Nine ACC Golfers Start Play at the Masters on Thursday
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Nine golfers representing six Atlantic Coast Conference schools are set to begin play at the 2016 Masters Tournament, held in Augusta, Georgia, April 7-10. The nine from the ACC is the second most from any conference in the country.
Three schools – Florida State, Georgia Tech, and Wake Forest – have two former golfers at the Masters. The Seminoles are represented by Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger. Koepka finished tied for 33rd last year in his only other tournament appearance, while this is the debut for Berger.
For the Yellow Jackets, 1987 Masters champion Larry Mize will be making his 33rd appearance. Former Georgia Tech golfer Matt Kuchar, who finished tied for third in 2012, is in the field for the 10th time.
The former Demon Deacons playing this week are Bill Haas and Webb Simpson. Simpson, the 2012 U.S. Open Champion, is making his fifth appearance in the field. This will be the seventh time qualifying for the Masters for Haas, who earned his spot by tying for 12th last year.
Derek Bard, a junior at Virginia, is one of six amateurs in the field and will be competing for the Silver Cup, which is awarded to the low amateur. Bard earned his invitation with a runner-up finish at the 2015 U.S. Amateur Championship.
North Carolina’s Davis Love III, the winner of the 1997 PGA Championship, is in the field for the 20th time and has twice finished as the runner-up at the Masters in 1995 and 1999.
Duke’s Kevin Streelman earned the trip to the Masters by tying for 12th last year, his highest finish in four previous appearances.
Of the nine ACC golfers, Koepka leads the way at No. 19 in the Official World Golf Ranking. No. 28 Kuchar, No. 29 Haas, No. 53 Berger, and No. 83 Simpson also hold spots in the top 100.
Five golfers from current ACC schools have won a combined eight Masters. Wake Forest’s Arnold Palmer has won four times, which is tied for the second-most in history with Stanford’s Tiger Woods behind only Ohio State’s Jack Nicklaus with six. Duke’s Art Wall, Jr., Georgia Tech’s Mize, North Carolina’s Raymond Floyd, and Notre Dame’s Billy Casper have also been victorious in Augusta.
The 2016 tournament gets underway Thursday morning at 8:20 a.m.