Born in England and raised in Australia, Oliver Goss will be making his first Masters Tournament appearance this year, by virtue of his runner-up finish in the 2013 U.S. Amateur. But the trip to Augusta will not be an arduous one, for the lanky long-hitter is currently studying at the University of Tennessee and playing on the Volunteers golf team. He has spent the past couple of years near the top of the World Amateur Golf Ranking and produced several strong performances, winning the Western Australia Amateur as well as the third college tournament he ever entered and finishing in the top 10 of the Asia-Pacific Amateur the past two years. He will turn 20 on April 12 (third round of the Masters), and he has agreed to share his thoughts with Masters.com’s John Steinbreder.
I played 18 holes with Adam Scott this afternoon, and it was awesome being out there with the defending champion. We had played together once before, in November 2012 at the Australian Masters, and we have talked a few times since then. We chatted a little on the golf course today, but mostly I just observed where and how he hit the ball. When he dropped a ball to hit a pitch, I did the same thing from the same spot. His ball striking is so good, as is his control. They are both on other levels.
I have a very clear sense of what I wanted to practice on the course today, and that was mostly getting used to the crowds and the pressure of the all people here and being in the Masters. My swing is there, and I am hitting it well on the range. But I have never played in front of so many people before. I was incredibly nervous on the first tee, and I just swung away. Fortunately, I hit a good drive, to the left middle of the fairway, and then a 7-iron to about 10 feet. So, I got off to a good start. But it took me about six holes before I could really calm down.
I hit the ball really well today, and yes, I tried to skip my tee shot on No. 16 across the water and onto the green. But to no avail. I hit the first one into the bank, and it rolled back into the water. And the same thing happened with my second shot. I was disappointed, too, because I had practiced that shot every time I had come down here prior to this week.
The patrons were amazing, and I must have heard someone yell, “Go Vols!” 200 times today. I guess a lot of people here know that I go to the University of Tennessee, and a lot of them must be SEC fans.
I feel very good physically, though it can be exhausting playing 18 holes on this course. It is long and hilly and at the end of the day you feel pretty knackered.
I plan on taking it easy the next day or so. I will do a bit of practicing, and I am playing in the Par 3 Contest on Wednesday with Tim Clark and Trevor Immelman. Then, on Thursday, it will be time to play.