| ||Amateurs Miss Cut at
April 11, 2009
By Alex Miceli
Augusta, Ga. - It's been four years since an amateur has made
the cut at the Masters. One would have to go back to 2005,
when U.S. Amateur runner-up Luke List played into the
This year's crop of amateurs with USGA ties -
U.S. Amateur champion Danny Lee
, U.S. Amateur runner-up
Drew Kittleson, U.S. Amateur Public Links champion
Jack Newman and U.S. Mid-Amateur winner Steve Wilson
- won't be moving on. Neither will British Amateur champion
Lee, recently naturalized as a citizen of New Zealand and who
won the Johnnie Walker Classic on the European Tour in
February, shot 74-81. That included such blemishes as
six-putting for a 9 on the 10
hole and carding a 47 on the back nine to finish 10 shots off
the cut. In his final event as an amateur, Lee didn't expect
Augusta National to be easy after getting a taste of it in
"It was hard to understand why the players struggled
over here," said Lee in a pre-tournament interview. "It
was an easy course. I thought I could shoot five under or six
under easily. Now, today, I'm playing in these
tough conditions out there, fast greens, and fairways still
wet; I can't really hit it really far enough. Now I think
I am understanding why they can't really go low."
Kittleson, sophomore at Florida State University, registered
a first-round 78 but recovered with an even-par 72 on Friday.
He had two eagles on No. 11, a par 4, and No. 15.
"I left a lot of shots out there," said Kittleson. "It wasn't
that far off a good score, or scores that guys can make out
there today. It's something to draw off of, that I'd
like to think I'm close to where I to need to be to play with
Newman, a junior at Michigan State, was in the hunt to play
on the weekend after an opening-round, even-par 72. But a 76
on Friday derailed his plans. Augusta National taught him
that his short game needs improvement.
"It really didn't mean anything because I'm trying to finish
top 16, (to) get back," said Newman of possibly being the low
amateur before Friday's round. "Personally I could care less
about low amateur. I just wanted to try to come out here and
compete with these guys, and I didn't."
Wilson, a reinstated amateur, felt the same pressure as the
others - a stout setup that intimidated with its history, not
to mention all the other star power in the field. He walked
away shooting 79-75 and missing the cut by nine shots.
The experience overshadowed any score the Mississippian
recorded and left an indelible mark on in his memory.
"Just incredible," said Wilson. "It's a dream come true.
Getting to play with Tom Watson, a hero of mine forever, it
just couldn't have been any better."
Alex Miceli is a freelance writer whose work has
previously appeared on www.usga.org.