The Augusta National Golf Club came close to having a new member demanding admission to the annual PGA Masters Tournament beginning this week: Sierra, the Swiss mountain dog.
Sierra, who lives in Seattle with owner Russ Berkman, landed some coveted tickets to a practice a round of the Georgia golf tournament while her owner wasn't looking.
"I was doing some last-minute packing, and ran down to REI [sporting goods store] to grab a couple of things before I left," Berkman told KJR Sports Radio in Seattle. "I came back an hour later and came back in the house, noticed there were a few strings on my hardwood floors, looked to be the strings connected to my Masters tickets."
Sierra, the hungry dog left at home during the errands, had eaten four tickets to the Masters that Berkman had won in a raffle.
Panicking, Berkman asked his girlfriend for advice. "She says, 'You have to make the dog puke,'" Berkman said.
Berkman fed the pup a mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide, a safe combination for animals, in order to get the tickets back, he said.
"It bubbles in their stomach; it's very safe, and they puke in about 10 minutes," he said. "About 10 minutes later she did what she was supposed to, which was puke up the Masters tickets."
All four Masters tickets, in bits and pieces, came back up from Sierra's stomach, he explained.
Berkman, draping a plastic bag over a spatula, began piecing together the ticket scraps. "It came out pretty well. We got about 70 percent of all the tickets put together," Berkman told the radio show.
He then contacted officials at the Masters, explained Sierra's evening meal, and received permission to still attend the Masters practice round. Berkman wrote a letter explaining the situation to officials, who then reprinted his tickets for his use at Augusta.
Berkman did not immediately return calls for comment.