My first time on site at Augusta National was in December 2019. I’d come off a run of my best ever golf, including a historic win at the US Mid-Amateur (the first ever international champion), a runner-up at the Victorian Amateur, and a T21 finish at the Australian Open. Ostensibly, the purpose of travelling halfway around the world for just three days on the ground was for tournament preparation as a ‘Masters Invitee’. The goal was to scout the course to best prepare my game for the event. The real draw, however, was the opportunity to play a course I’d dreamed about for my whole life.
On day two of my visit, the reality of my hard work and good fortune was crystallised in one beautiful moment. On that day, I was the first player on course; and a 7:30am call time had me teeing off just a few minutes after sunrise. I recall walking to the first tee and facing out to the 9th, 2nd, and 7th greens. The warm glow of the sun had just broken through over the glossy, dew covered fairways, casting a golden light on the scene in front of me. As I rounded the crest of the second hole, the dew had begun lifting off the ground, creating a foggy mist that was illuminated by beams of light breaking through the Georgia Pines. At that moment it dawned on me: I was playing golf at Augusta National, by myself, as a Masters Invitee.