SC grad 'part of something special' at the Masters

Most golf fans had to settle for hearing Bubba Watson's thoughts about his Masters victory through their television or radio on Sunday.

But South Carroll graduate and University of South Carolina junior Allyson Dorsey had a view that most people can only dream about while watching from the couch.

Through some ties between the school and the PGA, students that were part of the hospitality program at South Carolina were offered a chance to intern at the Masters in Augusta, Ga. For the second straight year, Dorsey made the trip to help serve food at the players and members tent.

The area is exclusive to players and people with green jackets, so Dorsey was rubbing shoulders with golf legends of past and present.

But she said that fact never really hit her until the exclusive dinner at the end of the tournament.

"We are working up to 17 hours a day and it gets really exhausting," Dorsey said. "Towards the end was mainly where it hit me because the ... dinner is something that really no one is a part of. It's crazy to see Bubba Watson standing up there with Chairman [Billy] Payne and to hear the emotion in his speech. I felt like I was really part of something special."

Dorsey's second trip to Augusta was significantly less hectic than her initial experience. After expecting to be a hostess, she was about to be surprised. Upon arrival, Dorsey was told she would be serving food at the tent.

There was only one problem for Dorsey - she had no previous experience in the food service industry. Needless to say she was about to get a crash course in etiquette and proper food service.

"It was intense," she said with a laugh. "I was so nervous and I thought I was going to mess up, but everyone is so welcoming and so happy to be there that they make you feel at home with them."

Majoring in sports and entertainment management at USC, Dorsey felt the chance to pass up on going to the Masters was not even worth considering. And from a young age, she realized that being at events such as the Masters was something she wanted to make her career.

Growing up, she worked her summers at Merriweather Post Pavilion and spent time going to concerts. Being a self-proclaimed music lover, Dorsey realized what she wanted to do at a Phish concert of all places.

"I was just standing there watching them and it clicked that I wanted to be a part of something that everyone goes to when they are trying to get away and relax," she said. "Knowing I had a small part in making something like that take place is rewarding. It was just something I knew I wanted to do."

Rick Dorsey, her father, feels the experience of working at the Masters has been positive and informative for his daughter. And he admitted he was a tad jealous of all the celebrities she gets to meet.

"What do you think?" Dorsey said with a laugh when asked if he was envious. "She told me she met Arnold Palmer and I said to her 'Do you really understand who Arnold Palmer is?'"

While working at the Masters may seem like a pinnacle for most, Dorsey has her sights set on something even higher - the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

The opportunity to secure a spot interning at the Olympics was a lot more difficult than the Masters. Open to just members of the sports and entertainment management major, Dorsey had to fill out an application, include two letters of recommendation and write a short piece on why she should be considered for the position.

With over 200 hundred applicants, Dorsey secured one of the 50 spots and after meeting with Clean Event - the company that she will be interning for - she'll be departing for London on May 23.

"Me and my friend weren't sure at first if we wanted to do this but I wanted to study abroad anyway so I figured I could try and kill two birds with one stone," she said with a laugh. "The company Clean Event is based out of Australia but they've done so many different things worldwide, so it's a great chance to get some experience."

Although she isn't required to report until June 1, Dorsey will be leaving early with her sister and mother so they can do some site-seeing.

Regardless of the experience she has this summer in London, Dorsey holds a story from the Masters that she will be able to tell for the rest of her life. During the tournament she was merely feet away from Phil Mickelson, but that doesn't rank close to her top encounter with Palmer - a legend that stretches through generations of golf fans.

"I met Arnold Palmer," she said with a tinge of excitement still in her voice, "and I told him I liked his drink."

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