AUGUSTA, GA—Augusta National, home of the Masters Tournament, honored 1997 Masters champion Tiger Woods Monday, giving him his own drinking fountain at the prestigious country club.
"Tiger, for your historic achievement, setting an all-time Masters Tournament record, we present you with this beautiful, specially designated drinking fountain," said Augusta National president Gary Brewer. "All other golfers will drink from a different fountain, which you, as an honored champion, will have no need to use."
The new fountain, clearly labeled "Tiger Woods," will be located behind the outhouse between the 16th and 17th holes, far away from the distractions of other golfers.
"With your win, you join an elite group of Masters champions, including Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus," Brewer said. "We are confident that, as golf's next great and someone we will likely be seeing a lot more of in the future, you will honor and obey their legacies. We have no doubt that, as they did before you, you will remain well-behaved and respectful of Augusta's traditions."
Woods' fellow golfers are equally impressed with the 21-year-old sensation. "Rarely does a new golfer come along who is so different from the rest," said 1992 Masters winner Fred Couples. "He is not at all like us."
Augusta officials stressed that Woods is a valuable addition to the prestigious course's lofty ranks and has never, to the best of their knowledge, been convicted of a felony.
Additional honors were bestowed upon the Masters champion when Augusta announced a special new security squad, which will monitor Woods at all times during his visits to the club. "It is important to us that Augusta members feel secure in the knowledge that Tiger Woods is fully protected and supervised while golfing here," Brewer said.
With his Masters win, Woods will also enjoy unlimited, lifetime use of the Augusta National course. "Tiger is welcome to enjoy his championship privileges here at Augusta any time he wants," Brewer said, "provided we are given enough advance notice to alert and reschedule other golfers in order to best accommodate him."
Brewer added that there are many less-exclusive public courses near Augusta that offer excellent golfing, and encouraged Woods to patronize these as well, in order to maximize his golfing variety and enjoyment.
In addition to the fountain, Woods will receive his own dining area, locker room and personal entrance at the rear of the Augusta clubhouse.