Sports

Masters of the golf universe

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by MARK ST.J. COUHIG
Sequim Gazette

Jordan Negus and Terrance Stevenson have just been hired for the coolest job ever.

 

Negus, a high school junior, and Stevenson, a sophomore, both play golf on the Port Angeles golf team. Both are fans of professional golf.

 

This April both will be working at Augusta National Golf Club during the Masters Tournament.

 

They’ll spend at least nine days in the middle of the action, working as housekeepers in the tournament press room, a large space that holds 200 people. They’ll see the interviews, meet the writers and broadcasters, and watch the action on the course from the best vantage possible.

 

Negus understands what this means, noting that tickets to the event are among the most valuable — and rare — commodities in the sporting world. “You’ve got to have someone in your family with tickets and they have to pass them down,” he said.

 

Just getting a job there is a near-miracle. Maria Ortiz, head of housekeeping and the two boys’ boss, said Negus and Stevenson were two of 60 hired for the week of the tournament. They were chosen from a pool of 2,000 applicants.

 

The two will fly to Georgia on Friday, April 1, and will work 8-hour shifts the weekend before the tournament. The tournament runs Monday through Sunday, with the boys working a 12-hour shift each day. If the tourney ends in a playoff, they’ll work the following Monday as well.

 

They aren’t exactly sure how much they’ll be paid and couldn’t care less. Negus said they were pleasantly surprised to learn they would be paid at all. “That’s not why we’re going,” he said.

 

The important point, they agree, is to see all the pro golfers they watch on TV — the guys they want to emulate.

Old home week

As it happens, Stevenson’s aunt, Debra Stevenson, works at Augusta National. His mom recently mentioned that fact to Stevenson, asking him, “Wouldn’t it be cool to be there?”

 

Stevenson’s answer was brief: “Yeah, right.”

 

But his mom pursued the idea and soon Stevenson received a call from his Aunt Debra. She said if he wanted to work the tournament, the first step was to fill out an application. Stevenson told Negus about the opportunity and the two quickly filled out the paperwork and sent it in. They found out in February they were hired.

 

The two are flying down and back on airline tickets Negus’ father just happened to have on hand. At the Port Angeles Festival of Trees this past November, Todd Negus put in the high bid for a trip to Fiji. The package included two round-trip tickets anywhere in the U.S.

 

The elder Negus donated the tickets to the boys and they are on their way.

 

While in Augusta, Negus and Stevenson will be providing regular updates on their adventures.

 

To keep up with the pair, become a friend of the Gazette’s Facebook page.

 

Reach Mark Couhig at mcouhig@sequimgazette.com.

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