A friend remembered at Amen Corner

April, 10, 2011

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Jim met his best friend in college. They clicked instantly, bonding over their favorite sport, golf, and their favorite place, Augusta National. Over the years, they went to 10 or more Masters together. They'd usually find their way to the back side of No. 3 green, or out to Amen Corner. It was their thing.

A year ago, as the Masters approached, Jim was in the hospital, cancer eating away at him. On Friday of that year's tournament, he was released. His best friend, who isn't named here because he didn't want to risk having his Masters tickets revoked, went to see him. They sat in front of a television and, like old times, watched the third round together. The next day, his best friend went home and Jim went back into the hospital. Within a week, he'd be dead.

His will revealed a special request.

He wanted his ashes spread at his favorite place in the world.

So this past Thursday, his best friend put some of Jim's ashes into a prescription medicine bottle. He drove to Georgia from Tennessee. At the gate, he emptied his pockets for the security guards, heart pounding, scared they'd see Jim and throw him away. Nobody noticed.

He walked around the course, remembering good times, saying a prayer here and there. He poured out some behind the third green, and he made his way to Amen Corner. The final group of the day came through and the fans cleared out.

Silence returned to the pine trees as Jim found his final resting place.

Wright Thompson is a senior writer for ESPN and is executive producer of TrueSouth and co-executive producer of Backstory. He is the author of New York Times bestselling The Cost of These Dreams.



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