Junior Pass Program takes Augusta's youth inside the Masters

By: Ryan Calhoun Email
By: Ryan Calhoun Email

Local kids were thrilled to get a pass into the Masters as part of the Junior Pass Program. (April 7, 2011 / WRDW-TV)

News 12 at 11 o'clock / Thursday, April 7, 2011

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- It was a beautiful day for the opening round of the tournament featuring some amazing golf, and four underprivileged kids in our area got to see it for themselves.

They were selected to be apart of the Junior Pass program, which partners with Action Ministries in Augusta to provide kids with a once in a lifetime experience by letting kids into the Masters.

Since school's out for spring break Tatyana Raines, 11, Jalen Harris-Gibson, 11, Tremail Taylor, 17, and his brother Tyrone Taylor, 12, normally wouldn't be up at 8 a.m., but they're going to the Masters.

"You ever played golf before?" News 12 asked Tremail Taylor.

"Well, my brother, he had like some little golf balls on the golf thing, and I golf sometimes with him," he said.

But that's it, they've never been to a real course and each had their own thoughts before entering about this course.

"Mmm, it will be cool," Harris-Gibson said.

Tyrone Taylor said he didn't know what to expect, and Raines said she was most excited to see the pond at the course.

Beyond the scenery, these youngsters were really excited to see Tiger Woods, and around 9 a.m. they left to go find him.

When they came out of the course around 3 p.m. they said they found him on teeing off at the first hole and saw him again at the 11th hole.

"It sounded like a big gun shot," Tremail Taylor said. "I lost it in the air."

"It sound like a shotgun," Harris-Gibson said. "You could really hear the sound of the ball flying, it sounded like a bug flying through your ear."

Tremail said when he saw Tiger Woods in person though, he looked much more different than on TV, particularly more buff.

As for the course, when each of them walked in they said they couldn't believe their eyes because they couldn't believe it was that big.

When Raines was asked about how the pond looked that she was so anxious to see, she said it looked cute.

She also thought her new yellow hat was cute. The boys got red ones along with video games, bears and barbecue sandwiches, which was a fan favorite for the kids.

"It's the small things that they enjoy is what we enjoy," Charles Jackson of Action Ministries in Augusta said. "That's my joy to see the smile on their face, even if it is for sandwiches."

"It's a blessing because you know some people will never get in, some of my friends and stuff, but I'm grateful for it," Tremail Taylor said.

A new batch of kids will be taken into the tournament for the rest of the weekend.

Tremail said he's going to wear his badge to school next week when he goes back, and Tatyana said it's an early birthday gift for her, because she turns 12 on Sunday.

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