Eaton Savors Dream Week
Austin “Ace” Eaton, formerly of Sterling Farms GC, in Stamford CT, and winner of the 2004 U.S. Mid Amateur Championship certainly had a dream week despite missing the cut at the 2005 Masters. His time spent at Augusta included a practice round with Tiger Woods, a meeting with Byron Nelson, a pairing with the legendary Gary Player and 2004 British Open Champion Todd Hamilton, and some pretty good coverage at the end of the CBS telecast
We asked the former Met Area resident to put the slippery and undulating greens at Augusta National into perspective.
“Picture Stanwich at 14 on the Stimpmeter.”
If one can fathom greens of that treachery, it is easy to understand how Eaton, a fine putter in his own right, could manage 69 putts in his two rounds.
“They’re not unfair, they’re just unbelievably hard,” he noted. “You just have to be so precise with your iron shots.”
Eaton was generally pleased with his ball striking; hitting 8 of his first 9 greens while managing to find Augusta’s bending fairways 79% for the week.
Perhaps the highlight of a week that could fill a scrap book several times over was Eaton’s encounter with the legendary Byron Nelson. Eaton, who had once met Lord Byron a few years ago, was preparing to launch his opening tee shot of the first round when Nelson arrived to a hero’s welcome and took his familiar seat on the first tee. Already nervous and admittedly just trying to get the ball “airborne,” Eaton looked at the five- time major champion and quipped, “You have great timing Mr. Nelson.” Eaton followed with a stripping drive down the fairway and a true Masters Moment.
Ace’s scorecard for the week