AUGUSTA, Ga. – For David Grace it was a dream come true to walk into the Augusta National. The golf fanatic was told to get there early and that’s exactly what the Montana native did.
“First I wondered if I was in the right place. There was nobody there,” Grace said as he recounted his arrival at the gate early Monday morning.
At 7 a.m. guards opened the main gates and Grace says although he couldn’t run, that didn’t stop him from power walking to the world famous course.
“We got in. We got through security and did all the shopping I’ve been tasked with doing,” Grace said.
But the first-timer wasn’t alone. He came with his friend Kim Bowman and his two sons, who also won tickets a few years ago and came to Augusta for the first time.
“I actually put in for the lottery and then started reading online that the odds of doing that are almost worse than being struck by lightning,” said Jake Bowman.
“For us the celebrity is the course itself,” Kim Bowman said.
“I love Amen Corner. I think that’s pretty typical of people that have come to Augusta, to the Masters Tournament. I think there is something special about walking down 11th, and through 12th, 13th and 14,” said Tanner Bowman.
The Bowman’s shared their life-changing experience with Grace and he just had to see it for himself. And Monday — all together — they mapped out their first day of practice rounds. Grace even earned himself a new nickname at Augusta National.
“I had two people say, ‘hey Mr.Montana!,’” Grace said.