Augusta, Ga. -- Greetings from The Masters. I spent the morning walking the course, mostly following Rory McIlroy. I'll have a McIlroy piece and an interesting Minnesota-based news story in the Thursday Star Tribune. And, yes, online.

Thought I'd start this week's coverage with a little behind-the scene look at walking the course.

If you care enough about The Masters to read this, you know how gorgeous the course is. It's even more spectacular in person than on TV, because TV doesn't capture some of the off-the-beaten-path areas of the course that feel like arboretums, or the dramatic elevation changes, especailly from the 10th tee to the 12th green.

Here's something else you may not know: When it rains, the ``patron''' walkways turn into a swamp. The mud is ankle deep in places today, leaving people walking around in tennis shoes or sandals out of luck.

It's not a complaint, or a criticism. It's just the nature of the course. Water on dirt and pine straw turns to mush.

The course? The course is perfect.

-I spent some time watching the driving range before the final round of last year's Masters and what I noticed was that Patrick Reed was the only player among the leaders who didn't socialize. He set up at the far left of the range and never looked at anyone other than his caddy, while every other player and caddy chatted and joked with each other.

On Wednesday, Reed played his practice round alone. I'm sure he wasn't the only one...but I didn't see anyone else playing alone.


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