Born in England and raised in Australia, Oliver Goss will be making his first Masters Tournament appearance this year, by virtue of his runner-up finish in the 2013 U.S. Amateur. But the trip to Augusta will not be an arduous one, for the lanky long-hitter is currently studying at the University of Tennessee and playing on the Volunteers golf team. He has spent the past couple of years near the top of the World Amateur Golf Ranking and produced several strong performances, winning the Western Australia Amateur as well as the third college tournament he ever entered and finishing in the top 10 of the Asia-Pacific Amateur the past two years. He will turn 20 on April 12 (third round of the Masters), and he has agreed to share his thoughts with Masters.com’s John Steinbreder.
I shot 71 today, which leaves me at 147 for two days, 3-over-par. Conditions were difficult again, but I really feel like I am getting a better sense for this golf course. I was confident this morning after yesterday, after finally getting my feet wet and managing to shoot that opening-round 76 even though I played pretty average golf. I tidied things up a bit today. Yes, I still had to scramble a little out there; I did make a couple of good up-and-downs. But over all, I am happy with how I hit the ball.
I was exhausted after my round yesterday. Part of that was the fatigue from walking this golf course, which is very hilly. And it is also a matter of being mentally exhausted. You have to concentrate so hard on every shot in the Masters.
But I felt pretty refreshed when I teed off this morning, and I got off to a better start today. I parred the first hole and then made birdies at 2 and 8. I struggled occasionally after that, bogeying the 9th and 16th and managing a par at 13 after hitting my second shot into the water in front of the green. But I was able to keep it together and finish the round par-par. Both 17 and 18 were very difficult due to the wind. But I knew I had to par them if I wanted to have a chance of making the cut.
The wind did not really start to pick up until the second nine, and at that point it became quite a factor. I was all set to hit a 6-iron into 11 but ended up going down to a 4-iron because of the breeze and I had to absolutely crushed it to get it to the middle of the green.
I do not have much planned for this afternoon or evening. I may go hit a few balls, but any practice I do with be fairly light. At that point, I’ll just head back to our house and watch the golf on TV, to see how the others are doing and get a sense for where the cut line might end up. I am sure I will also reflect on how happy I am with my round today – and how much fun I am having. I truly feel that I belong out here with these guys.
I just remembered that it is my birthday tomorrow. I’ll be 20 years old, but that is the last thing on my mind. All I am thinking about is making the cut and playing again tomorrow.