|(Golf - Masters) 24 first timers take their chances
A record 24 newcomers will tee off Thursday at Augusta National in the US state of Georgia, several of them confident a first-timer can capture a green jacket for the first time since 1979.
“It doesn't matter if you have played here once or you have played it 50 times,'' American Patrick Reed said. “Whoever is playing the best golf is going to win.''
Reed, who has won three PGA tournaments in the past eight months, is among the debutants who will break the old mark of 23 Masters newcomers set in 1935.
Except for Fuzzy Zoeller's 1979 win, that's also the last time a first-timer won the event. But a confident group of players are looking to change that.
“I don't see why not. I don't think it's out of the question,'' said American Jimmy Walker, who has three PGA wins this season.
“I'm here to play well. And I'm here to have a chance – I want to win and I think everybody here wants to do that. So why couldn't a rookie win again?''
But experience is rarely more prized than at Augusta National, solving the undulating and quick greens and knowing what areas to avoid and where to hit to best set up approaches.
“If a guy has more experience it's going to give him an advantage. Experience always helps,'' Reed said. ``But with all the young guys coming out and playing well, whoever is playing best will come out with the victory.''—AFP