Mickey Plyler's Blog for April 6th

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Tigers at Augusta

Clemson has a former golfer in the field at The Masters for the fifth
time in the last six years as Lucas Glover tees off in the first group
Thursday morning.

I spent Wednesday at Augusta, and spoke briefly with Glover and his
caddie for the par-3 tournament, Brandt Gilbert, another Clemson graduate.
Gilbert, perhaps Glover's best friend, did not caddie for him during
the practice round or tournament, but was asked to carry the small bag
for the fun-filled par-three event.

When the Tiger duo passed by my wife and I, we spoke to both guys and I
asked Lucas if he was going to let Gilbert putt out on the last hole
like some of the guys do. Gilbert is not a golfer, but came close to
making a 10-footer in front of the huge crowd.

Glover told several mutual friends that he is playing well and was
really looking forward to his first Masters appearance. Throughout the
huge crowds on Wednesday you could hear many shouts of "Go Tigers!" to Glover
throughout his round.

ESPN.com ranked the entire field from 1-90 and Glover was ranked 14th. Go to their website to see a great compliment for Lucas.

It Never Gets Old

We are fortunate to live so close to Augusta National here in South
Carolina and I have been extremely fortunate to go to the event many times over
the last 30 years. On Wednesday it still felt the same as it did the
first time

I walked through the gates at the famed club. Quite frankly, I am not
sure it will ever get old going to The Masters.

Sure the golf course has changed. The first tee is now almost on top
of the putting green. The fourth hole now requires a fairway wood for some on
the long par three. The seventh hole is almost 100 yards longer than
it was originally. The 11th hole has some changes. The tee at 15 has
been moved to the left. But there was a major change on the golf
course that had nothing to do with design. The worst part of the 2006
Masters is no Jack Nicklaus or Arnold Palmer. The King and The Bear
played in the par three tournament, but it is not the same. If they
find a way to let Charles Coody play, then lets get Jack and Arnie back
in the field.

It's also nice to see players like Glover and Tiger Woods that have
enough respect for the game to dress with some class. Someone please
tell the European cats to tone it down for one week. Whenever we go
over to England we respect the all-white dress at Wimbledon. The
Spaniards look like a freak show. Please have some respect.

No Place Like Home

In July I moved to Clemson. At the age of 37 the only regret I had was
I should have done it 10 years ago. There truly is something in these
hills. I can't think of a better place to raise a family, and I love
the two-mile drive to work. I love the fact that I really don't have
to worry too much about crime in our little village. But the world is changing.
Did you see where Tom Lehman was shot at in his car outside of Augusta
National this week? What is the world coming to when drive-bys occur
outside the gates of Augusta National?

Did a Tree Fall in a Forest?

I heard Maryland beat Duke in a thrilling overtime game to win the
national championship in women's basketball. I will have to take
someone else's word on how great the game was. If you saw it, please...nevermind.

Barnes To State?

Published reports have NC State chasing Rick Barnes to be their next
head coach. The plan is to bring him back to his home state. I don't
know whether Barnes will coach in Austin, TX or Raleigh, NC next
season. But I can guarantee you that Barnes cares about one program and one program only.

He only cares about the Rick Barnes program. Barnes cares about Barnes
and no one else. I may have been the only one that was not fooled by
the "golf cart thing" on football Saturdays. That had nothing to do
with promoting Clemson basketball. Instead it only promoted Barnes.
Ask South Carolina football how it feels to constantly promote a coach instead of a program.
I'll take Purnell thank you very much.

Tigers Down Top-Ranked Cocks

Leggett's boys came up with a huge win Wednesday night in Columbia. A
3-2 victory over the top ranked Gamecocks was sweet especially for Rock
Hill native Ryan Hinson who struck out seven in his first career start.
Other South Carolina natives came up with six of the Tigers' 10 hits,
including three by North Augusta native Tyler Colvin.

Clemson will try to take the third game in the series next Wednesday.
Maybe Clemson can get Tommy Bowden to throw out the first ball next week.
The Cocks had Steve Spurrier throw out the first pitch Wednesday night,
but this one turned out like the gridiron contest with little USC
scoring and Clemson pulling out a late win.

In yesterday's blog we gave you some attendance notes and Wednesday's
game saw 5,782 at Sarge Frye Field.

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