters.

On a separate note, since Jimmy B. taught Tiger to play, does he still give lessons? Golf lessons, that is.

country boy

April 4th, 2010
2:26 pm

Fun read Jeffy boy and glad you are in good spirits. As for Amanda’s nervousness about her upcoming pageants she seems like she will do just fine. The has all her teeth.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) pay per click But here are a few snapshots that should give you a feel for the atmosphere, as Digi-Blog (scaled back version) goes to Augusta. … See all stories on this topic [...]

Smokinfletch

April 4th, 2010
2:40 pm

I usually don’t give a rats a– about golf. Still don’t. Go back to Hooters and take some more pictures. Looking foward to the bikini contest, drink a few cold ones for me.

brave1

April 4th, 2010
2:41 pm

[...] pandithurai wrote an interesting post today. Here’s a quick excerptTiger Woods has not yet shown up at the Augusta National Golf Club for this week’s Masters, but we’re looking for him at Hooters and everywhere else. [...]

Mr C.

April 4th, 2010
2:50 pm

I will vote for Amanda. I will make sure i check out the pageant. She’s stunning. I want to be a Tiger.

uberVU - social comments

April 4th, 2010
3:00 pm

Social comments and analytics for this post…

This post was mentioned on Twitter by MalletPutters: Digi-Blog goes to Masters in search of: Tiger Woods http://bit.ly/dAi7BH…

Bryan W.

April 4th, 2010
3:37 pm

Will follow sll week Jeff. Keep the updates coming.

"Chef" Tim Dix

April 4th, 2010
4:04 pm

The hooter’s chick has a “sexy alien” aire about her ( or it ).

disc golfer

April 4th, 2010
4:05 pm

Way to put a picture up of a disc golf course! Augusta is home to the Professional Disc Golf Association’s world headquarters.

disc golfer

April 4th, 2010
4:34 pm

Thanks for posting a picture of a disc golf course! Augusta is home to the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA)’s world headquarters.

[...] admin wrote an interesting post today. Here’s a quick excerptTiger Woods has not yet shown up at the Augusta National Golf Club for this week’s Masters, but we’re looking for him at Hooters and everywhere else. [...]

Paul in RDU

April 4th, 2010
5:10 pm

Jeff – It looks like you have done a good job researching Hooters on Washington Road but in the interests of investigative journalism you need to go to The Discotheque on Broad Street and check out the snake lady (or so I’ve heard).
On a serious note – how tightly will the dinosaurs (can’t call them fossils because I think they are still breathing) who run the Masters try to control Tigers press conference tomorrow? I am sure we’ll have questions from the likes of Rick Reilly and some of the Golf Digest writers but do you think they are going to let guys like John Feinstein ask what are sure to be very penetrating questions?

db

April 4th, 2010
6:13 pm

hey Jeff, are you invited to the press conference? Are they gonna let you in the place?

db

April 4th, 2010
6:14 pm

can you ask questions, and what would your question be?

KimZ's Package

April 4th, 2010
6:17 pm

I really do go to Hooters just for the wings! Well, This week I am back to men so just wings for me.

[...] Digi-Blog goes to Masters in search of: Tiger Woods Golf News & Events Add comments Apr 042010 [...]

[...] ♦ Digi-Blog goes in search of Tiger Woods [...]

Amanda collins

April 5th, 2010
11:23 am

Good stuff :) I think everyone knows that it would be in Tiger Woods’ best interest to stay clear away from hooters, but I hope he does good in the tournament! So sad about Vaughn Taylor not making it this year :( but as far as business at ‘ole hoots: the golfers are definitely here :) I’ll be spending my only day off this week “bedazzling” my competition bikini! Haha

[...] days to the new Cowboys stadium to the backwater of Stillwater, Okla. (see links below). This week, we went in search of Tiger Woods Sunday — and found him! But you know what we couldn’t find at Augusta National? A [...]