The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

April 21, 2013

Masters visit emotional for West Virginia man

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Note: This article appeared in the Saturday, April 13, 2013, edition of The Augusta Chronicle in Augusta, Ga., and is reprinted with permission from The Augusta Chronicle.

As a gentle rain fell at Augusta National Golf Club, Carl Antolini Jr. surveyed the green grass, the soaring loblolly pines and the masses of people. Tears mixed with the rain running down his cheeks.

Antolini’s emotional visit to the Masters Tournament marked a return to Augusta 55 years after he briefly lived in the Garden City. The Elkins native received military police training at Fort Gordon in 1958.

“Almost heaven,” Antolini said about stepping onto the hallowed ground for the first time Friday morning, too overwhelmed to muster more words.

 When Antolini, 74, trained at Fort Gordon, he left the military post only one time in eight weeks. He knew very little about Augusta except that it was the site of the Masters.

Antolini’s eldest son, Butch Antolini, surprised his dad with tickets on Christmas, a morning equally emotional to Friday’s visit.

“I know what golf means to him,”  Butch Antolini said. “I figured he was never coming back to Augusta.”

After his Fort Gordon stint, Antolini worked at Killeen Base, a top-secret atomic weapons storage facility near Fort Hood, Texas. In 1961, he returned to Elkins and worked 37 years for the West Virginia Division of Highways before retiring 12 years ago.

 A badge holder from Aiken who recently retired in Beckley, where Antolini’s son lives, made the trip possible and fulfilled a dream Antolini had for a half-century.

“I’d like to play here one time,” Antolini said. “It’s remarkable to see this many people.”

The father and son were anxious to see the storied holes of Augusta National’s Amen Corner. They planned to walk every hole by the end of the day.

“I may never be back,”  Antolini said through tears.Ȍ

1
Text Only
Latest Sports
  • 041814 Sisler Diamond Classic continues today

    Fayetteville pitcher Kaitlyn Sisler pitched five innings of shutout softball as the Pirates beat Oak Hill 10-0 Wednesday in the Diamond Classic in Fayetteville.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • D’Antoni’s Lakers future still unclear

    With the Los Angeles Lakers season officially over — the Lakers beat the Spurs 113-100 Wednesday but finished 27-55 overall, the most losses in the club’s history and the franchise’s worst winning percentage since the Minneapolis Lakers in 1957-58 — Marshall fans will be keeping a close eye on what’s going on in Tinsel Town over the coming days.

    April 17, 2014

  • Turnbull’s tenure dominates WVU wrestling history

    Did Oliver Luck really do a thorough job in deeply evaluating Craig Turnbull’s 36-year career as wrestling coach before firing him?

    April 17, 2014

  • WVU’s top football prospects working out for NFL teams

    As we draw ever closer to the NFL Draft, the prospect workouts for teams are picking up steam for former Mountaineers. Both running back Charles Sims and defensive end Will Clarke have a busy road ahead.

    April 17, 2014

  • 041814 james monroe Crusaders make history in loss to James Monroe

    The first season for Greater Beckley Christian’s baseball team has been met with growing pains — to say the least.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041714 millard Kickoff time set for WVU-Alabama

    West Virginia football fans can now start counting down to the exact minute, instead of just the day.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Questions raised about Turnbull’s firing

    Dr. Stephen Graber, an associate professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, is among the latest WVU teachers to deplore Oliver Luck’s firing of veteran wrestling coach Craig Turnbull.

    April 17, 2014

  • Gettin’ ready for gobbler season: Step 4 — the setup

    This just in — in a recent study on turkey hunting and turkey hunters it was found that 98.7 percent of the time when hunters were unsuccessful when calling in a gobbler, the hunter made some mistake during the last 50 yards of the bird’s approach.

    April 17, 2014

  • 041714 wright Former Red Devil star realizing dream of playing D-I basketball

    When former Oak Hill High School standout Kalif Wright was a kid, he would play EA Sports’ NCAA March Madness video games and dream of one day getting a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • McClung moving from mound to dugout

    Seth McClung was getting his daughters Madison and Fallon inside and ready for their baths when his phone rang. He’s said before that he enjoys the role of “daddy day care.”

    April 15, 2014