While nineteen-year old Matthew Fitzpatrick, the reigning US Amateur champion, is probably counting down the minutes until he tees off tomorrow and becomes the youngest player in the field at this week’s Masters other players were happily blowing off some pre-tournament jitters and enjoying the annual Par 3 contest. Wednesday was just a little bit of fun before everybody gets down to business.
Cute Kids on Parade
Garbed in the traditional Augusta National Golf Club caddie costume of white coveralls, the youngsters who will be relegated to a more passive role tomorrow, were at center stage today.
Four-month old Sophia Streelman got to ride around in her dad, Kevin’s arms for a while. Eighteen-month old Tucker, Ryan Moore‘s son, was anything but menacing as he wielded a plastic driver into the ground and raced across the practice green. Finn Stalling, Scott Stalling’s fourteen-month old, used his tiny driver to putt and struggled to balance the swinging club and his toddling feet.
Jason Day’s 21-month-old son, Dash, had the swing of a future champ. After Dash watched Dad for a while on the practice range, he took up his own cut-down driver and with Dad teeing them up, started swinging. Sometimes one-handed, sometimes two-handed, Dash fired ball after ball off the tee until he tired of the game and led Dad Day off to another activity.
The older kids, along with pink-locked Caroline Wozniacki, Rory McIlroy’s fiance, carried bags and rolled an occasional putt.
Anticipating Thursday & Friday: Make the Cut
Young Fitzpatrick, who’s taken a leave of absence from Northwestern University to dip into the stratosphere of golf, is paired Thursday and Friday with defending Masters champion Adam Scott and Jason Dufner, PGA Championship winner.
Fitzpatrick’s already played his way to the first tee at Augusta National on Thursday. He took low amateur honors last summer at the British Open and then went on to become the first Brit to win the US Amateur in more than a century. That earned him invites to the Masters, the US Open in June, and then the British Open in July.
Matthew Fitzpatrick has a modest goal for the next four days: “My aim is to make the cut.”