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 in the Par 3 Contest today, and it really was a great experience. My girlfriend, Jessie Campbell, caddied for me, and I lightened the bag a bit for her by only bringing seven clubs, the longest of which was an 8-iron. She’s from Tennessee and a student at the university there. And she is majoring in turf grass management, which definitely gives us something to talk about.
I had seen and played the Par 3 course before, when I was down here on one of my visits, so I would have a good sense of it when I came down for the Masters. And I really enjoy it. It’s just like a fun pitch-and-putt course, only in immaculate condition and with thousands of patrons sitting around it. The longest shot we had out there was just over 150 yards, and I hit a 9-iron in to that green.
The course doesn’t look particularly tough at first, as all the holes are pretty short. But there were some difficult pins out there, and the wind was really swirling. So much so, in fact, that one of my tee shots started out very straight and toward the middle of the green and then drifted to the right and hit a patron in the ankle. She was fine, thankfully, and I gave her a golf glove as a way of saying sorry.
I played OK. I made three birdies, as well as a double and a triple. But I birdied the last hole, which was a great way to finish. I played with Trevor Immelman and Tim Clark, and they were good fun. So were the patrons, and though there were so many of them, I didn’t really feel nervous. I think the work I have been doing in that regard is paying off.
My tee time tomorrow is 12:31, and I will be with Trevor again, and also Graham DeLaet, who is from Canada. I am going to rest pretty good tonight to get ready for that, as I was tired after playing 18 holes yesterday and also practicing for a couple of hours. So I need to put my feet up and take it easy.
I am not sure when I am going to the course tomorrow. It’s funny that I don’t really have a set routine for individual tournaments, because when you play college tournaments, you come and go with the team. I can’t sleep in and am very much a morning person, so I will be up early. I’ll probably get to Augusta National a couple of hours before my tee time, have something to eat and then warm up. I’ll start with a few quick putts on the practice green, and then I will go to the Tournament Practice Facility and hit some chips, irons and drives. And then I’ll putt some more before I tee off.
I cannot wait!