Rookies could thrive at Masters this year

First-time Masters golfers such as Patrick Reed could make an impact at Augusta. (Getty Images/AFP)

First-time Masters golfers such as Patrick Reed could make an impact at Augusta. (Getty Images/AFP)

KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:52 PM ET

Augusta National Golf Club welcomes its first-time Masters participants with all the warmth and generosity of spirit of a spitting cobra.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. The newcomers aren’t treated badly. In fact, the kindly members of this exclusive golf club couldn’t be nicer to them. Just don’t count on a fledgling competitor winning the Masters. The general sense of the place is that a player has to have patience and endure some hard lessons before the golf course gives up its secrets and even then, who says he’s ready to win a Masters?

It’s been 34 years since Fuzzy Zoeller walked on to the property for the first time in April 1979 and, a few days later, got fitted for a green jacket. That’s the last time that happened.

But in this season where young players, and even some not-so-young first-timers, are breaking through with regularity, it’s hard not to wonder if the ground hasn’t shifted somewhat.


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