News 12 at six o'clock -- April 4, 2010
AUGUSTA, Ga. --- Masters Fever is in the air! People are starting to roll into Augusta, itching to get a piece of some Masters action and get their hands on some tickets.
But there are rules to buying and selling those tickets, and sheriff's deputies will be on hand to make sure people do it the right way.
It's the Sunday before Masters Week, and around Augusta most people are looking for just one thing: tickets.
Collin Summers and his dad drove all the way from Missouri and have set up camp along Washington Road, hoping for a chance to see the pros in action.
"If we gotta pay $200, we'll pay $200," Collin says. "We'll do whatever it takes to get tickets."
Further down the road, ticket seller Robert Wilson is hoping to find people just like Collin.
"You can tell if someone is in the market to buy or sell or if they're just curious," Wilson says.
It's his second year in the market, and while he's working hard to move his business, he knows there are certain things he can and cannot do.
"There's rules to abide by," he says. "And you have to abide by the rules."
Richmond County Sheriff's deputies will be out all this week to enforce Georgia's "anti-scalping" laws. Richmond County requires sellers be at least 2700 feet away from the gates and ticket re-sellers beyond that perimeter must have a permit. But if you're not a licensed vendor, you can't sell above face value.
Anyone caught breaking those rules could face a fine.
"These are the most sought after tickets in the country," says Wilson. "And they're not easy to come by."
Augusta National has even stricter guidelines, and their rules are given in writing to all of their ticket holders.
Augusta National is the only group licensed to sell practice round or tournament tickets. Those tickets can't be re-sold through travel agents, scalpers or offered as prizes, and anyone who does get tickets that way, can be turned away at the door.
But for Robert, he's hoping to have success this week by sticking to the rules, and having a little something extra.
"It just takes luck," he says. "You really have to be sitting in the right place at the right time, that's just what it boils down to."
Deputies say as crowds increase Monday and into the week, they will be out in greater numbers to make sure people stick to the rules of buying and selling tickets.