It was a birthday wish Fircrest’s Ken Still long looked forward to – playing Augusta National Golf Club, site of the Masters, with his longtime buddy, Jack Nicklaus and other family members.
On Monday, the dream foursome got together to play that round – er, sort of.
Dark skies and looming thunderstorms forced Still and son, Mark Evans; and Nicklaus and son, Jack, Jr., off the course after 13 holes.
“We were playing No. 9 when the siren went off, and they announced, ‘All players off the course immediately,'” Still said by phone Monday night from his hotel in Atlanta.
The weather did not damper the experience.
On Sunday, all four participants played Augusta’s famous par-3 course, which is located on the east-end of the property.
Then on Monday, they played the big course – starting off the 10th tee.
The 75-year-old Still said while the golfers did not play from the championship tees, they did play from what would be known as the blue tees – or the second-longest teeing areas.
The highlight, Stil said, was witnessing something Nicklaus had never done in all his rounds at Augusta National – making an eagle-2 at the par-4 17th.
“Holed out a 5-iron,” Still said.
Still, who plays little competitive golf these days, especially after his recent shoulder surgery, shot a 6-over-par 42 on the back nine in his first trip back to Augusta since 1973.
10th hole: Double bogey.
Still said his best hole came on the finshing uphill par-4, which still played well over 400 yards. He hit driver, then a 3-wood to the front of the green – then got up-and-down for par, making a 10-foot par-saving putt.
He played the first, second and eighth holes, but did not play the ninth hole as the stormy weather moved in.
Still said Nicklaus was 1-over thru 13 holes. Also, Evans made a birdie at No. 8, making a 7-foot putt on the par-5 hole.
“It felt great, it was great,” Still said. “Everbody kind of recognized me, I guess.”