A NUMBER OF FIRSTS IN 1986
THROUGH THE YEARS it seems that many have been left with the impression I was not a fan of the Masters. That’s dead wrong. I loved playing Augusta. What I did hate, however, were the powers in charge and their attitudes.
My first master was in 1986. I rented a house and invited many of my friends to come to enjoy the week. I loved having them all there. The idea that I could give something back to my friends was special to me, and through the years we might play three-on-three hoops until 3 a.m. when someone would threaten to call the police.
That week in ’86 I was hitting the ball worse than a pig with persimmon, but in this game, you just go out and see what happens. And so, in the first round, I had the greatest putting round in the history of the Masters. In one day, I made a total of 300 feet of putts, an average of almost 17 feet per hole. I made four putts from 50 feet that should’ve been a total of 10 putts, and I made four 20-footers for par. I had a share of the lead with a 68.
When I returned to the place I was renting, a neighbor had hung a huge banner across the street, 60 feet wide, that read, “CONGRATULATIONS KEN GREEN, FIRST- ROUND LEADER, THE MASTERS.” The guy must have owned a sign-printing business because the thing was worth about two grand. I’m totally worth a $2,000 sign, but it wasn’t something that I could imagine your average fan going to K