Pictured: UVA junior men’s golfer Derek Bard (New Hartford, N.Y.) participating in the Par 3 Contest at The Masters Tournament on Wednesday. Looking on is Masters participant Smylie Kaufman and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a member of Augusta National Golf Club.
Charlotte, N.C. - You don’t just make a wrong turn or two and wind up driving down Magnolia Lane. It’s something that is desired and earned. Some of the best golfers in the world spend their childhoods dreaming of, and their entire careers playing towards, getting that invitation from Augusta National in the mail. And at just 20-years-old, Virginia junior golfer Derek Bard will make the 330-yard drive down Magnolia Lane this week to share golf’s most prestigious course with the game’s greatest players.
Bard earned a spot in the 2016 Masters by finishing runner-up in the 2015 Amateur Championship. He is one of six amateurs in this year’s field that will be competing for the Silver Cup, awarded to the low scoring amateur. Like all first-timers at the Masters, Bard has spent the week soaking up as much of the experience as he can. Sunday night, he slept in the Crow’s Nest (reserved for amateurs only) atop of Augusta National’s clubhouse. Monday night, he attended one of the tournament’s longest and most esteemed traditions, the Amateurs Dinner. Wednesday, he played in the famous Par 3 Contest, and on Thursday at 8:31 a.m. Bard will make the nerve-racking walk from the practice green to the first tee, where he will tee off alongside former Masters Champion Trevor Immelman and Robert Streb.
Although he’s admitted he will be pretty nervous Thursday morning, Bard hasn’t shied away from letting it be known that he’s not just there to enjoy the experience – he’s there to compete. For everything you need to know surrounding Bard’s first Masters experience, visit virginiasports.com.
Nine golfers from six ACC schools will participate in this year’s Masters, second most of any conference. The first pairing will tee off Thursday morning at 8:20 a.m. and Derek Bard will get things going for the ACC at 8:31 a.m.
ACC Golfers at the 2016 Masters
Kevin Streelman, Duke 8:42 a.m.
Daniel Berger, Florida State 10:54 a.m.
Brooks Koepka, Florida State 11:05 a.m.
Larry Mize, Georgia Tech 8:42 a.m.
Matt Kuchar, Georgia Tech 1:06 p.m.
Davis Love III, North Carolina 12:22 p.m.
Derek Bard, Virginia 8:31 a.m.
Bill Haas, Wake Forest 2:01 p.m.
Webb Simpson, Wake Forest 9:04 a.m.
Five ACC alumni have taken home a combined eight green jackets, including 2016 participant Larry Mize. The other eight golfers in the field will look to add their name to the list of ACC Masters champions.
Masters Champions from ACC Schools
Arnold Palmer, Wake Forest: 1958, 1960, 1962, 1964