April 11, 2014
On Saturday, Tennessee sophomore Oliver Goss will be playing in The Masters on his 20th birthday.
The native of Perth, Australia made the 2014 Masters cut after shooting a 71 (-1) at Augusta National on Friday.
"I had a little thought this morning: every other tournament you play, you try to play like you're in the Masters, but for the Masters you try and treat it like just another tournament," Goss said.
Much like his career-to-date at Tennessee, Goss is lighting up the Augusta National course like a veteran. In fact, Goss is the only amateur to make this year's Masters cut, finishing ahead of legendary golfers like Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia.
During The Masters broadcast, the live commentators referenced the poise that makes Goss such a fierce competitor.
"The bigger the stage, the calmer he gets," The Masters commentator said. "He believes he belongs here."
On Thursday, Goss carded a first round 76 (+4) that included two birdies and six bogeys.
"I was a little nervous a couple of times because of the big crowd," Goss said. "But it felt amazing to be out there."
Goss stepped up his game on Friday en route to an overall score of 147 (+3), sinking three second round birdies including this one on No. 14. Watch Goss sink a birdie on the par-4 No. 14 hole
"I'm really proud of myself for stepping it up when I needed to," Goss said.
The Masters week has been one full of experiences that will last Goss a lifetime.
On Tuesday, Goss played a practice round with an all Australian foursome that included his childhood hero and 2013 Masters champion Adam Scott as well as Steven Bowditch and John Senden. On Wednesday, Goss had his girlfriend Jessie and mother Paula caddie for him during the Par 3 Contest which he won "Nearest to the Pin" on hole No. 5. Goss also stayed in the famous Crow's Nest at Augusta National and attended nightly ceremonial dinners.
"When you think of The Masters, you think of Augusta National and Tiger and all the amazing shots you have witnessed over the years," Goss said. "All the major championships and all the great moments, it is just the whole experience that is so amazing and historical."
Garrick Porteous represents England, Vols proudly
Former Tennessee Volunteer Garrick Porteous (2012) also competed in the 2014 Masters tournament. The tournament is Porteous' last as an amateur as he will turn professional next week to play on the European Tour.
Like Goss, Porteous finished tied for the amateur lead with a 76 (+4) on Thursday. However, a rough Friday saw Porteous card an 80 (+8) bringing his final Masters total to 156 (+12). Porteous was able to leave The Masters on a positive note after he birdied the final No. 18.
Porteous arrived at The Masters by way of winning The Amateur Championship (British Amateur). Prior to The Masters, Porteous was able to gain major championship experience by playing at the 2013 British Open.
"You're always going to have a few nerves (at the start). But I think the Open kind of helped me a lot. I knew how to deal with it coming into this morning. I definitely wasn't as nervous as I was at the Open," Porteous said.
It is believed that the amateur duo of Goss and Porteous are only the third such amateur duo to compete in the same Masters tournament from the same university.