Augusta’s not playing around: use a cell phone, get the boot

Some of the best stories of the Masters don't surface until after the tournament's over. Here's one.

Charlie Rymer, serving as an analyst for Westwood One, got the boot from Augusta National Golf Club on Thursday after he used a cell phone outside the club's media center. Yes, really.

Augusta is serious about this no-cell-phone thing. If you'll allow me to quote myself, here are my words on this very subject when I visited the club in 2009:

You hear the whispers long before you come to Augusta: "Don't take your cell phone." "Leave your cell in the car." "If they catch you with a cell phone, they'll kick you out." "If your cell phone rings, you and your entire bloodline will lose the right ever to tread the grounds of Augusta again." And soon, the mere thought of trying to sneak a cell onto the grounds of Augusta National fills you with the kind of existential dread that you got as a kid from wondering if maybe this whole Santa thing is a lie: What they're saying can't possibly be true, can it? Can it? And just like with Santa, you quickly decide it's best to hedge your bets and leave the damn cell in the car.

Rymer didn't, and he paid for it. According to USA Today, Rymer stepped outside the media center to use his cell. Spotted by a security guard, he was asked to leave the premises. That, friends, is Augusta Justice.*

Anyway, Rymer got back in on Friday after apologizing. Masters officials said that other media officials, as well as fans, were kicked out for using cell phones; there was at least one report of a media member whose cell phone rang out on the course. Whoops.

In reporting the story, USA Today embedded the video of Rymer moved to tears by Tiger Woods' apology last year. That's cold-blooded, guys. But pretty funny too.

*-Catch "Augusta Justice" on CBS this fall. Green jackets ... red blood.