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Masters diary: Author McStravick picks up plaudits

Published 09/04/2016

He was once hounded as a boy after climbing over a fence to play golf without paying in his home town of Lurgan.

But Roger McStravick was everyone's friend in Augusta last night.

He had just flown in from San Diego after collecting a prestigious award for writing the book, 'St Andrews - in the footsteps of Old Tom Morris'.

McStravick, 45, who now lives at the home of golf with his wife Farah and son Sam, 3, was presented with the Herbert Warren Wind award.

He was the golf writer who coined the title, 'Amen Corner', that beautiful little corner of Augusta National where so many players have encountered grief over the years.

The limited edition book, which can be bought online at thegolfbookshop.com, doesn't come cheap. A leather bound copy sells at £395. The hardback retails at £100 less and the paperback is priced at £60. But it definitely is a collector's item and there was no shortage of interested parties who met the author at a special reception last night.

McStravick, who describes himself as a golf historian - he also plays off a five handicap - said: "Researching the book was a work of love which proved to be most rewarding. I'm pleased and proud to have created the book, telling the story of what people agree is the most famous golf course in the world.

"I used to live near a course in Lurgan and I can recall being chased after jumping the fence to play a few holes by myself.

"I was bitten by the golf bug when I was that high, but I never imagined I'd ever get round to writing a book which has attracted international recognition."

l Sir Alex Ferguson followed Rory McIlroy for 18 holes with a couple of pals on the opening day and at one stage looked on in disbelief from behind the first green as the World No.3 used a putter from more than 30 yards to leave his ball just inches from the hole.

The former Manchester United boss (pictured) definitely looked his age as he made his way through the crowds in the sweltering heat, stopping occasionally to shake hands with strangers, including a member of Fortwilliam, north Belfast.

He's a City fan who refused to identify himself afterwards, but quietly admitted: "This is an amazing place, and who'd have believed it, cosying up to the enemy…"

Belfast Telegraph

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