‘I Think This Would Make a Good Movie’: Why a Georgia Realtor Was Invited to Play The Masters



CNN

Until now, the closest Atlanta-based realtor Scott Stallings to Augusta National was nearby Costco.

Despite years of trying, he was never able to get a ticket to see the prestigious Masters tournament on the legendary course. As a golf fan from Georgia, major attendance has remained an unspecified item on my bucket list.

Finally, on New Year’s Eve, a breakthrough occurred. Thanks to a letter in the mail to his St. Simons Island apartment, Stallings was going to the Masters.

But not to watch. to compete.

Weeks later, some 4,600 miles (7,400 kilometers) away at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii, three-time PGA Tour winner Scott Stallings was wondering why his 2023 Masters invitation was taking so long to arrive.

A remarkable series of coincidences has led to a case of mistaken identity for Hollywood. If it was to be a movie script, surely the next step would have been for the realtor to grab his clubs and try his luck attending the Masters in April?

“I had a twinkle in my eye playing it in my head,” Stallings admitted to CNN reporter Don Riddell. “It’s like Lolly Wonka’s golden ticket.

“I have an ID card with my name on it, and the invitation that has my name on it—what’s to stop me from going to those gates?”

However, it was a fleeting idea, as Stallings’ real estate broker quickly realized how the commingling had occurred.

For years, he has been closely following the career of his pro golf namesake. If a golfer is performing particularly well in an event, Stallings 2.0 will often post a picture of the leaderboard on his social media to show how well “he” is doing.

But when the real estate agent and his wife, Jennifer, reached out to his counterpart via Instagram to tell him of the mistake, the golfer was skeptical. Only when they added photographic proof of the letter—signed by Augusta National President Fred Ridley—and the glossy green envelope of the master’s arrival in it were the intended recipient of the invitation convinced.

When the golfer later posted screenshots of the conversation on Twitter, with his own name, “The firestorm has begun.” With over 22 million views and 150,000 likes, the post sent Stallings viral. Floods of commentary called for the professional golfer to transfer his name to Augusta for the tournament.

Golfer Stallings went one better, inviting his realtor and Jennifer to both practice rounds, as well as to dinner with himself and his wife—incredibly, his name is also Jennifer—while they were in town.

“Golfer Scott Stallings is just an amazing guy,” said the realtor. “It’s really like winning the lottery.”

The fact that the Stallings wives share the same first name is just another unusual coincidence in the pair’s story.

It is unlikely that Stallings realtor’s St. Simons apartment is next door to the former headquarters of the management company that golfer Stallings was attached to the last time he competed in the Masters, in 2014.

According to the broker, although the management company has since moved on, the tournament organizers have not updated their records and sent the invitation to the old address. When UPS came to deliver it, knowing Stallings was nearby, they sent the letter to the apartment.

“Just unbelievable, surreal,” said the realtor. “I think this would be a good movie. I’m just waiting for Spielberg to get in touch so we can make a deal.”

Stallings during his last appearance at The Masters in 2014.

Golfer Stallings last week confirmed the script’s happy ending. In a video shared on social media, he joyfully collects the forwarded invitation from his mailbox before presenting the letter to the camera.

“I told you I didn’t have it,” says wife Jennifer Jabs as the video ends.

But Stallings’ realtor predicts another twist in Lady Luck’s fate. Augusta junior Rory McIlroy will likely arrive among the favorites in a star-studded field, yet the golf fan makes a prediction against the odds.

You guessed it, Scott Stallings, World No. 54: Masters Champion 2023.

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