2020 Masters Choose Your Own Adventure, Patrick Reed vs. Jon Rahm: Rules Are Rules
Harry Trump/Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Reed, Jon Rahm
A smattering of applause is the only sound.
Come on, you tell yourself with a chuckle, of course nobody is going to yell anything at Augusta National. At any other tournament, the stiffest penalty might be removal from the golf course and a story for that person to tell his buddies for a few weeks. No big loss. But here? At the Masters? You’d have that specific badge number revoked, eliminating any chance that you’ll return as a spectator again someday.
Some rules just aren’t meant to be broken.
This being your first time attending the Masters, you’d always heard about the club’s no-phone policy, but assumed it wasn’t strictly enforced. After all, nobody goes anywhere these days without a phone, especially not for 10-12 hours at a time. You simply figured there was a don’t ask. don’t tell arrangement. That as long as you didn’t flaunt that you had it, nobody would really say anything.
Not exactly. Even as you were in line, waiting at the entrance this morning, you watched at least a dozen fellow fans get turned away because they were carrying phones. They had the choice to either have them checked in and held by the front gate or return to their cars and leave them there. You didn’t really like either of those choices. Instead, you discreetly tucked your old iPhone 7 into your left sock, then pulled your pantleg over it.
Once you made it through security, somehow, you ducked behind a tree outside the merchandise tent and moved the phone from the prudent-yet-irritating location against your leg into your front left pants pocket. Sure, you were playing with fire, but the ringer was on silent and you stuffed your car keys and some napkins into that pocket, as well, just to hide it better.
You’ve told yourself you won’t look at the phone all day. No texts bragging to friends about where you are, no hidden photos of the course. Which pretty much defeats the purpose of having the phone in the first place.
But there’s one reason you might chance it — and that reason just happened.
Missing the opening fairway left, Rahm’s second shot came up short, then he failed to get up and down, resulting in a bogey that dropped him to three shots off the lead. An unfortunate start, but hardly a death knell for his chances.
You can’t help yourself. Trying to hide in the trees right of the first green, you keep the phone in your pocket, but click around, finding your betting app as your peer down the left side of your body to check it out. Rahm has already jumped from +220 before teeing off to +300 right now. That number is too big. You need some of that action.
As discreetly as possible, you start clicking around. You try to put another $100 on Rahm, but your finger slips and it now shows a $10,000 wager. Panicked, knowing you can’t hit the button to confirm, you slide the phone out of your pocket ever so slightly. Just then, you notice two men standing nearby having a conversation about football. More unnerving, they notice you, too.
The older, shorter man approaches you. Then he speaks.
- “What the hell do you think you’re doing?!“
- “Sir, did I by chance happen to see a cell phone in your pocket?“