With less than a week to go before the pinnacle event in golf's sporting calendar gets underway, the 2014 Masters tournament at Augusta National in Georgia, Gary Wolstenholme MBE has given some words of advice to this years British Amateur Champion, Garrick Porteous, who will be competing for the first time.
The news of Tiger Woods' absence from the tournament no doubt came as a shock and a grave disappointment to the organisers but also to Garrick who would have been looking to test his skills against the best golfer in the world. Garrick's first challenge is to make the cut, which historically is something that British Amateur Champions have struggled with in the past, Only two British Amateur champions have made the cut in the Masters during the last 33 years, and only seven have done so since the Masters introduced a cut in 1957.
Gary holds the distinction of playing in two Masters as a British Amateur champion. The six-time Walker Cup player played in 1992 and 2004 and only narrowly missed the cut both times.
“I know it hasn’t been done a lot over the years, but it can be done,” said Gary Wolstenholme MBE, who returned a level-par 72 in his Masters debut. “If I think back to 1992, I shot 78 in the second round but I had a double and a triple bogey. Take away those two scores and if I’d made a few other putts then I’d have made the cut.”
So what does Porteous have to do that most others before him haven’t done?
“He has to make sure his short game is as good as it possibly can be,” Wolstenholme said. “It’s also about having the right equipment for the course. He might think about more rescue clubs than long irons, that sort of thing. Most importantly, he’s got to go out and enjoy it and not get down on himself if he makes a bogey. Patience is a big key.
The Masters gets underway on Thursday 10th April and you can follow the live action throughout the four championship days on Sky Sports.