2013 Masters: Ranking the Amateurs
2013 Masters: Ranking the Amateurs in the Field
Not everyone that plays in The Masters is a professional golfer. The tournament, as with all major championships, does allow amateurs to compete. Unfortunately for my fellow weekend warriors out there, our chances of getting in are slim to none. In order to get an invite (yes, it is invitation only) amateur golfers have to do exceedingly well in tournament golf.
Invites are extended to the winner and runner-up in the last U.S. Amateur Championship and to the winner of the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, the British Amateur Championship, the Asian Amateur Championship and the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship. So that means you shouldn’t get your hopes up just because you broke 90 at your local muni.
Getting into the field is the first part of the battle. After that, the amateur participants have to worry about actually navigating the difficult test that is Augusta National. Fortunately for many amateurs, they’ve had the opportunity to play the course at some point in the past, whether in practice rounds or other events. The conditions they will see when the track is set up for a major championship are going to be significantly more daunting, however.
A realistic goal for the six amateurs in the field this year is to make the cut. Simply because it is realistic doesn’t mean that it will be easy, however. There are going to be many professionals that miss the cut, so it can’t be expected that all of the amateurs will be playing the weekend. The four American amateurs in the field will be looking to be the first of their countrymen to make cut since Ryan Moore and Luke List in 2005.
#6 Tianlang Guan - China
Asia-Pacific Amateur Champion
If he’s as good as Tiger Woods thinks he is, Guan could contend for low amateur honors. Even if he misses the cut, it’s an incredible feat that he’s even here.
#5 T.J. Vogel - United States
U.S. Amateur Public Links Champion
He has more than a handful rounds at Augusta but is still struggling to come back from hernia surgery in December.
#4 Nathan Smith - United States
U.S. Mid-Amateur Champion
Smith won the mid-amateur title in 2004, 2010 and 2011, as well but missed the cut at The Masters all three times. Experience may not help him a whole lot. At least he has his job as an investment banker to fall back on should this whole golf thing not work out.
#3 Alan Dunbar - Northern Ireland
British Amateur Champion
Dunbar defeated fellow amateur Steven Fox at last week’s Georgia Cup. He’s expected to turn pro after this event which could be a huge distraction. His experience at the British Open could prove useful.
#2 Steven Fox - United States
2012 U.S. Amateur champion
Fox has had the chance to play Augusta about a dozen times, which should give him a nice boost in confidence. He also got to learn some of the nuances of the course from perennial contender Phil Mickelson during their practice round.
#1 Michael Weaver - United States
U.S. Amateur runner-up
The college junior is the favorite to win low amateur honors this year. He’s got the game, but the pressure of his first pro event might cause him to stumble early.