November 30, 2011
So here's a bit of a conundrum for a professional golfer: Jason Day wants to honor one of his late father's final wishes by spreading his ashes at Augusta National. But if there was ever a course that would frown on such a display, it would be Augusta.
Day's father died of cancer when Day was just 12 years old but already a notable golfer. Alvyn Day asked his son to spread some of his ashes at Augusta if he were ever fortunate enough to play there. Not only has Day played at Augusta, he's played quite well; he placed second to Charl Schwartzel earlier this year.
"It's a plan but obviously if I don't get clearance from Augusta, I am not going to do it," Day said in Australia, according to an AP report. "That was one of my dad's wishes and if I was allowed to do it, that would be great. Obviously, I know how the rules are at Augusta, it would be probably very unlikely, but we will see how it goes."
Day made the classic mistake here of asking for permission rather than forgiveness. Many a fan has dumped ashes onto sacred sporting grounds, from college football stadiums to Wrigley Field. And while videos are hard to come by, the one common element is that the dumpers seem to have no real idea how far and wide ashes can spread when dumped. A coating of ashes would have a brief but significant impact on the playability of Amen Corner, no doubt.
So perhaps Day ought to go stealth. He'll have cameras on him all the time, so he'd need to do it during a practice round. Or he could do it LeBron James style, scattering his father's ashes to the wind with a dramatic hands-to-the-sky gesture. Either way, it's a fine and appropriate way to remember and honor the man who got him started in this game.