To date, the closest Atlanta-based realtor has ever been to Scott Stallings at Augusta National, a nearby Costco.
Despite years of trying, he had never managed to secure a ticket to the prestigious Masters tournament on the legendary course. As a Georgia golf fan, attending the major remained an unchecked bucket list item.
Finally, on New Year’s Eve, a breakthrough. Thanks to a letter in the mail to his apartment on St. Simons Island, Stallings went to The Masters.
But not to look at. Compete.
Weeks later, some 4,500 miles away at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii, three-time PGA Tour winner Scott Stallings wondered why his invitation to the 2023 Masters was taking so long.
A remarkable series of coincidences had led to a case of mistaken identity befitting Hollywood. If it was going to be a movie script, surely the next step was for the broker to pack his clubs and try his luck at the Masters in April?
“I had a twinkle in my eye playing it in my head,” Stallings admitted to DailyExpertNews’s Don Riddell. “It’s like the golden ticket for Willy Wonka.
“I have an ID with my name on it, the invitation with my name on it – what’s stopping me from going to those gates?”
It was a fleeting thought, however, as estate agent Stallings quickly realized how the confusion had arisen.
For years he had closely followed the career of his professional golf namesake. If the golfer performed particularly well at an event, “Stallings 2.0” would often post a picture of the standings on his social media to show off how well “he” was doing.
But when the broker and his wife Jennifer reached out to his counterpart via Instagram to tell him about the mistake, the golfer was skeptical. It wasn’t until they included photos of the letter — signed by Augusta National president Fred Ridley — and the sleek Masters green envelope it arrived in that the intended recipient of the invitation was convinced.
When the golfer then posted screenshots of the conversation to Twitter, in front of his namesake, “the firestorm began.” With more than 22 million views and 150,000 likes, the post sent the Stallings viral. An outpouring of response called for the pro golfer to bring his namesake to Augusta for the tournament.
Golfer Stallings fared even better, inviting the real estate agent and Jennifer to attend both practice rounds, as well as have dinner with himself and his wife—unbelievably, aka Jennifer—while they’re in town.
“Scott Stallings, the golfer, is just an amazing person,” said the broker. “It’s really like winning the lottery.”
The fact that the Stallings’ wives share the same first name is just another extraordinary coincidence in the couple’s story.
Even more unlikely, real estate agent Stallings’ St. Simons apartment happens to be next to the former headquarters of a management company that golfer Stallings was associated with when he last competed on The Masters, back in 2014.
According to the broker, although the management company had since moved, the tournament organizers had not updated their details and had not sent the invitation to the old address. When UPS came to deliver it, knowing there was a Stallings nearby, they posted the letter to the flat.
“Just unbelievable, surreal,” said the broker. “I think this would be a good movie. I’m just waiting for Spielberg to call so we can make a deal.”
The script’s happy ending was confirmed last week by golfer Stallings. In a video shared on social media, he jubilantly pulls the forwarded invitation from his mailbox before presenting the letter to the camera.
“I told you I didn’t have it,” wife Jennifer says towards the end of the video.
But broker Stallings predicts another twist of the fate of a lucky guy. A resurgent Rory McIlroy is likely to arrive in Augusta as one of the favorites of a star-studded field, but the golf fan is making a against-the-chance prediction.
You guessed it, Scott Stallings, world number 54: The Masters champion 2023.