From The Inbox

A Masters tradition spans decades and state lines

Longtime friends enjoy their long-distance ‘Ice Cream Challenge’ before the Masters, irrespective of who might take a licking

One of my favorite Masters traditions is the "Ice Cream Challenge” started by my long-time Rochester, Minn., golfing buddy Ruthie and her husband, Tom.

Each picked five players to win the Masters. If one of the players won, the loser had to buy the winner an ice cream cone.

Even though I moved out of state, I joined the challenge, and we've been doing it for about 30 years. We then extended it to include all of the majors.

Wednesday evening, we all made our picks. We pick only four now. Mine are: Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Scottie Scheffler and Jon Rahm. My friend Ruthie has picked Bubba Watson, Patrick Reed, Bryson DeChambeau and Justin Thomas. Her husband, an Iowan, has Zach Johnson (always on his list, as he's a sentimental favorite) and Matt Kuchar, also always on his list in another tradition.

And, my Masters mug gets used for only four days per year. Morning coffee never tasted so good.

Jane Hixson
Pinehurst, N.C.

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