Who says the best golf stories are all in Augusta this week?
The Los Angeles Times reports on a thief who got himself transferred from a downtown L.A. jail to Catalina Island and then gave golf lessons to a police captain:
The tiny jail on Catalina Island is hardly Alcatraz. Just ask Frank Carrillo.
The pro golfer turned jewel thief couldn't believe his luck when he was moved out of his bleak Men's Central Jail cell in downtown L.A. and allowed to do his time on the sunny tourist isle.
But things got even cushier when he met a Los Angeles County sheriff's captain interested in shaving a few strokes off his golf game.
Carrillo said Capt. Jeff Donahue escorted him in a patrol Jeep to a hilltop golf course last summer. There, dressed in his yellow inmate jumpsuit, Carrillo said, he gave the captain pointers on how to improve his swing and reduce a double-digit handicap.
Word of the free lesson, however, ended up being costly for Donahue, who is under investigation for an inappropriate relationship with an inmate.
The dog ate his Masters tickets, really
We're a little late with this story about the dog who ate his owner's Masters tickets (hey, we're cat people), but in case you haven't heard, Russ Berkman of Seattle had four tickets to Wednesday's practice rounds at Augusta National, but he left them where his dog Sienna could get to them. We're sure you see where this story is going: dog eats tickets, man induces dog to vomit up tickets, man goes through dog vomit to find ticket pieces and reassembles them. SFGate reports the happy ending:
"We got about 70 percent of all four tickets put together,” he said. “It took about, I don’t know — about three cocktails deep was how long it took to put this thing all together.”
That’s three cocktails for Berkman, not three cocktails for Sierra.
Perhaps even more amazingly, when he contacted Augusta National Golf Club to explain the situation — My dog ate my Masters tickets! — the Masters folks believed him. They reprinted Berkman’s tickets and have them waiting for him in Georgia.
Phil Mickelson, Ben Crenshaw remember Seve
The 2012 Masters is the first one played since two-time Masters champion Seve Ballesteros died last May. Scott Michaux of The Augusta Chronicle talked to current and former players about how much the game misses Ballesteros.
As past Masters Tournament winners gathered for the annual Champions Dinner on Tuesday night, the Spanish golf icon who won two green jackets was dearly missed. It’s the generations of golfers coming up, however, who lost the most with Seve’s passing.
“Golf misses him,” said Ben Crenshaw, the two-time winner who serves as host to the exclusive club of past champions. “He leaves such a void there because he did so much for the European Tour. He started so young, and the European Tour grew up with him. He was a giant over there. He had it all.”
Michaux also talked to Phil Mickelson about Ballesteros.
Mickelson, who said Bal¬le¬steros “was everything I hoped he would be” when he met him in a practice round at Torrey Pines, remembers marveling at the Spaniard’s creativity and touch.
“We were both with Hugo Boss doing photo shoots at Loch Lomond and would do some trick shots out of bunkers,” Mickelson said. “Watching him be able to control the amount of spin or side spin with a 4- or 5-iron out of the bunker, those were the shots that I remember."
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