AUGUSTA, Ga. — They’re getting desperate now, the badge brokers working the stretch of Washington Road between I-20 and Augusta National Golf Club. They’re posted up in front of the Krispy Kreme and the Cook Out and TBonz, the steakhouse that’s the unofficial 19th hole of the Masters, and they’re lonely.
John Daly and his RV aren’t here hawking merch in front of the nearby Hooters. Patrons who once clogged the highway and surface streets are watching from home this year. Five months after the Masters went completely patron-free, only a small fraction of the patron base will be permitted to return this week … and that’s having a ripple effect on both the availability and price of secondary-market badges.