AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 04: Jose Maria Olazabal of Spain warms up on the range as caddie Michael Batty looks on during a practice round prior to the start of the 2018 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 4, 2018 in Augusta, Georgia. There are four Longhorns in this year's field --- Jordan Spieth, Jhonattan Vegas, Doug Ghim and Dylan Frittelli. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

BEVO BEAT Golf

Horns at the Masters: Their old coach likes his four Texas players’ first-round draws

Posted April 4th, 2018

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AUGUSTA, Ga. — When I found John Fields near the first tee at Augusta National on Wednesday, I asked the Longhorns golf coach about the draws of his pupils in their opening rounds of Masters play.

“I love ’em,” Fields said.

Which one?

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“All of them,” the coach answered.

Fields has reason to be flush with excitement before Thursday’s first round. His Texas Longhorns will be out in full force here.

Jhonattan Vegas gives his daughter Sharlene a kiss on the cheek on the first fairway during the Par 3 Contest at Augusta National Golf Club on Wednesday, April 4, 2018, in Augusta, Ga. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

Texas has four golfers in the 87-man field, giving the Masters the second-strongest contingent here. Only Arizona State, with five qualifiers — three-time Masters winner Phil Mickelson, Pat Perez, Chez Reavie, Paul Casey and No. 3 in the world Jon Rahm — outnumbers the Longhorns.

Georgia also has four in the field with two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson, Dell Match Play star Kevin Kisner, Brian Harman and Russell Henley.

  • Jhonattan Vegas has the honors as the first Longhorn to tee off, starting at 7:41 a.m. Austin time in a threesome with Masters champion Ian Woosnam and Ryan Moore.
  • Dylan Frittelli goes off next at 8:03 along with Masters winner Jose Maria Olazabal and Kevin Chappell.
  • Doug Ghim, who qualified as the U.S. Amateur runner-up, will join Scotland’s Sandy Lyle and Korean Si Woo Kim at 10:37. Ghim’s parents are Korean.
  • Finally, 2015 Masters champion Jordan Spieth tees off at 12:49 p.m. with Oklahoma State ex Alex Noren and South African Louis Oosthuizen.

Frittelli had the first hole-in-one on the eighth hole of the Par-3 Tournament. As his tee shot backed into the hole, he leaped into the air. He got a hug from playing partner and former Longhorns great Ben Crenshaw, then threw up a Hook ’em Horns sign.

His parents are on hand from Johannesburg, South Africa, to watch Dylan’s first Masters appearance.

“Dylan gets in a little bubble, a shell before he plays,” his mother, Jenni, said outside the Member Pro Shop. “He’s very focused.”

She and her husband Ray will walk the course and follow Dylan on Thursday. His sister, Carlyn, and Dylan’s 2-year-old nephew, Alastair, will try to keep up for a while. Dylan bought him cut-down clubs including a short Scotty Cameron putter, but the curly-haired Alastair went straight for Dylan’s regulation clubs.

So can Dylan win?

“Absolutely,” Jenni said. “They’re all so confident. Dylan’s crazy fit, too.”

 

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