Regardless of what the 2011 calendar may say, for many golfers around the world, spring does not begin March 21 but instead a few weeks later during The Masters tournament, and each year three Abilene Christian University alumni have a lot to do with what you see, hear and read about it.
The most-watched PGA tournament each year is the horticulturally bejeweled spectacle hosted by the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. Its TV coverage was masterminded again this weekend by Emmy Award-winning Lance Barrow (’77), the coordinating producer for CBS Sports. Yahoo, Golfweek and most daily newspapers around the world carry stories such as this one about The Masters’ 2011 winner from longtime Associated Press golf writer Doug Ferguson (’83). And this year, online viewers also had access to coverage by anchor Grant Boone (’91), ACU alumni relations officer and the radio voice of ACU sports.
There has long been an ACU flavor to The Masters, for years graced by the presence of the late Byron Nelson, one of the greatest professional golfers of all time and a former member of ACU’s Board of Trustees. The golf program at ACU is endowed in Nelson’s name, and has produced PGA Tour pro Jeev Milkha Singh, who became the first golfer from India to play in The Masters (he tied for 37th in 2007). Singh, who led ACU to the NCAA Division II national championship in 1993, also played in The Masters in 2008 (he tied for 25th).
Alex Carpenter recently became the first current ACU student to play in a PGA Tour event when he was the only amateur invited to participate in the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Fla.