The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Other 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
Other Sports
  • 041914 old white Old White to celebrate 100 years

    The home of The Greenbrier Classic will be having a birthday today, and the celebration should be something special.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mullens, Pineville to meet in Anderson Memorial

    After many years away from the sideline, legendary Mullens High School coach Don Nuckols is returning to the game of basketball.

    April 19, 2014

  • 041914 D'Antoni Lakers mum on D’Antoni

    Mike D’Antoni was still the Los Angeles Lakers’ coach when he left their training complex to spend the Easter weekend out of town with his family.

    April 19, 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

  • 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

  • First stop Waffle House; next stop The Greenbrier

    Bubba Watson decided to keep his post-Masters victory more low key this year. Instead of going to New York for a media tour, he headed home to Orlando, Fla., and kept plans for a five-day vacation with his wife.

    April 15, 2014

  • Pick 3: Cam Huffman's answers

    Is Mike D’Antoni the best hire for Marshall basketball if the Herd can land him?

    April 15, 2014

  • Pick 3: Gary Fauber's answers

    Is Mike D’Antoni the best hire for Marshall basketball if the Herd can land him?

    April 15, 2014

  • fayetteville Who needs the beach?

    The word seems to be getting out about the Spring Break Wood Bat Classic.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • sampras Sampras named tennis pro emeritus at Greenbrier

    Like The Old White TPC Course and The Greenbrier’s other golf courses, tennis also has a storied past at The Greenbrier.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo