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Miracle at Augusta


Miracle at Augusta

After a 17-year hiatus, James Patterson has taken a brief break from his bestselling mystery/thriller novels to return to the golf course and the world of the Senior PGA Tour. In MIRACLE ON THE 17th GREEN, published in 1996, Patterson and Peter de Jonge introduced readers to Travis McKinley. Travis was a 50-year-old advertising executive, recently fired from the Leo Burnett Agency who discovered magic on the golf course. In short order, he was a member of the Senior PGA Tour and capped off his rookie year with a victory at Pebble Beach in the Senior Open. The book, made into a CBS television movie, was a feel-good story of life that both golfers and non-golfers could enjoy and appreciate.

"MIRACLE AT AUGUSTA is an enjoyable, easy and inspiring read for a three-hour flight to your next golf destination or wherever you might be heading."

Travis is back for a second season on the Tour in MIRACLE AT AUGUSTA. While 17 calendar years have elapsed since his last appearance in print, it is only 1997 on the pages of this brief novella. Despite his huge win at the Senior Open, Travis is still beset by self-doubt regarding his ability as a professional golfer. Pro athletes rarely seem to lack for self-esteem, but he constantly appears to be looking around and asking, “What am I doing here?” Self-deprecation is perhaps his greatest quality.

But Travis also has a heart and a strong sense of right and wrong. He gets in trouble when a bar scuffle after the first event of the season in Hawaii leads to his suspension from the Tour. Returning to his home in the Chicago suburbs, he finds himself at the local high school one day witnessing a young man victimized by a group of school bullies. Such behavior offends Travis’ sense of fair play and justice, and he seeks out the victim to help. Jerzy Solarski is a Romanian immigrant who shares a love of golf with Travis. The two become friends and embark upon one of those life journeys that is clearly foreseeable to readers from the moment they connect.

Somewhere along the way, the plot wanders into the land of incredulity. Even Patterson and de Jonge recognize the fairy tale nature of their story when they remind us that the book’s title is MIRACLE AT AUGUSTA. Who cares if it might not be believable? If all you want is believability, read a newspaper.

MIRACLE AT AUGUSTA is an enjoyable, easy and inspiring read for a three-hour flight to your next golf destination or wherever you might be heading. In a way, it is sad that Patterson is so good at writing mysteries and thrillers. I like Travis McKinley and wish he would appear more than once every 17 years.

Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman on April 10, 2015

Miracle at Augusta
by James Patterson and Peter de Jonge

  • Publication Date: March 20, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books
  • ISBN-10: 0316410950
  • ISBN-13: 9780316410953