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From trees trimmed by weather to age creeping in on players looks of Masters has changed … just like it always does

The Masters golf tournament appreciates fresh blood but typically insists on taking a pint of it before rewarding players.

Brendon de Jonge and Webb Simpson live a few miles apart in south Charlotte and they’re friendly with each other, but they generally keep to their own orbits at home and on the PGA Tour.

The 2013 PGA Tour season ended Sunday in Atlanta with Henrik Stenson holding two trophies, his bank account richer by $11.44million and the start of the new Tour season just two weeks away.

At one point Saturday, before the hard stuff arrived around lunchtime at East Lake Golf Club, Henrik Stenson led the Tour Championship by nine strokes and the race for the $10million FedEx Cup bonus by just as much. By the time Stenson finished, his shirt, cap and just about everything else drenched by a soaking rain, his lead was down to four strokes over Dustin Johnson. The margin of Stenson’s lead at least hints at the possibility of Sunday afternoon drama, though based on the way the Swede has played since July, don’t count on it.

Three years ago, Sam Wimbrow saw a brochure about the First Tee program and in it he noticed the opportunity for some top achievers to play in the Champions Tour Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach.

Brendon de Jonge was in the floor wrestling with his children when the phone rang in his south Charlotte home last Wednesday.

During the Chiquita Classic, River Run Country Club in Davidson will host young players chasing a PGA Tour dream and guys who have been there before and find themselves forced to play for that privilege again.

There I stood, on the 10th tee at Trump National Golf Club, with The Donald himself behind me and Greg Norman – yes, that Greg Norman – standing directly across from me waiting to see me hit my opening tee shot in our little friendly game together last week.

Serious flooding July 27 did heavy damage to the championship course at Rock Barn Golf and Spa and the recovery process is ongoing. If everything goes perfectly, all 18 holes on the championship course will be used. Otherwise, it will be necessary to incorporate some holes from the adjacent Jackson course for the popular tournament.

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Ron Green Jr.
Ron Green Jr., a former Observer staff writer, will write golf columns occasionally for the newspaper.