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The hottest item at Augusta National? The garden gnome, of course

Merchandisers set up a huge display of them each morning and then continuously replenish the stock on the floor for about 90 minutes or so. After that, patrons are simply told they’re out.

The larger of two sizes is selling for $ 49.50 each, after going for $ 10 less in previous years. There is also a smaller size that sells for $ 29.50.

The Masters gnome features a white-bearded, dwarfish man dressed in golf attire, which changes each year. This year’s gnome is dressed up like a Masters gallery guard. In the past, it may be dressed like a caddy in a white jumpsuit, a fan wearing an argyle Masters sweater, an ugly Christmas sweater (2020) or a fan wearing all their Masters badges (2021).

Don’t worry, Masters retailers have plenty of gnomes. They simply want to maintain their supply through Sunday’s final round of the tournament.

To do that, they’ve had to control the supply. After watching them fly off the shelves when there was no limit this past Saturday, they’ve since limited sales to two per customer on Monday and then one per customer on Tuesday. Many of the gnomes are being resold for well over $ 100 on sites such as eBay.

“Oh, they have plenty,” said an employee at the main gift shop. “I know; I’ve seen them in the back. They just want to make sure they last. ”

The happiest player at the Masters

The last player to qualify for the Masters field may be the happiest guy to be here.

JJ Spaun won the Valero Texas Open – his first victory on the PGA Tour – on Sunday to become an 11th-hour addition. Valero allotted one of its executive jets to deliver Spaun and his family to Augusta on Monday, where he was able to play eight holes. Despite the last-minute complications of finding a house to rent and deciding how to hand out guest passes, Spaun isn’t complaining.

“Even when I was registering, I was like, ‘Is this really happening?'” He said. “I know it’s a cliché to say that, but I’m super excited to be here.”

Spaun, 31, had never set foot on the property until Monday afternoon.

“It was my first time in real life,” he said. “I’ve been here a lot in virtual life… video games.”

Spaun said he has been greeted by a steady stream of congratulatory handshakes and backslaps on the range and locker room since his arrival.

“Even DJ (Dustin Johnson) came up to me on the range to congratulate me. He had never said a word to me before, ”Spaun said. “I’m going to need an off-week to let it all sink in.”

Champions dinner

Hideki Matsuyama set the menu of fish and steak, with a Japanese flair, for the Champions Dinner on Tuesday night.

The defending Masters champion will host the dinner with appetizers of assorted sushi, sashimi and nigiri and Yakitori chicken skewers, main courses of miso glazed black cod and miyazaki wagyu and a dessert of Japanese strawberry shortcake.

What? No peach ice cream sandwiches?

There are signs of real-world incursions at every concession area. There has been a bit of a kerfuffle brewing among Masters gourmands over the absence this year of the Georgia peach ice cream sandwich. That long has been the official adult-onset diabetes item of the Masters. Fans of the treat have been turned away this year by poor, besieged workers citing supply chain problems.

When you can’t get a peach product in Georgia, at the Masters, then, really what hope is there?

For items in stock, there has been some ticking upward. They’re now getting $ 3 for various meat sandwiches, up from $ 2.50. Domestic beer is up a buck, to $ 5. The absurd, 1970s-style affordability of the menu here still survives, if altered slightly by current events.

Steve Hummer, Chip Towers, Stan Awtrey and Chris Vivlamore contributed to this article.

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