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After Storm Kathleen (a silly name for a storm) ruined his travel plans on Sunday, our man Michael McEwan flew to Augusta on Monday afternoon.

With nine hours to kill on a flight from London to Atlanta, he decided to field some questions about The Masters from the lovely people of social media.

What does it smell like? Big names with lots to prove this week? Things he doesn’t like about the tournament? He answers them all in this special Masters Mailbag…

If you are going there for the first time, where would you say is the best viewing point on the course?
Craig Meikle (@CraigMeikle30)
I hate that this is the obvious answer but it’s only obvious because it’s true. Stand at the back of the 12th tee and watch players hit their approach shots into 11, the whole of the 12th and then their tee shots on 13. It’s one of the great panoramas in the game – maybe even the greatest. For variety’s sake, behind the ninth green is a good spot, too.

Pimento Cheese sandwich or a roll and slice?
Larry (@LBnotesD7)
That’s easy. Being lactose intolerant, I can’t eat pimento cheese. Although if I could, I don’t think I would. The consensus is that they taste like feet and that’s not my bag. A roll and slice, however, with a dollop of brown sauce? That’s a win by any measure.

Name one thing you don’t think about The Masters. There must be something.
Paul Crawford (@GlesgaCrawfy)
Well, okay then. There should be an upper age limit on past champions. Either 55 or 60. Probably 55. One good week once upon a time shouldn’t entitle you to a free pass for the rest of your days. But don’t tell them I said that.

If you could buy only one thing from The Masters shop, what would it be?
David Holden (@dcholden6)
I’ve spent far, far too much money in the shop over the years. Watches, polo shirts, hats, gnomes, playing cards, mini putters, jute bags, key rings… I’ve bought a lot of stuff. What can I say? I’m a sucker for merch! But without doubt, my favourite piece is my Masters bobble hat. You can get year-round use out of it in Scotland and it looks absolutely brilliant. Only costs $25 or so, too.

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How choked up were you walking over the Hogan Bridge with your putter?
Most Famous Creek (@RaeRaesCreek)
There were tears in the eyes, for sure. Look, I’m an emotional guy as it is but making that walk was a privilege and a one-off. It’s not like the Swilcan Bridge (which is special in its own right). Not anybody can do it. That, plus the fact you’re playing one of the great and iconic holes, where so much drama and history has unfolded? Geez, I defy anybody not to absorb that right in the feels.

If you were threatened by someone saying you could only play one hole and have you have to make par or better or else, which hole would you pick?
JD (@JordD55)
This feels like a particularly creative way of asking what the easiest hole on the course is, and I love it. Logic would suggest it’s one of the par-5s – probably the second – but I’ll go with 12. In theory, it’s a flick of an iron and a couple of putts. In reality, it’s where Masters dreams go to die. A breathtakingly simple design, executed to perfection, on the perfect spot on the property.

Are you staying at your customary high end accommodation?
Eleanor McNiven (@EleanorMcNiven)
Ha! No, not this year. As much as blood-splattered walls and squad cars filling the parking lot in the middle of the night give a place a certain charm, my man Alex Perry and I have gone down the Airbnb route this year. If I could compare it to anything, I suspect how I imagine Jon Rahm felt when he swapped the PGA Tour for LIV (it’s a joke, everybody calm down!).

Out of the big players, who do you think will underperform?
Tony Downey (@TonyDowney1)
I can see Justin Thomas fuelling the jet on Friday afternoon. His form, whilst a slight improvement on last year, is as poor as parts of downtown. Likewise, Max Homa. His major record is atrocious: only one top-ten from 17 starts – a tie for tenth, indeed, at the Open last year – and more cuts missed than made. He really needs to start bringing in weeks like these to justify the huge profile he enjoys.

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Best shot by a European at the Masters?
Brian FK Minto (@cummertreesdg12)
Sandy from the bunker in ’88. Next!

With the ongoing feud with the PGA Tour and LIV, what are your thoughts on the Masters field this week. It’s such a shame that it is missing some that should certainly be there.
Keith Ward (@keitthatunited)
I’ll be honest, I’m struggling to think of anybody who should be here that isn’t. There are 13 LIV players in the field. It’s not like they’re all standing on Washington Road demanding to be let in. Talor Gooch has done a power of whining over the last few months but, unlike Joaco Niemann, he has done nothing to furnish his case for a ‘special exemption’ and, come Thursday, nobody apart from a handful of Dorito-munching trolls will miss him. Listen, majors should be hard to get into. Unfortunately for the guys on LIV, they’ve made it harder for themselves by joining a circuit with no direct route into them. That’s their tough.

What does it smell like?
Coop De Loop (@CoopDeLoop4)
Like the world’s fanciest garden centre.

Scheffler enters this year’s Masters in tremendous form, & with a level of ball striking that we have not seen for years. Despite this, he is still considered somewhat drab. How important is personality on & off course in a players quest for superstardom or does winning do enough?
Cameron (@CamyW3)
Such a great question, Cameron. I would say there’s a subtle difference between admiration and adoration, between love and respect. The distinction lies in personality and how much of yourself you’re prepared to share with the public. In that sense, Scheffler is a bit of a modern day Faldo. It is easy to appreciate him – but love him? That requires a bit more humanity, vulnerability, charisma. More Scottie, less Scheffler. I’m not saying he needs to cry after every loss like he did at the Ryder Cup but you cannot play your way into the public’s affections. He’s a star – but a superstar? Not for me.

If caddies were put up for press conferences rather than their players, which three would you most wish to quiz and what’s the most important question you’d ask?

Paul McMahon (@paulmcm6)

Three? THREE?! Fine. Billy Foster, for the stories. Craig Connelly, to watch the poor stenographer wrestle with his Glaswegian brogue. And Michael Greller, to let him know that everything will be okay. In terms of questions for them, that’s simple enough: do you enjoy wearing the white overalls and why not?

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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