AUGUSTA, GEORGIA | Six amateurs played in the 2018 Masters. One, Doug Ghim, made the 36-hole cut, although his 296 total left him 23 strokes behind winning professional Patrick Reed.
This year’s field once again includes six amateurs. Even though Bobby Jones was heralded for making a triumphant return to competition when he played in the first Augusta National Invitation Tournament (and 12 Masters in all), these days amateurs are mostly window dressing. Nobody on Augusta’s green earth expects an amateur to challenge for the Masters title, let alone win it.
Even our contemporary language reflects the reality of golf today. No amateur has ever won the Masters. Oh, Matt Kuchar made some noise in 1998 when he was the reigning U.S. Amateur champion and it’s not unusual to see the parenthetical (a) on the first page of the leaderboard in the first round. But victory is not part of the vocabulary. Amateurs talk about making the cut. This is their widely accepted goal. This is the extent to which they dream.
One of this year’s amateu...
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