AUGUSTA, Ga. – Smylie Kaufman woke up Sunday morning in Augusta and watched the movie “Tin Cup.”
Afterall, he was the most unheralded player in contention heading into the final round of the Masters, and he was in the day’s last pairing with defending champion Jordan Spieth.
Simply, Kaufman had nothing to lose. Unfortunately, he shot 81.
The 24-year-old won in Las Vegas last fall to earn entry into the Masters so being in this position – in his first ever trip around the hallowed grounds – was a great learning experience. He wished he played better, but understands that many have faltered under similar pressure in the past.
“It was so cool,” Kaufman said of the week. “That last round really stunk, but just the crowd and just how loud it was, the roars. I got to watch Jordan handle the pressure and just see what it was kind of like. So I’m just going to try to build on it moving forward, and I’ll see what I can do in the coming years.”
Kaufman shot 73-72-69 in the first three rounds to position himself well. He made two birdies, nine bogeys, and a double bogey for his final-round 81. He tied for 29th place.